So in light of my negligence, I'd like to tell you a story. Not just any story, though. A story that will be told through the newly developed (as in like, five minutes ago) Tuesday's Terrors!! (Don't like the name, suggest a new one in the comments, I'm working on no sleep here! :P ) So without further ado, I bring to you Tuesday's Terrors Installment #1 of Fractured.
**WARNING: This story is intended for mature audiences, and may involve nightmare-inducing imagery, sexual innuendos, graphic violence, explicit language, implied sexual congress, incest, rape, and other adult content, so therefore proceed with caution as I will not be held liable for any thoughts, opinions, suicidal or homicidal tendencies, unclean or impure actions, thoughts, or intentions, nor any thoughts, actions, or intentions that may form, develop, or occur as a direct or indirect result of this story. If you're too young or feel your immortal soul is in peril by reading something graphic, horrifying, and obscene, please refrain from reading this story. This story and all subsequent stories are a work of fiction, names, characters, places, events, locales, etc used in this story and all subsequent stories are creations of the authors own demented mind and any resemblance to actual persons, places, things, or events, either living, deceased, real, or otherwise, is completely coincidental. In other words, don't sue me or send me hate mail or anything of a negative nature. You've been warned, if you take this literally, it's of your own accord. This and all stories written by Ashley Torbeck are copyright of Ashley Torbeck, and subject to copyright law in its fullest extent.
Forget that "Once upon a time" bullshit. This didn't happen in a land or a galaxy far far away, nor is it a sweet lullaby to serenade your children to sleep. This is no fairytale; this is what Hell feels like.
The cold wooden slats chilled Dahlia's legs and ass as she sat on the front porch swing. That winter had been the coldest the sleepy little town of Sinndale had seen in decades, and while that's saying something for any New England town, it's quite the accomplishment for Maine.
Dahlia's bare feet barely brushed the ice cold concrete of the front porch as she swung softly to and fro. Her legs, covered only by tattered and thin blue jeans with holes in the knees, were numb from the cold. She hugged her bare arms to her chest, rubbing them frequently to stimulate circulation in hopes to ward off frostbite. The green t-shirt was cut in a low v, plunging between her meager breasts, and hung loosely around her thin and malnourished body.
The swing creaked softly with each pass, moaning in protest with age, rust, and decay. The wood was splintered in places, making it a dangerous enemy if one wasn't careful. Snow was piled in little drifts along the slats of wood to Dahlia's left as she huddled on the right side of the swing, careful to avoid the worst of the splintery patches. She had enough bruises and gashes scattered across her tiny body-she didn’t need any more wounds to explain.
Her long dark hair fell in waves down her back, whipping about her face in the frigid wind. Her normally porcelain skin was bright red and, in some places, a hint of blue, though a lot of the fresher bruises could be blamed for some of that. Her swollen lips were a bright red, and normally looked pinched, giving her a narrow mouth with thicker lips that would have looked ridiculous on most other people. Bright green eyes-almost an unnatural shade-stood out against her pale skin and dark hair, but the light was dim behind that stare. On a good day, at her plumpest, she weighed in at an unhealthy 102 pounds, though most days she was lucky to break 100, which at 5’6” was a dangerous weight.
Not that she could have helped it if she’d wanted to; Dennis and Edna-her uncle and his Stepford-esque wife-kept a close eye on Dahlia’s rations. In fact, they kept a close watch on everything she did, homeschooling her for the last seven years for fear of her getting corrupted by the dregs of society in a public school. She was certain her uncle and step-aunt wouldn’t have sprung for private school even if they’d had the financial ability for such lavish things. It was no secret that Dahlia was the unwanted niece in a family of self-indulgence. After all, nobody wanted a mutant bi-racial halfbreed anyway.
Caroline, Dahlia’s mother, had married outside her social stature to her father, a common immigrant from Greece. Of course, when she was born, Dahlia had the beautiful skin color of her father, but within a week had gone pale as the winter snow she was sitting among at that moment. A pigment anomaly, the doctors had called it, giving no hope of the restoration of the coveted skin color her father had initially bestowed upon her. It was fortunate that Dahlia had inherited the vast majority of her looks from her mother. It made no difference to Dahlia or Caroline or even her immigrant husband what Dahlia looked like, but to everyone else, it was a horror that a child would be so cursed with such pale skin that it was surely a sign that she was an abomination.
When Dahlia’s parents were killed in a tragic boating accident when she was ten, Dennis and Edna had taken her in, at the request of Caroline, despite Edna’s extreme protests.
It wasn’t long before the beatings began. Dahlia broke a dish, and ended up in the emergency room after Edna broke her arm slamming her into a glass table. It took twelve stitches to close the gashes from the glass that had embedded in her skin. When Dennis received the bill from the hospital, he hit the roof and grounded her, cutting off her meals for two days while locked in the stuffy attic with no ventilation in July. She’d nearly died of dehydration.
Things got worse after that. Now at seventeen, there wasn’t an inch of her body that hadn’t been bruised, mutilated, or violated in a perverse punishment, mostly involving Edna’s inability to bear children. Her jealousy of Dahlia’s young and fertile body enraged her, and the horrors Dahlia had endured robbed her of her innocence and her childhood.
