The Victim Part 7 – End

“We need to talk about what he did to you.” I asked, directly. The boy never responded to anything but directness. He thought very little of me, and feigned desire for pity.

“You know this already. He raped me.” He said it simply, as if nothing had happened to him.

That wasn’t the point of the treatment. We’d made sex and violence nauseating. We gave him confusion and pain. But if I didn’t force the issue he would never feel what we want him to feel.

“I know. We all know, but I think it would be easier for you if you walked through it.”

When he looked over at the glass table I found myself watching it as well, sudden nausea washing over me.

“Jared, i’m going to need you to look at me.” I spoke calmly, keeping my eyes from the table, “Let’s start with something easy. What were you doing that day?”

and he sat there, lost in his thoughts. I saw the distress building inside him and I wanted it. I wanted that distress for myself. I wanted to hear it

“Out loud.” I snapped. He looked me in the eyes and he thought I didn’t see how that tickled him.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, he had been smiling but didn’t stop. He uncrossed his legs.

“It was the knife that hit my neck first. Big blade right against here and before saying a word he just ran his tongue nice and sloooooooow against my face like I was some big ice cream cone.” I could seem him smiling at me in the midst of the shock of the incident, and I felt aroused. To my peak of arousal, “I probably tasted like cream or strawberries because he pushed me back into the room and onto the nearest couch and started licking me all over.”

He looked like he was going to be sick, and I smiled all over. This is what I wanted. We wanted.

“Some times I imagine that he has my face. That I enjoyed doing that to myself.” He didn’t even know that he was the rapist…oh the feeling of knowing so much more than him. Of being in control of him felt so good.

“It’s actually quite common to have sexual arousal from your rape.”

There was a knock at the door and in came my secretary, “Are you ready for your first appointment of the day?” He asked, his pale skin reddened now, by my gaze. He looked so vulnerable.

The Victim Part 6

These two men were just grinning at me like something was funny. One of them was a thin man that was almost thin enough to stop existing any time now. His features were stretched, stringy, like a person who’d been squished into a long stick. The other was of a more muscular build, taller than the thin man. The muscular one had buzzed hair, and old man lines above his brow.

Maybe it was somehow cynically funny that i got caught. Maybe funny that The Doctor had called the police before i could even try to get away…and now that i think about it i don’t know if i would have tried…guess i didnd’t have enough time to think about itb efore it was already over.

“This is my favorite part.” The thin man started, standing up instead of sitting like his partner

“The part where I go to jail?” I laughed at them, “I don’t care.”

“Oh no, little pretty boy.” the thin man smiled wider, but it looked like the ends of his lips would sooner curl around his head then curl up further, “We’re not sending you to jail.” And his smile did in fact curl around his head.

I was puzzled, wringing my hand around in the cuffs.

“A psychiatric home? You think i’m crazy?” Then I chuckled even louder, “OH man, then, yeah. Do whatever you gotta do.”

Then the big one grinned very widely, his muscles suddenly rippling at the thought of something. I found myself disgusted by the two of them, but it wasn’t because of their horrible stature, and horrible complexions, it was the simple way they looked down at me, grinning like they knew something that I didn’t.

“We intend to do what we have to, little Jared. Or…What should we call him now, Evan?” The thin one spoke over his shoulder to the muscular one but didn’t once take his eyes off of me.

“William, Sam.” The voice that came out of the bigger man sounded like a bass being plucked and a giant belching

“Ah yes, he’ll be Billy boy now, I guess.”

“Alright, do you two need a room to suck each other off or something? I feel like i’m interrupting some kind of pre sex role play.” I said, growing a bit impatient with their game.

They both laughed hard at that, but then they stopped.

“You used to be a man named Eric Huxley.” Sam, I believe, began, “You raped and killed a man named Jared Young. And strangled a woman named Danielle Figueroa.” Then he looked at me, suddenly stern like. I laughed at that, loudly, slamming my hand on the table. He was a very good liar. I couldn’t even tell exactly that he was lying. Well apart from the sheer stupidity of the lie, it was a pretty flawless delivery

“Oh man, wow. You really think i’m going to believe that?!” I clapped my hands lightly, “You caught me after I killed Danielle in that room. Did you two even really think this out?”

Evan looked at Sam, and away from me for the first time, but Sam kept his thin stretched beady eyes on me.

“You are being tried for the murder of William Burke, alone.”

I glanced between the two men, trying to find the joke in this, but before I could start again I heard someone knock at the door. I watched it and waited. They kept knocking and knocking and the two “officers” didn’t even look over.

“Can you two answer that fucking door?” I paused, “If this is torture you two are out of your league.”

The door opened and in walked a pale and pasty looking Danielle. Her clothes hadn’t been changed and she looked very tired, bags under her eyes. She did have a blanket around her body, probably for the shock. My heart dropped for a moment, then it started the beat violently. I was excited to see her. Unfinished business.

“Oh…I guess i wasn’t as thorough as I thought.” I muttered, watching her, “So are you going to have her testify against me?”

“Danielle?” Sam asks, Evan glancing between the door and back to me.

“Yes, who else?”

“Well unless she’s rising from the dead, no we aren’t.”

I looked at Danielle again and laughed. They weren’t giving up their little story. They were very persistent. I’d give them that.

“Is this the game you’re playing? Trying to make me look insane? Okay. Fine, so why is it that if I “killed” Danielle, she is standing behind you two?” They both turned around as I said it. When they turned back to look at me though, Sam’s smile was wrapped around his head, and Evan’s was gaping like a shark eating something whole. The bugs scurried around the back of my skull.

“When you used to be Eric we wiped you memory, son. We erased everything and replaced everything you knew with that of –”

“Jared Young!” The gargling giant interrupted, beaming with excitement. Sam looked at his partner hard for a moment, smile still wrapped around his head. This was a good show. They were funny and were trying so hard to make this seem real. I was impressed.

“This was to be your punishment.” The hulk said his first full sentence

“You were supposed to live out your life feeling their pain become your own. You have the body and muscle memory of a murderer but with the weakness, pain, and memories of the victim.” Sam frowned.

I could play they’re game

“Well I killed again.” I smirked, “You let a murderer free and now he’s killed again. Beautiful story you got here, boys.” I leaned forward in the chair, “The story of two incompetent cops trying to punish a true killer. Sounds very funny, when all is said and done.”

“We thought a psychiatrist would help–” Evan grumbled.

“Well you were wrong. Anything else gentlemen? Do you want to wipe my mind and put someone else in here? I wonder how many it’s been; was “Eric” even the first?” Then I laughed and watched their faces lighten up.

“Yes. Yes. And No.” Sam said.

His face became grave. The joke was sucked right out of it. Evan still smirked at me. But suddenly my heart was thumping and I was perplexed that I couldn’t tell that either of them …were lying. The dumb one is gullible enough to believe anything, but…Sam. What was Sam? A monster like me…who lied as easily as he told the truth?

I looked up at them and Danielle stood at the back of them, smiling.

The Victim Part 5

I swung the lamp across her face before I even got a look at her properly. I bashed her into the room and then closed the door behind her. She lay there on the ground, face red, but very much conscious. She struggled, and gasped, and moaned. I walked over and loomed over her back, as she tried to get up. She’d know. She’d know.

I grabbed a hand full of her hair and dragged her over to the glass table. She screamed and kicked, and that just made it even more exciting.

