The Slum House

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Selim and her siblings suffer years of abuse at the hands of their mother, follow along as she discovers how far her mothers rage can go.

Submitted: August 05, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 05, 2016




BY Christa Nickum


  As I sit in this stupid therapist's office, i’m reminded of events i’m not proud of and wish to forget, especially on April 15th 2013.

“This is so stupid I’m not crazy I know what I saw and experienced and felt.”

“Well you can stay in denial or you can make progress here.”

“I told myself I would never speak of this again and yet here I am being forced to talk about once more and besides I don’t even know where to start.”

“Anything that you remember.”

“I suppose If I have to start anywhere I might as well start on the year of 2013, when everything happened.”

It’s not like everything was normal before 2013, no not at all, everything was always chaotic, especially when our parents were around. But things never got so bad where there were police involved, everyone screaming, and two missing little girls. Maybe it was god's will, maybe we were just an unlucky family, or maybe we were being tested by the government because we were poor, I don’t know why what happened to our family happened, but it did and i’m still trying to put all the pieces of what transpired in that house in my mind. Maybe today's the day where I make sense of it all. If not perhaps i’ll spend the rest of my life trying to figure it out.

September 5th 2013..


“I’m sorry! I was thirsty!”


Mother grabbed me by the hair and shoved me back in the room with the others while slamming the door behind me. I landed right on top of Chrissy so I quickly got up because I did not want to be responsible for an ornery Chrissy. I crawled in my palle and  lay there right next to Emily and tried not to wake her while I tucked myself in.

“Selim? Where did you go? Did you get in trouble again?”

‘Well, trying not to wake her obviously failed’. I thought.

“Yeah. I was thirsty so I tried to go get a cup of water, but it didn’t work out.”

“Selim, you know we're not aloud to go get anything at night! Do you have a death wish?!”

“Shh keep your voice down everyone's asleep!”

“Anyways, I know, but I was real thirsty; why are you up anyways?”

“Mom’s yelling woke me up again.”

“Oh, Sorry about that Emily.”

“You just like pushing her buttons, don’t ya.“

“No, this time I honestly was just really thirsty.”

I heard her heave a heavy sigh. She knew I hated when she did that.

“Whatever, Let's just go to sleep.“ I said.

“Ok. Night.”

I turned over and prayed that tomorrow would be a good day.


My name is Selim, kind of like the name Celine but with an “S”. I’m thirteen years old and have long brown hair with blue eyes with glasses. I’m one of the many people on this earth that are very poor and unlucky. We have two people in our house that are working and we are still having trouble making ends meet. I have six other siblings, there's three boys and four girls. Lily is the youngest, she’s three, she’ll be four next month and she’s the cutest little kid you’ll ever see. She has trouble pronouncing the “R’s” which makes her even cuter. She follows me everywhere like a puppy. For some reason mother always dresses her in these really old stinky overalls we have. Lily has black hair and blue eyes but then again all of us have blue eyes accept Henry he’s got a green thing going on with his eyes. Lily is very small but Chrissy is small and chubby. Chrissys five year old and can talk as good as one would expect but real stubborn, the kinda kid that does not like vegetables. she’ll do what she’s told if ya give her a good push and possibly a bribe. She’s the little blonde who always wears red not by choice though. Mother insists we always put Lily in overalls and Chrissy in red for some reason, and to avoid getting hit we obey. Then there’s Terrance, the seventeen year old peacekeeper,he’ll do anything to stay on moms good side, and if that means one of us has to take a beating, he’d gladly hand one of us over. Terrance is tall with brown hair with blue eyes of course with a slender look. That being said, I hate Terrance, he’s a goody two shoes. Next is Emily, whose 12, She’s basically my twin. Everything I like, she likes. We read the same books, like the same boys at school, and both hate our mother, more me than her. Emily’s a tiny girl with light brown hair, oh Emily, I love her with all my heart,were very close. Then, lastly, there’s Henry, a defiant little fucker just like myself but with more of a temper. He’s about my size so about 5’5. He’s thirteen, but he’s never gotten beat by mother, he can get away with anything.  For some strange reason, mother never beats the boys, she only beats the girls. And last but not least is David, i’d probably like him if I saw him more than three seconds. He’s always at work so we never see him, he works all day and I mean all day and he doesn’t get home until late at night when everyone's asleep. Davids the tallest out of all of us and he’s athletically built I think he used to play football.  I swear, things are going to be different when I turn eighteen. There ain’t nothin that’s gonna hold me back from leaving. Even if I have to leave in the middle of the night.

We basically live in a trash can. It’s the shittiest house on the block. Someone is always robbing someone in this neighborhood. People tend to stay away from our house because of the smell. It’s pretty bad. And inside is even worse believe it or not. As soon as you walk in the smell hits ya, there's flies everywhere and the house is covered with beer bottles. Me and Emily usually get stuck picking up all of the trash around but every time we do the next day it’s the same. Mother never has her precious boys cleaning anything. Emily and I have to cook and clean everyday

when we get home from school. We only get to shower once a week so most of us stink and it’s awful because i’m a neat freak. I have to be clean and I’m not able to here. So while other girls are going shopping with their moms for new school clothes, i’m stuck here in this shit hole picking up after my mom who does nothing but drink, party, beat us, and sleep. There’s also nothing ever to do here. I have a fascination with lockpicking so I’m usually messing with my lock mother threw in the trash one day, so that’s how I usually occupy my time. One day when I was walking home from school I saw this small, silver object and picked it up, It was a lockpick, I started messing with it and I learned that The sound of hearing a lockpick against my lock  is soothing to me and it calms me.

September 12th 2013

School just started back up, thank Jesus. I can’t take too much of mother, I mean school sucks but it’s actually a bliss compared to being beaten. All summer long was hell on earth, mother would lock us up in the room and party until morning, then when the door unlocked we would have to pick up after her while she slept the day away and then partied the following night. The covers are yanked off me the following day.

“Huwwy selim! wakey uppy, we have to wake up or mama might get mad.”

“Ok Lily I’m up I’m up, come on Lily lets go brush our teeth and get dressed.”

I looked around and saw no one else was in there sleeping pallet so I took Lily into the bathroom to brush our teeth and to use the toilet. I would always go in with her because she was terrified to go by herself ever since mother became an alcoholic. I’m the one who usually takes care of Lily, mother doesn’t really acknowledge her and dads just cruel to her, there both cruel to all of us. I hate it here, I’m surprised no one has tried to run away yet because it can get pretty bad here.  

As were brushing our teeth I can hear shouting already this morning

“Hurry up! Hurry up and eat so you can all leave!”

Mother gives us only five minutes to eat breakfast each morning then kicks us out so she can party and do drugs with all her friends, that’s why the place is always so messy, god I don’t know where mother meets these lunatics. Mother doesn’t work but our dad does and he’s as useless as mom is. He goes to work everyday except the weekends and with him working you’d think we’d be doing ok but were not. We always seem poor, I mean we don’t even have beds! And we can only shower if the shower lets us! There’s never enough food, were always hungry, especially since we don’t get fed lunch. Mother just feeds us breakfast and dinner and technically it’s not even mother who feeds us, it’s usually me and Emily. We don’t just feed ourselves either we always feed the little ones plus Henry. You’d think since Terrance is the oldest that he would be doing the things that Emily and I do, but he’s very accident prone. I try to keep him away from anything he could use to hurt himself with. He maybe a good basketball player in school, but here if he gets near the stove he’ll kill us all. Me and Emily are only aloud to cook at all if everyone behaves the whole day. We also aren’t allowed any snacks ever. Mother’s excuse for that was “it’ll just make you fat”.

Mother was pacing back and forth looking around watching all of us while itching her arms like she had a mosquito bite or something. Me and Lily sat at the table and got bowls so we could have some cereal. While I was pouring our cereal I saw mother walking over to where I was and I just thought “please let today be a peaceful day, please don’t let her talk to me, just let me have a good day.” I filled me and Lily’s bowl up but mother stomped over to me and knocked my bowl out of my hand. Lily was eating while watching me but everyone else just kept eating. I didn’t want to start anything but she knows just how to push my buttons sometimes.

“Whoops, look what you did? Now pick it up” she said.

This was somehow different than before, usually mother had an actual reason to beat us. We would spill milk or I would hit Henry, Lily would punch Chrissy. But mother came and started this, it was like she was trying to find any excuse to start a fight. The thought of of that made my blood boil and I burst. I was so angry I couldn’t think straight

“Why are you so cruel to us?!“ I shouted.


I looked at Lily and she looked so confused. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything But I felt bad for starting trouble. Sometimes, our mother's anger takes a toll on me and I get so angry I can’t see straight. I am so tired of fighting this woman, so I obeyed and went to my room, but I was not happy to see that I had to stay home with the wicked witch of the west. I sat down and just stared out the window looking across the street at the neighbors. I could see old Mr. Ferg mowing his lawn. I loved Mr. Ferg, he was  the nicest old man you could ever meet. He used to babysit us before mom and dad started drinking. We never got to meet our grandparents thanks to mother so It was so nice having a nice old guy hang around and tell us funny stories. You see, before, when mother would get drunk she would just go out with friends and cause trouble, but now she just does it at home. She fired Mr. Ferg when he asked where one of us got a bruise on our arm. Even his old age didn’t excuse any of mothers dreadful behavior.


