|Blood in the Snow
Author: Timothy Took PM
'They came towards me, hands outstretched in a gesture of kindness, but I saw through it. I knew what they truly were, what they hid from the rest of the world.' Abuse. Fairly depressing.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Words: 1,586 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Published: 01-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 2985161
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Blood in the Snow
They came towards me, hands outstretched in a gesture of kindness, but I saw through it. I knew what they truly were, what they hid from the rest of the world.
"Come here, darling, we won't hurt you," the woman's sickly sweet voice called out to me. As if I would believe that lie. But I did shuffle towards her, wincing as the pain in my arm flared up, so desperate was I for any kind of human contact, whether it be kindly or otherwise. I knew even before it happened that I shouldn't have complied to her demands - it would be hard not to with a past like mine - but I did, regardless. As soon as I was within reach, there were hands on me, punching, scratching, reopening old cuts and making some new ones. Writhing in pain, I kicked out and screamed, pleading for help, for a respite from the pain. None came. I heard a metallic 'ching' and my mind went into overdrive. Suddenly I wasn't in that place. I was in another small cupboard, with another set of foster parents.
My body was littered with bruises, as it always was. But today there were more, and the pain was worse. My leg felt as it had been crushed by a lorry. Tears streamed down my face, mixing with the streaks of blood that came from various cuts. But they were not done tormenting me. They came at me again, this time with a knife. Pain seared across my cheeks as the knife was drawn lowly across them, yet more blood dripping down to the now-crimson floor below. I let out an inhuman scream as the next slice tore the skin on my back cleanly in half. The knife kept coming, occasionally supplemented with the odd punch or kick. The pain was intense, like fire burning in every cut on my battered body, and eventually it was too much. I blacked out.
The memory ended there. After that, I had woken up in hospital. My 'parents' were there, being questioned by the police. They couldn't pass it off as an accident like they had done so many times before. Nothing could be responsible other than a knife. They were arrested, and I was taken away, before being given to another set of foster parents, in the hope that they would help me recover from the mental trauma. Suffice to say, they didn't. Instead, they blamed me for the death of their real son, and though I had nothing to do with it, punished me accordingly. I shivered, though it was not only from the chills of winter. The memory was painful, and brought back others which I would much rather forget.
"I-I'm sorry," I stuttered as they came towards me. "Please… stop!" I was pleading desperately, tears in my eyes. Every night, they would beat me. They said it was to discipline me, that they did it whenever I was naughty. They said it was for my own good, and that it would benefit me in the long run. But I never did or said anything wrong or bad. I always did exactly as my foster parents told me. It made me doubt myself. Was there something wrong with me, that they would punish me so? They always hit me where it wouldn't show - never on the arms, legs or face - and whenever they beat me too badly to move, I would miss school, playing 'sick'. Today they brought out a long wooden cane, with leather tails at the end. I cried out as the first stroke hit my bare skin, large red welts beginning to form on the abused flesh.
I cringed as I recalled the horrifying pain as each stroke tore into my skin. The 'guardians' I was with now didn't use whips or anything of the sort. They usually locked me in a cupboard as soon as I got home from school and only let me out the next morning. They never fed me - the only food I ever got was the school-provided meals at lunch. That way I would be too weak to resist them. At the weekends, they would beat me using their bare hands, or occasionally with a bottle which would shatter and give me even more cuts. Today was the first time they had used a blade.
The first stab came. I was not ready for the lancing pain that shot through my arm. I let out a startled cry. Even at the age of eight I had a higher pain tolerance level than most grown men, although I could still be taken by surprise. My foster parents had discovered this a few months after they took me in, and shamelessly took advantage of it. They had also discovered that when exposed to certain conditions, I would freeze and my mind would bring up unwanted memories of previous abuse. Apparently it amused them to see me suffer. They had given up on the pretence of kindness now. In some ways that was better. It hurt less to know that they were being honestly evil rather than pretending to be nice. A person can't be a parent and a cruel abuser. They dragged me up so I was now standing (if it could be called that), the blood flowing freely from various wounds inflicted by the knife. My left leg screamed in agony. I had felt this before. It was undoubtedly broken. A memory surfaced, unbidden.
Hands were all over me, holding me down, as my head connected with the cold porcelain basin with a loud clunk, sending a jarring pain down my neck. Cold water began to spray down on my face, and I gasped, before choking on it. They're trying to drown me, I thought. There had been pain before, yes, sometimes so much that I thought I was going to die, but never had it gone this far. I tried to struggle, but there were too many hands. I began to snivel. Water ran down my nose, and it hurt, but it was not as bad as what was to come. My eyes were screwed tightly shut to try and hold the tears back (a failed endeavour), so I did not see what happened next, but I certainly tasted it when it did. A hand was shoved roughly into my mouth, and in it was a bar of soap. The taste was so terrible that I could not even bite down, only gag and retch and wait for it to stop. They hauled me up eventually, though only so I did not choke on my own vomit. A dead child was harder to explain than bruises. You didn't die from falling off your bike. Not even if you had one. There were times in the hours I spent kneeling before the porcelain god, stomach acid burning my throat, when I wished I had, though. The taste would not leave my mouth for days, and in that time they gave me neither food nor drink nor toothbrush. "That should teach you not to tell lies, you disgusting boy," they said. I did not understand. I had tried to tell the truth to the social worker, but she would not listen.
After that, I had given up trying to tell anyone about my torment. Nobody noticed the bruises that cluttered my torso or the only recently scabbed over cuts. It wasn't like anyone cared. I continued to suffer in silence.
They seemed to be done for the day. I was being manhandled towards the hated cupboard which they were about to lock me in when I made the biggest decision of my life. I was going to escape. That thought in mind, I pushed away the intense pain in my leg, and everywhere the pain dulled to a throbbing sensation. Anger overwhelmed all my self-restraint. Anger at them for doing this to me. Adrenaline coursing through my veins like a raging fire, I had the strength I needed to throw them off and make a break for the door. I burst through the door and stumbled in the snow. Nevertheless, I kept running, paying no heed to the blood that trailed behind me, harsh crimson on the bleak white.
Eventually, I could go no longer. I was exhausted. I collapsed under a tree, falling to the ground in a crumpled heap. And that was when I broke. I could not hold it in. Tears began to fall down my face, slowly at first, but getting faster by the second. Soon a cascade was flooding down my face, adding to the pool of blood and tears below me. As I wept, a snowflake fell from the sky and landed on my nose. It was followed by another, and another. Before long, I was covered in snow, the only protection from the cold I had being my tattered shirt and shorts. I hadn't even put on shoes. It was night: Christmas Eve, in fact, and carol singers roamed the streets. But I was too tired to care. The world seemed to just go on without me. In the midst of the cold white that swirled around me, I thought I saw a figure, hand outstretched in a gesture of kindness. But this time, it seemed genuine. I let myself go, and then I knew no more.