Layla

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's a story that describes itself. If you want to see more short stories like this, please message me for any ideas. Writers block is hard to deal with and short stories are something I thrive better in because I can never complete a longer premise. So please, let me know if this is what you'd like to see more of.

Submitted: June 21, 2016

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Submitted: June 21, 2016

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Sometimes it’s easier to lose myself in another world. I often find myself forgetting who Layla is. Layla? Who’s Layla? I don’t feel like Layla at time like this. I am someone else. Layla is on the outside, underneath a brute force that she once considered a man. Layla didnt hesitate either, because fighting something that was inevitable was pointless. But whatever happened to Layla, it would hit me later. When I would re-enter her body and become Layla again, I could feel him. The imprints of his hands on her body and the heavy musk lingered on her skin. It was enough to make me sick. And in those moments, Layla and I aren’t two different people, we are the same person. I am Layla.

I haven’t left the basement in a couple days, and sunlight seemed like a luxury that I didn’t deserve. I was grateful for the stand up shower that was tucked away into a closet sized room, though. I would attempt to wash the filth off my body, but the water would sting my skin as it cascaded over my back. My dark hair would cling to my back as water invaded each strand. I could hear the thumping upstairs. He only came at night; 11:30 to be exact. That is when the rest of the household wouldn’t be disturbed. Though, I was safe for the time being. The clock had only indicated that it was 5:03; he was just getting off work. The clicking of the wife’s shoes could be heard throughout to whole house, and the scampering of their three children. Three; I have counted three sets of small feet. Three children of genders unknown to me, live in the same house as him. I pitied those children, more than I did my own fate.

6:34, the basement door had creaked open. The clicking revealed that the wife had been the one to come downstairs. She was a beautiful woman with short blonde hair and swing dresses that always bragged polka-dot. I never knew her name, or the man’s name. They never once spoke unless it was an order.

The woman put down a plate with scraps of pork and cold vegetables. This time, she smiled. It was a half-assed attempted, but at least she tried. She sat down at the table that had been placed in the basement, but it wasn’t for eating. The table was surrounded by many mirrors, and you’d think I’d get used to watching myself being bent over that old oak table into whatever position he seemed fit. The wife knew what he did to me, because he had offered her to join when she entered on accident one day. That was a few months ago, and I hadn’t seen her since.

The wife placed a cigarette in between her cherry coated lips. She flipped open the lighter, a small flame appeared, and she lit her tobacco stick. Smoke hadn’t arrived until she puckered her lips and blew out. The smoke made me cough as I bit into a fat scrap. The wife was quiet and watched me eat. I felt uncomfortable in my old burlap clothing. It was the only clothes I owned here and most days I didn’t bother since he’s have them removed at 11:30. My beauty couldn’t compare to this woman who had bared three children and still looked like a model you’d see in a magazine.

Finally, the wife spoke, “What’s your name?” I was shocked that she’d try to converse with me. “Layla,” I replied. The wife smiled and flicked her cigarette, letting the ashes fall to the concrete floor. “I’m Georgia.”

Georgia was the wife’s name. She stood, her white heels making those harsh clicking noises I had heard through the floorboards for years. She stood in front of me. Her mouth smelled of tobacco as she pulled her rosy lips up into a smile. “Do you want a better life?” For a woman that looked so bright, that seemed to be a stupid question. She nodded and all I could do was nod with her. This woman was losing her mind in front of me. Georgia threw her head back to give a big laugh, “Of course you do!”

She put the cigarette out on the table. The wife left, taking the plate with her. Before she completely exited the room, she looked back at me. “Tonight,” I didn’t know what she meant by that. I looked back at the clock, 7:02. Such a long time to wait for despair. I decided to crawl on the mattress where I claimed my bed. Curling up into a ball and crying myself to sleep would be the usual, but I didn’t have the energy to shed a tear tonight. I closed my eyes and drifted into dreams of smoke, cherry lips, and polka-dots.

I was awakened by a loud scream that came from upstairs. It was muffled by the thick floors, but I knew it had to be Georgia. I looked around at the clock; 11:32. I feared for what was happening to Georgia, but there was nothing I could do. 11:45, Georgia opened the door and dragged the body of a small boy. The boy had blonde hair like her and wore jeans and a red flannel. The man wore flannels; the boy looked like him. The boy’s blood smeared on the stares as she dragged him along. Georgia placed a satin gloved finger over her red stained lips. She placed the boy against the wall and grabbed my arm. “Stay put.” She placed me next to the lifeless boy, then left.

12:15, the police show up, I can hear their loud voices and their heavy footsteps. The basement door opened moments later. I can hear Georgia crying and sobbing, “I can’t find my daughter or my son, I can’t find them!” I closed my eyes again as the police carry me away and Georgia cries out my name. I could hear the police discussing the death of Howard, the man, and his three sons: Thomas, William and Luke. His daughter had been found in the basement beaten and raped. The police carried me away to the ambulance. Georgia followed their flanks and climbed in with me. As soon as the doors were shut, Georgia whispered softly in my ear. “Trust me.” Those words haunted me to my day’s end.


© Copyright 2017 Kay Darkhart . All rights reserved.

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