Driven

Soaked through, Nat tried to pretend that the pitch black of her surroundings didn’t unnerve her as much as they did. The schoolbooks she clutched were wilted and ruined.  Where Main Street had bombarded her with headlights as blinding as the dark clouds that covered the moon and stars, the residential streets were only occasionally lit by lightning.

That’s why she didn’t see.  She couldn’t be blamed for what she couldn’t see.

The sound of splashing and frantic movement froze Natalie’s feet to the pavement, her shoes submerged in a puddle.  She was cloaked by her own dark clothes, skin, and hair.  She watched a young woman her age with a halo of blonde hair and a torn white blouse crash down under the heavy weight of a bulky figure.  Pale hands scrambled against pavement as the girl tried to raise her body.  Her attacker forced her down again.  A fierce bolt of lightning glinted against a knife, and exposed the sharp features and the matted dark hair of the man above her.

When the sky lit up again, the girl’s green eyes met Natalie’s brown in a silent demand.

Do something!’

***

            It was the squelching of Natalie’s shoes against tile that told her she kept moving.  She shielded her eyes against the bright glare of florescent lights as she made her way inside the busy police station.

Uniformed men and women moved too quickly back and forth for her to watch when all she could do was stare numbly ahead.

“Miss?”

Natalie turned to see a balding man with a badge and a scowl.

“Do you need help?” he asked in what she was sure he thought was a gentle voice.  But even while trying to be soothing, he seemed demanding.

Pushing, forcing, hurting…

Could he hurt her if the police caught then freed him?  Could they protect her if they put her into the spotlight?

“No,” she answered as she crossed her arms over her chest, trying to hide the way her sodden clothes clung to her.  “No…sorry.”

The officer’s reply was drowned out by the squelching of Natalie’s shoes and the pounding of her heart in her ears as she turned and walked away.

***

“Nat?”

Her mother’s expression was weighed with worry and dim horror.  Even though she knew Natalie had entered the living room, she could not tear her gaze away from the glow of the television.

“Come and take a look at this.  Police just found a body!  I think she went to your school!”

Natalie drowned out her mother’s voice by slamming her bedroom door.

***

            Morning announced its arrival with stabbing pain streaming through worn lace curtains.  Natalie shifted further into her pillow, but the sound of clashing dishes and her mother shouting “you’re gonna be late!” from the kitchen was enough to drag her from bed.

Her clothes clung to her sticky skin, but she had no time to change.  She groped for the closet door, pulled it open and saw green eyes surrounded by clammy white skin.

Water pooled from the figure in front of her, dripping from lank blonde hair.  The girl’s gaze was vacant and her jaw slack.

“Nat!  You’re going to be late for class!”

Her mother’s voice sent shocks of terror up Natalie’s spine.  She stared into the green eyes as she reached around the drenched girl and grabbed her coat, before closing the door on the figure.

***

            It stormed again.  Dinner guests arrived drenched, the table became crowded, and complaints of traffic drifted idly through Natalie’s consciousness.  While they passed food around, well-meaning relatives nudged her with bright smiles and asked about school and life.

Despite the activity, it was the figure outside the window that held her attention.

Moon-white skin was wrinkled on a body bloated by water.  A hand pressed against the glass.  Her eyes were cloudy and unfocussed.  Her clothes clung to her as the rain poured down.

All conversation stopped as Natalie slammed her hands against the table and stood, facing defiantly towards the window.

“What do you want from me?” Her shout was shrill against the sudden quiet.

Her mother jerked her away from the table and into the hallway.  She shook Natalie back and forth, her eyes wide and her lips thin as she demanded “what is wrong with you?”

***

Nat stifled a yawn as she watched her instructor deliver more of a tirade than a lecture.

The professor raised her marker in the air, using it to emphasize her speech.  The writing on the whiteboard was as green as shower scum.

The older woman droned one minute, then scolded the next.  She was as unpredictable as the ocean, and the waves of her temper crashed against her students.

But she had never looked so pale before.

Natalie sat forward, before her body froze in familiar horror.  Water collected and spread on her instructor’s desk where her hand rested.  It pooled around her feet.  Wetness darkened her clothes, and her hair waved around suddenly clammy skin and clouded eyes.

The transformation took less time than the booming voice to reach her as she stumbled over other students to run toward the door.

Do something!”

***

The sound of squealing tires and blaring horns came from every direction as Natalie sped her Toyota Camry heedlessly through traffic.  Her foot never touched the brakes.  She swerved repeatedly across the lanes to avoid other cars.

