I was sitting on the damp ground with my back to the wall. Heavy irons around my wrists and ankles. I kept my eyes closed and let my hands do the seeing. The iron was cold and left chills down my spine. My fingers caressing the earth I sat on, gliding over tiny rocks. I extended my legs, my bare feet being buried in the cool soil. I opened my eyes.
I was completely in the dark except for a small stream of light pouring out of some unknown opening in the high ceiling of my dungeon. The light hurt my eyes so I had to squint and let them adjust to see. It was a small circular room with high stone walls. I was the only one here. My hair clung to my neck and fell down my shoulders. It was so filthy. In fact, my whole body was filthy. My arms and legs were covered in mud and bruises. I tried to rub my ankles, which were throbbing in pain, but my chains tightened and wouldn’t allow my hand to reach. What am I doing here?
I heard a scream from somewhere. It sounded distant and close at the same time. It sounded like….me.
I began to panic. I screamed for help, louder and louder. But nothing. I sobbed. What did I do?
I scratched the dirt with my nails then balled my hands into fists. What the fuck did I do to get HERE? This dark dingy place. This cold place. Do I belong here?
I let myself drift off, my eyes losing focus, I stared into the dark. What kind of person would be in a place like this?.....a bad one. Maybe I was bad. Was I?
What makes a person bad? Is it how they act? Or perhaps it’s their thoughts?
I behaved like a good person. I never hurt anyone intentionally. I was a good friend. A good person. I knew it. I just knew it. It was something that used to be important to me…I think? Why cant I remember?
But my thoughts….. there was something in me that began to scratch at the seams that held me together. No, my thoughts weren’t so good. They had never been. Am I here because my mind is twisted?
My eyes came back to focus just in time to see something dart across the room. I tried to follow it with my eyes, but it moved quickly and silently. What was that? I was scared. My breathing quickened, as did my heart beat.
Hello? No answer.
Tears began to well in my eyes, blurring my vision. Slowly the outline of a person came into my vision. They were walking towards me. I blinked the tears out of my eyes and felt them roll down my cheeks. I looked up at my visitor…
Dad, where am I? What is this place?
You know where you are, Jen.
You put yourself here.
What? I don’t understand. Why would I do that?
He stood over me now, looking down at me.
So I could do this..
He bent down and ran his hand up my leg slowly. He reached the hem of my dirty tattered dress and lifted it easily. His hand continuing up towards…no…..
You want this don’t you?
No! What are you doing?
He smiled as he began to touch me and rub down there. This couldn’t be happening. I screamed out, I writhed, I tried to escape, but my chains held me. I tried to force my legs closed but he pried them open and continued to roughly finger me. Smiling the whole time. I couldn’t take my eyes away from him. I could feel my body responding to his touch, but I didn’t want it to….did I?
My screaming turned to moaning and I was no longer fighting to close my legs. I arched my back and closed my eyes. His speed quickened and I could feel my release coming faster and faster with every flick of his finger.
Right before I could orgasm he began to laugh hysterically, I opened my eyes and looked at him. He turned to ash and fell in a pile at my feet.
I sat there in the dark with just enough light to watch the ash floating in the air, falling lightly on my skin. I closed my legs and tried to rub some of the ash off the area’s that my chains would permit. All it seemed to do was make me even dirtier.
What just happened? How could I have….enjoyed that? What the fuck was wrong with me?
Disgusted with myself I screamed out. I screamed until my throat was raw and my voice hoarse. When I couldn’t scream anymore I hung my head and cried.