After that day Mr. Ferg just walked sadly across the street and would never babysit us again.

Mother hadn’t always been this way. She actually used to act like a normal mother believe it or not, she’d play ring around the rosey with me and Emily and ask how are day had been but that was even before Lily and Chrissy was born. I noticed mom started drinking right about the time our aunt Clair died, we didn’t know her very well though, we only visited once or twice. Were not aloud to visit any relatives because mother says that our place is always here.  

Meanwhile, dad's always been a drinker but never to the point where he would be so drunk he couldn’t stand. Lately he’s been drinking more and more, he used come home as early as six but now i’m not even up when he comes home. What’s strange is even though he can be as cruel as mother nowadays we do miss seeing our father as weird as that sounds.

After everyone got done eating there breakfast, mom hurried them out to wait for the bus .

“Um, bye mother.” Emily shyley said. Henry usually didn’t say goodbye to mother, probably to avoid any conflict.

“Bye my lovely”. She said to Henry ignoring Emily, she walked over to him and hugged and kissed his forehead. Henry looked at Emily with sympathy but she’s not one to hold a grudge so she just smiled and started walking towards the door. I knew it wasn’t Henry’s fault mother favored him, but occasionally I can’t help my envious glances towards him. I didn’t hate Henry, but I hated that he gets all the nice attention from mother. Henry is the only child mother doesn’t beat, in fact she lavishes him with gifts, mostly candy bars she buys from the store with the little extra money she takes from dad. All she asks in return is that he doesn’t share with us.

Mother always orders us to say goodbye to her even though she never acknowledges any of her girls. It’s like she wanted us to always acknowledge her for some strange reason. She also orders Emily and I to call her “mother”.

The door shut, but the house still isn't entirely empty, all that’s left is the two little ones my  Lily and Chrissy. They don’t go to school yet because they're too little, they could go to daycare but mother would never let anyone else take care of HER kids.“Chrissy take Lily into the living room and stay there, read a book or something I don’t care.

“Ok momma”

They went into the living room and Chrissy kept looking back to where their mother was headed.

Lily looked at Chrissy with an innocent face and asked

“Is mom going to kill Selim?”

“No she’s not gonna kill her she’s just gonna teach her a lesson ya know like she always does she’s taught all of us lessons before remember?”

Lily looked down at her leg and rubbed the old bruise that was there from a couple weeks back from when mother had caught her trying steal a candy bar out of a store and for that she had to take a beating with the belt that lasted five minutes.

Mother entered the room quickly and shut the door behind her, she had a white night gown on, and her hair was still messy, she had a drink in one hand and a belt in the other. I was still sitting on a night pallet and turned to her. As I looked away from the window she marched over to me and pulled my hair back and yanked me towards her.


She threw me on the floor and beat me with the belt, with each whipping she shouted “YOU’LL NEVER TALK BACK LIKE THAT TO ME”.

She doesn’t always choose me to vent her anger out on but this time was different she was actually using the buckle on me and it hurt like hell. When she was done she took a breathe and left the room but not before she said

“Stay in here, I don’t wanna see your face for the rest of the night”.

I guess that meant no food for me again today, damn, i’m always the one who talks back so i’m always the one who gets the roughest treatment i don’t know how the others can sit there and just obey cause I sure can’t

“Now Henry you know you won’t get into any trouble by telling us the truth and we can help you. Henry sat there motionless, didn’t say a word, just looked at the ground.

“Can I go now? am i in trouble”

No, your not in trouble, and no you can't go yet we just wanna make sure you and your siblings aren't being hurt in any way

“Mom doesn't hurt us, we just get time out.”

The teacher looked at him, frowning

“Alright Henry send your sister Emily in next.”

The teachers knew, everyone knew they’d scene the bruises, the black eyes, the way we’d walk funny on some days, the teachers always tried to get the truth out of one of us but they would never betray their dear mother, no matter how much she beat them, they were her loyal dogs.

“Hey Henry where’s that dumb sister of yours? she get “sick” again? pathetic”

God I hate this kid, thought Henry. The only one who didn’t get picked on in school was me because I threw punches at anyone who picked on me or my family.

“She sure loves to play sick and do whatever she wants doesn’t she.”

 “Can’t you just leave me alone for once?”

Henry was so sick of this kid Billy bullying him whenever I didn’t go to school.

“Why don’t you make me wuss?”

Billy finally pushed Henry and this time Henry didn’t just take it he turned around and a fight broke out. This always happens Henry would obey his mother but that doesn’t mean he would obey some bully at school. Henry took most of the blows but he got a few good punches in.

“Henry, i’m gonna have to call your parents about this”.

Henry’s eyes suddenly got wide with fear.

“‘No please! I don’t wanna get into trouble”.

The teacher gave him a concerning look.

“Is there anything going on at home that makes you scared?”

“No you just don’t understand teach he started it”

“Henry you left a bruise on the poor boy”

Henry left the principal's office disappointed of course and he was a little nervous going home.

Sometimes I really wish people knew what the hell was going on at home but I could never tell. If i told someone and then we all ended up with different families that would be a fate worse than death. If taking beatings is what it takes to keep our family together then i’m willing to make that sacrifice. Hours had past since mother had given me the belt and I got incredibly bored. I was just laying there and occasionally looking out the window until I heard loud stomps coming from the living room and smashing sounds like she’s drinking and throwing bottles i heard a little voice asking a question, but I couldn’t tell which little one was talking


I then heard screams it was then that I was actually scared I didn’t hear her getting whipped & beaten, so why was she screaming? The screaming went on and on and I rushed to the door to try to open it, but mother had locked it. The screaming continued until i heard a smash like something broke and then it abruptly stopped.


I heard more screaming and after that I felt helpless. She was doing something to one of my sisters and I was powerless to stop it!


I then started hearing smacks but not with a belt it sounded like she was using her hands. I felt awful for not being able to do something i just sat there, banging on the door and cried. I was so angry I wanted to go out there and kill her, but I couldn’t with this door standing in my way.

The rest of the day was quiet I looked out the window and saw the bus dropping everyone off, as I hear the door opening I hear everyone shuffling in the house. The only one i didn’t hear was mother, then my siblings started to talk.

“Is she dead?”Jacob asked.

Terrance walked up to her and touched her neck.

“No she’s just passed out.”

Mother had passed out drunk again on the couch, they all looked at each other and just got right into doing their homework because they knew if Mother had got any calls from the school about any missing or late homework she would beat them.

“When is dad coming home?” Jacob asked.

“Dad doesn’t get home till way later now”. Terrance responded. Jacob looked at Terrace with a sad face and went back to doing his homework. We rarely see dad anymore , when he was here he would just get drunk and beat me because I would apparently be staring at him the wrong way. Just a week before he came home drunk while I had been helping my Lily do a puzzle. As the door shut he came in and went into the kitchen to go get another beer.



He looked at all of his kids confused stairs and saw me and Lily in the living room not paying any attention to him. He marched over there and pulled me roughly off the floor by my arm.


I was irritated that he would even ask me that. I stood there looking at the ground.

“No, I didn’t take any of your beers.” I said. He stood there looking at me sternly.

“HUH? SPEAK UP GIRL! DID YOU TAKE ANY OF MY BEERS?” I started to get angry and I just exploded.


After I said that he immediately turned red with rage. He grabbed me by my hair and took off his belt and whipped me about ten times. He was stronger then mom, I was on the floor yelling in pain.


I would’ve said anything to make that pain stop. He stood over me grinding his teeth.


This man is going to kill me I thought, unless I do something.

“YES, I TOOK YOUR BEER!”. I shouted. It wasn’t at all true, but it did get him to stop beating me. He left me with one hard kick to my ribs and lay there lifeless on the ground. Father then went into the room to have sex with his monster wife.

Terrace found the key to the room that I was locked in and unlocked it so everyone could go to bed that night. It sucks everyone sleeping in the same small room, it’s small and hot as hell with no air conditioning.

It was the middle of the night when I heard the door open and shut real loud followed by screaming.


I was so sick of hearing this bickering it was getting really annoying.

“You know i’d never cheat on you liz, come one”. My father had said unconvincingly. Then while they were fighting the door opened again and in came David.

“DAVID!”. Mother shouted. You work at that filthy bar so tell me, do you see your father there hitting on girls?!”.

David had just got home tired and exhausted  and already he was in the middle of a fight.

“Mom please i’m really tired”.

“DAVID!”. Mother shouted again. David sighed then turned to his mother and said “Yes i’ve seen him talking to other girls there”. Mother was filled with rage after that. She ran to the kitchen and grabbed a huge butcher knife. She ran towards the man she called her husband and shouted “I’M GONNA KILL YOU YOU BASTARD”. My father's eyes grew real big and he ran towards the door and slammed in before mother could get to him. Mother opened the door to chase him but my father was a fast runner. When mother realized she couldn’t chase him she dropped the knife and shut the door. David had stood there in shock, he didn’t know what to do. That night was the last time I heard my father's voice.

