Kidnapped

You sit there in the room. Your knees are against your chest and your forehead rests on the exposed flesh; long tendrils of golden wheat locks fall forward and just barely brush against the carpet flooring. The small bit of light that comes from the candle on the side table catches on your greasy roots. You haven’t taken a shower yet; I haven’t let you because things aren’t ready for your movement around the house. I haven’t finished the downstairs. Of course, I’d cursed myself for this; I’d been too eager to bring you home and to have you with me. That’s OK, though. You’re understanding. You don’t fault me for this mishap.

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Jacoby

He didn’t understand what to do. Jacoby was at a loss for words, though his mind was on a never-ending marathon. One sentence racing right past the next.

This isn’t happening. I’m dreaming. Everyone’s lying. This is all a nightmare.

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Power

Note: This features topics of sexual child abuse and rape that may be triggering.

It was the small things that set off the memories; the tick, tick, ticking of the clock in the living room as the wooden pendulum swung back and forth, back and forth; the smell of peppermint gum on my friend’s breath, or of the candy cane I ate at Christmas; even the taste of the air in my house had vomit burning the back of my throat.

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Another

Mama was quiet. She was always quiet when she was angry, but this was the longest time yet. Two days. It had been two days since I last heard her voice. Papa would try to talk to her. He made her dinner, carried the groceries in from the car, cleaned the house; he did all the things he usually never did, but it still wasn’t enough.

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