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The Journal (Part 10)

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Zelda did something once everyone, especially me, vowed to never tell anyone, ever, but I don’t think it matters anymore. See, we had been sent to a week long camp to try to teach us about these things they call ‘manners’ and ‘behaving.’ We didn’t get it, and nothing they did could convince us that we should change our ways. We behave in school and we say “please” and “thank you.” Sure, we do pull pranks sometimes, we have elaborate plots to scare people who deserve it, and we’re extremely sarcastic when called for, but not to 99.99% of adults. Apparently that wasn’t good enough.

While there, we had the time after dinner and before bed to do whatever we wanted. That usually amounted to Zelda and I hanging out in our cabin. Well, one time we rigged another cabin with traps. We didn’t get caught for that. However, the others in our cabin knew it was us and were friends with the people in the cabin we rigged. So, they made a bet with us. If one of us survived sleeping outside in the woods for a night, then they wouldn’t tell on us.

Zelda volunteered.

I fell asleep a little anxious with a feeling that something was up, but it wasn’t until later that I was informed that something was slipped into my water bottle to make me sleep. When I woke up, it was before dawn. I left the cabin in search of her. When I found her, she was standing butt naked by a huge fire. I was glad I was the one to find her. I kept my eyes on the flames, knowing her views on simply changing in front of people let alone being naked in front of them, and gently touched her shoulder.

She didn’t move, simply said, “Hey, Sheik.”

“What happened?”

“They put something in my water to put me to sleep. When I woke up, I was naked except for my necklace. I was tied to the flag pole, SweeTart.” She paused. “They stole my clothes and wanted to humiliate me. So, I stole their clothes and set them on fire.”

I took Zelda to get clothes. We gathered rocks and wood. When the flame was basically non-existent, we made it look like a campfire we made overnight. We built up the flames again. Once that was done, she broke down crying.

When the councilors and girls woke up, we were roasting marshmallows. Everyone knew she did something with the clothes except for the councilors, but I was the only one who knew what. I promised never to tell anyone.

I just broke that promise, but that’s alright. I needed something to write about her. She’s strong, sure, but she also needs someone to be strong for her sometimes.

-----------------------------------------------

Don untied me and ordered me to stand up. Once standing in front of him, he ordered me to get on my knees. I told him to go screw himself. He proceeded to pull out a gun, point it squarely at my forehead, and say, very quietly and dangerously, “On your knees, SweeTart, or you die. You were right before. This will not effect Zelda. At least, not physically. However, I’m thinking about making her clean up the body and crime scene.”

He tilted his head, his eyes challenging. The image of Zelda cleaning my blood off the floor with tears streaming down her face is what sent me to my knees.

“Open your mouth.”
I obeyed.
“Close your eyes.”
I obeyed that, as well. I thought I knew what was going to follow.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.

--------------------------------------------

I’m in a blanket fort. I plan to write until I finish this next part, so it’s over and done with.

-----------------------------------

I felt something touch my tongue, and instantly recognized the distinct flavor of an orange tootsie pop. I opened my eyes. Don smiled at me, “For your comfort.” I was led to another room, bare except for some blankets and a door leading to a toilet. At least there was toilet paper. The door closed. The door locked. The lights went out.

Oh, come on.

I sat in the middle of the floor, my mind racing. I could hear nothing, so that means this room is probably sound proof. The tootsie pop was definitely working to keep me calm, but once that was gone, I’d be left alone in the dark. How long were they going to keep me here?

I finished the tootsie pop.

Then, I had nothing to do. The silence pressed against me more than the dark, until after an hour or two I was talking and singing. Things I said started to make absolutely no sense, and the songs I sang got more and more silly until I was making up words on the spot.

“So you see, I never loved you, like the turkey loves the clock cuckoo, and the jell-o loves the pudding, yet I’ll see you at the wedding, and we’ll say no way in each others arms, monkeys on our backs causing harm….”

After a while, I resorted to counting seconds. I got to 1111, wished I could be let out, and realized counting made time go by slower. Suddenly, light flared as the door opened. I flung myself away from it, eyes burning, and then I heard the distinct clicks of the door closing and locking. I opened my eyes. It was still dark. I made my way towards where I thought the door was.

Feeling along the floor, I touched a tray. It held food and water. Tasting the food, I recognized it as French fries and hot dogs. I ate it quickly, and then chugged the water.

I was full and hydrated, and that was enough to lull me to sleep.

When I woke up, it was still dark. I felt my way to the bathroom. Then, I sat in the middle of the floor again. I waited. The silence got to me quicker this time, and I started talking to Zelda as if she was there, asking her if she remembered this or that, and laughing at old jokes and memories. I soon resorted back to singing, going back to the same stupid song I was singing before.