“GREAT NOW I GOTTA LOOK AFTER SIX FUCKING MISTAKES ALL BY MYSELF! GREAT!. Mother shouted. As I lay there laying down but still awake I thought “damn it’s a shame they didn’t kill each other”. I wasn't looking forward to the weekend starting the next morning.  It was Terrace’s shaking that woke me up.

“Come on Selim, it's time for breakfast”. He said. I was so tired and hadn’t gotten much sleep thanks to my parents. I rubbed my eyes and got out of my sleeping pallet. ‘

“Alright”. I said. We went to sit at the table and next to me was always my Lily and next to her was Chrissy but something but something was off. she had a black eye and she was limping, she had these spots all down her arms that looked someone had put something out on her.

“Oh my god, are you alright chrissy?” I asked. She looked up at me and her eye looked very swollen.

“Yeah, I just tripped is all”.

I stared at her then with both anger and sympathy. I knew that was a bunch of bullshit I knew what happened, but I  also realized it was my fault she had taken a beating, if I hadn’t mouthed off to mother perhaps it would only have been me getting beat instead of Chrissy.

Across the table sat all the boys who eat like pigs accept Henry and David. Terrace looked at me angrily for some reason and said “So we're not gonna cause any trouble today right girls?” I couldn't believe my ears. Terrance was scolding me and Chrissy after what mom did to us yesterday? Ugh Terrance I hate him, I mean he's always trying to keep the piece, but I just wish someone could kill mom, then we'd all be happy and safe, I know Terrance and David could take care of us, but I didn't feel like arguing after what happened yesterday,  so I just gave him a nod. Chrissy didn't say anything but Lily looked at Terrance happily and said “YUP” I don’t think she got what was going on.

Mom got off the couch and came to our table. She looked at Henry and said “I heard what happened at school baby don’t worry about it”. I was so furious with mother, She never beats any of the boys she only beats the girls.

“Alright today is a big day you guys.” She said. I thought “How is it going to be a big day? Were poor we can’t have big days, she always coupe us up in the room on weekends with little to no food.”.

 “You are all staying in the room except you Chrissy, you're gonna spend the day with me. Chrissy looked so scared, I noticed her hands started to shake so I reached my hand over to her but she shied away.. Everyone nodded in agreement accept me. God, I hate the weekends, it's when mom gets super drunk and invites all these people to blare loud music and it just sucks because we only get a little bit of food and water those days. We get stuck in the room all day long. Board games? Mom doesn't let us have those, Books? Nope, mom burns them, why? Probably because that might make us happy and we certainly don’t want that. The wicked witch of the west would never allow one such as us to be happy, although I was awful curious why she would keep little Chrissy with her she usually hates us around her little parties and beats us if we come out of the room, so why?

Mother put out her cigarette that she had been smoking and turned to us.

“Alright, you're all done eating, get lost”

Everyone got up except Chrissy, I took one last look back as I was entering our room but if  I had known what was to happen next I never would have left her with mother.

We were sitting in the room playing duck duck goose and pretend hopscotch when there loud music started blaring, but what’s strange is I could swear I could hear screaming out there, but I couldn't tell if it was part of the song or someone out there hurting chrissy. I wanted to ask the others but I didn't want to scare little lily.

We ended up going to bed real early because there was never anything to do and you get bored being cooped up in a hot little room playing pretend hopscotch.

The next morning, we woke up, sat at the table, and started eating cereal like always Terrence looked in the living room and gasped he whispered to david and they both stared at the living room. They were both in front of me and they were both really tall so I couldn’t see what it was that they were looking at.

“What is it?” I asked. ‘

“It's nothing” he said unconvincingly.

I really wanted to see what it was but from where I was sitting I still couldn't see a thing so I put it out of my mind for now and kept eating.Mother was on the couch with a beer in her hand. She stirred for awhile before getting up and when I finished my cereal I thought “finally what’s the damn secret?” to get to the door you have to pass the living room so i'll be able to see with my own eyes whatevers so shocking.

Mother looked in pain as she was leaning on the counter with a cigarette, surprisingly she didn't say a word to us so I started walking toward what everyone was staring at until slowly I started to realize where was Chrissy? I looked back at the table and she wasn't there and I know she wasn’t in the room. Was she in the bathroom? My heart started racing as I walked closer to the object, something was very wrong. I saw then that it was a chair and something tied to it. Someone's hands were tied around the chair and-Chrissy? I ran to her and her head was leaving down like she was unconscious. I looked at her and she looked dead.

“Are you alright chrissy?”

I got no response, so I started shaking her,  still no response. I was starting to get real worried. What was wrong with her? Mother hits us but surely she wouldn't let one of us die right?

I got up my courage and walked up to mother.

“Um mother is Chrissy ok?

She looked at me for while and blinked a couple times like she couldn’t quite see that well.”

‘What? Yeah yeah shes fine shes just sleeping, now get out of here go go to school or whatever.”

“What was I supposed to do? I mean she IS are mother. So I believed her, maybe she WAS sleeping and if there was something seriously wrong with she would get her to the hospital, right?

There were no issues at school that day and no one messes with me when i’m there anymore, reason being because I knock anyone out who’s a bully.  That bully who picked on Henry that day no longer messes  with him anymore because  when i’m around and I see anything like that i’ll give him a bloody nose. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. I may be only twelve but I can hold my own in a fight.

At home mother knew exactly what was wrong with Chrissy. She was dead, the fun she had had with her last night caused her to lose her life. She had tortured her for hours because she wanted to and to her it was fun. Maybe father leaving pushed her over the edge. It’s not like any of us mean anything to her. The torture for little Chrissy was horrendous, They “played” with her as they called it for hours on end all night. They told her they were going to play a game with her and pushed her to the ground, then they had their guy friends that were there, hold her down and rape her. Chrissy tried to fight but she was to little and she never stood a chance. Then they tied her to the chair and burnt her with cigarettes until she had burns all over her body. Then they killed her in a brutal fashion. They slit her throat from ear to ear and she bled to death. Chrissy’s death was very painful and she suffered through the night until she finally went. It’s not like anyone cared though, they were all hyped up on drugs to care. they had put so many cigarettes out on her there were too many there to count.

“Thank god that none of those brats noticed Chrissy was gone.” Mother thought.

“Fuck I can’t have you staying here stinking up the place Chrissy, even in death you annoy me.” Mother said aloud. Mother untied Chrissy picked her up and through her in a bag. She then carried the bag outside where her car was and through her in the back seat. She drove thirty miles out to where the lake  and stopped on the bridge the lake was under. She got out of the car and opened the back seat and took the bag Chrissy was in out of the car. She opened the trunk and she took a huge suitcase out and opened it. She threw Chrissy in and tied the suitcase to five cement bricks. She threw the suitcase and bricks over the edge and tossed them in the lake. She looked down to make sure the suitcase sank and it did. She sighed a sigh of relief and headed back home.she had had fun last night but she was sad it had to end. But now she could go cash her life insurance policy.

“One down five to go”. She said aloud with confidence.  

When we all got back from school I noticed mom and Chrissy were gone and I was actually relieved that mom was gone and sad at the fact that Chrissy was gone.I'd hoped that she had taken Chrissy to the hospital, but even if she did take her to the hospital I still hated her.

“Well since moms gone i'll make everyone dinner.” David said.

“Not like we usually get dinner anyways”. I murmured.  

I wondered how come no one else was worried or scared? how come no one has mentioned Chrissy? well since mom's not here there's no one here to beat me so i'll just ask.

“Why aren't you guys worried about Chrissy at all?” I said angrily.

David didn’t turn around from cooking.

“We are worried Selim, but there's nothing we can do, mom probably already took her to the hospital, she’ll be back before you know it.”

“Don’t worry Selim i’m sure she’s already feeling better wherever she is.” Added Terrance.

“I hope you're right.” I said.

Lily looked upset as we were talking.

“Is Chrissy sick?” She asked innocently.

“No she's fine Lily” I said reassuringly.

That week went by slowly, mother had come back that night with no Chrissy. I hadn’t known it then but we would never see are little Chrissy again and most of us were too afraid to ask what had happened to her without getting a beating.

Lily started to get lonely and scared being left home alone with mother without her best friend there. She was too scared to even talk to mother, in fact she was beginning to talk less and less, looking back she was obviously just scared of getting beaten or into trouble. A couple Months went by with no beatings or incidents,  We left for school on the Monday of May when spring was in the air.

Mother left Lily alone to go to the bank to cash Chrissy’s insurance policy that was finally ready. As she got into her car she raced to the bank, she could feel the adrenaline rushing through her veins. She pulled up to the bank and got out of the car while smashing her door into the truck next to hers. She glanced at the truck she hit and shrugged thinking “eh it’s probably just some rednecks truck anyways.”

She walked into the bank and ended up being seated with a thin, attractive, lady with a nice smile.