“Danielle. I want you to look at him.” I started, holding her head in front of my doctor, “I want you to look at him and think twice before you lie to me.” She sobbed loudly, “Tell me you understand, Danielle.” I shook her head violently

“You’re a monster…” She spat, her crying voice making her words sound muffled. I smiled and swung her back. Her head made a loud crack as it hit the ground. She lay there arms already up to defend herself. She wore these shorts and a tank top. And flip flops. Maybe she was going to beach after this. I straddled her and she began fighting again.

“It’s going to hurt more if you struggle, so be my guest and struggle.” I said to her, taking hold the back of her pants and pulling them off. She scratched at me and pushed and screamed. When her pants and underwear were off she was crying. I pressed myself against her crotch and rubbed my dick against her. She kicked, slapped, scraped, and screamed, and I found my hands around her neck, choking and thinking, ‘Finally! Finally!’

“Now tell me.” I looked her in her brown eyes as I thrust into her hard. I heard her gargling and sniveling as I tightened my grip. She was raking through my face, her nails drawing in deep, “What is it that the late doctor and you were keeping from me?”

She gargled for a bit before I remembered to let go of her throat.

“We had to keep your punishment from you, for it to work.” She said, coughing and gasping

“What punishment, for what?” I stopped thrusting for a moment

She smiled, darkly

“This. The not knowing. The confusion. The sickness. The being one person outside and another inside. They did this to you to punish you for what you did to us.”

and as she said it the vomit came up and I spat it onto her t-shirt, mouth and throat burning from the bile.

“What did I do to you people?! Who am I supposed to–” and I waited but she just looked at me smugly. Mouth closed. I put my hands around her neck, tight, again. And I began thrusting into her again and again, but she didn’t fight, didn’t reply. Didn’t do anything. I kept on thrusting, faster and faster, until I was a blur of movements and blood and sweat. Then I thrust in one violent time and I was coming undone inside her.

I was tired.

And she smiled lazily and laid still on the ground.

Should I have felt scared and horrified? I just felt better. I felt nauseous and gross, but it was worth it. Then the bugs started tattering around the back of my head.

I realized then that I had the two people who could have helped me dead in this room.

The Victim Part 4

He was still breathing heavily when I caught up with myself. Then I was already on top of him, knees on his arms. I felt sick, bile rolling around my throat, and my skin goosebumpy. The bugs were crawling so loudly in the back of my head and I could hear their feet individually rat-a-tat-tat. I had to know…i wanted to make him explain these lies…all the lies. I had to find out what he knew.

“Tell me!” I panted, “Tell me what I did!” He laid there, still, out cold, “Tell me why you’ve been lying to me. Why everyone’s been lying to me.”

Putting my hands around his neck were like putting on a glove. Tight grip, cutting of the windpipe with the thumbs, tons of pressure, blood rushing down my arms to my fingertips, his heartbeat in my palms. And this wave of cold washed over my skin making me convulse. But the warmth of my body and his together made me feel good. I felt at home. I convulsed again.

“Tell me!” I squeezed until his eyes shot open, bloody veins burst inside.

He tried to get up, but I had him pinned down. He glared at me coughing and straining under me. I should take my hands off his throat, but I just wanted to squeeze a little bit more. The feeling of vomit and the bug fighting for my attention. His face was turning all red and the wound from his head was still leaking out.

“Every time you lie to me you’re going to lose 10 seconds of air. If I get tired of your games I won’t let you breathe again. I know you know I will.” And I loosened up on his neck. He nodded, “Why is everyone lying to me?”

He coughed and shook his head, “No one is–” Lie.

I strangled his neck, watching his eyes roll back, his face going from red red red to kinda of paler and paler

“10!” And I counted down to one, before asking again, “Why is everyone lying to me!” It took 3 tries before he actually answered me, tears rolling out of his eyes. I didn’t know if it was because he was afraid to die or the pressure got too much and his eyes watered on their own. It didn’t matter, really.

“We’re lying because we were forced by law to!” He yelled, coughing and slobbering all over.

What the–

“Why!” I threatened with a little squeezed

“Because you couldn’t live proper–” he wheezed

“Cut the shit and get to the point. What is it that is being kept from me?!”

Then he looked genuinely frozen, like he couldn’t say anything anymore. He looked really pale and tired, but I wasn’t going to let him keep me from knowing. I squeezed his neck and it didn’t seem to bother him anymore. He didn’t struggle, he just laid there.

Thoughts rushed through my head all at once, all the words muddling together…Rape. Tv. Boy. Danielle. Man. Doctor. Dead. Me. Murder. Curtains. An image of my face as the rapist’s surfaced…then the image of the victim was my doctor’s face. Then like the throw up would be coming any second now and…and I felt giddy.

I climbed off of him and he just laid there. When I pulled off his pants he struggled, but weakly. Then I pulled off his briefs. And he was all skin and body and holes. I dropped my own briefs. He tried to kick his legs but I grabbed them under my arms. I rubbed my crotch against his ass cheeks and suddenly I was vomiting bile, my throat burning and the acid landing on my clothes and chest. I should have stopped but I just couldn’t. I thrust against him even harder until I was fully erect.

I spread his legs and he groaned, sadly. His sadness made me feel right. I pressed hard into his ass and he cried out. I loved the sound and the bile burned it’s yellow glob up my throat. I went at it again and again until I was tired and sweaty and bloody and curled over his silent body, looking to his eyes, still. I’d even forgotten to even threaten him. I’d forgotten i’d done this to him for a reason.

The door rattled, but I didn’t feel afraid. I grabbed hold of the lamp off of the table and paced over to the door, stark naked, as it opened. My heart started beating fast now. I was really starting to feel right.

The Victim Part 3

The beginning of our next session was interesting because he smiled and greeted me normally as if none of the things from yesterday had happened. I didn’t say anything to his friendly greetings and sat across from him, legs crossed. It was especially interesting, this session, because i’d taking some anti nausea medicine and had nothing to eat before I got here. All in preparation of what I was going to do to him. It thrilled me that I knew what was about to happen to him and he didn’t.

“We’re going to talk about what happened yesterday.” He spoke very calmly and I was very impressed. Surprised that that was to be our first topic of discussion.

“What’s there to talk about?” I wanted to know.

“Your actions yesterday–” he started, eyes on his notepad

“Oh. See that makes more sense. It’s my actions we’re going to talk about.” I nodded and uncrossed my legs.

“I want to understand why you–”

“And since we’re trying to “understand” here maybe we should explore the whole you being aroused part.” I looked at him and I could feel the shame radiating. He scribbled on his notepad awkwardly, keeping all his attention on it, before speaking up again

“I didn’t–” he tried

“Don’t lie.”

“Stop! I’m not–”

“Okay let’s test that.” Then I unzipped the front of my jeans. He stood up, all noise and embarassment

“Don’t you dare or I will–”

“What?” I retort, lazily looking up at him, “You’re going to tell whoever you call that a rape victim was pushing themselves on you…well after I start crying and claim it’s you who did this to me. You who took advantage of me, are going to say what exactly?” He gawked at me, opening and shutting his mouth like a yappy dog, “And now that we’re on the same page. Sit down.”

My Doctor stood there for a moment, defiantly trying to see a way out for himself. It was funny to watch his eyes move around, searching for something. But in the end he sat down. I made sure he saw me grinning and stood up. It felt so good to win.

I walked over to him, his eyes all over the place except on me since I stood. I hovered over him for a moment looking at the sharp lines of his body under his clothes and I was excited. I straddled him. He was startled at first, but he kept his hands at his side, trying to go somewhere in his mind I think, trying to stop himself. I couldn’t have that. I grabbed his hands, opened them out, and placed them on my hips

“Squeeze.” I demanded him

“Why are you doing this?” He mumbled, “What do you want?”

