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Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
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She had a friend.

This writing contains explicit content and is only for adults. You have been warned.

Very Graphic! You have been warned!

      Little Selena Gomez weighed no more than fifty pounds and at six years old she had seen enough violence – had experienced enough beatings – to understand the meaning of hatred and evil, and unlike all those happy children on television she knew the meaning of torture the same as she knew hunger and the smell of Tequila and cigarette smoke. It was the other things she knew too that darkened her little soul: the late night touches, the forced confinement, the fear of the dark closet where for hours upon end she went without water and food, content to be locked away if only it didn’t bring daddy in with his belt and his sticks and his horrible boots that had permanently scarred her bottom, making the simple act of sitting impossible.

     But also too, she hated the horrible things that went on in the bathtub, things that left her terrified, filling her with shame and guilt and ugliness, and up in her mind, if only to battle the terror, she went off to faraway places over the rainbow, trying her hardest to escape the scalding water, the rough dish scrubbers scraping layers of skin away, exposing flesh and blood. The soap, the lather, it filled her cuts and scrapes, driving her to agony of the worst kind, and like an endless nightmare her screams and cries only fuelled more terrible beatings, running her little body over with black and blue bruises. Like a raw work of art – some demented sculpture – her little frame was riddled with cuts, welts, scrapes and scars; the light of a different kind; one of misery and despair and anguish and hatred.

     While she sobbed in agony she would hear daddy on the phone talking to strangers about selling her for the night, laughing in his drunken voice, telling them that if they paid enough they never had to bring her home, that she could just disappear and that the world would be better off! And before she could stand – rise out of the hot water to cool off for just a little bit, a heavy fist would come down on her back, her ribs, arms and legs, like a beast ravaging her, sending her back into the hot water, her only reprieve to lay flat, trading the hot water for nasty fists! It was in these moments where her loudest and most terrifying screams went unanswered, bringing her images of mother, her face filled with sorrow, red eyes bruised and blackened, hair all a mess, thin frame shivering, begging it to stop.

     It was a real life living nightmare. She always thought about running away, but where would she go? And even though she stopped believing in God a long time ago, she still to this very day wished He would turn her into a bird so she could fly faraway and never come back. She found the most clever places to hide too – places that the small house might never offer someone who did not know true terror intimately. She found the hiding place inside the couch cushions and was beginning to truly take to the idea until daddy sat on her. And when he felt her moving and squirming beneath him – when he heard her screaming at the top of her lungs, he simply laid down, enjoying the sounds of her pain and fright; thriving on it! Her daily routine consisted of hiding, running, crying, screaming and then more beatings and more hiding.

     She knew every inch of the one bedroom house from the roof to the kitchen to the removable wall panels in the back porch where the spiders lived, where she would not dare for what daddy said, ‘Keep hiding in there, the black widows will get you and kill you, and then I’ll be free of your stupid ass!’ She was taking to the stove bottom until daddy turned it on, forcing her out in a flash. She hid behind doors and under beds and deep in the cupboards until daddy scoured the house for her. And when he found her, her little pleas, her instant cries – her hands up to defend herself were little more than paper to him as he bashed at her skull and ran his hands up her skirt with fingers and fingernails, a bloody savage monstrosity rushing out to get her.

     Little did he know, that, in the coolest hours of the night, while dead to the world, breath stinking of shit, cheap alcohol and cheaper cigarettes, little Selena stood over him, knife in hand, running it along his neck, trying to muster all the courage in the world to just shove him through the eyes, maybe the neck, the chest, where the heart was. And then she would be free of him, her daddy, the most horrible person she ever knew. She wished she could turn into a ghost and haunt him, throw things at him, cause him pain in his most private spots, those same places where he caused her pain so many times. She wished she could turn into a wolf so she could eat him and spit him out in the fire and pee on him. And there it was, the cool glinting blade – fingers wrapped tightly around it, holding it tight against his throat, wanting desperately to end him right there, but for a warning that broke her back into this world.