“We're so sorry for your loss Mrs. Johnson”. The bank accountant said assuming Mrs Johnson was having a hard time accepting that her daughter was dead.

“Oh yes, it's horrible, well hopefully this money will help our living conditions.”

The lady smiled and said “oh i’m sure it will ma'am”.  She folded some papers and said “‘well everything seems to be in order, here is your money”

Mother snatched it from the nice lady and trampled off but saying “yeah, whatever, thanks”.

Mother came home that evening with an actual expression of happiness. Mother ran up to Lily and Lily flinched and held her head. Lily was sure she was going to get a beating for stealing that cookie she was sure no one was going to eat.

“Why hello my little lily, wanna go buy a new toy?”

Lily looked very confused and was worried this was some kind of trap, but she figured she should answer honestly.

“‘um yeah”

“ok let's go!” She said enthusiastically.

We came home from school that day and something felt different. Mother was sitting on the ground with my Lily. “Was she actually playing with her?” I thought.

“Hello kids, beautiful day isn’t it?”

I stood there in shock and just looked at Henry, he had the same expression I did.

Mother then got up and headed towards the kitchen. Something smelled good, my mouth started to water.

“I’m making your favorite thing for dinner”. She said as she was headed to the kitchen.

“What was going on?” I thought. Why isn't she being the wicked witch of the west like she always is?

“Today Lily helped me pick out toys and games for you all”.

“I also bought you all presents that are wrapped there on the couch, enjoy!.”

I looked over on the couch and I don’t know why i didn’t notice those huge boxes when we walked in. There were beautiful presents wrapped in fancy wrapping paper. Mother stopped what she was doing in the kitchen and came out to hand out the presents. It’s not even christmas! She handed me mine. As I tore it open I began to see the word “SORRY” on the cover. I got so excited at that moment I almost squealed. I didn’t even know mother knew I liked that board game. The older kids like Terrance and David got things like books and school supplies, pretty boring stuff if you asked me. Emily and Lily got a bunch of stuffed animals, Emily is pretty old for stuffed animals but she loves them.

“I must be dreaming.” I thought, why is she being so nice? she's doing a complete 180! is this my mother or an imposter?

“What are you staring at my dear Selim?” She said looking back from cooking in the kitchen.

She caught me off guard. “Oh uh nothing” I said.

“Come on! I cooked you all a delicious dinner!”

Oh god,. I thought. What if she’s planning on poisoning us?. No no that’s ridiculous, way too far fetched.

I walked into the kitchen and what I saw looked like a dream. She had on the table shrimp and steak! We've never had enough money for shrimp and steak and the stake was as good as it looked! it was so juicy and we actually had soda with it! which ended up giving me hiccups that were super annoying. By the time I was done eating I was so full I thought I was gonna burst.

“Alright my lovelies, we also have dessert”. She said.

She then got out a huge container of ice cream and we all chowed down. It was my favorite flavor to, french vanilla mmmmmmmmmmm delicious. I was then in my head apologizing to god for all the nasty things I had said to him on some nights when mother was her nastiest  and thanking him immensely for mothers complete one eighty and for the food and presents.

“Alright, if everyone's done with there ice cream, I bought a tv and a movie for us to watch.

“A  tv AND a movie? This HAD to be dream it just had to. Mother hated tv! She always said that tv made you stupid and that it was for rich people.

“Isn't this great?”Emily exclaimed sitting next to me.

“Just think” she said. “Maybe all the hard times are behind us, maybe we won’t be hurt anymore. Maybe mother is going to be like a real mom from now on”.

“hell yeah”. I said. “Things are starting to look up”. And it would be so nice if we just had an easy life from now on.

Just then mother looked over at us and shot us dirty glance. My heart skipped a beat when my eyes met that icy cold stare. Mother started walking up to me and  I was waiting for the smack but instead she walked past me and simply said “no swearing my dears”. My heart began beating normally. Then again that didn’t mean it didn’t scare the living shit out of me.

“What movie are we going to watch mom?” Emily asked

“Well my little emily we are going to watch a great movie called titanic”.

Why was she talking to us like she was a kindergarten teacher? Is she losing it? But I don’t wanna upset her. i'd never even heard of this movie she was putting on but I gotta admit I was excited about it. When mother switched it on for us and made us all popcorn, it was like we were a regular family that you'd see anywhere and we actually sat through that whole nightmare of a movie most of us fell asleep during the film. Emily fell asleep in the middle and she really seemed to love it.  

“Alright my young ones, time for bed.”

Mother walked over to David and whispered something to him. He walked over to Emily and picked her and carried her to the bedroom and I walked over to Lily to carry  her to bed.  As we opened the door to the room something was very different, when we entered the room we actually had beds! When me and David laid Emily and Lily down on the beds the rest of us laid on them and it felt like heaven. I felt the soft blanket and put my feet in the covers and lavished in it. I was also hearing a noise that sounded like a fan of some sort. I looked over to one of the windows and there was a huge air conditioner! Mom does love us! I thought. The beds were so soft I actually prayed to god that night thanking him for the gift that he'd given me and my siblings.

That whole month was strange, she took us out of school for a month and we went to all kinds of places, arcades, festival, expensive playhouses for Lily. The one place that stood out to me the most was the beach and apparently it was the most expensive beach to go to because it was so we could only go ourselves without any other people.

That day when we went was when the sun was just setting and there weren’t anymore people there, It was just us. All you could hear was the sounds of the waves, it was very peaceful and it was a blast, it's like all of are problems had simply vanished into thin air. I was swimming with the others but lily chose to stay with her mother on the sand

“Can you believe we're here Selim?” Asked Emily excitedly. She swam next to me with her floaty spinning in circles.

“Yeah I know it's awesome, I hope it stays the ways forever.”

“Oh don’t worry it will it’s guaranteed” She said cheerfully.

Lily sat next to her mother playing in the sand and murmuring to herself. She wanted to enjoy herself but there was something that had been on her mind for awhile but she had been too afraid to ask. But now since her mother had changed she thought she could ask her mother anything, but before she could her mother spoke first.  

“Hey my little Lily, are you having a good time?” She asked.

Lily thought for a moment before speaking.

“Yes mommy”

She sat there trying to build a sand castle with her red little bucket.

“Mommy?” She asked.

Mother looked over at her with her new expensive sun glasses.

“Yes honey?” She answered.

“What happened to Cwissy?”

Mother froze there like time had stopped. It was almost  like she never thought the question would pop up about Chrissy’s whereabouts.  

After a long pause mother finally gave her an answer.

“Well, you see my dear Chrissy got taken away because she was very bad.  

Lily gave her mother a long stare. Almost like she was assessing the response her mother gave her.

“Cwrissy was bad?”. She finally asked.

“Oh yeah pumpkin, she was bad to mama, so she was taken away, you'll never see her again.”

 Lily looked crushed, but she never stopped looking up from her sand castle even when the tears started to flow. When we came home that following week something was wrong mother seemed different. She hadn’t touched alcohol that whole time she had took us out to all these places, but a couple weeks have went by since we got home. She always seemed on edge and when we got back I tried to avoid her in case she snapped.

Mother looked really tense that day of of December, there was snow everywhere outside and it looked gorgeous out. The only downside was there was ice everywhere outside so every time we ran to catch the bus one of us would slip and of course Henry would push me and Emily so we would fall.

Mother was in the living room glued to her phone pacing back and forth. She started dialing someone's number in and put the phone to her ear. She stood there waiting awhile before the person she was trying to reach answered.

“Hello? yes I should have money on my account”

She then waited and listened to the man on the other line before speaking again.

“No no you don’t understand I SHOULD have money on this thing” she said. It sounded like she was getting bad news.

“Uh huh, uh huh but I! Ugh fine”.

I was sitting in the kitchen doing homework without looking up but listening to her. Until I heard her throw her phone across the room. It made Emily jump and she looked at me with concern. Mother looked up and shouted “FUCK”.

Emily decided that it was safe enough to walk up to her. I looked at her and tried to tell her with my eyes “what are you doing?”  She figured walked up to her and said  

“Mother you shouldn’t swear especially in front of Lily.” Emily said.

Mother looked at her with intense and very angry eyes.

“What did you say to me?”

Emily then looked at me like like she didn’t know what to do. I tried to walk out to where she was but as I got up Terrance grabbed my arm. I looked at him and he said “stay out of it Selim it’s none of our business mother is in charge. I immediately thought are you kidding?

“If mother starts beating us again then it IS our business, your are older brother it’s your job to protect your sister.” Instead of saying anything he just looked at me with a blank stare.

“Well if you won’t do anything then I will”.

Emily finally looked back at mother and said “um well I just think you shouldn’t swear mother.” Mother then grabbed her by her shoulders and started shaking her profusely.


Emily started to cry.

“O-ok i-i’m sorry mother.”

Poor emily barely had time to speak.

