Saturday, January 30, 2010

Journey Through The Broken Mirror Chapter II

She wipes her tears away with the back of her hand and reaches for the next piece. Her hand aches and throbs from the slice in it. Hesitating, she wonders if she really wants to look into the shard of glass, will she be able to handle the pain that may come from looking? Her fingers gingerly pick up the shinning, blood spotted fragment, she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath....... then looks.

Her breath hitches in her throat as she is drawn back to a night 11 years ago. It was pitch black that night, with no moon, the lights in the parking lot weren't working. She gave no thought to walking to her car, as she had walked this lot from the bar more times than she could count. She was enjoying her new found freedom after her divorce, meeting new friends, partying with them on the weekend. They usually met at this bar on the beach every weekend, and sometimes during the week on Salsa night.

Comfortable in her environment, she was relaxed and her guard was down, not paying attention, not looking around or between the cars as she normally does when going to her car in parking lots. He came out of no where and slammed her face first into a red sports car, knocking her senseless. Seeing stars and not yet fully comprehending what was happening he twirled her around and punched her in the face. Her knees buckled at the shock of the pain in her face and as she began to fall to the ground he grabbed her and laid her out on her back.

She tried to struggle against him, he only reared back his fist and hit her again. She could taste the blood in her mouth from the split lip and felt like she was going to pass out from his blows to her face. The just above the knee length sundress she was wearing made it easy for him to reach up and tear away her panties. She knew there was no use trying to fight as she didn't have the strength to over power him. As he forced himself inside of her, she resigned herself to lie still, and as tears ran out of her eyes, she stared at the stars in the sky and prayed that it would be over with quickly. The rocks and shells that made up the parking lot dug into her back and shoulders, but she didn't dare move to ease the pain and knew there would be cuts.

Her body stiffened when he finished and collapsed down on her, crushing her breath from her lungs. Smelling his sweat and feeling his heavy, alcohol laden breath on her neck made her want to vomit. She feared for her life when he raised his upper body off of her and grabbed her throat, squeezing so no air could escape. He leaned down and shoved his tongue in her mouth, she knew she was going to be sick for sure. He leaned down again, the weight forcing more pressure on her larynx, he says "Don't move when I'm gone. I will kill you." Then he got up and off of her and walked off.

She doesn't know how long she stayed there, afraid to move and barely able to breathe, body trembling. Her brain was blank, unable to grasp what had happened. Then the thoughts rushed at her like a title wave, or were they voices? "Miss, can you hear me?" "Are you okay?" "Can you tell us what happened?" "Who did this to you miss, did you recognise him?? Is he somebody you know, perhaps met tonight?"

No words would come, she could only stare at the mob of people that had somehow appeared around her. She was no longer lying on the ground, a blood pressure cuff on her arm, where'd that come from? "I'm going to be sick." were the only words she got out that night, then leaned over and threw up between her own legs.

The inside of the ambulance was bright, the lights a focal point to keep the thoughts at bay. Two days she spent in the hospital. 18 stitches total to her face. She hoped they wouldn't scar, then the ugliness inside of her might be able to stay hidden without showing on her face.

A few weeks later she sat on the edge of the bathtub in her bathroom, staring at the 8Th positive pregnancy test. She slid off the tub onto the floor, bringing her knees up and wrapping her arms around them and cried her heart out. Pregnant... this nightmare won't end. She cried harder as she made up her mind, and knew exactly what she was going to do. She hated herself for the decision and knew it would haunt her for the rest of her life.

The day came to have her abortion. The ride to the clinic was a quiet one, she glances to her father in the driver's seat, knowing he just can't say anything. He didn't hold this choice against her like her mother did. Supported her in fact. He was a strong man, but his heart was broken for everything that has happened. His baby girl was raped by some man they'd yet to find and now he was driving her to have his grandchild aborted. When they arrive he asks, "Do you want me to go in with you?" She shakes her head no and tries not to cry when she says , "I'll be okay, I love you Daddy." Getting out of the car, she doesn't look back because she knows he will be watching, crying for her.

Inside she signs her name on what is a very long list and is ushered to a room to change into a gown, then led to another room, dimly lit with faux leather bench seats lined along all the walls. There are at least a dozen other women waiting already, dressed in the same generic hospital gowns. Sitting, she looks around at everyone there, no one is saying anything. The young girl next to her starts to cry, she slides her hand over and grips the girls and squeezes gently. "It'll be okay," she says, knowing full well that it will not be okay, not for a very long time.