Suddenly a noise came that interrupted me. I stopped crying and held my breath in anticipation to hear it again. There it was! What was that? Where was it coming from? I looked all over the room. There was no way of telling how big the room actually was. Who knew what actually lay past that deep darkness. The noise continued….like a clanking of metal. Maybe chains? Are those footsteps? I couldn’t hold my breath any longer and exhaled loudly. I was so terribly scared. Suddenly another man stepped into my vision. Coming from the darkness, he could’ve been the devil himself. He wore a mask over his face but his torso was bare. He was gigantic, looming over me like death. His wide shoulders and massive arms. He wore black pants with chains hanging off of them. That must’ve been where the noise was coming from. He wore thick blacksmith’s gloves, and in his left hand a whip was coiled up. He looked down at me and I heard a deep laugh escape from behind his mask. The whip uncoiled loosely down to the ground, leaving little whisper marks in the dirt. In his right hand he held a large metal hoop with three keys on it. He began to walk towards me. Those huge leather, probably steel toed, boots making the dirt crunch underneath his weight. He leaned over and unlocked my irons, first my wrists then my ankles. All I wanted was to run, but my limbs suddenly couldn’t move. It was as if I hadn’t used them in years.
He bent down and grabbed my arms and lifted me over his shoulder. I didn’t fight him, I couldn’t. Even if I had the energy, this man could kill me with a flick of his hand. He set me down, and I swayed back and forth on my weak legs. He grabbed my wrists and held them above my head. Clink. The sound of the iron’s being clasped around my wrists again. He stepped back and inspected me. I was standing in the middle of my dungeon now. The light pouring over top me now, riddling my body with shadows. My arms suspended above my head, tightly held by big rusty iron cuffs. He turned and stepped out of the light disappearing in the darkness. I heard a squeaking noise. I suddenly started to be raised off the ground. I looked down and my breathing once again quickened. What the fuck what the fuck what the fuck…
I came to my senses and began to scream for help. Screaming so loud. My throat was still raw, but I was scared beyond belief. I needed to get out. Now. The man slowly stepped into the light in front of me. He was probably just a few feet from me. I could smell him. Sweat, leather, and something else. I recognized it. I’d smelled it before. What was that smell?
I stopped screaming and stared into that dark mask. I was hanging there for him, the way I knew he wanted me. Maybe 2 feet off the ground. The iron digging into my wrists as all my weight pulled me down. My heart hammering against my ribs and sweat falling off my forehead….I was helpless.
He began to slowly circle me. I couldn’t see him but I could hear him walking behind me. His pace constant, slow. I’m not sure how many times he circled me. I began to get light headed and delusional. All I could hear was that low grumble of a laugh, and those slow steps. Was I falling in and out of consciousness? I couldn’t feel my arms anymore and my head felt like it weighed a million pounds. But he just kept circling me. Never speaking. Just walking, like a lion hunting a gazelle.
Suddenly, a ripping noise. He was tearing my dress off my body. The material fell, crumpled and dirty, at my feet. My nipples hardened, and goose bumps flew up my entire body. I was awake now. His walking stopped, and he stood behind me. I couldn’t see him. A loud crack echoed and I felt the whip bite into my back. I screamed out. Christ! My head shot back and I squeezed my eyes shut. He kept whipping. Crack…crack….crack….crack. I kept screaming. Sobbing. Pleading. Begging. Every whip was like fire and ice down my back. I clenched my teeth and tried to prepare myself for the next one. It didn’t matter. The pain never dulled. My body didn’t go numb, or into shock. It just kept rippling through my body.
Do I deserve this? I must. I know I do. My mind is like a rotted fruit. It’s sick. And I need to be punished. Suddenly my pleading wasn’t for him to stop, it was for more. And he was more than happy to oblige. He began to put some of that muscle into it. I could feel something warm running down my back. Blood. His whip cut into my skin, and I liked it. I loved it. The pain seared through my body and I felt every molecule, every atom, scream for more. My head was throbbing and my legs tingling. My body told me it couldn’t take anymore, but I told it to shut the fuck up. I could take it. I had to take it. I THIRSTED for more. I closed my eyes and tears streamed down my face.