“YOU BRATS DON’T APPRECIATE ANYTHING I DO DO YOU?! YOU LITTLE SHIT! She then grabbed Emily by her hair and yanked her into our room. Terrence and I were reading to kill a mockingbird next to each other when they came stomping in. Mother looked at us with the hate she always had before in her eyes. She pointed at me and Terrance and said “YOU BOTH GET OUT!” I had to admit I was glad it wasn’t me for once that was getting the belt but at the same time I just couldn’t  sit idly by and let her do this to Emily , so I quickly stood up and tried to reason with her. Maybe there's still some good in her yet that I can bring back out.

“Mom, please think about what you're doing, you don’t really want to hurt Emily do you?” She looked looked at me with such intense rage that I thought fire was going to come spewing out of her eyes.


I immediately thought, oh shit, i’m dead and Terrence looked at me like “why would you do that?”

After Terrence walked slowly out of the room without a word or a glance back, mother slammed the door, locked it, and got her belt out. Mother made sure to turn the belt around so we would be hit with the buckle. She pushed us both to the ground and then started whipping us as hard as she could over and over again. I tried to protect Emily but to know avail, mother would yank me away by the hair whenever I tried to block her blows to Emily. I would try to fight back but she's bigger and stronger and emily is frail and weak.  The pain was so intense I felt like dying. I just clutched the sheets on our beds and prayed it would end soon. I started to hate god then, wondering why do we deserve this? What have we done that’s been so horrible?

It had been about five minutes later when she finally decided to stop and I don’t think it she stopped because she wanted to, it was more like she stopped because she was tired. I looked at her and she was sweating and breathing loudly. She turned around to unlock and open the door and walked out. When she came out of the room she put the belt back but not before saying “I don’t know why I try to be nice to you pieces of filth”. After I heard her say that I felt hot tears coming down my face. I tried to hold them back but they just came pouring out. Emily looked over and me with concern.

“Selim? Are you crying?” she asked.

I was embarrassed to admit it. I was never a cryer. I was the strong one, the one who has to take care of everyone to make sure they're not getting whipped and there not sad but I was starting to realize now that I was failing.

I didn’t want to look at her because I didn’t want her to see my face. I probably looked awful.

“Of course not you know i’m not a-” I couldn’t even finished, I just started wailing. Emily started to crawl over to me and held me for awhile. It felt nice to be comforted. After being so strong for all these years I just felt like I needed someone to just hug me and tell me “you’ve done a good job, you don’t have to do this anymore you're free”.

I laid my head on her chest and just cried and cried. Emily had never been the one comforting me before it was the opposite for once and I didn’t know if I liked it or hated it. I know for sure that I felt like a failure as a sister. I’m supposed to protect Emily and here she is hugging me.

Mother had begun having her drunken parties on weekends again and getting drunk every day of the week. Why did all the kindness she had in her heart disappear? Then again mother has always been predictable unless she has to meet with a social worker or a school teacher then she plays the perfect parent routine. I can see right through her when she’s like that. She may be able to cast her spell on everyone else but I can see her for who she really is, a monster.

Mother had started to take back everything she bought us. The games, the books, anything she could get her dirty little pause on. Poor Lily really loved that new stuffed Teddy bear. She had even given it a name, she called it Diana. But when mother saw it she just yanked it out of her hand. Her little face broke my heart, I went over to give her a hug and I promised that in the future we would get her a new one. I didn’t know where or why she was taking all of these presents but soon I started not to care anymore about anything mother did. I found out later that mother was selling everything for drugs so she could get high on the weekends.  

Speaking of those hellish parties she was having one right now. Everyone was asleep accept me. I don’t know how any of them could sleep through the loud thumping and screaming mother and her friends did out there. I started to hear shivering, like someone was cold. I looked over to see that Lily had accidentally stolen Lilies covers by mistake. I got up and laid next to Emily and covered her back up. I decided that I would just sleep next to her tonight.

I hear Emily start to toss and turn.

“Emily are you awake?”

She turned to look at me before answering.

“Yeah, are YOU ok?”

To tell the truth at that time I really didn’t know how to answer that but I didn’t want to make her worry so I told a fib.

“Yeah i’m fine”.

“You shouldn’t lie, I know you haven’t been yourself since well you know”.

Emily was a clever girl.

“You don’t need to worry about me Emily”.

“Selim I don’t know how you're so strong”.

“I ain’t strong” I said “I’m broken”.

“No one deserves this, no one should be beaten like this day in and day out.”

“Well yeah but that’s how mom is ya know, it’s how she’s always been”.

She makes it sound like I should just get used to it.  

“Hey Emily can I ask you a stupid question?”


“Why do you think she does it?”

Emily looked at me with confusion.

“Why does she do what?”

“Why do you think she beats us? This can’t be normal right? Do you think everyone's family is like this? Cause if so I think I might live alone for the rest of my life.”

“Yeah if mother lets you. Remember? She doesn’t even let David leave and he’s old!”

“Well Davids only eighteen, Emily”  

“Hey if he’s old enough to have hair on his face then he’s old in my book”

We both started to laugh at that.

“And to answer your question I don’t know why she does it. Maybe it is normal, but if it is why would she lie about it to our teachers and then ask US to lie too?”

“I don’t know”. I answered.

“Do we really deserve to suffer like this? We shouldn’t have to suffer” I said.

“No we don’t”.

“Then why won’t god save us?”

Emily answered that question with a blank stare. She didn’t know why mom beats us anymore then I do. Suddenly while we were talking mother came in drunk with a man by her side. I looked at Emily and we both hid under the covers so mother didn’t know we were up. Mother gestured to her children and said “Alright, pick whichever dumb ass you want, there dependable er expendable fuck whichever you want baby.” The man was tall with short hair and had tattoos on his arms.

The man went up to me and Emily and uncovered us. We both had our eyes closed and pretended to be asleep. He covered us back up and went to the next person. I felt like we were being selected for the slaughter or something. He was also only uncovering the girls and none of the boys. After he uncovers Lily he stopped and put his hand on her head and gently stroked and and brushed her hair behind her ear.

I want this one baby, he pointed. I laid there thinking why did they want lily out there? And what did she mean when she was saying we were expendable? I was terrified they were going to do something to Lily, it seemed unlikely they wanted her out there for cake and presents. I sat right up when they were about to pick her up and spoke directly at them

“Why do you guys need lily out there? she's asleep!”

Mother looked at me scornfully before yelling at me.

We just stared for a minute before I could answer.

Maybe if I showed her respect she would back off, it was worth a shot.
“No ma’am but she has school tomorrow, please leave her be.” I pleaded. Mother seemed unphased by my pleading so I tried being more direct.

“ I don’t see why she needs to go , leave her here”.

Mother looked at the man and said “sure you don’t wanna take this bitch?” What disturbed in is that she said it like she was offering cupcakes.

“No hun, I WANT this one”.

I thought I would try one more time.

“She’s not needed out there so please leave, we all have school tomorrow”.

The man seemed to ignore me and picked her up. When I saw this strange smelling man carrying my Lily my protective sisterly instinct went into gear. I lunged for the man's arm biting him as hard as I could. He screamed in pain and shot a slap at my face and I fell to the ground. He looked at me on the floor and said “she ain’t needed? She’s needed for us to play with”.

My mother came up while I was still on the ground and kicked me in the ribs.

“your fuckin just jealous, disgusting. come one hun, grab her and lets go”.

I was so angry at how weak I really was. The man picked up little Lily and they started walking towards the door. I don’t think I could live with myself if they ever did something to my Lily. I started to run after then when I felt someone grab me from behind and hold me from going after them. I just started shouting, pleading, everything.


I finally looked behind me with tears started to well up in my eyes and to my surprise it was Terrance behind me holding me back. How could he do this? how could he let them take her and do nothing? The door shut and locked and I exploded with rage.

“WHY DID YOU DO THAT? WHY DIDN’T YOU LET ME TRY TO SAVE HER? I COULD'VE SAVED HER AND YOU COULD HAVE HELPED!” Henry probably would've helped possibly if he wasn’t such a heavy sleeper, actually all of them were, every last one of them were either very good at pretending to be asleep or were very heavy sleepers so I thought that was strange.

Terrence looked at me with caring eyes and said “we couldn’t have done anything. You know the rules, mom's the boss. I couldn’t believe my ears so I glared at him and said “well maybe someone else should be the fuckin boss”. I just collapsed and sobbed,  they had taken her, they had taken my precious little Lily. Terrance held me, but I hated his guts I was just too helpless to get out of his reach. He put his arms around me and held me tightly saying “shhh it's alright, everything's gonna be ok then sang me that church song he knew I secretly would listen to “Will the circle be unbroken”. As much as I hated him then he's the only real reason I fell asleep that night with his consoling words and his lovely singing voice.

I only realized later the reason that he was singing was so I wouldn’t hear Lily’s screaming. But I could hear it, faintly I could hear my Lily’s crying and screaming and I just turned my head towards Terrance.  

“Why are they doing this to us?” I asked Terrance. He just brushed my hair with his hand and said “because, god wants to see how strong we are.” His answer shocked me and I didn’t know what to say to that bullshit answer so i kept my mouth closed as I could hear my Lily's pain and there wasn’t anything I could do because of how weak I was. By the time it was morning I found out it was too late.  