“Squeeze.” I whispered against his earlobe, and he did as he was told. I started to feel a bit sick, but I was holding it back. I started to gyrate against him, biting his neck and soon I could hear him huffing and feel him growing under me. He started to grab my ass and squeezed it.

I took hold of the nape of his hair and pulled it back sharply. He bit his lip and groaned lightly. I looked down at him and I knew that I was going to fuck him silly.

When I was grinding fast and I could hear his breaths synced to my movements, I climbed off of him, pulling him out of the chair by the collar of his shirt. He followed, a dazed look in his eyes. I sat him down on the glass table. I pulled the belt on his pants. Then the button and the zipper. I took hold of him in the briefs and he gasped locking his teeth suddenly to make a light click.

“You get excited easily.” I was rubbing him slowly and tightly.

He grabbed my wrist. His eyes lit up and he slammed me against the glass table. It rocked but didn’t break. I laid there with a bit of whiplash, back hurting a bit. Before I had time to recover, his hands were on my thighs pulling me forcefully against his groin. He curled over me, his thumbs digging into my thighs. He thrust against the clothes, twisting and grinding against me, and I felt like I was going to be sick again. Flashes of the rape came into my mind but I ignored them.

My Doctor was climbing on top of the glass table now, pulling my pants off of me. He was breathing heavy and sweat had started to bead up on his forehead and slide down. I don’t know what it was about him looming up there that sucked the color out of the room, the sound just his heavy ragged breaths.

I felt very very sick.

The gleam of the sweat on his face glowed red like blood and his face was just shadows around his sharp features. His touch became hard and sweaty and I felt panic and sickness rising in my throat.

I needed to get from under him. I pushed on his chest, but he pressed back down hard. When I looked up into his eyes I saw fierceness and my face of panic inside them. He was grinning and his hand was around my crotch, and he was rubbing and breathing on me and his dick was pressed against my ass and I wanted to throw up. I couldn’t. I only twitched and pressed against him, but he was suddenly so strong. The images were coming back and

He was laying there on the table, still now. His forehead was red and bashed in.

The Victim Part 2

“Danielle who?” My doctor asked, his pen in his mouth. He seemed alarmed by the mention of her.

“Danielle Jackson. A friend and coworker.” I repeated, my eyes fixed on his, “Did I do something to her that i’m forgetting? I know she was there during the rape and the guy tried to strangle her, but why is she mad at me?”

I had my feet on top of the glass table. He was hiding something about Danielle and he wasn’t going to just tell me. I could tell.

“Well most victims sometimes push their own responsibilities on others. Maybe she thought you should have saved her.” His tongue worked around the cap of the pen and I could feel myself getting turned on. I felt a bit sick as well. It was subtle and I could probably control myself until the session was over.

“Well she didn’t die, so she should be glad that he didn’t rape her.” Then I paused, “He didn’t rape her did he?” I was sure he didn’t, but I felt like I should act more emotional around him because he’d give me less trouble that way.

“He didn’t rape her.” He pulled the pen out of his mouth and scribbled a few things down. The bugs crawled around the back of my head again. I wanted to know what he wrote on that damn notepad.

“Oh thank God.” And when I said that with false enthusiasm –that I thought only I noticed was fake– he frowned. He didn’t say anything however, but I could tell by the way he looked at me it was because he didn’t believe a single thing I said.

Why?

He’s right to not to trust what I say, but what gave him that right. I never did anything to warrant suspicion.

“Do you despise Danielle?” He asked me, leaning back in his chair, his pale neck shown just a bit more than before. I felt my blood rush and my hands felt cold suddenly.

“No. Why would you ask me that?” I even tried to sound upset, but I was just really turned on and a bit weak. He put the pen back in his mouth and uncrossed his legs, leaving them wide and facing me. I knew what that meant.

“I want you to describe what happened to you again. I want you to walk me through your rape. This time all of it.” Right to the point.

He was such a sick bastard. He not only got off on rape victims but he got off on their actually rape memories.

But none the less I thought back.

“I was watching Tv with Danielle. It was a Movie night. I remember that now. She was in the shower when he came in through the window the knife already right here, before I can make a sound. His tongue came over my face like he was tasting me, slooooow. The roughness of his tongue was all over me soon.” I grimaced at the thoughts of fear and sadness that whelmed up from the memory,

“He pushed me into the couch, and then he spread my legs and rubbed his sweatpants cock against mine. He rubbed and thrust and gyrated against me, looking me right in the eyes seeing my fear and the arousal he was causing. And he…He enjoyed that look.” The lights danced in my doctor’s eyes as he enjoyed every detail I gave him. He tried to hide it but I could see the smile and the arousal rising on his skin.

“Then he pulled himself out of his sweats, huge and throbbing, and he pulled my pajamas off. He rubbed his raw skin against my ass, slow at first, his foreskin make a slick sound as it slid up and down.” I hated thinking about him putting his disgusting body on mine without my permission, “His blade easing closer and closer to breaking the skin as he got more and more excited. His hot breaths were all over my stomach and my neck and the blade went from cold to warm and I was so afraid.”

I felt afraid then, but thinking back on it now I just felt weak. I should have grabbed him and pushed my dick into him. I should have laughed and made him scream out as loud as he could before I–

I paused letting that show I was done, but the Doctor stared at me expectantly.

“What do you want? He plowed into me for a long time!”

“I want you to remember what he smelled like, Jared. Smells trigger the most vivid memories. If you can understand what it was like one more time you’ll be able to put it in your past.” He was very aroused and I could see that. He stared at me, holding back his grin.

I thought back to the pain as he pressed himself inside of me. The first thing he said was

“If you clench it’s going to break the skin, so please go ahead and fight.” He whispered that into the skin behind my ear, gritty and rough.

He thrust fast and the pain was horrible. I couldn’t understand how he was pushing in against my will, but he did. He wheezed and laughed darkly as my tears rolled down my face, and his face was my face.

“Out Loud.” The Doctor snapped.

He needed to tell me what i’m forgetting about Danielle. I need to know what he was keeping from me. I looked up at the time, and back at him. It was time for our session to be over. So I began to collect my things.

“Hey!” He roared, walking quickly to me, “Hey!” He seized my arm, tightly, and pulled me to face him. I felt a mix of pleasure and anger. I enjoyed him grabbing me like this but really what I wanted was to grab him, “You leave when I say you leave.” He was seething.

I reached over and took hold of his crotch, and squeezed it lightly. He was just as aroused as i’d thought. He grabbed my hand, but I just leaned in and whispered against his neck,

“I’ll always know what you want, Doc.” and I heard him gasp so softly I almost didn’t hear it

“Let go.” He tried to keep his voice even, but I could hear the wanton desire budding up on his skin. Then the sickness was back again and I thought i’d probably vomit right then. I felt sweat beading on my forehead. I let go of him but he still held my arm, and twisted it up.

“You will never touch me like that again.” His eyes were serious, and angry. But the smell of arousal was still lingering on him like stink.

“Only if you promise not to get so excited about me again.” and I kissed him on the cheek. He let me go, and left the room himself.

I always win with guys like him

~

I got in my car and drove to the nearest place with a bathroom. I got on my knees and stroked myself as I threw up into the bowl. I couldn’t understand why it felt so right but I felt so sick. I couldn’t talk to my Doctor about it now. I bit my lip and fell into the mingling of nausea and ecstasy.