     She had seen it in movies, where the person died instantly and that thought drove her little hands to clutch the knife so very tight, heart pounding like a mad melody, the silence shattered by daddy’s terrible snoring, his awful grumbling and moaning in his sleep. But she had overheard father Donovan too, speaking of such things, telling his story to sister Armateo, ‘It’s not like the movies, you know...where a person dies instantly.’ And peeking out from around the corner, she saw it on his face too, those eyes, so truthful and kind and just, speaking about murder, of the savage atrocity man is capable of, ‘No...nothing like that at all,’ a look of caution and something horrible washing over him, ‘I saw him still fighting back. They must have stabbed him six or seven times, but there he was, fighting back.’ It was then that she seen his eyes, that awful thing that rises when someone witnesses something truly terrible and frightening. ‘He died later that night.’ A long silence, ‘Tough kid.’

     Up in her little mind she was a ghost to the world, a simple traumatized creature stuck in the body of a human being. A weak and down trodden one at that. She learned about souls from church where father dragged her every Sunday, forcing her to confess crimes she hadn’t even committed; those crimes that he always accused her of which had to do with crawling into his bed in the middle of the night and doing things to him – horrible bad things which she would never do. No. It was him who should be confessing. It was him who dragged her into his bed. It was him who did those horrible things to her. And not once did he ever confess. And even though she didn’t like God for leaving her alone with him for so long – for not answering her prayers, she knew that He knew all the terrible things daddy did!

    And even at six – soon to be seven – Selena knew why mother did it. Why she hung herself in the bathroom. And she thought of doing that same thing. Anything to escape daddy’s horrible ways, his hard fists, his bad touches, his decent manner in the face of all other people, smiling, being kind, showing good manners whenever they were in the midst of people, showing his good side; the good side she knew was fake. And he always talked so proudly of her to others, ‘ beautiful baby...! She reminds me of her mother in so many ways. Look at her...she’s so terribly lonely still. Always moping around. So sad. I don’t know what to do.’ And in his eyes he was very tricky, fooling everyone else. And she would walk away absolutely disgusted as he carried on, ‘Poor thing is always getting into fights with boys, always coming home with bruises and scrapes.’ And he would smile, ‘She’s a fighter though. Never gives up!’

     If the world only would see that she had no more fight left in her. Whatever fight she did have – whatever resilience she was born with, he had beaten out of her long ago. Whatever fate she did have, it was not meant to be a fairytale, not meant to be filled with colour and beauty and laughter and joy, no... She knew the full extent of man, his evil ways, his dark torrent affairs behind closed doors, his secrets, those vile and disgusting motives that compelled him to no end, his drive and his savagery. And the moment they would arrive home from church, it would begin all over again. “Strip!” And she would, from that moment on do everything naked as the day she came into the world. And the beatings he would save til after darkness fell, when his daily dose of Tequila and cigarettes would fuel his demon. And that was her life. And every moment of every day she wished for death.

     It was then, only a couple days from her seventh birthday that the greatest idea she ever had came to her like a little light bulb turning on lighting up the darkness, forcing all the shadow creatures back to where they came from. It was the rope. She had found it in the alley only two nights ago. And the small stool daddy used was like a little altar too, just waiting to bless her with a better life. And then there was the closet: dark and closed tight where nobody could stop her. And like that the idea raced out at her like a beautiful fairy, seeming to say with a thoughtful finger tapping against her chin ‘You can use the bar in daddy’s closet. It’s easy! All you have to do is tie a knot around it, and then place the rope around your neck! And then you can just step off the little stool. See? Easy!’

     And like a slap across the face a terrible memory surfaced, taking her back to last year’s birthday, back to daddy’s special surprise – which was no longer a surprise – which was more like evil – like the boogeyman entering her, thrusting itself deep inside her, clawing at her, pulling her hair, causing her shame to grow mighty teeth and swallow her whole, sending her off in fits of agony and tears, screaming, screaming, lost to the world, all alone, helpless in the darkness with a monster on top of her, doing bad and evil things to her.

      It was then and there she made up her mind. And daddy would not get to give her his special surprise. He would not be able to touch her ever again. And God – even though she did not believe in Him – would send him to a bad, bad place to live with the monsters, so they could gobble him up and show him why he should not have done all those terrible things to her. And that thought alone drew but the tiniest smile from her lips, where all the muscles in her face seemed to flex if only for a moment, coming out awkward and difficult.