Terrance starting shaking me gently the next morning.

“Hey Selma, it’s time to get up sunshine”

I looked at Lily’s pallet to wake her up but then I remembered last night.Why the hell was he calling me sunshine? That was new.

When me and Terrence got to the kitchen table everyone else was already there. I didn’t even want to look in the living room, so instead I just sat down at the kitchen table and made a bowl of cereal. Hoping Lily was ok I finally looked at the living room, hoping she was asleep on the couch. As soon as I saw the chair I knew it was the same scene as I had seen before, she was gone I knew it. I ran up to her and looked at her closely. Then I screamed when I saw what was done to my Lily. Mother was sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette just looking at Lily's unmoving body.

She looked at me with those hateful eyes and said “god quiet down kid I got a hangover.”  

“Mom you have to take her to hospital I think she's dead, my lily is dead! YOU KILLED HER!”

Mother didn’t have any emotional to what I was telling her.

“Yeah yeah she's just sleeping calm down”.

I had such intense hate for my mother at this moment.

“Mom she's not sleeping! and neither was Chrissy!”

Mother shot a hateful glance at me.

“Hey you shut your fuckin mouth, you don’t know shit”

I calmed myself and tried again.

“Mother she’s dying.”

Mother gave me the coldest look i'd ever seen.

“She's already dead”. She said.

I just froze, how could she say something so cold and she says it like she was said it like it was a conversation anyone would have. I didn’t believe it i turned out like this for my Lily. I was supposed to be the one to save Lily from all of this hell. I had promised myself I would be a good big sister and protect her always. But I failed miserably and it was unforgivable. I lifted up Lily’s chin to feel her forehead and she was cold as ice. I noticed something read on her neck.

“Oh my god”.

My Lily who was only three years old had had her throat cut from ear to ear. I couldn’t bare to loose her.i just hugged her and cried I couldn’t believe mother would do such a horrible thing. I realized she probably did this to Chrissy as well. I know now that morning when I had thought Chrissy was sick, she had died at the hands of this monster.

“You're a monster, and a murderer and i’m going to tell someone and then i’m going to kill you for killing my Lily.”I screamed.  

Mother's eyes filled with rage the moment I threatened to expose her.


She ran over and pulled me by the hair and shoved me in our room, she punched in the ribs several times. The door was open when all of this was happening.


I was too weak to look over to see who it was but it sounded like Emily and If it was Emily I wanted to say “No, stay away, don’t! She’ll kill you.” If I took this beating then maybe she wouldn’t beat someone else. Was someone else finally standing up to mother? I was happy and scared for them at the same time.


Emily was eating captain crunch cereal in the kitchen before all the drama started. “Please don’t let any drama start.” She thought. Drama and screaming scares her, she hated it more then anything. She wished that she was as brave and tough as Selim was but she wasn’t. She just wanted mother to be loving like she had been when all the money came in after Chrissy died. She wasn’t paying attention to what Selim was screaming about while she was eating breakfast, she was so lost in thought, thinking about what Selim and her had talked about the night before. No one else in this house ever questioned mother's behavior accept Selim. Why did she beat them? She wondered, she might never know. What she DID know was that she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life in this house being beaten.

When mother dragged me to the room Emily was so scared that mother was going to kill me she just reacted whether she was going to get beaten or not. Once she stood up to mother it was to late for regrets.  

Mother shoves Emily in the room with me but not before she beats us both with the belt, at least it wasn’t with the buckle of the belt but it still hurts like hell. As she’s whipping us we did nothing but hold onto each other until it was over, then she threw the belt on the floor and left the room without saying anything. We laid there both lifeless for a couple minutes before I said anything. I had blood dripping down my head and realized mother had opened a wound she gave me the last time she beat me. I looked over and could tell Emily was in so much pain, I felt bad that she got involved, she should have just stayed out of it.

“She's going to kill all of us Emily” I said. Emily slowly turns her head towards me and said “No she's not, your going to get out of here. You're the smartest one out of all of us, so you see? It only makes sense that you're the one who deserves to be free of this”.

“You shouldn’t say such stupid things” I told her.

“You can get out of here Selim, you can leave and be free from all this”.

“And what am I supposed to do out of this house?”

“You can go get help, i’m sure this isn’t right, surely someone can take us from this hell, please, you have to find a way.”

“Why are you talking like you're dying?”

“Oh sorry I guess I just feel really weak”.  

“Ok, i’ll find someone to get all of us out of here, but where would we go?”

“To be honest I don’t care, anywhere is better than here”.

“Should we tell everyone?”

“Are you crazy? You know how loyal the boys are, they'd tell her in a heartbeat and then she’d kill us.”  

“If we stay here she WILL kill us, especially since I threatened to expose what she did”.

“You did what?!”

“Yup, I know she killed Chrissy and my Lily, so i’m going to tell someone”.

“Oh, so it is true, she really did kill Chrissy and Lily”.

“You didn’t know?”

“No I didn’t, I’ve been too afraid to ask mother, I didn’t wanna get hit.”

“But anyways” she continued, “no i won't accept that, no dying. You have to get out of here so you can  make lots of babies.”

“Well that's -wait did you get that from titanic?”

“Hehe yeah”.

“So you DID stay up watching it i thought you fell asleep”

“My eyes were closed but I could still hear it.”

She was still clutching her side where she mainly got whipped.

“Anyways how am I even going to escape from here?”

“The front door?”

“Isn't that a little too obvious? Mother would totally catch me”

“Oh yeah, good point. Hmmmm, how about the window?”

I looked over and the window had been opened already.  

“Would that work? I’d be on the roof!”

“Yeah but there's stairs to the side remember?”

“Oh shit yeah, I completely forgot about that”.

“Yeah, remember that cable guy left them there by accident and mother never called them back?”

“No but thank god for that.”

“Okay, so we got a plan, the window it is but I have one last question, what if I tell mother’s secret and no one believes me?” i asked.

“Well then you scream it to the world until someone hears you, it's better than doing nothing right?

“I can’t just leave you here and if I do get out, she'd kill you”.

Emily looked at with with sympathy.

“You worry too much, she's not gonna kill anyone else, besides she’s probably scared of you telling anyone about her secret.”  

“Can you look me in the eye and promise me that?”

Emily looked unsure.

“Ok fine” she said as she looked up to me.

“I promise sis, no one else in going to die”

That was enough motivation I needed to go through with this.

“Now go see if that window is big enough for you”

I took a breath, I was still in a lot of pain but it was now or never. I slowly stood up and walked to the window.  

“Ok, i’ll come back for you as soon as I have help with me, I promise.”

Emily stood there smiling at me.

“I love you sis’” she said.

“Oh now don’t get all weepy on me” I said blushing.

“But I love you to Emily, and don’t worry i’ll be back before you know it.”

I pulled up the window and leaned out to look hoping it wasn’t a drop straight to the ground. Luckily for me it wasn’t. I put my foot out and then the other, trying to keep my balance, I started hearing loud footsteps coming from outside the bedroom door. I started to realize it was mother! As I was just outside the window the door flung open and mother started screaming when she saw where I was.


Emily put her head down, pretending that she had fallen unconscious.

“Good, I thought, now it would look like she had nothing to do with my escape. If I succeeded that is.

I lost my footing and slipped on the roof and almost fell off but grabbed a hold of the ledge of the house and pulled myself up before mother could come out here and catch me and pull me back in. I could hear her in the house running trying to get outside but not before I ran to those stairs Emily was talking about. I went down them and then I  was on the grass. I looked over and saw mother swing the front door open and saw me. Before I took off running I looked at her and she looked at me with that icy cold stare. I turned around and started running down the street as fast as I could and I wasn’t going to stop until I knew I was out of her reach and safe. Mother got into her car and started chasing me down the street, I ran as fast as I could but I wasn’t faster than a car. I looked to my left and saw a dark alley and darted down it. I hid behind a trash bin and saw mothers car zoom past. Mother only wanted me dead now because I had threatened to expose her secret, she had already killed two of us, she probably hadn’t even taken Chrissy to the hospital.  

“I gotta find the cops”I said to myself, but I had no idea where any of them would be. So I realized i’m just gonna have to search this town from top to bottom until I see a police station or a police cruiser.  

“Hey there kiddie, whatcha doin in this part of town huh? you lost little kiddie?”

The man appeared out of nowhere inside the trash bin and he stunk..

“Are you talking to me?” I asked the stranger.  

“Well do you see any other little kiddies around here? yeah i’m talkin to ya, see dis ma trashcan? you can't have it kay?

“I’m not here to steal your trashcan”.

He talked over me saying  “I share it with ya for a price”  

The way he said that made me feel very uncomfortable, I felt like a rat being coiled up by a python.

I didn’t know what this guy was talking about but he clearly wasting my time.

“I don’t know what your talking about mister. I just got turned around is all i’ll be on my way”.  

I went to walk away about but he grabbed my arm and said “hey now kiddie, you  don't gotta be mean to mister zester, mister zester nice, so how bout you show me some lovin”. I was disgusted at this man, the sight of him repulsed me.

