He’s here, always. He’s
devilishly so. He’s dangerous and dirty. Delicious. Delightful and deranged. I
need to get away from him. They say you can’t run away from yourself. I try,
but he’s here looking down on me, whispering ‘Beth.’
There’s no escape. He arrives at night,
arms wrapped around me. Throwing me to the bed, hand around my throat. I want
his lips, but I cannot have them. He forces me down. I want it, all of it. I
push him away, but he returns, tighter. Forceful. He wants the belt; I know he
does and so do I. His hands, rough, pin my shoulders back, deep into the bed.
Morning comes, he’s gone. Damp bangs fall
to my eyes, hair matted and rough at the back. Throat tight, bruised, arms ache
and chest ravaged. My clothes, scattered like a picked over yard sale. The belt
worn and faded, silver buckle stained red, sits discarded on the floor like a
coiled viper. I cover my body with one arm as the other reaches for something,
anything to cover the damage. A robe, virgin white on the outside and gored on
the inside, we are what we wear, and I wear it well.
Makeup: cover up, blush, eyeliner, dark
colors, hair down, cover, undercover. Work is a cover. The house, shoes,
friends, the way I laugh, all a cover. Hidden behind a computer at work with
walls, hammering bruised fingers into white keys, dull. The days are as dull as
the night is frightening. Would I trade one for the other?
Home: lock the door, keeps strangers out.
Locking the door only keeps the stranger in, close, at arms reach. I want the
makeup off to assess the damage. Dull lights glow a sick yellow on my skin.
Sick, if only there were a pill I could take and not a bullet. Could I get a prescription
for a bullet?
Our eyes are the same, his and mine. Dark
chestnut browns flutter from side to side. I feel his eyes, always, they wash
over my scarred skin like a dirty rag. When will he arrive? I feel him coming,
not now but soon.
I tidy the house, busy work to keep my mind
at ease. Fold clothes, scattered remains of a harsh night. The belt he will
find, no sense in tucking it away, he always finds it. It’s late but not too
late. What if I went out, would he show up? One night wouldn’t matter, one night
leads to another and another. My tongue flicks and mouth waters.
A knock at the door. Someone I know, not
him, but who? Strangers ring bells, friends knock. Should I let them in? What
if he shows up? Last time it got ugly, last time should have been the last
time. Another knock. Answer it, just shoo them away but answer it.
in her doorway with
a bottle of wine cradled in the pit of his elbow. She always thought Henry was
handsome in the way a new dad is handsome. Reliable, stable, cooks dinner,
makes love, dull but handsome.
What are you doing
it’s Friday and Tyson is
already in bed so I thought maybe you would wanna?” rocking the wine back and
forth in his arm like a new baby. “Unless of course you’re busy?”
be here; he can’t
be here. Send him away happy if you can but send him away. He’s cute yes, very
cute in the fading sun. Would one drink be so awful? Perhaps a drink or even a
few would lessen the later blows. “I’m busy. But I think I could squeeze you in.”
Henry pours two glasses half full and
swirls them around like he might know what he is doing. He does not know what
he is doing. The kitchen is neutral ground. Sit across from one another, talk
politely, discuss neighbours, discuss his neck and how it sticks out when he
leans back for a sip. His neck; my belt, his body, my blood, his blood, our
My arms prick
with numbness, my
ears ring with soft whispers “Beth” the voice calls “Bethany.” He’s coming.
I stand quickly
kitchen table, knocking the glasses and a half bottle of wine to the floor.
“You have to leave Henry.” My eyes strong push the information hard against
him. He looks scared, he should be scared.
His reply muffled by the sound of my feet connecting
with the floor and the dull voice in my ear as I bolt for the bathroom. That
dull voice dimming and glowing, dimming and glowing, soft then loud then louder
until it makes me beat against my head to make it stop.
I strip off my shirt, then bra, pants and
anything else holding in the immense heat from my skin. My shoulders are soft
and slim, riddled with blonde peach fuzz that dances on gooseflesh skin. My
arms and elbows milky white from lack of sun, bruised slightly but still
feminine with dainty curves. This is where my body ends and his begins.
Powerful, leathery tanned forearms, covered in black coarse hair, bulge above my
now giant hands. Not my hands, these are his hands, the hands of my tormentor. They
reach for me, but I pull away, I know what they want.
Henry is at the door, pounding furiously,
screaming furiously. I cannot answer. I fear my voice will come out deep and
vulgar, he weaves himself through me. Those hands, his hands, Hyde’s hands, now
reach for the door. I can fight but not for long. I bite down, he loves it, he
wants more. Pain is pleasure and how he loves to pleasure me. Fingers, his and
mine, trace and pull at my skin. Around my neck and walking slowly inside my mouth.
They pull and pry my mouth apart, one finger then two then many more. I choke
back the wandering hand as I press my lips tight and force him out as he forces
himself back inside. Inside, he is now outside as he bursts back through the
Glasses shatter, tables turn and screams
echo for help, no help will come, no help has ever come. Henry hides in horror
as the muscle-bound hands pull and claw and drag him away. Kicking and
screaming like a child, I was once that same child, he begs helplessly as the
bedroom door slams behind him, behind us.
I have lost control; I have lost the fight.
Henry lies sprawled and bloody on the bed. Like a dog he awaits his command. He
must obey or the belt he will get, I have seen it, I have done it. I become hot
and flush and eager. Some part of me begs for punishment. Perhaps it is he who
sparks this fire or perhaps he and I, these hands are more the same then I care
to believe. The belt slips through the clasp and I moan with excitement and
fear. I allow it around my neck. The length of the belt reaches and wraps
around the pillars of the headboard. He and I pull down tight with leverage and
feel the belt bite into my neck. I buck my hips as the tormentor’s free hand
grasps the back of Henry’s head and pulls him in deep. His mighty hand and
thick forearms grab without mercy as Henry gives up the will to fight his way
Henry will join the others. Used and
useless now, we have taken all we can from this dull man. The hands will
discard him. Away he will go into tiny pieces, scattered among the others out
back. Will his son know that each walk to school he brushes as close as anyone
could against his father’s remains. Will he ever know that, I or us, forced him
down and used all that he had to offer. That I will always offer a friendly
smile in the day and a hidden toothy grin at night. None have.
These hands, dirty and delicious, carry
deranged thoughts and perverse delights. He’s here, always. I know what he
wants, and I want them. They say you can’t run away from yourself. I try, but
he’s here with me and I am with him too.