The whipping stopped and the man pressed himself up behind me. I could feel his sweaty chest pressed against my back. Even with me suspended in the air his head was still by my head. He rested his chin on my shoulder. He was breathing heavy and his breath smelled sweet. He turned his head and inhaled deeply into my hair. His skin was rubbing my fresh wounds and it burned and made me inhale sharply as well. What was he doing? He put his arms around me and cupped my breasts. He rubbed and pinched each nipple. My body writhed and I let out a moan. My body was going into sensation over load. He ran his rough hands down the sides of my body. Moving slowly and feeling every curve. His long arms extended down my hips and to my thighs. He reached in front and grabbed my inner thighs, forcing my legs to pull up. He gripped me just above the back of my knee, pulling my knee’s to my chest, completely exposing my soaking wet vagina.
My arms still numb and the iron still ripping into my skin, my back shredded and bloody, and now my knees up by my ribs and my body splayed out for everyone to see….all I wanted was for this huge man to fuck me. I wanted him to tear into me like his whip. But before I could even whisper to him to fuck me, I saw movement in the shadows in front of me. The man was still pressed behind me holding my legs up. I narrowed my eyes and tried to see in the dark, but all I seen was the inky black. The squeaking noise came again and my body began to lower. The man behind me stayed frozen and holding me. My back sliding down his torso sending pain shooting through me. I screamed out. What was going on?
My body continued to lower until I was just a foot above the ground.. I looked into the darkness searching for whoever had lowered me. A child stepped out into the light, a little girl. I hung there panting and staring at this little girl, more confused than ever. She had short, curly hair. There was a red bow tied at the top of her head. She had pale skin, with big eyes. Dark eyes. She looked like a normal little girl, but there was something off about her. She wore a white polo and a plaid skirt. She had white ruffled socks and shiny black buckled shoes. I stared at her, suddenly very aware of how exposed I was. I tried to lower my legs but the man held them tight. She stepped closer to me.
Who are you? I asked
Who do you think I am?
How would I know that?
She smiled sweetly, and looked down at me. Her eyes stopped at my sex.
What are you doing here? I tried to get her eye contact back up to my eyes, but she just kept looking.
I’m here because of you.
I don’t think you belong here, sweetie. This isn’t a place for kids.
I had no idea where I was, but I was pretty sure it was exclusively for bad people. Not innocent little girls.
What makes you think I’m innocent?
Had I said that out loud?
You’re just a little girl.
Now she raised her eyes to meet mine.
Were you innocent when you were a little girl?
My mouth opened to respond, but I couldn’t find the words. I just stared back at her. Was I innocent when I was a little girl? When did these bad thoughts come into my mind? Does corruption come with age? Or was I always a plague? Maybe I’m just the bruised, ugly part of the fruit. Maybe I just came into existence this way. The tears came again. The little girl looked back down into my opened legs. She began to walk towards me….
The voice came hurling through the room like a wrecking ball. The little girl and I both jumped.
Stop this Jennifer.
He came running into the center of the room. He looked so out of place. His clothes and skin clean, his clear blue eyes darting from the man behind me to the little girl, then finally rested upon me.
Oh God, Jennifer…..oh God
Just saying his name out loud seemed to bring fresh air into the room. I looked into his eyes. He looked back at me. Concern and love shouting back at me. Slapping me in the face. I looked away and cried. I didn’t want those things. Not here. This is no place for love. And why would he be worried about me? About someone like me…
Jennifer…look at me
I didn’t want to. I could still feel the big man behind me, his grip had loosened a little but still held my knee’s high. I glanced up at the little girl who suddenly seemed afraid and meek. Was she shaking?
Finally I looked up at him.
Oh God, Charlie.
He stepped towards me, but the man behind me gave a warning noise. And Charlie stopped and looked at him.
Jennifer, make this stop.
What do you mean? Can’t you see I’m clearly not in control here!
Jen, you are in control here. Take a good look around, baby.
I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to stop crying. I blinked the tears out of my eyes and began to look more closely at the room. What I had thought were stone walls actually was a plastic tarp painted to look like stones. Hastily done, and not very convincing. Some of it was falling off the wooden pegs it had been nailed to, allowing light to come through. My eyes fell on the little girl. Her hair was messy and unkept. Her bow dirty and sloppily tied. She had tear stains down her face. Her shirt untucked and dirty. Her socks torn and shoes scuffed. I looked at her face, and realized I recognized her. Yes, I knew this girl very well. She was me. I cried.