“Well mister, please let go of my arm before I rip it off” I said. He laughed and I got a glimpse of those yellow teeth.

“Not until you show me what you got”

I had no idea what this lunatic was talking about. he yanked me back and threw me to the ground I kicked and screamed but he covered my mouth and he was on top of me.

“You shush little kiddie, I just want some lovin you understand dontcha little kiddie? Of course you do”

I tried to bite him but I couldn’t get my teeth around his hand that was over mouth, then I heard a crash and the man fell on top of me. He felt heavier than a ton of bricks. I pushed the disgusting man off me and saw someone had smashed a bottle on his head. I looked over and  saw another man standing behind him. I slowly got up to see a rather attractive man standing in front of me now. But even though he looked mysterious and attractive I didn’t want to have another dreadful experience.

“Please sir, I don’t want any trouble” I said quickly before he could speak.

“You don’t want trouble? He laughed. Then why ya in this here parta town then?”

Oh my god this guy was so good looking he looked like he would be dating a celebrity.  “I’m just passin through”.

“I’ve never seen you around here before you homeless?”

“I suppose I am now”.

He gave me a strange look of confusion.

“You run away from home?”

I didn’t want anyone taking me back to that place so I said “I don’t see how that’s any of your business”.

“Ah, that’s a yes then, parents are probably worried about ya, how bout I take you home, yeah?”

I was pissed, This is exactly what I wanted to avoid.

“Maybe I did run away, maybe I didn’t. But if I had run away I sure as wouldn’t want to go back.”  

I was afraid that I was perhaps giving away too much information, so I debated how much I should tell him for a quick moment, then decided I should try to leave.

“Well i’m leaving now so if you’ll excuse me”.

“Go where?” the man said.

Well great now I have to tell him, I thought. If I just went to turn and run who’s to say he wouldn’t come running after me? And this guy looked tough, possibly dangerous, I didn’t know.

“I have to find the police for a private matter, that’s all, nothing to get excited about.”

I tried to keep it as vague as possible and This man looked strange he was wearing such a strange brown coat like he expected it to rain today, he had what looked like brown silky hair with gorgeous blue eyes. He also had on these strange fingerless gloves, like he was expecting to get into a fight. He certainly did look tough, but the man did have a little dirt on his face, Was this guy homeless to?  

He looked at me like he was trying to see if I was just some punk kid who was lying.

“that way” he pointed.

That’s all it took? Geez what a huge waste of time, I should've just came out and asked before, but nevertheless I was hugely grateful.

“Ok thank you, bye.”

I started walking for awhile in the direction he had pointed and looked behind me every once in awhile to make sure no other weirdos were out. I didn’t want to run into anymore trouble. When I looked behind me I saw him, that man again, he was just, walking. Walking the same direction that I was. Was he following me? I wanted to test it so i stopped and sure enough he stopped. Why was he following me? Maybe he is a creeper after all. I turned around and said “was there anything else you wanted?” He kept a straight face the whole time then said “nope”. This guy sure was a strange man I thought.

“Then why are you following me?” I said. He walked a little closer to me.

“Cause this parta time is very dangerous at night.”

Was he just worried about me?

“You don’t gotta worry about me, I can protect myself”.

“Yeah I noticed”.

What a jerk, that homeless dude back there could have run into anyone. I wanted say something but I thought it would be best to just turn around and keep walking. I don’t want to cause any unnecessary attention. He didn’t say anymore after that anyways. On the bright side at least he could help me if I got lost. My legs were killing me, it seemed like we were walking forever until I saw a big building that read “police station”

“Oh my god, finally! I exclaimed. I was so happy to see it that I started running towards it not even noticing that I  was running in the middle of traffic.

“Hey, stop!” The man behind me said, but I was just so excited I blocked his voice out. I was so happy to see the station all I could think about was saving everyone back at the house and in my head I could see Lily and Emily’s faces, I wished that I had done this years ago. I was ashamed of myself for not doing this sooner, if I had perhaps they wouldn’t have met such terrible fates.

While I was in the middle of the road with oncoming traffic I tripped and fell and scraped my knee pretty bad. I blacked out for second cause when I looked up that man was holding me and we were back on the sidewalk.

“You alright missy?” he asked. I got out of his arms and looked up in bewilderment.

“What the hell just happened?”

“You ran in the middle of the street.”

The car that had almost hit me didn’t even give a second thought to think if we were ok, They just stopped and shouted “dumbasses!” and continued driving. Man, is everyone in this town crazy? The man helped me up and turned my face as if to check for bruising.

“I’m ok” I said.

Why does this guy keep saving me? I wanted to find out.

“You saved my life” I said. He just stared and then took his coat off and put it over my head and he still wouldn’t say anything.

“It’s cold out, you can borrow this.”

This was one strange guy.

“Well uh thank you and thanks for saving me again.”’  

He just gave me another blank stare, but I suppose it’s better to have a quiet man than a loud one.

“What’s your name anyways?” I asked him.


“Well Peter my name is Selim”.

“Selim? That’s a strange name for a girl”.

“Thanks, I think. Well the station is right up here are you coming in with me?”


He wouldn’t say anymore then that.

“Uh ok, stay out here then I guess.”

I went in without looking back until I got into the station. I shut the doors behind me and looked out the doors glass windows to see if he was still staring at the building but he was already gone. Such a strange guy.  


Cops, everywhere, this had to be the safest place in the city right? I was both happy and afraid. What if none of them believed me? Then I remembered Emily’s words “Well then you scream it to the world until someone hears you”. I walked in and saw tons of desks I was a little nervous but I thought “Well i’m just gonna jump right in”. I walked up to one of their desks and demanded that I talk to somebody.

“Please it’s extremely important, and it’s an emergency”.

The woman wouldn’t even look up from her computer.

“Is someone dying?”

“They might be, please I don’t know but it’s very bad please let me speak with someone.”

The woman sighed like it was the biggest favor she’s ever done.

“ok ok”

The woman picked up the phone and said Jeffrey? this girl needs to talk with someone, says it’s an emergency of some kind.

A man answered saying “Ok Diana i’m coming.” I was waiting for a couple seconds before a man came out with a cup of coffee.

“Ok lets go, follow me” he said.

I was already kind of annoyed at these people. I felt like they weren’t even taking me seriously. It was like I came in and started screaming about a pop tart I lost.  

The man took me to a little room with only two chairs sitting across from each other. They sat me down and I put my hands together, trying not to freak out. This guy looked really tired and there were circles under his eyes. When I took a breath to talk he started talking.

“So what’s this about girl? your bike get stolen? Your boyfriend break up with you? What? I glared at this guy like my mom glared at me. The arrogance of this guy, I hope all cops aren’t like this asshole.

“Look this isn’t easy to just talk about but It's my mom”.


He took a sip of his coffee and rubbed his eyes.

“What about your mom? she missing? what?

“No she's at home but-”

He interrupted me before I could finish

“Wait did you run away girl?”

“Well yes but”

“Look girl your mom's probably really worried about ya so why don’t you go on home? Hell i’ll even take ya home if you want me.”

This guy was so frustrating to talk to.

 “No, it’s nothing like that, please listen to me and let me speak.”

He actually stopped interrupting and gave me a chance to explain for once.

“My mom hurts us, all of us. There was nine of us total, but now there are only seven and there maybe even less unless I get help.”

The officer's eyes changed as I spok.

“What are you saying to me girl?”

“I’m saying that my mother has killed two of my sisters and if you don’t do anything my mother will kill all of us!”  

While I was shouting all of this out I was thinking of Lily and Chrissy. I should have left mother grip to go get help years ago. Tears started rolling down my face, I put my head down, I was worried this man wasn’t believing me and thinking about that made me feel even worse.  

“Hey, ok don’t cry kid.”

To my surprise he reached over and put his hand on my head and brushed it.

“Don’t worry girl, you're safe now” he said.



“My name is Selim”

The officer then leaned forward while writing something down

“I know this is hard” he said “but I need you to tell me one thing, how has she killed your siblings?”

“She would take one of us out of the room at night and then the next morning…”

I explained the condition in which I found Chrissy and Lily. “They would be tied to a chair with their throat cut.” It was harder to get through that sentence than you can imagine. The man looked like he had become deeply disturbed by what I was telling him. I managed to get through one last sentence before I broke down completely. “Mother has done awful things to us, she beats us until we don’t have a will to live anymore!” The officers stunned expression told me he didn’t know what to think until I heard him say in a hushed voice “jesus christ.”

“I’m so sorry! I’m sorry I should've come here sooner, it's all my fault”. The officer got up and went over to where I was sitting and gave me a hug. The only one who had ever hugged me in the past was Terrance, Lily, and Emily so it was nice.

“It’s alright you're safe now” he said were going over to that house to save your siblings he said and he walked out the door leaving me to myself. He came back a couple minutes later with a couple other officers.  

“Come on sweetheart, we're leaving now to go with child services to go get all the other kids.”

