Gone, Daddy, Gone

January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

It was like waking under a cold rain. Every part of her body was shivering, dripping with sweat as icy as a breaking fever. It took a moment, but she finally found her bearings as she slid her back up the wall to sit. A sordid laugh slipped past the nauseating lump in her throat.

She could hear music through the walls. The same distasteful blast of antagonistic rubbish she heard day in and day out bleeding through her apartment walls. At that moment, she would have given anything to be home banging on Stephen’s door. She would have given anything if he would just open the door with that smug, duplicitous gaze plastered across his face.

Hate was a strong word, but still not enough to accurately convey the contempt that welled up inside her every single time she saw him — or even thought of him. The way he stared at her, as if waiting for his Godly sacrifice, made her want to punt his teeth down his throat. He walked as if showcasing the greatest art to ever been exhibited for the world. God, she hated him.

God, she missed him.

Mixed with the music, she could hear sounds of thumping. Someone was on the other side of the wall. Stiffening, she listened intently, trying to hear a voice over the music. Note after note drowned out any voice that may have been calling out. She relaxed, her head thumping the wall when she dropped it back. What did it matter. If there was a voice to accompany the thump, then it was certainly in no better a position than she.

How long she had been there wasn’t exactly clear. The books and movies, indeed, weren’t exaggerating the loss of time when boxed in tight and trapped. It could have been an hour — it could have been a day. She wasn’t as hungry as she had been earlier, so she guessed she’d been there much longer than she could possibly be comfortable knowing.

She did, however, take comfort in knowing that it wasn’t complete darkness. Her eyes had adjusted some time before. While she couldn’t see every detail, she could see a rise of shadowed objects near five feet in front of her. She couldn’t remember how she got there… wherever there happened to be.

Daring to unwrap her arm from her stomach and lift her hand from her side, she also couldn’t remember how the gash came to be or who had done it. Everything from the moment she had climbed from her car to waking up curled up on that damp, wooden floor was no more than a black memory. In fact, she would have been almost willing to insist she had stepped from her car and landed there on the floor unconscious.

The music ended, shut off somewhere outside the walls and a voice rose to take its place. There had been a voice with the thumping. It sounded agonized, pitiable, but nowhere near coherent. The thumping continued along side the babbling. Her heart sank despite her earlier convictions whatever voice was trapped with the thumping wouldn’t serve her any assistance.

She needed a distraction. She willed herself to think of Stephen. A little bit of rage might have done her well. Of course, he eluded her thoughts and they returned time-and-again to soak up the dejected grievances of her somewhere-neighbor. The voice shrieked unexpectedly, crying out unexpectedly for its father.

Her thoughts turned, instead, to her mother. Her mother had a way of sinking her teeth into the heart of the matter. A few days before, she had warned against confronting a male neighbor with an ego the size of Stephen’s. She had advised purchasing mace and a hand gun. Her mother had made many suggestions over the years to keep her safe, but she hadn’t listened. What would happen would happen. That’s how she felt about most of life.

There are no safety procedures less paranoid than the ones that go unheeded in a moment of terror.

She nodded at her mother’s words echoing bullets through her head.

“I’m sorry. I should have listened.”

It was then, only then, she felt a nibble at her memory. A powerful set of arms had wrapped themselves around her waist, hoisting her into a van after targeting a blow to her head. She had drifted, in and out, the whole ride. The driver had whistled. Then sobbed. Then whistled again.

“I know no dreams like the dreams my baby realized,” she whispered her father’s lullaby.

No.

Her eyes closed and from the back of the van she watched the shocks of red bounce in the driver’s seat. Plastered behind the pain and blurred vision, she reached out to touch her best friend in childhood — Donald Doochuck. He was the polka-dot-and-stripes, stuffed elephant she had shoved into her father’s hands when he’d walked out.

She had been certain DD would bring her daddy back in only a few days. That few days melted into a few weeks. Those few weeks lasted years before she had finally given up. Her mother had been right about her father, too.

Rumor was he was lost somewhere in the Southwest with cops searching every tumbleweed and cactus. She wondered if the police had any idea he had fled and come home.

He had a taste for mortality and had left a few shaken and disturbed bodies buried in the basement of their old home. He had been a sick man. A man lost in his own wicked and powerful lusts. However, he had come back. To kill her, it did seem, but if he had come back once he would be back again to finish.

A sigh escaped and she relaxed. He would be back. All she needed do was wait. Even senseless fools rounding the bend would come looking for forgiveness… or closure.

Lying there she cried. She cried for the pain and for the fear. She cried for her mother and she hated for her, too. Most of all, she cried because she didn’t know if her mother was still alright. What if that idiotic babbling of the somewhere-neighbor belonged to her mother?

It had better not. Her tears dried rapidly and she stared the door down. Willing it to open. Willing him to step through. Gashed and bleeding or not, she would run him through with whatever he brought with him. She willed the door harder, daring him to enter.

An eternity later, it swung open. Shocks of red hair, cut wild and short, blew in the gust of the door. Her heart tripled speed then stopped — starting again as she gagged on the stench that blew through the door.

She stared, unable to move. Unable to breathe.

“Momma?”

Day 6 – 365 Stories

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