Let me go! I demanded. The big hands released me and my legs fell to the floor. I stood, looking up at my suspended arms. They were tied together by flimsy rope. I lowered my arms and easily slid my wrists out from the restraints. I turned around to face the big man, who in fact was not so big. We were nose to nose. I reached up and removed his mask. I gasped. Was this a trick? Underneath the mask there was no man. It was a woman. Her hair was pulled back into a tight pony tail. She had olive skin, and big brown eyes. Her full lips were painted red and she smelled like sweet perfume. My perfume. It was me. I backed away, gaping. Looking from the little girl to the woman in the leather pants with the whip. What the hell was going on here? I felt like I was going to faint. Charlie grabbed me from behind and held me. My legs buckled under me and we fell to the ground. He wrapped his arms around me and I buried my face in his shoulder. I sobbed. I cried so hard. He rocked me back and forth and rubbed my hair. I felt his hand go to my back and he caressed my scars. I didn’t understand. What was this place? I had done this all? How? Why? God, why?
Jennifer, we’re going to get you the help you need okay?
Charlie, I don’t understand…what the fuck is going on here? Where are we?
Jen, we’re in your dream….
How are you here?
I always come and pull you out of these dreams, Jen.
Yes, baby. Always.
Because you’re my soul mate, Jen. I love you more than anything. And I will always be here.
But how, Charlie? How?
We have a connection, Jen. When you need me most I know it. I can’t explain how I am able to be in your mind like this. But I’ve saved you from yourself many times.
Charlie looked around the demented fake dungeon room. He sighed heavily and looked back down at me.
Yes, Jen. You created all this.
That I can’t answer. You punish yourself almost every night. You’ve put yourself through some sick things, Jen. I thought you were getting better. But this…
He looked around again, then met my eyes.
I love you. You know that. You do not deserve this, do you hear me? You don’t. You are not a bad person. I know you better than anyone on this planet. I love you.
He pulled me into him and held me tightly. I couldn’t pull away, but I wanted to. His big arms wrapped around me, forcing me to be surrounded with this man’s love. I wanted to shove him off of me, I wanted to curl up and dissolve into this atmosphere. This ugly, dark room. I didn’t feel deserving of the warmth I was feeling. But instead I began to dissolve into him. I could feel my icy heart melting. I felt tingly and warm. I cried. But they were soft tears. Slowly falling down my face and onto his chest. He never let me go…….He will never let me go……..
I opened my eyes to the blaring alarm going off on my night stand. Ugh. I reach over and switch it off. The sun is shining through the pale white curtains, painting my walls gold. The bed is so warm and my fluffy white comforter smells clean as I take a deep breath in. I reach up to stretch and feel his heavy arm wrapped around my waist. I turn over and look into his face. He looks so much like a child when he sleeps. I blow onto his eyelashes softly. His eyes open and those clear blue eyes look into me. . He smiles and pulls me closer. I giggle and pretend to try and resist, but I love being in his arms. It’s where I feel most at home.
How did you sleep babe?
Pretty good, you?
I think I slept pretty well. But I feel like I had a bizarre dream! I just can’t remember it. That is so frustrating! I wish I could just remember one dream instead of always feeling like I’m missing out on something interesting.
Well, how about I make breakfast and we’ll try and see if we can jog your memory? Charlie kisses my cheek and throws the comforter off of us. I jump up and follow him down the hall. I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling of love and devotion to this man. It was like a wave crashing on my heart. He turned and looked at me as I stood staring blankly in the hallway.
I looked up and met those crystal blue eyes.
Yes, I think I am.
I smile and run to him and he opens his arms as I fall into him. I bury my face into his neck and breathe in and close my eyes. I get the feeling of déjà vu.
Charlie, what would I do without you?
You’ll never have to find out, baby. I promise you that.