“So you see, I never loved you, like the turkey loves the clock cuckoo, and the jell-o loves the pudding, yet I’ll see you at the wedding, and we’ll say no way in each others arms, monkeys on our backs causing harm….”

This time, I added more.

“Time will pass leeches will bite, they’ll give us blood out of spite, and things will change when the sun goes black, when tigers purr and butterflies attack, when the man will stay home, he’ll cook and clean all alone, the woman hunting to provide, enjoying it under cloudy skies, and like the jell-o loves the pudding, they’ll see each other at the wedding, saying no way in each other arms, with monkeys on their backs causing harm….”

Time passed. Then some more. The door opened again, the light burning my eyes worse than before. I found more food and water. I ate and drank. Then, I went back to singing and talking and reminiscing with my imaginary best friend.

Sometime, I fell asleep again.

When I woke up, I found food. I went to the bathroom. I talked. I sung.

I don’t know how many days passed, but it was enough. When they finally opened the door for good, I huddled in a corner, trying to get away from the light and any human contact.

If they were trying to break me down, I’m pretty sure it worked better than anything else would have.

-------------------------------------------

Mickey joined me in my blanket fort. He wanted to know what I was doing. I let him read the last part. He simply stared at me for a few minutes, making me a fidget, and then he smiled slightly and whispered, “Glad you’re back from the insanity, Sheik.”

I laughed. I couldn’t help it. The way he said it was so creepy and so not meant to be funny, it was just hilarious.

----------------------------------------

Zelda met my gaze, her eyes pained, “They didn’t just beat me, Sheik.”

We sat in the room they usually put us in, side-by-side with our backs against the wall, our knees pulled to our chest, and the door straight across the room. Zelda was looking much better than the last time I saw her, with mostly just bruises left. She already made me outline what happened, and I knew it well enough to tell her verbatim. Now, it was her turn. We weren’t looking at each other, and we didn’t have to worry about anyone listening. We were alone. They could probably still hear us, but oh well. We were alone.

“They didn’t really beat me at all.”

My fingers ran over my legs, the hair longer than it’s been in a long time. I’m surprised they haven’t made either of us shave. I mean; they have made us a shower. So, why not shave?

“It’s just…Don’s idea of kinky.”

My blood ran cold, and I found the forward I received one day slipping out of my mouth before I could stop it, before I could look up and see the door opening slowly, quietly.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me, so tie me u….”

Zelda’s hand fell over my mouth, and the rest of it went through my mind as I looked towards the door.

Up and smack my butt and tell me that you like me.

Standing in the doorway was the big, black man who gave me a lollipop. The one who gave Zelda her bruises. The one who runs this whole operation. The one who’s fault our fear and pain is. The one who had a creepy smile on his face. The one who was obviously planning something. The one who spoke, clearly.

“Well, that’s a relief. Good to know you’ll enjoy this.”

The one who picked me up as I kicked and screamed. The one who knocked Zelda aside as she tried to help me. The one who slammed me against a wall, and hit me until I stopped fighting and let him carry me down the hall. The one who threw me into a room covered in whips, chains, and anything else you can imagine. The one who smiled at the open fear covering my face and glowing from my eyes. The one who pulled me to my feet, turned me to face him, and whispered in my ear.

“Look at the things around us, SweeTart.”

I whimpered, my gaze not moving from his. I knew what was around us. The images were burned into my mind.

“You can choose one thing I won’t touch. The rest are fair game. Bloody Mary chose those, over there, since it’s a package deal.”

He pointed. I didn’t have to turn around to know what he was pointing at. It didn’t surprise me that Zelda didn’t want him to use anything to tie her down with. She likes to be able to fight. However, I’d rather he didn’t touch me at all, let alone with any of this, and whether I’m chained down or not doesn’t really matter to me.

I felt anger ripping through me suddenly as my mind ran over the things in the room again. He had used some of or possibly all of these on Zelda. These things Don uses as sex toys…these torture devices…were used on my best friend. I was suddenly so angry, I wanted to do anything to make him just as angry, to hurt his pride and his macho-man-ness.

Knowing he loved to see fear and see his prey squirm, I blanked my face as best I could using the anger and held his gaze.

“I’m not afraid of you. Do your worst.”

Well, I guess leaving me in the dark didn’t do much.

His eyes darkened, and he scowled, “Gladly.”

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Mickey held me in his arms as I cried. That scene flashed through my mind before I was even considering writing it. Once cried out, I wasn’t exhausted. I simply tucked my hair behind my ears, gave Mickey a smile, and picked up my pen again.

Mickey stopped me, “Sheik, please stop doing this to yourself.”

I looked up at him, my eyes gentle, “I have to. You have no idea how much I have to.”

See, I started writing it. If I just stop writing it, the images will still keep going through my head. Everything I’ve written down so far doesn’t haunt me now. I want it to be that way. I want the nightmares to stop. So, I’m not going to stop writing. I refuse to. I want this all written down, so there’s some hope that the nightmares will stop.