    It would be tomorrow night – her seventh birthday – that Daddy would come home and begin his torture. And tonight she could not do it because he was still home, drinking, smoking, talking nasty to nasty women and nasty men, saying despicable things, perverse things, all the things he wanted to do to them, and all the things he wanted them to do to him. Horrible, bad, terrible nasty things! Yucky things! And as soon as he fell asleep she would go and take the little foot stool from beneath his feet and bring it to the closet. The rope was already there, tucked away beneath a pile of dirty clothes, safe and ready, just waiting for the next character to join the awful little play that she was about to take part in. And she was ready. Nothing could stop her. Not even God – even though she did not believe in Him.

     Like a patient Beetle she waited and waited, playing the good little girl, making him dinner which consisted of sausages and baked potatoes and bread with thick slabs of margarine spread over them. And she did not have to be asked to take her clothes off. She did that all by herself. And she didn’t flinch when daddy pawed at her, when he made her sit upon his lap, when he blew the awful cigarette smoke into her face. And she leaned into him, wrapping his arms around her, placing his hands, enticing him ever more, taking a shot of Tequila herself, baiting him into her trap that he might not beat her, but simply join her with a good long slug of his own. And like a little monster, she took puffs of his cigarette and blew it back into his face. And he liked it, the demon. And right then and there she could almost see horns grow on the top his head, and certainly she felt one grow between his legs.

     And after a long while at playing out her escape, daddy’s arms wrapped about her good and snug, his terrible breath, like a cocktail of nastiness – blending with her own Tequila fuelled blood – a world of dizziness rushed out at her, the alcohol stealing her to confusion and a horrible stupor. Still she tried her best to function, not forgetting her plan: to go home to mother, to go and have a word with God, maybe tell Him how bad he was if he could just let all that happen to her and not even come and save her from such a horrible life. The cool of the night, and an empty belly stole the warmth from her body, cooling her skin, but it was the alcohol which staved off any doubt, washing away any fear that might come and stop her from executing the perfect plan.

     In a few simple steps it was all ready, waiting, watching, tickling her to the first good feelings she had since she could ever remember, like being close to her one last time. One more special ingredient to the whole plan, a secret, her best kept secret: all the little drawings she drew in black and red. All the little bad things daddy ever did to her, the drawings depicting her as a tiny stick figure, in the tub. And she drew daddy with his clothes on, her little stick figure of him wearing baggy clothes and her wearing none, getting the anatomy as best she could while she washed the dishes, while daddy drank, his eyes like little spirals telling of his drunken ways, his pants open and his penis out and her crying as he lied on top of her, the tears thick and black, pooling on the floor, her body riddled with the red crayon, like all the blood that ever flowed out of her. And she hid these under the all the clothes, the whole pile of them: dozens of horrible images, drawn with the skill of a little girl’s awkward hands and fingers.

     And she was ready, the little stool beneath her feet, the rope around her neck, the alcohol in her blood telling her that everything was going to be alright and that daddy could never be horrible to her ever again. One last tug on the rope said that it would hold. And in those last moments of life she heard a door creaking open. She heard footsteps entering the house quietly, walking right up to where daddy lay on the couch. And then she heard daddy yell, as though startled awake from a bad dream; only this was real! It was then she heard a voice. Somebody she thought she knew, a boy’s voice! Daddy stood up yelling in Spanish! “You little motherfucker! Come into my house! Pointing a gun at me! Why I outta...” In that moment she jumped as the blast echoed through the house, rushing a wall of blood through her heart, causing her to scream!

     Daddy fell, his rage suddenly turning to pleas, begging for his life, begging for mercy when another shot rang out, causing him to groan and scream terribly! Whoever it was, had just entered the room, coming to the closet and was now – this very second – standing just outside not two feet away! A robber coming to finish her off too, so she couldn’t tell nobody, so she couldn’t tell the police what happened! She breathed deep, bracing for it, the final moment of her life coming back to her through memories of darkness and pain and torture, one foot tip-toeing off the stool, dangling in mid air, soon to be followed by the rest of her. For the first time tonight did she feel a sudden gust of fear, causing her to hesitate. In that moment the closet door flung open and she drew herself off the stool!

