trigger warning – rape, abuse, kidnapping
In the realm of Remnants, one can discover the fragmented memories of the repressed happenings in one’s life. The fleeting vision of a rapist’s laughing eyes, or the evil, rasping breaths taken by a childhood abuser- all this and more resides within the deplorable dimension.
Reflected through the kaleidoscope of mirrored memories, one of the less traumatic events is depicted – a young woman, jogging away from a literal house of horrors. Though a snapshot of the moment may seem innocent enough, the astute observer will note the ill-fitting garments and disheveled gait, along with the run-down state of her sneakers. One may even be able to conclude the wearer of the items is not the ‘typical’ jogger.
Rather, she seems to have just thrown off her attacker’s relentless chase, camouflaging herself into the scenery. Passersby paid her no mind, including the man who’d kidnapped her three months prior. For ninety long days, she’d been held against her will. She’d been tied-up, gagged, and repeatedly raped by multiple men, the faces of whom were always obscured by the same black ski mask. She knew for sure they were not the same man… a woman can feel such details, even if she is blinded and bound.
She’d lost count of the amount of men who’d violated her. She soon felt inside of her an emptiness where she was certain her soul should reside. Having no way to track the days, and with barely any food or water, aside from what smelled like moldy bread and rotten apple juice, she slowly slipped into the silent abyss of insanity. Each new visitor became a monster of demonic proportions. Certain this was Hell, itself, she stopped fighting back. Her captors were relieved and began to allow her more freedoms. They removed her blindfold and bonds, gave her a hot meal, and even let her shower in their home.
Once inside the House of Demons, she began to regain a proper train of thought. An opportunity to escape would soon present itself when the woman of the house left her alone in the small bathroom to retrieve a towel. Naked and soaking wet, the terrified woman quickly dressed in the old, torn clothes provided for her, quietly shut and locked the bathroom door, and approached the tiny window just above the toilet.
It was painted shut. Desperation overcame her. She scanned the room in a panic, looking for something – anything – that could be used to pry the window open. There! On the shelf in the shower lay a screwdriver, obviously used to operate the broken faucet when filling the tub. She snatched the screwdriver from the shelf and set to work. Shoving all her weight into the job, it took only four short strokes before the window lifted just slightly. Holding her breath, she slid the tips of her fingers into the minuscule crack.
A knock at the door stopped her heart and the blood drained from her face. As the woman continued to knock, bang, kick, and shout, the window finally came fully open. It didn’t offer much space. Still, it was her only option. Balancing precariously on the top of the toilet, she stuck one leg, then the other, out the window. Losing no time, she twisted around and dropped the rocky ground. As soon as her feet hit the cold pavement, she took off, running with all her might, far away from the surreal horrors she’d experienced.
She ran for what seemed like hours until, finally, she could barely manage a slow jog. Her lungs were on fire. But, she was safe.
This fearsome memory will forever be recorded in the realm of Remnants. But, there are many more… way too many.
Thanks to Miranda Kate for this #MidWeekFlash prompt!
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