I lay with my head on the cool bowl and I thought that I need to fuck my doctor. I needed to fuck him into crazy bliss so that he’d tell me all that he was keeping from me. And somehow I needed to do that without throwing up. The more I thought about it the more exciting it became. All I had to do was utilize his weakness for me.

One mistake, though, and I could wind up knowing even less.

The Victim Part 1

Amnesia. There was a fancy term for the kind of amnesia, but I can’t really remember it. Some kind of temporary forgetting of recent things. My doctor says i’ll recover, but I know he’s lying to me. Its weird though. I wasn’t so good at telling when people were keeping things from me, but now I can clearly see that he’s grinning at me from behind his eyes. Like he thinks somehow i’m funny. He thinks he’s being real deceptive too, which almost makes me want to giggle.

“We need to talk about what he did to you.” My doctor had a way of always getting right to the point. I thought that doctors were supposed to know how to make people feel invited or comfortable. He was pretty shit at his job if that were true.

“You know this already. He raped me.” I hardly had any trouble thinking about the idea and hardly any trouble talking about it. I felt a little sick, knowing that some person over powered me, at home, but I thought rape would be more dramatic than it actually was.

“I know. We all know, but I think it would be easier for you if you walked through it.”

I immediately felt uncomfortable. My stomach twisted involuntarily and I crossed my legs in the soft red chair. I kept my eyes on the glass table in between us, polished, and perfect. I wondered how something so easily dirtied could just be something everyone kept on display like that, begging for someone to break it or dirty it…and then it’s like some sort of indignation that responds to someone taking the invitation. Everyone want to touch a glass table. Everyone wants to–

“Jared, i’m going to need you to look at me.” His voice was soft and cooing, and it cut off my thoughts. I looked up at him.

“Let’s start with something easy. What were you doing that day?”

I think back. I had been watching a crime drama. I can’t remember exactly what. But I was sitting there when he came in through the window. Good idea too. I always left the damn thing open. I liked fresh air. I don’t think about it too much now. I think about why it feels so strange holding my kitchen knife with my right hand rather than my left. I wonder why it’s so hard to write my name on paper anymore…or strange to see my face in the mirror.

Well the window was open the breeze was good, because I lived near I lake. The tv was blaring, but my neighbors weren’t annoying about it. And I was sitting in my pajama bottoms and a wife beater, watching the television.

“Out loud.” My doctor snapped. He seemed impatient with me. I looked at his eyes now and he seemed angry, unhappy, a little sad actually. I don’t know why that tickled me more than him laughing at me, secretly in his own thoughts.

“What’s so funny?” He asked, and I realized I had been smiling but I didn’t stop. I uncrossed my legs.

“It was the knife that hit my neck first. Big blade right against here” I slapped my neck hard, and it would probably get red soon, “and before saying a word he just ran his tongue nice and sloooooooow against my face like I was some big ice cream cone.” I looked at him, enjoying the still clinical look in his eyes, mingled now with shock and a bit of fear, “I probably tasted like cream or strawberries because he pushed me back into the room and onto the nearest couch and started licking me all over.”

Suddenly I felt funny. I felt warm all over and then a little sick,

“Some times I imagine that he has my face. That I enjoyed doing that to myself.” I felt like I was going to be sick all over the floor.

“It’s actually quite common to have sexual arousal from your rape.” He begins, “would you like to stop?”

The amnesia hits me in the strangest ways. Like I can’t remember what happened immediately after the rape. I don’t remember this doctor’s name off the top of my head, like i’ve never been seeing him. I don’t remember the rapist’s face, like he’d ripped it out of my mind when he slid that blade down low to slice–

“I’m not aroused by what he did to me. I’m aroused by doing it. I want to do what he did to me to…” I looked up at my doctor who’d glanced down to write something in his book. I felt an antsy feeling in the back of my head…like bugs crawling all over and i just wanted to take that notebook from him

“him?” He offered

I nodded, but I didn’t really think it mattered who, really. I just don’t want to feel so weak. I want to make someone else suffer. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me.

“He really seemed to like to rub up against me through the clothes. He did that for such a long time, looking me right into my eyes while he did it, grinding fast and rough in his sweats against my pajamas.” and then I found myself getting properly aroused and the doctor was frowning at me now, openly.

“Jared, how would you describe him, the man who raped you?” He asked suddenly, pen in his mouth, book down, and his eyes fixed on mine.

“Strong, well built, rough.” I could only remember what he felt like against me, not what he looked like. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t remember what he smelt like either. I read about other victims and they all said he smelled like beer or sweat or anything. They always knew what he smelled like. I can only remember what I smelled like. I smelled like a fresh bath, like exfoliating soap. He just felt big, warm, heavy, and desperate.

“Still having trouble with his face?”

I glanced up at the clock and my session was over so I got up and collected my jacket. My doctor liked to keep these thing going as long as he could but I preferred to be done with the amount of psychiatry I “needed.” That and I didn’t like spending too much time with him. He made me think about things I didn’t like to think about here

“Doc, it seems it’s that time again.” I said, excusing myself.

“I decide when the sessions are over.” I heard him grunt behind me. I would have turned around to look at him, but that’d just get me all riled up. He liked to assert his dominance. I liked that.

“Yeah, well I pay you to decide that sort of stuff so in fact I decide everything you do with me, Doc.”

I paused to see if he’d say anything more, but he didn’t. He just shuffled his papers.

At home I find myself laying in my bed, thinking about my doctor. He was so young for someone in his profession. 32 maybe. He seemed like such a sexual kind of guy, even though he tries to hide it from me. Sometimes he’ll cross his legs when he talks to me or touch his neck, and swallow and I just know what it is he wants. What a sick bastard. Preying of the raped. I grinned. Rubbing my palm on the lower part of my stomach softly.

I thought i’d be less sexual since that man raped me, but I felt even more sexual than ever. And Doc just did it for me. That pale skin, squared shoulder, pink cheeks. I could just—My hand slid down and unbuttoned the front of my jeans—I could just bite right into his creaming neck. My hand ran over the thin cotton of my briefs but when I grabbed a hold of myself I felt sick suddenly. I was sweating and rushing to the bathroom and throwing up.

I was still very aroused, but I stared at the chunks of vomit in the toilet bowl. I just pressed my briefs into the cold porcelain of the toilet hoping it would go away.

This kept happening. This was the only dramatic part of the rape I felt, but it always felt so strange. Like I never thought about him and got sick. I never felt anything when I thought of him, except contempt. All I had to do was just get aroused and want to touch myself—I was throwing up in the toilet again. It was almost like I was being punished.

That stupid Doctor should talk about that. Maybe he should suck my dick….and I was getting even more aroused and I found myself grabbing hold of dick, and stroking it as I threw up int the toilet. I went at it until I was dry retching and I’d come all over my hands and the toilets. Then I laid on the cold floor of a bit, still wet and sticky…

After my shower I sat down in the living room.

I felt bored.

I had been given time off from work at the University, in light of my rape, but to be honest I felt like it was more of a punishment. I had all this time floating around and nothing to do. I flicked on the television by sitting down in front of it and muttering, “on” and cartoons were playing. I couldn’t remember watching them yesterday, but the doctor says that’s normal. Forgetting little things while you’re trying to remember the big ones, is how he put i think. I flipped through the channels by waving my arm until the images were blurred and I was lost somewhere in my mind.

