Authors: Zureika Willow
Taken: Against My Will
Taken: Against My Will
Copyright © 2014 Zureika Willow
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be copied, shared, or reproduced in any form whatsoever, without written permission from the author.
The following story contains mature themes and is intended for adult readers.
The crash of a vase sounded as glass shattered against the dingy grey wall of the apartment. A young boy crouched under the dining table, cowering with fright. He held his head in his hands, rocking back and forth. His sobs caught in her throat as he tried desperately to stay quiet.
“Stop crying you whiney little sod!” his step mother screeched as she raised the wine bottle to her mouth taking a long swig before wiping droplets from her chin with the back of her hand. She was a grotesque woman with lank, greasy black hair and skin so pale it looked as though she had never seen the sun.
It was dark outside and Tristen’s father had yet to return from work. His tiny mind thought of nothing but watching his father appear through the front door, ending the torture that was constant when he was not around. It was the same thing that he longed for every single day. Every day it seemed to be longer that he waited. His world revolved around two things; the torture his step mother inflicted and the lifestyle of his father.
“Get out from under the table!” she screeched as she crouched down and grabbed for him. He receded deeper under the table, trembling away from her bony fingers that were stained yellow from all the cigarettes she smoked. His head hurt where she had already slapped him around and he constantly waited for the next blow. The tell-tale bruises and scrapes of previous beatings ran up and down his body hidden beneath his clothes. His step mother was clever. She was clever enough to hit him only where others wouldn’t see and clever enough to make up stories of how he had come to be bruised and bumped whenever someone did notice something. Even his father was distracted by her sweet smile and fluttering eyelashes. The fact that his father seemed to love the hideous beast that was his wife only made the wounds even more painful.
The acid stench of alcohol made Tristen feel nauseous. It came off his step mother in rapid waves. His nervous stomach was unable to handle the stench and he found himself swallowing bile. He knew from previous experience that if he threw up she would only beat him more.
He longed to hear the sound of someone knocking at the door or even a phone call; anything that would get her attention off him. From his past beatings he remembered that they were the only things that postponed his agony.
His hiding was over then. She’d caught him with her talons of crimson red. The wine bottle smashed on the ground sending splintering glass and red wine all over him as she grabbed him with both hands. Blood beaded where the glass pierced his infant soft skin. Her fingers were a bruising pressure on his upper arms as she ragged him from under the table, bumping his head against the wooden leg. He screeched and fought to pull away but his tiny frame was nothing compared to her strength and it wasn’t long before she had him fully in her grip. He squealed in vain as she threw him against the wall. His elbow stung as it collided with the wall and he clutched it in pain.
“Get me another bottle!” she ordered adding as she pointed at the broken bottle on the floor, “This is all your fault.”
Whimpering and clutching his arms he headed toward the wine rack. It was his most visited place in the whole apartment. Even being so young he knew if he’d opened the fridge there would be nothing inside. His step mother cared for nothing but booze, sex and abuse. She’d married his father for his security and the good money he earned. In turn it had caused the loss of Tristen’s security and now every day he feared for his life. He no longer remembered the loving touch of his mother who had left two years before when he’d only been five. Instead the only interaction he ever got was a back handed slap across his back or a kick across the buttocks when he wasn’t moving fast enough for his step mother’s taste. He was like her very own slave; collecting wine bottles from the wine rack or fetching her lighter for her next smoke.
As soon as he gripped the neck of a bottle in his hand his step mother ordered, “Open it!” Tristen tried desperately to twist the screw top off but it was no use. With every bottle he tried, he seemed to grow less likely to be able to open it. His little hands were just too weak. He could feel his step mother growing closer. That’s when he felt her hand slam into his back. He reeled forward into the wine rack. Blood bubbled from a cut on his forehead as he cried out in pain, falling to the floor. His step mother towered over him with an animalistic grimace on her face. In that moment he longed for it to be over. There was only so much his fragile body could take. He longed for her to beat him into unconsciousness so that he no longer had to feel the pain. It never came to that. He was never lucky enough for that.
Vicky poured over the pictures and paperwork in front of her. The glass of wine clasped in her hand did nothing to help the pain in her cheek where the finger marks were still violent red. She struggled to focus on the writing in front of her through the tears that beaded in her bloodshot eyes. She needed something to focus on. She had to channel her anger and stress into something. She couldn’t help herself but she had to help the women who had had so much injustice in their lives.
Looking at the photos of the battered and beaten women in front of her that were the victims of one of the most chased rapist’s in the city, she wondered how they might see her. Would they count her among their number if they knew the abuse she went through daily? Would they tell her she could not do her job because she could not even protect herself? The thoughts made her even more determined to catch the scumbag she’d been after for almost three years. There were twelve victims so far and Vicky couldn’t help but wonder how many more women would become victimised while she pondered on how to find the bastard. She felt helpless as she thought about it. She thought of the pain that she felt every time her husband even raised a hand to her. She couldn’t imagine just how tortured and abused these women felt. The women stared at her from the pictures making her tears swell and fall down her cheeks.