The screen door creaked, and Dahlia froze in mid-swing her bare feet gripping the concrete porch and her eyes widening to the size of watermelons.
“Dahlia!” Dennis shouted. “Dahlia, where the hell are you hiding, girl? I’m gonna skin you alive if you don’t get in here right now!”
His words slurred so badly Dahlia could hardly made out the words. She only knew that if he was drunk and yelling for her, she was going to hate it.
The screen door popped open, the springs screaming in protest against the force. Out stepped Uncle Dennis. All 6’1” of him, dressed in gray slacks and a button-down white shirt with a gray and white pinstriped tie hanging loose from his neck, stepped out onto the porch. His black dress shoes were a stark contrast against the snow-covered porch, which hid the dull gray of the concrete. His bloodshot eyes roamed for several seconds before landing on the frail girl on the swing. His lustful eyes looked her over as he took another swig of the vodka bottle dangling in his hand.
“Come here, girl. You’ve got chores to tend to,” he said, his slurred speech grating on Dahlia’s ears as he stumbled toward her.
Cowering away from his advances, she tried to make herself as small and as invisible as possible.
Go to your happy place, Dahlia, she told herself. Just go-he can’t hurt you there.
She knew what was coming, and instinct took over without warning. As his clumsy hand gripped her bare arm, she swung hard with her right hand balled into a fist, and landed a solid punch to his nose, which erupted in blood on contact. He stumbled back, releasing her arm and gripping his bloody face, and she leaped to her feet, which were unfortunately frozen and numb, which sent her tumbling to the concrete.
Landing on her hands and knees agonizingly, she crawled to the door and threw it open again. she pulled her upper body through the opening to the house, but didn’t calculate the screen door’s return path. With a thud, the cold metal bounced against her spine, sending a shriek echoing through the house.
“You little bitch! I’ll fucking kill you!” Dennis screamed, still staggering about the porch, blinded by the blood still spurting out of his severely damaged nose.
Grateful that he still couldn’t find or catch her, despite the scream, she reached back, threw the door open again, and dragged her aching body inside. Moving as quickly as possible, she reached the stairs and crawled up, ignoring the agony on her back. She’d long since learned to ignore pain.
At the top of the stairs, she heard the door slam open again, and heavy footsteps thudded on the faux hardwood floor. Panic enveloped Dahlia, and she tried again to stand, finding she still had no feeling in either foot. She continued crawling while the stomping footsteps grew closer, headed up the stairs.
Finally reaching the end of the hallway, she hazarded a glance over her shoulder. Another round of fear gripped her when she saw the massive body reach the landing to the second floor and turn to face her. Blood dripped down his face to the floor, staining the fake wood. His eyes no longer held lust-that was replaced by rage and a hatred that Dahlia couldn’t understand.
Pulling herself to her feet using the rail as a crutch, she finally stood and reached up to release the hatch for the attic, dropping down a ladder. Dennis stalked closer, taking his time, toying with her as she scrambled trying to climb the ladder. It was slow going, though, and she was barely three feet up when he reached her, grabbing hold of her ankle and yanking.
She gripped the ladder with both hands, holding on with all her strength, but he was strong. She slid down two rungs on the ladder, and her left hand slipped, catching on the uneven metal attachment on the ladder. Blood sprouted from her freshly sliced hand, but she didn’t even feel the pain. Her fear masked any other emotions or sensations.
He gripped both ankles tightly, holding her in place. One hand drifted north, exploring the back of her thigh, with a sadistic grin. She wiggled, nearly freeing her ankles from his death grip, only to have him grab hold of each ankle separately again, freeing her from another life-ruining moment by a sick and pitiful excuse for a man, let alone an uncle.
“You’re gonna wish you’d died with your grease ball dad, you worthless little-“
“Shut UP!” Dahlia screamed over her shoulder, cutting off his rant. “You fucking disgust me, and I wish it’d been you who died!”
She kicked as hard as she could, loosening Dennis’ grip on her ankle, and with another kick backward, she landed her heel in his chest, sending him staggering backward several steps as he lost his grip on her other leg. The feeling was returning to her feet, and she climbed the rest of the way up the ladder in agony, the pins and needles feeling washing over her feet and legs with ever movement. At the top, she yanked the ladder up and barricaded the door before her uncle could recover his footing.
“You stupid half-breed! You’re gonna pay for that little stunt. Oh, just wait till your Aunt Edna gets home-“
“She’s not my fucking aunt!”
Dahlia’s scream echoed as she curled up into a ball and cried. Dennis didn’t try to come up after her, much to her surprise and delight, but she knew it wasn’t over. Not by a long shot. She’d be lucky to survive the night.
(c) Ashley Torbeck 2013
Yeah, I know. It's a long, kinda slow start. But don't you wanna know what happens next? Tune in next week for the next installment of Tuesday's Terrors to get your frightening fix! (Okay, so I'm seriously running on barely any sleep, don't fault me for my horrible jokes and alliteration!)