I felt so empty. The only time I felt right was when I was with the Doctor. I felt right thinking about him or about the rape. I think something might be wrong… I might be wrong. Or everything else is wrong

i didn’t know what I should be doing. The curtains were ugly. The carpet was cheap. The place smelled like orange air fresheners. The chair was too close to the TV. I didn’t like the food I bought.

Everything was so irritating.

I needed to go out. Outside wasn’t much better though. This place felt like a bad part of a fantasy I wanted until this very moment. Everything looked fake and I just wanted to start a fire right in the middle of– I spotted Danielle. She’s this girl I used to have work with. I didn’t know she lived around here. I saw her from afar but instead of walking up to her…i just found myself watching her. Just…watching. She was walking her dog, a nasty thing that always barked at me.

Danielle had a flat nose, and thin liney lips. She was a very tiny sort of girl. The kind that you could curl up in your hand if you wanted to. Not particularly beautiful, but not ugly either. She reminded me of my mother. It’s strange. I remember my mother vividly…but I don’t remember seeing her for such a long time.

Danielle stood around on her phone, out of the light of a streetlamp, the glow lighting up her gaunt features. I walked closer to her in the dark, choosing my steps carefully, listening, and watching her bumble around in the dark. I was upon her now and she didn’t even know. That made me giggle. She jolted when I reach out to touch her.

“Oh Jesus!” She said at first, staring at me blankly. It was like for a second she didn’t recognize me.

“Danielle?” I asked, smiling, searching for an answer to her confusion. And she kept on staring, her eyes a million miles into my face

“Oh, hey Jared.” She trailed off, and looked down at her feet. She looked a bit drunk, and smelled like it too. I don’t remember her being a particularly avid drinker.

“What’s the matter?” I looked over my shoulder and around. We seemed fairly alone. I think she noticed this too because she started looking around as well. Before she said anything her Dog noticed me and began barking. Loud, it’s mouth was wet with slobber.

I hate animals.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into her lately.” She was lying. She was also afraid. Why was she afraid…of me? “She’s been barking at everyone. Maybe it’s time she got old I guess.” Lie. Lie. Fear. Lie. She glanced from me to her Dog. A lie was coming, “I gotta–”

“It’s fine. I just wanted to say hello and get on my way. I didn’t know that you lived around here. Just making sure it was you. I’m still kinda fuzzy up here.” I smiled, but I was watching her. She didn’t seemed even remotely pleased to see me. She just turned to walk away, her feet looking unsteady on the ground. I wasn’t done yet. I wasn’t going to let her just get away, “Wait! It’s late. Let me walk you home. And you look little a bit tipsy.” I had to find out what i’d done to freak her out so much.

“No…That’s fine. I live right over there.” She pointed vaguely.

Why didn’t she want me to know where she–

“Most car accidents happen close to home because that’s when people let their guard down. I’m sure it’s the same with walking. It’s only a little ways. I promise I won’t talk too much.” I put a hand on her elbow and she pulled away.

“Alright.”

Then we were walking together. I found myself taking note of the marks around her neck. I felt a tiny bit excited from the marks. I don’t know exactly what kind of excitement, but I quickly felt a bit sick. I suddenly noticed the bags under her eyes. She’d been getting over something. The dog growled perpetually at me. I’d kick him good when no one was around…

Something about the violence of that made me happy.

“Here I am.” She said, mumbling her words a bit. It was a nice apartment. 409. I’d have to remember that. She stood there staring at me as if to wait for me to walk off, but I wanted to go inside. Something was crawling around the back of my mind about Danielle…and I was close to finding out what. I just stood there until she put her key in the door, and let her dog inside, “Thanks for the walk.” She then trailed off and stared at me, the light suddenly gone out of her eyes like she’d suddenly become remorselessly irate with me

“Do you mind if I come in for—“

“No. That’s alright. I have things to do. See you.” Then she walked into her room and slammed the door shut. I was shocked. She was very very afraid of me. I stood there for only a moment before I pressed my ear on the door. I could hear her trembling inside.

“I can hear you breathing.” I whispered against the door. Then I heard her shuffle backwards in her heels and her dog began barking at the door.

The crawling of bugs around my mind got louder and faster and I leaned against the door listening until I found the image in my mind. The hands around her neck. She was there. She was…she was there when he raped me. He’d choked her. And it’s my face that is the one above hers, breathing on her skin, crushing her neck, her legs wild and kicking. Our gloves making that rubber noise as it tightened and twisted on her skin. I could hear her heels clacking on the wood, as we took the life out of her.

“I know that he choked you.” I whispered against the door again.

“Go away! Never come back! Go! Don’t you dare come back!” Her voice came suddenly from right against the door, and I stumbled back. Her dog barked and yapped and snarled from behind the door as well.

It Was Safer in My Head Chapter 1: Pelt

Disclaimer: This was something i wrote 3 years ago that i’m touching up and putting here, as a part of my collection.

“Not a single word. I can’t write one fricken thing.” I fumed, smacking my defenseless bottle off its rightful place on my desk. I screamed, throwing my large forehead into the table, folding my hands on top of my head, “What good am I if I can’t get this done?” I muttered against the table. School was in a week and I needed to write a romantic novel and a romantic play and I haven’t been able to write either.

I sighed. I remember once I was so stressed out about something during school my professor once stopped a lesson to ask me if there was something wrong because I kept sighing. She thought I was depressed. I might have been. Who really knows if they’re depressed? Am I depressed? Is that why I can’t write? That’s not the point. This isn’t the point of anything. I still haven’t written anything.

I threw myself out of my chair and lay on my back, staring up at the ceiling of my room. I sighed again. Phillip, my trusty water bottle who’d just taken a good whollop to the side for the good of the team, stared up at me. I picked him up, holding him to the light.

“I’m sorry Phillip. You’ve always been my wingman in this dark cruel world. I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.” I whispered to him. I sat up, un-capped him, and took a few gulps, “If I wrote a love story about you. No one would read it. Sorry. It’s the fact that you can’t speak, Phillip. It’s not a racist thing. It’s—let me finish. Don’t—fine go ahead.” I paused, listening quietly to the inanimate object, “You done now? You gonna listen to me? Okay. You don’t have a voice outside of my head. How could I possibly stage that? Or write that?” I threw him on the ground again, “Don’t talk to me that way.”

I got up and walked back to the empty screen.  Phillip hadn’t been much help and he started to cop an attitude with me. What am I even talking about? He’s a bottle of water. Not even fresh water. I got it from the sink. I just like having him around. My doctor said i shouldn’t encourage  these thought, but i just can’t help it. I just find myself feeling alone sometimes.

“You probably can’t write a love story because you’ve never really been in a relationship Kim.” A voice spoke evenly over all the screaming and fires of my mind.

I turned sharply in my chair

“No.” I turned away from my desk, to the couch in front of my television. He sat there, one leg over the other, in a light cobalt suit, cigarette in his mouth, “You’re not supposed to be here.” I tried to speak calmly.

He grinned. His devious eyes were glowing a bright shade of green in one eye and blue in the other, “Just because you want to forget me doesn’t mean I just… die.” He spoke, the cig held precariously at the edge of his mouth.

“You can’t be here.” I turned around nervously to face my computer screen again.

“Aren’t you going to tell them all about me?” He inquired, switching his right leg over his left.

“Tell who? Why? You’re not real.” I muttered to myself putting the headphones to my computer on my head.

“Alrighty then!” He jumped up from the terrible material of my old, over used couch, “I am Harrington Van Pelt!” He announced tapping his black cane on my shoulder. I could hear him in the ears of my headphones like he was broadcasting through them.