Hours go by as the women are herded through the door, being called out by first name only. She finally hears her name and an awful dread courses through her body, she stands weak kneed and tells herself to toughen up, it'll be okay. Laid up on the table, with feet in stir ups, she prepares herself to be violated again. The process is quick, ten minutes at most with a lot of pressure inside, then she is taken to a room with black leather recliners. The anesthesia wears off quickly, but she still has to wait one more hour to ensure there are no complications. She thinks this must be the cruelest part of the whole process as it gives time to think about the rape, and about where she is sitting. She can't wait to get home and curl up in her bed alone.

She walks out into the bright sunshine, resenting the feel of the warmth on her skin. It seems the day should be cold and rainy at the very least. This day that will surely be the worst day of her life. She sees her parents blue car parked in the front row and sees that her mother has come with her father to pick her up. The passenger door opens and her mother runs to her, crying and wraps arms around her. Something she really needed, to feel her mother's love. Unconditional and strong. They walk to the car and get in. Mother turns from the front seat and hands her a light brown teddy bear, wearing a blue sweater. "This is from your father."
She takes the bear and hugs it close to her, this representation of the child that will never be. A child she knows is in Jesus' care. A representation that has a permanent home in a small wooden rocking chair in her other children's bedroom today.

She sets this fragment next to the other one on the table, afraid to turn back to the mess strewn on the floor, but she knows she's got to get the pieces picked up...........

Monday, January 25, 2010

Journey Through The Broken Mirror

Shattered fragments of broken glass lie upon a black tiled floor. She knows how they got there, but cannot believe this has happened. Kneeling down she begins to clean the mess, picking up pieces of the broken mirror, sure that 7 years back luck will be the resulting effect. Silly, superstitious thoughts.

She winces as a shard slices into her hand. Cursing, she reprimands herself for being careless again. Her blood spills in droplets on some of the mess, as she reaches for the hand towel resting on the black marble counter next to the sink. Not giving any thought to the permanent stain that will be left embedded in the cotton.

A flicker of light catches her eye from a dagger shaped piece, she picks it up and looks into the reflective glass and sees a vision from her past. Tears stream down her face as she witnesses the birth of her first born son. The one who was supposed to die, they said. The one who was supposed to have been a burden the past 16 years with his illnesses and psychological problems, they said. The one who would be nothing but a breathing body, with nothing to offer, they said.

Alone, she spent the better part of the 6 weeks he was intubated, at the hospital in the NICU watching the monitors, learning about blood stats and the various drugs needed to keep her baby alive. They told her not to touch him, not to stimulate him as it would cause him to work against the machines sustaining his little life. She didn't listen though, she held his tiny hand and kissed his naked back. It's a mother's love, and if her baby was going to die, he was not going to leave this world without knowing his mother's touch.

She was forced home one afternoon, after a visit to the emergency room. She'd developed an infection and told that she was not getting enough rest. Sure there were dark circles under eyes, and times when she couldn't seem to think straight, but to be home in bed resting her body was selfish. She could not leave her precious child alone in his time of need. She worried that at any moment his life would no longer be of this world and could not abandon him. No one would volunteer to drive her back, she was not supposed to drive herself, they said. You might hemorrhage, what then? But she drove and pissed off a few people. She didn't care, where were they with all this going on?? Alone, she sat hour after hour, whispering to him, expressing her love for him and desire that he live.

One night about 4 weeks into the ordeal she awoke at 2AM with an urgency to see her baby. Once again, no one would drive her. Off she went racing through the deserted streets, across the bridge spanning the river. At least you can get good parking at the hospital at that particular hour. Up the elevator to the third floor unit and what felt like a 10 mile walk to the little, darkened room they kept him in. Upon arriving she discovered, that against the medication they used to basically paralyze him, he had removed the tube from his throat. The first sign in a month since his birth, that he may survive.

She sat in a glider rocker 2 weeks later, waiting to hold her child for the first time. Soon he would be going home. When he was placed in her arms, and their eyes met, she knew everything was going to be just fine. This precious boy was going to rise above all that they said and be a wondrous joy in this world. Now, 16 years later, this miracle child, with the guardian angel attends college and will be receiving his first degree along with his high school diploma.

She sits back on her knees, clutching that memory to her, letting the tears fall for the grief and loneliness she experienced during that trying time and for the joy of knowing that it was she that stood by her child through the years, encouraging him to better himself, to use the brilliant mind that he was blessed with.

She sets the piece of broken mirror on the table beside her and as she bends to clean the mess again, her tears falling and mixing with her blood, she see another twinkle of light...........