I looked up with tears still coming down my face

“i’m coming I said”  

On the way out the officers put me in one of the cars and drove down the street. We pulled up to my house and I tried to get out but the officer put his hand on my shoulder.

“No, you have to stay here, we don’t want your mom hurting you.”

“I’m not afraid of her anymore, she can't hurt me ever again”.

“Well i’m sorry, you're one tough little girl but you have to stay here.”

I reluctantly agreed and when he got out and knocked on the door that’s when I made my move. He had forgotten to lock the door and I stepped out and used the night's darkness as an ally. I slowly snuck around the house to where I saw that latter that I had seen earlier.

“Hey there small fry”

My heart almost thumped out of my chest, I turned and saw that strange man again.

“What are you doing here? I’m busy right now”

“I know you're going to shock yourself today aren’t you small fry”.

What was this guy's problem? He pissed me off, I felt like he was mocking me. I had no idea what he was even talking about.  

“Perhaps you should stop and think about the events that have occurred before you go charging in and do something you’ll regret.”

This guy, it’s like he was speaking in riddles, before I got a chance to speak he said “alright let us see how the outcome of this ends.”

I ignored him and just started climbing up the later and when I got up he was there!

“About time you got here”.

“What are you?”

He looked at me with a cold smile and said “i’m simply an observer”.

I glared at him then.

“Just don’t get in my way and we'll be cool”.

“You gotcha”.

I walked to the door and saw shadows moving, I also heard a banging on the door.

“Police open up we know you're in there let the kids go and everything will be fine.”  

I saw her then as I was in the hall, the lights were all off and all you could hear was her breathing.


“Oh god” I whispered. Is she planning to kill them the way she killed the others? I was not going to let that happen. I looked back and saw that strange boy just staring at me, in the dark it looked like he had golden eyes like a cat. I charged mother in the dark, I didn’t know she had a weapon then. All you could hear was us screaming. She got me on the floor and flung the knife at me and I heard a smacking noise and froze, I thought i’d died for a minute I looked up and saw that strange boy! He was holding the hand mother was holding the knife with. Why was he protecting me? What was in it for him? Where did he come from anyways? I could swear he was right behind me!

He twisted mother's arm and said “Is this the way you wanted things to end?”He made this situation seem like it was all just a big game. He threw mother's arm back as she was screaming like a savage animal and I heard a snap.

“Stop it please that’s enough! Please stop!”

I looked at him with tears in my eyes. Was this some kind of game to him? He looked at me with an evil smile like i’d never seen.

“Isn’t this what you wanted?” he said. He let her arm go and just stood there staring at me.

The police busted in what they saw was shocking. Mother had blood all over her, which was strange because Peter only twisted her arm. She was screaming “it wasn’t me! Please you don’t understand my daughter is sick she needs help!”. What the hell was she talking about? I know I had no idea.The police dragged her outside and put her in the back of  an ambulance. The officer who brought me there was walking slowly towards me with his hand on his gun.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“It’s ok everythings fine just put it down”.

Put what down? I thought.

“Selim please don’t kill me”.

I looked behind me and saw Emily shaking uncontrollably. Has everyone gone mad?

“What are you talking about?” I said, and that’s when I saw it. I didn’t know what to feel I felt cold and numb. Just then Peter walked around so he was in front of me.

“I warned you to think before this happened but you didn’t wanna do that”.

What was happening? How did I end up with a knife in my hand?

“Think about this, all these events, years of abuse or is it?”

“What are you talking about?” Was this guy crazy?

“Abuse, murder,assault, interesting how all this happened, but did it?”

I was so confused I didn’t know what to think. Terrance and David just stood there looking at me, they looked like they were in shock. looked back and Emily was just staring. I went to talk to her but she backed up.  

“Emily? What is it?”

“Selim what have you done?”

I stood there for a moment before answering.

“What do you mean?”

I looked down and saw blood all over me, how did this knife appear in my hand? I looked up and saw bodies. My family. David, Terrance,.everyone was dead! All accept Emily... Did I kill everyone?

“Selim you killed Dad! My brothers no! You killed everyone! Why would you do this?!” She sat there coddling Terrance and David's dead bodies.

“Mother didn’t want to call the cops to tell them that you’d started killing but you’ve killed everyone! Oh my god!”

I turned around and peter was gone.

“I killed everyone?”

“Even when mother got enough money to let us start a new life you wouldn’t stop killing! You're a monster! You're a murderer!”

She continued to wail until I was arrested for the murder of my family.  

My mind was suddenly flooded with flashbacks while I sat in the back of the police cruiser.I could see what had happened suddenly. Mother was suddenly not the monster I had created in my head she was a church going christian! No one beat us I would hit everyone. I killed my father for no reason and tried to kill my mother. They couldn’t give me what I wanted so I killed them with a kitchen knife. There was no abuse, in my head I thought it was but I just attacked everyone who ever looked at me the wrong way.

Two Months Earlier.

“Selim will you get up please it’s school time?”

I stood there rocking back and forth in my room “I shouldn’t have to GO TO SCHOOL”! I screamed and I ran out and grabbed the sharpest knife I could find and cut the first person I saw up. Chrissy and Lily were gone and it was by my hands. I could see now and I could feel what I had done to them. I stabbed them forty one times. Mother had disposed of the bodies to cover what I had done. She thought prayer would heal me and to thank her for that I tried to kill her.

“You're all wrong mother hit us!”. I screamed in court. I could see all the memories in my mind but I was in denial. The surviving member, Emily was sitting in the audience. Emily was just shaking her head while crying. Mother took the stand and testified that at night I would hit my head against the door and would be mumbling about how she would beat us. She broke down on the stand talking about how she missed her husband and Lily and Chrissy. Father had left years before and I created this monster that I thought he was. When Emily took the stand I broke down She cried and screamed how she’d never have her family back and how I took away her Chrissy and Lily. My own family had turned against me in just one day, I couldn’t believe it. The court was deciding whether or not my murders were premeditated if they thought yes then I would face death. They would execute me and put me on death row. If they thought no, then I would remain in a mental institution for the rest of my life. To be honest I didn’t even know what I wanted. I wasn’t even sure if this was real or not. Then the verdict came.

“We the jury find Selim James guilty of first degree murder, we find that it would be better if she remained in a mental institution. I heard both cheers and sighs. I looked at Emily and she was crying. As I walked past my family Mother shoved passed me on purpose while whispering to me “You're dead to us”. As I left the courtroom there were people that spat in my face while shouting and calling me a monster. They took me to the institution and every now and then I had to see a therapist.

“So you killed everyone who upset you and to justify it in your head you created abuse to justify the means.”


I stood there in the therapist's office talking to this therapist, telling her what I had done for the eightieth time.  

“I’m not proud of what i've done, but I can’t change anything that’s happened”.

She looked at me with a cold stare but I stopped caring what this lady thought of me the minute I stepped into this place.

“Aren’t you sorry for what you did to your family?”

“Of course but I can’t fix what’s broken.”

“Well that’s enough for today”.

Finally I thought, I hated seeing that lady, I don’t know what she wants me to say in there. We had TV in there and I sat down to watch it. Time to relax for a bit I thought, I picked up the remote and just turned it on to a random channel.

“This morning marks the day that teen killer Selimi Johnson murdered her entire family except her mother and sister, they were brutally stabbed to death on April 26th 2013 of three years ago. Today we have survivor, Emily Johnson joining us for an update on what’s happened with her new life now that she’s been freed from the grasp of a psychotic killer right after these messages.”

I didn’t know if I could watch this. I still loved Emily but they said I was dead to them.

“Heh imagine that well it couldn’t hurt to see how they're doing? And besides if you don’t watch this you might never know.”

Peter always was there always here to give me advice and comfort me. I couldn’t say if he was real or not but it helps having him here and if he is just part of my mind then so be it. When doctors walked by seeing me talking to myself I would just get more pills to take which sucked kinda.

“Ok” I decided.

“I’ll watch it”.

“And we're back with survivor Emily Johnson, Emily what was it like to live with a psychopathic killer?”

I already didn’t like this lady.

“Well it was hard” says Emily. “I was afraid she was going to come after me all the time, I was griped with fear all the time.

“Yes i’m sure it was awful”. The lady responded.

And with that I was done. I started walking back to my room and then I heard.

“But even with everything she’s done I still love her.”

I quickly turned around and saw her face. There were tears in her eyes as she said it. The reporter looked shocked.

“Really? After all the family members she took away your still gonna sit there and tell me you love her?”

“Yes”. She said.

That was all I needed to hear before I started bawling. I missed Emily, I wanted to hold her and tell her everything was ok but I couldn’t. Did she forgive me? I'll never know. Maybe this was just a bad dream and any minute I would wake up and be in Hawaii with my family and everyone would be happy. At least that’s what I hope will happen and hey, maybe it will. On the long list of medications they give me here there is one thing  the medicine never got rid of, and that was Peter. I didn't know if he was real or just in my head but he keeps me going and tells me when the sun will shine on me.

Peter never disappeared from my mind even as an old woman and as long as he is with me I will be at peace forever.  



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