“Jesus…” I pleaded, getting up, and walking to the door. His cane was against it before I could get through. I pressed my head against it, as he leaned over and turned the latch, “He told you that it might be hard at first.” I muttered to myself as he took me by the shoulders and sat me down in my own couch.

“Hello ladies and Gentlemen! How are you all doing tonight?! GOOD?! That’s what I thought!” He bellowed to an audience that was only me and also Phillip because Harry put him down next to me. I just have to make it through, “You’ve probably heard tons about me!” he paused, his face draining of giddy jubilance, “Oh well that isn’t nice, Kimmy. I was your best friend once.”

Just hold on a bit more. Just –you knew that this experiment would have resulted in relapses–He’s not real. You know that. You can’t encourage him. Ignore him.

“Let me walk you through it. Kim Masters is a 23 year old recovering from paranoia schizophrenia. She generated me on her senior year of high school. I was her ideal man.” He took such sick pleasure in his own creation, “Exciting, funny, snippy, and very well dressed. Give a hand to Kimmy!” He then clapped his white gloved hands at me. The room erupted into whoops and applause. I pulled my knees up to my face and laid my forehead on them

“Calm down. Calm down. She’s very shy. Kim was a writer at school with a very “hyperactive imagination.” She was unable to make friends properly and never realizing when she’d made one. She became distant about the important thing but very brash and outlandishly loud about the things that didn’t matter.” There was “awwws” in the room, “aint that sad?”

Remember what Wheeler said. I wasn’t allowed to talk to him. If I acknowledged him then he’d become real again. If he became real again he would never leave. I could feel his gloved hand on my chin as he pulled me to look at him. His face was as beautiful as I remembered. He smiled at me.

I hated this. Why did I have to learn to function off of the medicine? Why was Wheeler experimenting with my doses. Why did it all matter if he got to come back and do what he wanted all over again? I knew this was going to happen. Harry was cunning. He’d wait until my defenses were down and when I wasn’t on any medication. Now… He’s here.

He took a step back from me, a grin on his lips

“That’s why she created me! Harrington Van Pelt!” He bowed as the audience cheered. He held up his hands, catering to the audience as always, “She couldn’t find anyone for herself. Not to toot my own horn but she’ll vouch for me being more than enough.” He winked at me and my heart stopped.

I closed my eyes and put my head down again. He’s doing all of this. I just needed to sit through it. He’d be gone as fast as he’d come.

“Harry became a little too real, though. She started to get a bit confused. She went and got herself admitted into a mental hospital. a little drugs and now she’s a real person again. Forgot all about little ol me. I was the one that made her through the first years of her adult life. Now it’s some drug” He’s paused, thinking up what button to push next, “She still wears those gloves all the time. Freakish it is? Not wanting to touch people with your bare hands?” He was fuming at this point. He sat down in the couch next to me, and gripped my shoulder as he shook me up. Just wait, Kim. Just wait. I tightened the gloves on my hands almost instinctively at his jab.

“You think I deserve this? After so many of your successful books came from me?!” He screamed. I kept my eyes away from him, “You can’t write a single thing now!” He screamed, his beauty spilling off his face and burning up into a gas. I could see it out of the corner of my eyes

“Look at me! Please…. What did you do to me? You took my soul. Kim. Please.” His voice was soft and wobbly like someone on the brink of crying. I felt the tears well up in my chest.

I blinked and he was gone.

“Oh god.” I finally spoke. Tears fell down my face. I got up and opened the door of my room and walked to the bathroom. I sat in the tub, crying.

That happened  the week after I’d stopped taken my anti-psychotics. I saw Wheeler the day after and told him all about it. He recommended that I continue on without it. It was my choice he said, but it sounded more like it wasn’t. He believed that at some point I will be able to restrain Harrington to the point that he would no longer bother me as often. He was right for the most part. A few days past without Harry turning up again.

Approximately a week later I was walking to a bagel shop a block from my apartment. I had my head phones in, eating a raisin cinnamon bagel. I was scribbling in my notebook some ideas, anything really for material on those assignments.  They looked pretty good from this point of view, but they needed to past the two page limit. I had to write at least three pages of each to consider it worthy enough to becoming an actual story. If I cannot past 2 then it usually never works out. Great idea or not.

Harrington was right, i found myself thinking. My best stories had been about his hero adventures, but as a part of my therapy I’d promised to not include Harrington as my central character. I couldn’t write about him and now it’s become a bit difficult.

I got a text message from my roommate, Danielle. I checked it and put it down on the table. She’d had a “titfer” as she put it in her text message, with her boyfriend Ste. I could never understand British couples. Well..it wasn’t British couples. It was more couples in general. Was there a deep difference between couples in britain and America? Is this something i should know?

I looked up from my table to signal a waiter to fill my cup with some more tea. Dani had given me the nasty habit of drinking tea all the time. I can’t stand coffee now. Tea is more relaxing I guess, and coffee makes me bounce off the walls. Maybe it wasn’t Dani that got me hooked. Maybe it was me trying to to have a sugar high every time i smelled coffee beans.

That was when a man sat down across from me in my booth. He had large glasses on, a scarf, and a big hat. He was like those women who get beat by their husbands. I frowned, but smirked at the same time. He had better not try to hit on me. I laughed at myself for the thought.  Not that it ever happened to me. Not when Danielle was around at least.

I didn’t pull out my headphones. He pulled off his glasses, the scarf, then hat.

No.

No.

He shouldn’t be able to change clothes. He couldn’t. He– He’s not–Real.

He looked right into my eyes and then began to speak. I didn’t hear a word, but I got up as quickly as I could, watching him as I walked backwards trying to get to the door. My sudden movement made an earphone fall out of my ear.

“Hey. I’m beggin you. I don’t beg a soul.” His voice was different. Deeper. It sounded Foreign. This couldn’t… They said that he couldn’t evolve if I didn’t talk to him. If I didn’t excite him or… “It’s a favor. Just let me get your number. I need someone in the country.” He went on, putting the scarf and hat back on, “I can tell you know who I am by your reaction. Not exactly the reaction I was expecting…. I was more expecting you to beg me to give you an autograph but this is good too…I suppose.”

“No. You’re not real. You’re…you can’t” I started to to feel my face get hot. I could feel it. I hated tearing up in public. I couldn’t let myself do that here

“Hey. Calm down. Of course I’m real. Are you okay?” He asked, getting up from his seat. I shuffled back some more. He couldn’t really be here like this could he? I looked around and the entire store was staring at me. They only stared at  me. There wasn’t anyone there. I was alone.

I turned and ran out of the store. I rushed down the block to my home. It wasn’t until I was at the steps did I realize that I left my cell phone and my notebook. I couldn’t go back now. I walked up the stairs.

Danielle was home again. She’d been with her boyfriend for a week or so. I am guessing by her text that they were at each other’s throats again. I couldn’t really think about that at the moment. I was too confused.

“You home?” She peeked her brow haired and tanned skin out from the living room, “You are not gonna believe what this fucker said to me—Kim?” She walked up to me, realizing my disorientation, and grabbed my shoulder. She’d been with me for the last two years. She knew I was recovering. She was a part of my therapy really. She was the friend I had to make to let go of the imaginary one, “Did you see him again?” I just put my forehead on the crook of her neck and just sobbed a little.

She was real. She was real.

 

The Artist: Chapter 2 – Knife

The next day at school, Ansley came in with a bandage on her cheek. She was smiling though. She smiled because in her pocket was the knife that he had given to her. Ansley touched it and thumbed it the whole day. She had to wait until lunch time to use it because there was someone she needed to have a chat with and this knife was going to help her.

