Green eyes stare through the metal wires. They shimmer as tears begin to gather. She blinks and a salty stream slides down the warm, freckled cheeks. The scratches on her face, legs and arms burn and tingle. Her brown hair is matted to her forehead, wet with sweat. Her arms are wrapped tight around her knees that she has pulled close to her chest. Her skirt and underwear are soaked with blood. She flinches as the cries travel from the next room over. She slams her hands over her ears and rocks back and forth. Where is Mommy? Where is Daddy? She doesn’t understand. She pinches her arm trying to wake herself from this nightmare then puts her fingers in her ears when she hears the whimpering again.
His hand is wrapped in her hair as he pulls her toward the room. Her arms stretch out, trying to catch anything to stop her. Her fingernails scratch the wall and one breaks off, sending a sharp pain all the way down her arm. Tears slide down her pale cheeks that were once olive from sunlight. She cries out for him to stop. She loses her footing and falls, dragging across the floor by nothing but her hair. She catches the door jam and tries to hold on, then the door knob, but he’s too strong. Her body is lifted and swung through the air landing hard on the springs of the mattress.
Green eyes stare dully at the ceiling, no light emanating from their depths.. The stucco patterns above are undetectable. She barely feels his hands on her. Her cheeks are dry, she has no more tears to cry. A crack in her lip breaks open as she breaths and a single drop of blood slides onto her skin and dries. The dirt under her fingernails has turned them black. Her freckles have faded, the basement is dark. Her cheek is sore from the bruise that is still healing. The weight of his body falling onto her as he finishes just adds to the pressure already filling her chest.
Her arms are spread out as she turns in a circle in the grass. She lifts her face to the sun, soaking in the warmth and heat. She senses his eyes on her. She moves awkwardly at first, but more swiftly as time goes on. She moves in fluid, gracefully, patterns. She dances, swinging her arms this way and that way. She plans her dance, practices for her recital. He doesn’t interpret her dance, he doesn’t even try to.
His palm lands hard against her face and her head spins as she falls. He grabs her ankle and drags her through the grass and mud away from the fence. Her hair is stringy and dripping. She kicks him with her free leg and has hope for a second before he grabs her hips and slams her on the ground, her face falling hard against the moist, rain soaked ground. He flips her over and thunder claps as the back of his hand connects with her other cheek. Her lips splits open and blood mixes with the rain falling hard as he yells at her and then grabs a clump of her hair pulling her back into the house. She’s drug down the steps, her back hitting each one grudgingly. She is slammed against the wire and lays in a pool of blood, rain, and mud.
She runs through the house, desperately trying every door that could lead outside. She jiggles the handles, she kicks the wood, and slams her thinning frame against them. She hears him getting up. Hears his heavy steps on the wood floor. He yells her name, the name he has given her. She can’t remember what her name was before this. She tries the last door. Her fists slamming as hard as she can against the wood. She screams as loud as she can. She twists and pulls on the handle. She hears his heavy breathing. His large hand grabs a chunk of her brown hair and she blacks out when her head hits the hard wooden door.
Green eyes shine intensely as sunlight reflects off a puddle. The bat feels cold against her palm. The knife handle feels familiar in a way. Her lungs expand and contract smoothly, controlled. Her heart beats calmly, rhythmically. A red drop slides from the tip of the bat onto bruised skin. Her dirty, stained tank top clings to her skin as sweat and blood mix together. The coughing, sputtering, and gargling doesn’t bother her. The blood drying on her face, her neck, in her hair – it’ll wash off. She watches the liquid pooling as it spurts from the wounds. Her brown hair looks black and shines with the dampness. He gropes at his neck, it’s no use.
She stands over the body, satisfaction dripping through her veins. Fifteen years is a long time to wait, but she was patient. It had given her time to plan, time to observe. Time to practice her dance. The yard doesn’t feel so small now, the fence not so tall, and the doors not as strong. His hand reaches for her foot, pleading, begging for help. She crushes it and feels the bones cracking beneath her heel. She hovers, waiting for it to end, reveling in the pain and suffering.
She stands at the end of the driveway. Her green eyes filled with hope. Cars pass by with a whooshing sound. She feels the blood drying on her face like a mask. A car stops a few feet after her and an old couple gets out. Their faces wear a look of worry, shock, and confusion. They guide her toward the car, looking cautiously toward the dark house. She doesn’t flinch when their hands gently pull her arms and she doesn’t resist when they help her sit in the back seat. Slowly a smile forms on her cracked lips. A glint reaches her eyes and she laughs. The end has finally come.