It's getting harder to stay awake,

And my strength is fading fast.

-Skillet "Awake and Alive"

"Get back here, Kori!!"

His voice pierces through to my skull, and I tremble as I look back at him jump

Damn, that was stupid. I've know since age eleven not to press his buttons. Yet still, I ignored my conscience and tested him anyway. Which did nothing but make him angrier, because now, I'm running all over the house in a panic trying to escape him.

Why does my life suck so badly? Why am I the one stuck with a crazy, bi-polar father who insists on taking out the frustrations of his life on me? Why is it me who has to hold back cries of agony with each hit and blow that comes from his hands every single damned day he's pissed?

I can't take it anymore. It's just not fair.

I really want to scream right now. The shriek is scratching at my throat in a dire need to be released. But I won't let it escape. I can't let him see how much he's gotten to me. I have to act as if nothing he does hurts me, even though my heart feels like it's about to burst through my chest. I can't even concentrate. I ache in about every place on my body and I refuse to stop running.

Fear pulsed through my veins like a shot of heroin. The wood is quivering beneath me as his steps grow closer and the grunts from his mouth get louder. I was starting to panic---there wasn't much space seperating us anymore. In short, it meant he could launch his arm and knock me out in one blow.

I knocked down the fake plants and lamp fixtures and basically anything lining the halls so I could slow his long strides down so I could shoot up the stairs. When I heard him grunt in pain, I knew it was working.

"You bitch!!" he boomed, removing a glass shard from his bare foot.

I managed to walk up a few steps without being rushed. Then, my eyes flicked down to the menacing figure downstairs, who was shooting an expression of pure fury at me.

I reached the top floor and ran down to my room, just as my so-called father ran up to the first step of the stairs. My hands were twitching as I swung open the door to my room. I slammed it shut, turned the lock, and darted all around the closed space to find my object of escape. I know I don't have much time.

He's coming. I don't need to feel the wood bulking under my feet to know that. I'm throwing around clothes, and yanking drawers open but still ending up with no luck. Each limb of my body is numbed by cold terror and anxiety. Where the hell is it?

I look in one last place---in my laptop. There it sits, its metal reflecting an image of me on its surface. I snatch it in my hand, the blade at the end pricking my palm, and run to the door----pushing my back against the wooden surface so he can't automatically bust in.

The door is pounding behind me---my back is wrenching back and forth. He's reached the top of the stairs. Damn it.

I flinch as the cold metal comes into contact with my skin. I'm crying now, and I haven't even dug the blade into my skin yet.

"Open this damned door, Kori!"

Pound after pound to the door and against my back. I can't see past the tears welling up in my eyes, overflooding my eyelids and flowing down my cheeks. I blink.

Above six other cuts is where I plunge the blade into my skin, breaking through the veins beneath my surface. Thick red clots of blood form around the slit of flesh exposed on my wrist, dripping crimson teardrops onto the white carpet splayed across the floor of my room.

I'm not going to lie, it hurts like hell. But I don't mind the pain. I enjoy it, really. It does it's part in blocking out the nightmare I call my life.

My back jerks forward----I choke on air I'm unable to inhale. I cough, ignoring the searing agony pulsing through my left arm and spreading slowly, painfully through to the rest of my body.

The hinges on the door give up its fight one by one as the force of his foor makes heavy contact with the door. I can't scream. My throat is dry. Half-closed eyes obstruct my vision as I watch my own arm bleed from the huge gash I'd created on my wrist.

I realize now, as the last hinge buckles, my body against this door won't hold back my monster of a father. The door receives another blow, the hinge popping off easily. I should have been petrified when the door's weight leaned on me, and my father stepped inside my room.

But by the time I could fully register the feet placed before me, I was already slipping into a black abyss of unconscienceness-----falling towards death, my ultimate escape.