Emily was younger than Ansley was by one year. Emily was a 17 year old girl. She was very pretty, and likely not a virgin. Oh don’t get her wrong. She’s not trying to be petty or rude. Ansley only thought that Emily wasn’t a virgin because she’d once walked into the girls bathroom, and saw little ol blond haired Emily on her knees. Emily wore a very expensive pair of shoes, and gloated about how she was the only one in the district with a pair…that was how she knew that it was her for sure. There was another set of feet in there as well and they were big feet.

Emily Schraeder was also very very rich. Her father owned something that Ans didn’t care to know about. Emily liked to talk on and on about this particular topic, but Ans had a knac for tuning out most of Emily’s words. Emily liked to eat lunch with her boyfriend under a tree on Wednesdays, which was lucky for Ans because it was Wednesday.

The tree was the biggest in the school and the only one with a bench underneath. Emily sat there in her overly short skirt, and her fine expensive little shoes. She smiled and laughed with the tall hulk of a boyfriend, who had once hit on Ansley in confidence…well…He’d wanted to have sex with Ans at a party, when he was drunk.

“Oooh Look the freak’s gone and made herself even weirder!” Emily starts off as Ans walks over. The dirt from the grassless area in between the tree and the cafeteria kicked up.

“Come on Em. She looks seriously hurt.” Her brown haired boyfriend whispers to her. She glares at him, the fun sucked right out of her words. She sighs.

“What do you want, Ans?” Emily’s brown eyes looked up at Ansley, bored.

Ansley tapped the blade in her pocket. Somehow she understood why some people liked to have weapons. Needed to keep them on them at all times…even when they shouldn’t. It’s this overwhelming sense of authority and power over someone else that made you mad enough to always have it. It also made her feel so antsy. She turned to Dustin–oh that was her boyfriend’s name.

“Dusty.” Ansley said to him, and he avoided her eye contact. She smiled, “I need to talk to Emily, can you give us a minute?”

“Oh fuck off. We’re eating.” Emily said, rubbing her hand on Dustin’s leg. Dusty didn’t say anything. Ansley stepped closer to him.

“Please. It’ll only be a minute.” Dusty got up, setting his club sandwich to the side.

“I need milk anyhow. Be back in a flash babe.” He stood up and Ansley didn’t back up. She just stood there, looking up at him, not shy when she’s knows she’s already won. Dusty coughed and slid around her.

“Pussy.” Emily muttered, forking her salad, “What?” Ansley was too busy watching Dusty walk away that she almost forgot why she came here. She gripped the handle of the knife, and knelt down in front of Emily.

“I want you to answer me honestly. Did you send someone to cut me in the face?” Ans asked, gripping the knife tighter and tighter.

“Fuck off, Ans.” She put a fork of salad in her mouth. It crunched. She wasn’t going to get her answer this way. Ansley pulled the knife out of her pocket. She finally got her attention.

“Holy Fu-” Emily scooted back on the bench

“He gave me this after he cut me.” Ans continued, “I wanted to make sure it found it’s way back in it’s owner.” and Ansley looked at the blade, and it was so small and more like a paring knife than anything terrifying, “It’s really sharp too…it barely touched me and gave me a huge scar.”

“Jesus, Ans. I didn’t do this! This isn’t the ghetto! I’m not a gang member! Put that shit away, alright?!” Emily was gripping her fork, and her brown eyes were wide with fear, locked on the knife and not on Ans at all. She didn’t know if she could trust her, but she had to put the knife away before someone saw her.

Ansley stood up, the knife in her pocket now. She walked passed Dusty on her way away from Emily and they shared a brief smile to each other. Ansley said no to Dusty’s sexual advance at that party, but decided to talk with him instead. They became friends in secret.

After that Emily didn’t play her usual jokes on Ansley during the classes they shared. It was actually a good day…but…the man…He didn’t make any sense.

After classes, Ansley walked to the bus stop. She sometimes walked home, but she tired from all the confusion. She stood at the stop for a minute or two. It was deserted, but she felt safe with the knife. The bus typically took about 15 minutes to arrive after class ended. Hands came around her; long, strong ones. She reached for the knife, but the hands grabbed her hand, keeping the knife in her pocket.

“Hello, my little Ans.” His voice gravelly like a smoker’s. His breath hot against her ear, “You shouldn’t be carrying something so dangerous around.”

“Who the fuck are you?!” Ansley asked, trying to keep it hushed, but it was loud. The man’s other arm was around her waist, and he kissed her neck. Ansley shivered at the sensation, “Get off me.” She spat.

“Ans, I’m here to get back what belongs to me. If you struggle–” His hand went up her shirt and touched her stomach. Ansley froze, “If you struggle, little Ans, i’ll have to do something horrible to you.” His nose nuzzled against her ears and she clenched her eyes closed, but she didn’t let go of the blade.

“You can just go fuck–”SHe began, and the man let go of her hand and turned her around to face him. She looked at the dark oily hair he had, curly and slipping out of his ponytail and into his face, the burn under his cheek large and reaching from his ear to the bridge of his nose.

“I’ll ask you to give it to me one more time, Ans.” He began

“Fuck. Off.” she pronounced each word slowly, looking him right into his black eyes.

He looked at her for a minute before touching where he’d cut her.

“I think my biggest mistake was cutting your face.” And as she said that he leaned down and pressed his smoker’s lips on Ansley’s. He was gentle and tender and this time it didn’t taste sour and sweet it was bitter and chalky like cigarettes. Ansley’s eyes stayed open, but this time he closed his. Ansley took the knife out and pressed it against his neck. He didn’t stop kissing her, and she wasn’t sure she was ready to cut his neck if he continued. He wrapped an arm around her waist and she bit his bottom lip until blood was in her mouth.

He pulled back and looked at her, lip red, and glossy, knife at his neck. What was wrong with him? Ansley asked herself. Then he grabbed her hand suddenly, yanking it away from his neck, and back awkwardly. Ansley dropped it and winced. She watched him and he watched her.

“Why are you doing this?!” Ansley yelled. The man tossed her back and Ansley rubbed her wrist as he picked up the knife and tucked it into his pants’ pocket.

“Remember fear, Ans.” And then the turned and walked off.

Ansley’s bus had arrived, and she still had his blood on her lips.
~

When Ansley got home her mother was sitting in front of the kitchen table staring down at a piece of paper, biting her nails. She had the habit of doing that when she was stressed out. She’d been going it for a couple of days, but she hadn’t talking to Ansley about it so she wasn’t going to pry.

“Hello Dear.” She called absently as the door opened and closed.

“I’m not dad.” Ansley replied walking in and setting her bag on the tabe and sitting across from her mom. Her mother was a nice enough 45 year old woman named Janice. She worked as a lawyer for a long time but retired a year ago and now is a full time house wife.

Janice glanced up at her daughter and smiled

“Sorry Annie. Your father said he’d be coming home early. You’re early as well.” She put the paper down and put it back in it’s envelope, “Do you want something to eat? I made cookies.”

“No, i’ll get fatter. Why’s dad coming home early? He never comes home early.” Ansley asked pulling out a few notebooks, to start on her homework.

“He —he um didn’t tell me why.” She said, slamming cabinets in the kitchen. She was lying and Ansley knew.

A few minutes later Harry, Ansley’s father, came home. He walked in, his tie, pulled and sweat beading on his forehead.

“Welcome home…Harry?” Janice stared at him, eyebrows knit. Ansley turned around in her chair to see her father. He glanced at her and then back to Janice.