“What do you want, what do you want, what do you…?”

Her chant was aimed at the soaked blonde sitting in the back seat that Natalie used the rearview mirror to glare at, but the woman looked past her.

When Natalie glanced in the same direction, she finally saw him, standing at a street corner, dressed in blue jeans and a torn t-shirt.  His hair was cut shorter than she remembered, but the profile was the same.  The cold, steely look in his eyes was the same.  The hands that had ruined two lives were crammed in his pockets.

She looked into the review mirror again at white eyes that bore into hers with a demand that rang between her own ears, drowning at her own thoughts. ‘Do something…’

Natalie pressed the gas pedal to the floor.  She plowed through traffic and ignored screams and horns.  The cold eyes that kept her up at night became wide and boyish in their panic.

*************************

If you enjoyed this story consider sharing or pledging to my Patreon page.

Advertisements

Update 2/29/16

For those who were biting their nails about whether I finished my psych paper…

…because I’m sure there were many of you…

I turned it in on time…well, late, but in time enough to get a grade.

Today I did well on two exams, I’m certain of it.

I’ve got a lab practical at 10am.  The morning and I don’t traditionally get along…but I’m trying.

Writing assignments coming up!  I’m taking a Writing for Media course, which means quirky characters and experimentation.  That means experimenting on all of you!

 

Wait, where are you going?  Come back!

 

Update

I feel like such a kid, taking my 12th break from my overdue psych paper.  I’m tempted to skim through new fanfiction…FANFICTION!

I’m not knocking fanfiction, but the college student procrastinating for it is a tired cliche`.

…shout out to those Once Upon A Time fanfic authors who are killing it.  Seriously, I can barely follow the show since it got hysterically racist, but some fan authors are really doing an awesome job making it what it could be.

Yes, I’m a nerd.

I’m so nerdy I nerd in a laboratory professionally.

I apologize for nothing.

…but my stomach is rumbling, the alarm is going off, and I still have to do my homework.

 

Stuck Again

At home, at the crossroads

hairs raised,

all heckles

and sharp fangs

ready for biting words

blistering stares.

 

Fear of people is more the fear

of a monster inside

the one that says slash and hide

 

The one that can’t describe

the desire.

 

My desire for a world

that didn’t force me to adapt

to be willing to hurt, hate,

long enough to rend back.

 

My desire for a world

where I don’t learn what’s

sharp enough,

blunt enough,

or what ways to swing

to disconnect the thing

attacking

from it’s brain stem, from it’s heart.

 

I think if I took one I’d keep it wrapped

in a baby blanket,

give it coins for passage to a world

gentler

where I might follow.

 

I know hundreds of ways to kill someone.

My parents trained

Others concerned for my deer-stumbles

my fawn-eyes

taught me how to make stone tools

that have rendered millions of gentler hearts

extinct.

Life Ever After…

Life after…

life after…

After what?

 

I could do nothing,

but doing nothing today would be the same as a melt down.

If I could melt down into my bed…

 

melt down its wooden leg and hide somewhere in the carpet, solidifying like a wax-monster.

 

I could hide in the shadows from what’s inside and out.  Why is everything more visible in the dark?

 

Melt down…

 

All red, orange, throbbing inside.  All screeching sirens and dreaded whispers.

 

I didn’t see the sirens…

 

That’s right.  He died in a hospital bed.  There were no sirens.

 

I wasn’t there to hold his hand..

 

I wiped his dust from my hands by a river bed I don’t know if I’ll ever see again.

 

I keep a bit of him in a necklace I rarely take off.  I wonder what bone fragments I’ve gotten.

 

I wonder what of him I can keep.

 

I’ve stolen his hand gestures, and his guarded smile.

Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence

I can’t help it, this article is amazing, and the experiences here are so unfortunately close to my own…

The Belle Jar

1.

I am six. My babysitter’s son, who is five but a whole head taller than me, likes to show me his penis. He does it when his mother isn’t looking. One time when I tell him not to, he holds me down and puts penis on my arm. I bite his shoulder, hard. He starts crying, pulls up his pants and runs upstairs to tell his mother that I bit him. I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone about the penis part, so they all just think I bit him for no reason.

I get in trouble first at the babysitter’s house, then later at home.

The next time the babysitter’s son tries to show me his penis, I don’t fight back because I don’t want to get in trouble.

One day I tell the babysitter what her son does, she tells me that he’s just a little boy, he doesn’t know…

View original post 1,487 more words