     At ten years old Emanuel Garcia was a good little thief. And that he had grown up poor and abused himself, he knew a bad person when he saw one. And the short, chubby, hairy little man, Jorge Gomez was a bad man! He fooled everyone else but Emanuel saw right through him. A young boy, he was clever too, catching the bus far to the other side of the city, which took him the whole day, dropping him at night in the cover of darkness, setting his little heart to life, stoking those poor poverty stricken flames of his soul back to life with the sight of huge mansions, hidden away behind high fences where cars lined the driveways, where rich people with full fridges slept on silk sheets beneath plush goose down blankets, where huge televisions hung on walls, where drawers filled with jewellery – his favourite – were hidden somewhere in the bedroom next to bills of cold hard cash.

     It was only three months ago that he had found the camcorder, and little did he know that it would be his one true meaningful score, above all the jewellery, above all the cash and above all the things he returned home with which had real good true value that he could sell off to feed his crippled mother. And since he was all alone, the only care-giver she had – since her own family never gave a damn about her, his life consisted of breaking into people’s homes, like a real true life Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, which in this case, was to put food on his mother’s plate and keep the bills paid, since her own income was no more. And sometimes when he questioned his moral fiber on such matters of theft and peddling drugs, she would say to him that it was God’s way of providing in a world where man did not care, where he was only comfortable with himself and his own.

     And like that, after all the bills were paid at the end of every week, after he had made the fences enough money selling them silver bracelets, gold necklaces and diamond rings, and after he bought more Heroin and more Crack cocaine, and after proving himself a man not to be trifled with – a man who would kill at the slightest sense of danger, he would find his way back home through the ghetto, back to his little house deep in the slum districts. It was then, after he fixed mother a late night dinner, shoot her up with Heroin and let her fall asleep that he broke out the camcorder and stuck it through the window just enough not to be noticed, where he heard the screams across the way; where he heard every day and every night, the little girl begging for it to stop. Her screams lit something up inside his heart. Something dangerous.

     Emanuel, very bright, so very organized for ten years old – and so knowledgeable, he had quite the collection of her terror! A hundred days, a hundred beatings, a hundred terrible things, thousands of screams, thousands of whacks with everything from fists, to palms to broom handles, belts and anything he could get his hands on. And lately...something fierce broke out of his little heart and into the world. And that something was more than just feelings of dread and sympathy. Those feelings were of pure hatred. And what kind of man could do that to his only child? He thought to himself. Emanuel knew evil when he saw it. And Jorge Gomez was as evil as they come. He belonged on his knees in Hell, begging for his life, begging his heart out for forgiveness, for the dark creatures – the demons and ghouls to stop licking him and tearing at his flesh, for the fires to be put out and his blistering body to be healed.

      And if one thing was certain right this very minute while mother nodded off to her very own world of euphoria – the Heroin coursing through her body, incapacitating her, it was that – very simply, if he did not do something, nobody would; not the police and not the neighbours. And like that, when the little house next door quieted down, when no more movement could be heard, when the television turned off and the lights went out but for a single light in the bedroom, he stole into the darkness, up the little steps and onto the porch, the gun loaded and cocked in his grip. Like that he found the door handle, gave a twist, and to his surprise it opened right up. He peeked inside. Nothing stirred. It was then that he could hear Jorge snoring away. Quickly and silently, he helped himself inside, little Selena nowhere to be seen.

     With both hands gripping the gun, he stole over the floor, the creaking sound beneath his feet coming in ominous and terrifying. It was caution that noise. The same as he had felt hundreds of times before while sneaking about in a house that was not his own, like his conscience telling him straight, ‘You be careful! This is not your home, Be quick and be quiet!’ He looked about while old Jorge slept, into the bathroom, into the kitchen and into the bedroom. No Selena. Maybe she ran away. That thought alone almost made him smile. With that he walked right up to Jorge, putting the gun directly into his eye while he slept. And with a quick jab to the forehead with the barrel of the gun, the man opened his eyes to a startle, sitting straight up with surprising speed.