“I need to talk to you for a bit.” Then he walked briskly to their room. Janice looked back at Ansley for a minute, and smiled. She patted her before walking after Harry in the room. Ansley could hear them talking, but couldn’t make out what about.

The Artist: Chapter 1 – Leather

He saw her. She saw him see her, and she stared hard in any direction accept towards him. She is the shy kind and he made her nervous. She was watching him though…out of the corner of her eyes. She could see him get out of his seat two tables from her’s. She could see him looming over the table, her eyes fixed on the word “seattle” in her book.

“is that a good book?” he asked, his voice low. She smiled a bit to herself, glancing only half in his direction

“Yes. I’m enjoying it a lot.” And then her eyes were back to the book, looking at the word, “steam” but she was actually watching the tall young man who’d come to talk to her out of her periphery.

“What’s it about?” He asked, leaning against the chair across from her. The chair bent a bit, as he eventually leaned down to her level at the table, elbows in her sight.

She smiled and glanced up at his perfectly tanned elbows, “It’s a fantasy book about Dragons.” She giggled, goosebumps all over her body now. Her stomach felt sick, and watery, “I don’t think you’d like it.”

“Why is that? Do I not look like the type to like a good Dragon book?” He sounded a bit indignant and she frowned at the book. She’d made a mistake. She didn’t apologize. Too proud for that.

“Do you like Dragons?” She asked, the word “Steam” getting more and more blurred, as she focused on it less and less.

He laughed and she found herself smiling. She could almost see his smile from the top of her book. She glanced up and she saw him for a second. Just enough time to take in his curly brown hair and tanned skin. He reminded her of Mohinder Shuresh from the show Heroes.

“I’ve never read anything about Dragons, so I wouldn’t know.” Then he pulled the chair from under the desk and sat down across from her…and then it occurred to her that…he was talking to her. HER. Ansley. She’d forgotten her reputation. Forgotten who she was to them for a weak moment. He wanted something. They all want something. She put her book down, smile drained off of her face. She stuck a book mark into the book and looked right into the pretty boy’s face, girlish folly gone.

“What do you want?” Her voice was a hard line, and the pretty boy’s smile fell away. He realized that she wasn’t taking the bait anymore.

“I heard you’re very smart–”

“Smart enough not to help a second rate beauty with a soft brain pass an exam he doesn’t deserve to pass.” She was quick and her words were sharp

His cunning and soft expression fell into a grim one, and he glared at her.

“Listen to me, you ugly bitch, I don’t need your fucking help alri–”

“Then why are you over here smiling and carrying on like i’m some sweet dove waiting for her cherry to be plucked by a dashing young hound as yourself?” She placed her book into her backpack, and stood carefully.

The Shuresh look alike stood up and smiled darkly, “Go fuck yourself, Ans, cause no one else is gonna do it for you.”

And then he walked away. Ansley’s smile twitched and quivered as she excused herself from the lunch room. She walked with her bag on her shoulder to the bathroom. She found a stall and locked herself inside. She took off her school blazer and placed it on the hook of the stall. Then her bag. Then she unbuttoned her oxford and placed that, and her tie, over the blazer on the hook. There she was in just her skirt and bra, sitting hunched back, on the stall, legs apart like a man.

“fuck ’em all.” She muttered, “Fuck them!” She slammed the wall, and she could hear one of the girls in the adjacent stalls yelp, but she didn’t care.

Classes would start in a few minutes so she stood up and straightened out the lines in her skirt carefully. She pulled back on her oxford, counting each button aloud as she buttoned them from bottom to top. Then she tightened her tie, and then on went her blazer. She smoothed out the creases with her hands. Then she plait her hair, which for some awful reason she had worn loose today.

She walked out of the bathroom with her bag, straight for class.

She usually sat in the front row during lessons. Her name was Ansley Aaron. Always the first seat in every room. She’d normally sit down, the room still empty. Last minute. That was how everyone at her rotten school was. It was still 10 minutes before the bell. No one would be here for another 7 minutes. But when she arrived this time there a man much older than any of the students in the school, sitting at her desk. His legs were crossed on top of it in dark leather pants. She stood there a moment watching the man, peeling a green apple with a knife in his hand.

“What do you think you’re doing?” She started accusingly, “Knives are prohibited on school grounds.” She didn’t scream, or even try to sound too urgent. She was feeling her hurt pride from earlier and it was making her rash. She was too proud to show weakness, but she was showing it, “You’re also siting in my seat.”

She stood at the front of the room, by the door, and didn’t walk any further. The strange man didn’t look up at her, and kept on carving his apple,

“You Ansley?” He asked, his voice was tainted like someone who smoked a lot. He also smelled like it. She found herself trying to remember if she’d offended anyone who’d be able or willing to bring in a 30 year old man to hurt her. Who would know her schedule? Who would know? Emily. Emily.

Ansley poured a carton of milk on her head during a class trip and she had to go the entire trip smelling like milk. Emily had cut up Ansley’s underwear a week before the milk incident, which is what provoked Ansley. Emily knew everything about Ans because they’d known each other since elementary school. They grew up in the same area for a long time…but she’d never–

“You’re sitting in my seat.” She found herself saying a little impulsively.

The man stopped carving the apple. Ansley froze. He kicked the desk violently across the room. It crashed into the black board a meter away from her. She didn’t jump and didn’t stop looking at the man. It wasn’t because she was some steel nerved bitch…it was that it happened too fast for her to react. She’d held her breath, and her heart was beating so fast. She stared fixedly at his huge black boots at the ends of his leather pants. Her eyes watered just a bit.

“I’m going to ask one more time.” Ans swallowed hard, “If you are, speak up. If you’re not her–well you better hope you are.” He said, and began to carve the apple again, “Are you–”

“I’m Ansley, you ugly creep.”

The clock’s tick was faint and Ansley suddenly heard it as the man stopped carving again. He got up out of the chair, the wood creaking a bit. He walked with sly slow, movements; his boots connected loudly on the linoleum. She could feel him looking at her and she fixed her eyes on the necklace swinging, a gold coin on a black string. When he was upon her she had to look up to see his necklace properly; he was very tall.

“I want you to remember something little Ans–” his smoker’s breath wafted into her face, and she frowned

“It’s Ansley.”

She could hear him laughing, as he cut a piece of the apple off and put it in his mouth. The crisp crunching was the only sound in the room. The knife then came to her cheek, and she gasped, backing up against the chalkboard.

“You’re one stubborn little girl.” He started, “I want you to remember fear, Ans. I want you to remember this feeling.” And then he leaned down and pressed his smoker lips on hers, in a brief kiss. She was forced to see the dark eyes of this man, close to hers. He looked right into her eyes. The sweet and tangy taste of apple going from his lips to hers. Ansley didn’t fight him, his knife still on her cheek.

When he pulled back, he smiled at her. She saw a scar just under his cheek bone, deep and ugly like a burn.

“Who sent you?” Ansley asked. And he smiled even brighter, and then he dug his blade into her face a little, blood dripping down. She winced, “Who?” She asked again. He put the blade in her left hand and the apple in her right, and walked out of the room.

Ansley stood there, staring at the back of the wall, where that man had stood. Her chair was empty and she walked to it and sat down. She wanted to cry, but didn’t. She tucked the knife into her pocket, touching it every couple of seconds to make sure it was still there, still real. The teacher walked in.

“Ansley! What’s happened to you?” She looked around the room, and back at Ansley who sat there, smiling at the apple.