Mickey nodded, “Go ahead…but I can’t watch.” He stood up, his eyes and motions pained, and left the room. I didn’t hesitate. I just kept writing.

I’d talk to him when I was done.

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Some of the things Don has in the room were actual torture devices, but many of them were, in fact, just because that’s what he finds kinky. I’m still debating how far into this I want to go. We’ve talked about torture in class a few times, having discussions on the Iron Maiden, the Judas Cradle, and anything else brought up while reading a novel or story. However, people usually died from these, and most of it was physical meant to lead to death. I’m not sure how I feel about telling how I was tortured, more psychologically than physically.

I guess I won’t. I’m not really sure I want people knowing exactly what happened there, anyway. It’s almost personal, for some reason.

I’ll skip it, then, and go to when I was back in the room with just Zelda. I wasn’t as beat up as she had been, but I’m not sure who had it worse. How can you really tell, anyway? Different things are different levels of painful to different people. There’s no way to tell, no way at all.

Zelda gave me a hug. She didn’t say anything. I didn’t either. When she finally released me, we sat side by side. She examined my wrists, and then my neck. They were both bruised, both of them with the same pattern in the flesh. She ran her fingers over the bruises.

“What did you choose, then?”

“Nothing.”

She nodded. I don’t know if she was surprised, or simply didn’t care anymore. The patterns on my neck and wrists were from rope, simple rope. Zelda seemed to know this without having to ask. I was in long sleeves and long pants, fresh and clean. Zelda pushed the sleeves up. She ran her fingers over the bruises.

I sighed, “I’m fine, Zelda.”

She nodded, “Tell it to the judge, or at least someone who might believe you.”

I should’ve known she’d know better than to believe me.

Zelda looked at me, her eyes searching. I couldn’t meet her gaze, my eyes dropping. She knew something was off. Something was different. Eventually, one hand reached out and touched the center of my back. I winced. She lifted the back of my shirt, and gasped.

My skin was burned. I knew that. I had no idea what it looked like, but I knew it was burned. I wish it could be Simba and Nala, but it wasn’t. I wish it could be Mulan, but it wasn’t. That much I knew.

Still, I didn’t know what it was.
Zelda sighed and mumbled, “You’re going to love this, SweeTart.”
I had a feeling I wouldn’t.

She lightly traced what was burned into my back, and I began making a picture in my head. After a minute or two, I realized she had been being sarcastic. Why? I believe ninjas to be better than pirates.

“Skull and crossbones?” I asked, my heart sinking. Couldn’t it have been a ninja face and samurai swords or something?

“Yeah…”

I sighed. Zelda laughed, “It’s not that bad, Sheik. At least its not My Little Pony.”

I shrugged, “That’d be alright if they’d add a horn to it.”
“My Little Unicorn?”
“You know it.”

We fell silent. Her eyes closed. My eyes stayed open, locked on the door. After about ten minutes, Zelda randomly sat up straight as a board and opened her eyes wide, “Damnit!”

I stared at her, eyes open in shock and confusion. She turned to look at me, scowling, “I swear, if I don’t get to live out my dreams of using Sour Patch Kids to take over Candy Land, there will be hell to pay.”

I laughed. I couldn’t exactly help it. You’d laugh, too, if you were in this situation, and those words came out of the mouth of the person with you. She gasped and covered her mouth with one hand, as if she was offended, “I’m serious!”

“Seriously acting like a child,” I replied, still trying not to laugh, “and a seriously ugly one at that.”

“U-G-L-Y,” she started, a slight smile lighting her lips. I smiled back, and joined her as she continued, “You ain’t got no alibi, you ugly, yeah, yeah, you ugly.”

We rolled over laughing. The pain running across my skin was forgotten amongst the shallow joy of being with Zelda, just being us. I’m not sure what pain she was in, or even if she was in any pain at all. I just know that she seemed to be shallowly joyful, as well.

“Y-L-G-U,” I started.
She smiled, “You’re even ugly backwards too.”
“Don’t be sad.”
“Don’t be blue.”
Together, we screamed, “Frankenstein was ugly too!”

Zelda flicked my ear. I flicked her nose. We laughed. We laughed some more, random chants, cheers, sayings, and quotes flying from our mouths, reminding us of the humor we had before the night we pulled pranks on a sleepover.

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I’ve been writing for a long time. Oh well.
Do you want to buy a duck?
A what?
A duck?
You mean the duck that wanted the grapes?
No, the duck that wanted the glue.
That’s the same duck!
Are you sure?
Positive.
Prove it!
Hey! Do you have any grapes?



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AsIAmThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm:
This is really good!  I love the relationship between the two girls.
 
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