     In his eyes was a look of shock and bewilderment, as if the last thing he ever expected to see was a gun pointing in his face. A moment of fear rode up in his eyes as his collective awareness – blocked and alcohol muddled – forced him to yell out, “You little motherfucker! Come into my house! Pointing a gun at me!” He made to stand up, “Why I outta...” Emanuel pulled the trigger, sending old Jorge back into his couch, rocking it with all his weight, smoke filling the room, adding to the stench of Jorge who smelled like a pig had just taken a bath in shit and rinsed his mouth with the remaining goop! A look of shock and terror entered his eyes as he gasped for breath, his screams and blood spilling from his chest causing him a great deal of fear, turning him quickly into a desperate coward. He began pleading for his life, begging mercy!

     From the room, past the bed, coming from the closet, he heard the scream. It was Selena! He rushed over carefully and cautiously, the gun still gripped in his hands, the old pig monster Jorge groaning behind him, squirming in his couch, rocking back and forth, slowly emptying away in the night. Reaching out, expecting to be taken right there, Emanuel flung open the door. In a moment that propelled him forward, he caught her before her little neck snapped. He didn’t let her fall. Didn’t let her do it! “Selena!” Her body twitched in his arms, recognizing at once just what was happening. And immediately she saw daddy on the couch bleeding, falling to the floor, clutching his chest, making horrible gurgling sounds. And right then and there, she did believe in God and Angels, and Emanuel from next door was her Angel.

     He took the rope from around her neck, and hauled her down carefully, her winded breaths coming in sharp, turning quickly to cries. Not cries of fear and agony and terror, but rather cries of relief – a certain dark delight as daddy clutched at the carpet, moaning; that he was now taken up by awful claws, being hauled slowly down into a world he never knew was waiting for him all along. Emanuel wrapped her up in a blanket, struggling to carry her over the threshold, out into the living room, where she stepped down, instantly taken by a savage wake, seeming to let loose from deep down in her soul. And she screamed and kicked daddy in the face, her cries and emotions taking over completely, “You sick bastard! How could you! How could do those things to me!” And she kicked him again, square in the face, pulling his hair, screaming into his face, biting his cheek, poking his eyes!

     Lost in the moment she slammed her little fists over him while he moaned! “You go home to Hell daddy! You go where the bad people go!” Stolen over by grief she reached out for the gun, letting the blanket fall to the floor, “You want to touch my cunt now! You want to fuck me now!” She beat him about the face with the gun over and over again, her cries absolutely unstoppable. Right then and there daddy pleaded with her, “No, baby! Don’t do it! I love you!” One hand holding his wounds, the other reaching out, he begged her, “Please don’t kill daddy! I’m sorry!” He screamed now, so terrified, hands shielding his face from the bullets he was about to receive! And like a tortured animal in a cage, she paced back and forth, enjoying his cries, wanting so to do terrible things to him right there while he was helpless. She didn’t.

     And now things went silent up in her ears, taken over by all the dreadful memories she had endured, daddy’s cries and his horrible moans, and his bloody hands seeming no more than a dream now that the pain, the torture, the anguish and fear stole over her brain. With that, to end the ugliness, to end it all right there, to find retribution, revenge, and justice, she aimed the gun at his chest and screamed, “You don’t know what love is daddy! You never knew! You’re a horrible, horrible person!” and she cried with waves of rage and power and some sort of wild thrill to have revenge on her side, in her corner, soothing her into that nowhere land that happens when all the world needs to know just what terrible things she suffered. And it was then that she thought of the drawings. All the little depictions of the things that went on inside their home after the doors closed and the lights went out.

     While he bled, while his breath was giving way, while his mind, body and soul succumbed to fear and desperation she walked straight back to the closet, reached under the pile of clothes, retrieved them and walked right back to where he lay, throwing them on the floor next to where he struggled to crawl to safety. And she let him know it, the thoughts in her mind coming to light, “Look at them!” She yelled down at him with a final kick to the face! “I’m going to show these to everyone that I know! The police are going to see these too! And God too is going to have a talk with you! And Satan too!” With that she looked him deep in the eyes, aimed the gun directly into his face, tears falling down her little face! “Goodbye daddy. I hate you!” The blast rang through the house causing a wild sharp pitch in her ears, and the smoking gun was like the best dream, somehow freeing her, somehow giving her something that she never believed in. Justice.

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