The slamming on the door started up like it did every night. Ian’s voice slurred from the other side of the door,
“Vicky let me in! This is my bedroom too you know.” Vicky flinched as his knuckles made the door rattle on its hinges. The same thing happened every night. She’d return home late after a hard day at the station where the stress of her work would be lost to his anger. He’d shout and rage about her work taking priority above him and how she was never around to cook and clean for him. His shouting would turn into fists and the fists would connect with her ribs and face. She’d lock herself in their bedroom and set to work again while he drank himself silly in front of a football game or whatever he liked to watch. Then when he grew tired he would bang on the door determined to get inside and hit her again before climbing into bed. As the beatings had grown worse she had refused to let him inside. He’d retire to the sofa where he’d fall into a drunken stupor until the morning when she’d unlock the bedroom door and run to the en-suite where she’d lock herself in again and shower until she heard him leaving for work.
Vicky blocked out his voice which she was growing good at while she read through report after report on her case. Taking a large gulp of wine, she pushed back her chair with the back of her knees and headed for the bathroom. Closing the door, she turned on the tap, finding relief in the fact that it blocked out most of Ian’s yelling. Rolling up the sleeves of her blouse, she splashed water on her face before looking in the mirror. As her makeup was washed from her face she began to see the bruising more clearly. The suitcases under her eyes were not just from sleepless nights. They were sore and uncomfortable compared to the singing sting of her cheek. Her bloodshot eyes stood out red against the black and blue bruises on her pale skin. Her appearance reminded her of the dead bodies she often saw in the morgue. They were the bodies of battered people who had been tortured and abused before finally receiving the blows that killed them. Sometimes Vicky wished she was the one lying on the morgue slab. She knew it would be the only way she would ever get out of her abusive relationship. She had broached the subject of a divorce to her husband onto to receive a burning iron to the back of her forearm and an ironing board thrown across the room.
After a few more minutes of washing her face, she turned off the tap and listened intently for Ian’s screeching. It was finally over. She could climb into bed for yet another sleepless night while she waited for her sprint to the bathroom after unlocking the bedroom door.
Heading back into the bedroom she removed her clothes, pulled on some pyjamas and turned off the lamp on the desk before climbing into bed. The room felt dark and empty as she listened to the TV blaring in the next room. Every time she heard Ian move or cough she flinched. She wondered how long it would be before she finally ended up like the victims she saw every day. She wondered how long it would be before he finally caved her head in and left her for dead. Who would be around to give her justice when it finally happened?
That night she lay awake thinking of the handgun in the top drawer of her desk. She thought of tilting the barrel to her temple and pulling the trigger. Then she thought of all the people who would suffer if she became the coward and killed herself. She thought of all the victims who would never get their justice if she let herself give up. It was something she could never do.
Sometime during the early hours of the morning she finally drifted off to sleep as the birds in the tree outside her window began to sing. The relief of her unconsciousness didn’t last long however. Her sleep was not deep enough and she jumped into wakefulness as she heard Ian stumbling around in the living room. Moments later the banging returned. Her head throbbed with pain as she grabbed some clean clothes from her dresser and threw them into the bathroom. After grabbing everything she thought she needed, she took a deep breath and unlocked the bedroom door. Even before the lock had turned all the way she was charging for the bathroom at full speed. That’s when her toe connected with the table at the end of the bed. Pain shot from under her toenail and up her leg to her knee. She tumbled to the floor crying out in pain.
The bedroom door flung open and Ian stood in the doorway. Vicky desperately tried to pull herself toward the bathroom on all fours. She was like a wounded animal. Her heart skipped a beat as she felt fingers roughly grip her hair. Clumps were pulled painfully from her scalp as Ian ragged her to her feet.
“I’ve had enough of this!” he screeched at her. The alcohol stench of his breath burned the back of Vicky’s nostrils as she gripped hold of his hand with both of hers trying to ease the pain.
“Ian, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. I love you. Just please let me go!” she begged.
“Are you raising your voice to me?” he demanded. Vicky knew it was coming before it even happened. She forced herself not to flinch against his rage as his hand raised and his knuckles connected with her ribs. She keeled backward as he released her hair. Choking breathless sobs escaped her as she hit the wall and slumped to the ground. Tears stained her cheeks as she clutched her stomach pulling herself into a ball, trying to make herself a smaller target.
Choking relief overcame her as he let out a yell that was almost like the growl of an animal and headed into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. Her relief only lasted a few moments as the door swung open again. Her clothes were thrown in her face as Ian yelled, “Get dressed and get the hell to work before I kick your ass into next week.” Vicky quickly gathered her things and hurried to the bathroom that attached to the living room of their small apartment.
The first thing she did was lock the door. It had become her biggest habit. No matter what room she was in she always kept the door locked. It was her one security. It was the one thing she knew would keep her safe from her husband. As she did so she thought of the irony. Surely it was her husband who was supposed to give her the security she needed. Instead she needed something to protect her from him.
The room was clogged with steam when Vicky finally climbed out of the shower. She had heard the front door of the apartment slamming ten minutes before but hadn’t been able to pluck up the courage to get out of the cubicle. The water that had cascaded down her body was soothing and eased the pain on her scalp.
It took her over five minutes of applying concealer and foundation to finally cover the bruising on her face. Even as she looked at herself she wasn’t completely satisfied but when she looked at the clock above the toilet she realized she didn’t have time. It was 8:52am. She was going to be late for work if she didn’t hurry. She applied some mascara and hurried to get dressed before heading into the bedroom and stuffing all her paperwork into her briefcase before charging out of the apartment. Locking the door, she hurried down the four flights of stairs that would take her to the car park.