Desolated

This is a short story based off of the recent releases of the three women held in captivity by Ariel Castro.

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1. Desolated

My head falls back and rests on the cold brick wall. I wrap my arms around my knees and pull them closer to me. I am cold.

I am eighteen. It is nearly four years since the incident. The tragic event that led to my kidnapping, capture, and now desolation. My teeth begin to chatter and I hug my knees tighter. The one afternoon that I decided to take a walk in the fresh summer air. That one afternoon that stripped me from my family. That one afternoon.

"Katie." I whisper. I want to ask her for a blanket, she knows where he hides them.

There is no response, and then I know where she has gone. She has gone with him. Not willingly of course, but because we have no choice. I squint my eyes and look across the room. Heather is sleeping. Curled next to her is the only child to be born from one of his sessions with us. All of the other times when we began to show signs of pregnancy, he would beat us, and kick us in the stomach. Soon enough, the symptoms would cease, and we knew we had had a miscarriage. At these points, I had actually been glad to have been rid of a child that he had fathered. I would not be the one to tell my child that its father was a rapist.

"Heather." I hiss. I watch her figure move, before she rubs her eyes.

"What is it, Livvy? What's wrong?" She speaks to me almost as if she's my mother. I feel a tear slide down my cheek. I miss my mother. "Why are you crying?" She is sitting in front of me now, and I can see the worry glistening in her eyes.

I open my mouth to speak, but I am interrupted by the sound of a bed moving upstairs, and then the sad whimpers of Katie. I shiver, causing Heather's attention to turn back to me.

"I'm cold." I mumble, almost guilty. Heather wears nothing more than shorts and a sweatshirt. Her legs are exposed and I can see the goosebumps.

"Hold." Heather stands and tiptoes to one corner of the room. I hear things moving before Heather returns, clutching something in her hand. "Here." She hands me an old rug.

Gratefully, I accept and thank Heather. She returns to her "bed" and lays next to Charlie, her son, again.

I, too, lie down and pull the dusty rug over my shivering body. I close my eyes and feel myself drifting off to sleep. My mind thinks of freedom, of seeing my mother again, my brother... Another tear slides down my cheek. My boyfriend. I wonder if he's forgotten about me. If he finally realized I wasn't worth his time and asked out Carrie, the prettier one. I pull the rug over my face, muffling my sobs. I want to go home. I don't want to be a part of his game anymore. I never asked for this, I don't--

Footsteps.

I stop crying immediately. I know that if he hears me, I will be beaten. I pull the rug down so I can see the staircase. Katie emerges and runs to the corner, where she always goes after spending her time with him. I hear her start to cry in the corner. I pray that she will stop, so he doesn't punish her. But she does not, and he takes no notice.

"Olivia." The simple sound of my name is enough to send me over. More tears flow, but I make them silent. I will not be heard. "Your time."

I rise and walk to the staircase. He waits at the top. He points down the hall. I know exactly where to go. I walk down the carpeted hallway, feeling better on my sock feet than the cold basement. I turn into a room and sit on the bed, the only piece of furniture in the room. I examine Katie's blood on the pillow. I cringe, but then collect myself when he enters the room. I will not give him any more reason to hurt me.

"Strip." Is all he says to me.

And I do.

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