Sunday, January 3, 2010

excerpt

“You were one of us, Serron. Why’d you leave?” I feel very defeated and exhausted as my rage subsides into grief. I notice Boom is no longer screaming and take a glance over to him. He is curled up on the ground, but breathing and still alive. I wonder what forces in the world brought me to this place that I am at now: kneeling in the mud of a swamp, filthy, helpless, the smell of the kroyzan and the methane mixing makes me want to throw up. I rise slowly to my feet and walk back to where my crew is standing, all except Boom. I pick up my gun along the way and strap it over my shoulder.

“Gabe, help me get Boom up. He doesn’t need to be in the mud.”

Serron opens his mouth to speak, I look at him sharply, dead in the eyes, “Don’t say a fucking thing. Just shut the hell up.” I say with strength in my voice that causes him to shut his trap.
Gabe and I help Boom to his feet. Gabe asks “You okay, man?” Boom nods his head still trying to catch his breath from the psychic attack on his body. I grab his pack off his back and leave Gabe to help Boom.

I turn my back to Serron and the kroyzan , “Come on guys, let’s get the hell out of here. I need a shower and have had enough of the mosquitoes.” I pass Jake and he reaches out to grab my arm, I shrug him off. “What the hell are you doing Abs?? He’s not going to let us walk out of here.”

“My brother is right Abbie, I am not letting anyone go, especially you. The only reason your team is still alive is because of you and the fact that you will be very useful to me soon.” Serron says snidely.

“Fuck you, Serron. I am leaving, right now. Come on guys lets move it, NOW!.” I say, still walking back the way I came.

Gabe follows behind me with Boom in tow. “Abs, this is crazy you know. We’re going to die right here.”

“Not if I can help it Gabe.” I glance over my shoulder at Jake, “Are you coming babe?? I’m a bit cold and would like to warm myself by a nice hot fire.” This is when Jake notices that I have dug into Boom’s pack and pulled out a couple XM84 flash-bang grenades. He walks quickly after me eyebrows furrowed. When he reaches me, I slide him 2 of the grenades and keep 2 for myself and sling Booms bag over my shoulder.

Serron is confused by my actions and shouts out, “Stop, right now or you all die.” So I stop and hold my arm out to Jake indicating him to stop as well. Gabe stops with Boom who is finally gaining his composure back somewhat and who also sees what is in my hands. Boom urges Gabe to keep moving.

Jake and I turn to meet Serron’s gaze, I smile at him which confuses him even more. I pull one pin from a grenade at the same time Jake does and we hurl them both into the swamp. We quickly disengage the pins in the other 2 and throw them in a wider arc. We then turn and take off running encouraging Boom and Gabe to join us as the grenades explode. While these weapons don’t normally cause any harm to people, or beasts, they are a great ignition source when mixed with something like methane. My plan has the desired effect as a secondary explosion erupts, setting the swamp and cypress trees on fire. Three more explosions follow, and I glance over my shoulder to see a wall of flames between us and the enemy. “Yes!!!” I shout, pumping my fist in the air. I know this will not stop the kroyzan or Serron, but will hopefully buy us some time and signal Jude and CK to come meet us half way.

We make it about a mile before we hear the first squeals of kroyzan on our tail. “Shit” Boom says “We better haul some ass here folks.”

Up ahead we see the spot light from the Bell but way off the mark. I grab my flashlight from my utility belt, turn it on and begin waving it frantically as I keep running. The guys follow suit and we are relieved when the chopper heads straight in our direction.

Jude doesn’t land the chopper, but flies it in low and turns it. Ck slides open the door as we reach the machine. Ducking down under the blades, this is a habit even though they can’t touch us while spinning, Gabe and Boom load up and Jake helps me in, then crawls in himself.

“Holy Mother of Christ!!” CK exclaims. “That looks like one hell of a party you guys were at. I wonder what the bill is for burning down a swamp??”

“Just get us the hell out of here, let’s fly Jude!!” Jake yells over the sounds of the engine.
Jude banks the copter to the North and out of the enemy zone. “Wish I had my camera. Man, I’ve never seen a swamp on fire before. That’s spreading pretty quick.” He says through his mouthpiece.

I notice CK staring at me with his “look”. It’s one I’ve grown to know very well, it basically says, “Girl, what have you gone and done now?” I raise my eyebrows at him and half smile, a look that he knows says, “Uhhh, oops!!” I can’t help but take the opportunity to rib him and quote Robert Frost, “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I have tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.” Then smile my biggest smile on my muddy, dirty, bloody face. He chuckles at the quote and says, “I hate to see what you do with ice.”