Chapter 5: Memories

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Thrillerz

Reads: 118

“Hey, sweetheart,” she heard daddy say, his deep voice startling her awake.  “Can daddy lie down with you for a while?”

“Why?” she asked, sitting up and rubbing her eyes.  “Are you scared?”

A quick laugh, then, “Yeah, maybe a little.”

“Is there a monster in your closet?”  It was the only thing in her young mind that made any sense.  What else could scare a grown man so badly that he would need to ask permission to sleep with his young daughter? 

“No,” he answered, crawling under the covers next to her and snuggling up close.  “You’re so warm,” he whispered in her ear.  “And you feel so good to daddy.”

The middle child of the three daughters, she’d been ten at the time and as innocent and naïve as any other girl her age who saw her daddy as a hero figure, someone she loved and admired, not understanding at the time that daddy crawling into bed with her was wrong, and only the beginning of what was still yet to come.  She hadn’t been mature enough, mentally or physically, to comprehend that his actions were inappropriate, only that daddy wanted to lie in bed with her and she saw nothing wrong with that.

Until a week later, when the occasional middle of the night visits evolved into an every- night ritual, and the hugging and cuddling became more advanced, improper and uncomfortable.

“Daddy loves you,” he said, kissing her lightly on the head.

“I love you, too, daddy.”

“You know you’re my little angel, right?”

“Yes.”

“Lying here with you makes daddy feel so good,” he said, slowly running his hand up and down the side of her thigh.  “Don’t tell the others, but you’re my favorite.”

“I am?”

“Um hum,” he said, moving in closer as he put his arm around her waist and slid his hand up under her gown, touching her cotton underwear.

“Stop that, daddy,” she said, pushing his hand away.  “That’s not nice and you’re not supposed to touch me on my private parts.”

“It’s okay,” he whispered, slipping his fingers under the elastic band of her panties and proceeding to rub her.  “I would never hurt you.”

“You’re poking me in my back,” she complained, scooting away from him, but he quickly pulled her back.

“Sorry,” he said, “I didn’t mean to.  I’ll try not to do it again,” he whispered, gliding his hand slowly inside her panties.  “Doesn’t that feel good?” he groaned.

“No, I don’t like it.  Please, daddy, stop.”

After several seconds, he grunted, exhaled heavily, and removed his hand from her underwear.  “This will be our little secret,” he said, getting out of bed.  “You can never tell anyone, you understand?  If you do, I’ll swear that you’re lying and you know what happens to little girls who tell fibs, don’t you?  They get sent away to live with mean, ugly people that they don’t know in houses where monsters live under the stairs and eat little girls.  Remember that, my little angel.”

Speechless, she nodded as tears streamed down her face, confused and ashamed at what had just happened.

“Remember, it’s our secret,” he whispered, putting a finger to his mouth.  “I promise to buy you a special present tomorrow, something that will make you feel better.”

As soon as he exited the room, she jumped out of bed and locked the door but hadn’t slept a wink for the remainder of the night.  Instead, she’d spent it staring up at the ceiling, watching the stars from her nightlight dance across the walls, wishing she could be as far away as they were.

At the breakfast table, she’d been unable to look anyone in the eye, certain that if she did, they’d be able to see what she’d done the night before.  Not having much of an appetite, she picked at her food, barely eating, anxious to get out of the house and to school.  When daddy kissed her on the top of the head and said, “Good morning,” she cringed, disgusted by what he’d done to her.  But it hadn’t fazed him at all, for he was smiling and happy, whistling tunes and acting as normal as he would have any other day.

If anyone had noticed her behavior toward him that morning, they never mentioned it, which was a relief because she didn’t want to talk about it.  All she wanted was to forget and pray that it never happened again.

“What have you girls been told about locking your bedroom doors at night?” daddy asked as he sat down at the table.

“Not to,” Rosemary, who was four years older, answered.

“That’s right.  And why is that?  Robin, do you know?”

Eight-year-old, know-it-all Robin answered.  “So that you don’t have to break our doors down in case of a fire.”

“Right again,” he said, looking at Joey.  “So, can you tell me why your door was locked this morning, young lady?”

How did he know she’d locked her door?  Had he come back to her room in the middle of the night with the intention of violating her again, only to find he couldn’t get in and would probably have awakened everyone had he tried to force the door open?  She was up and downstairs before he exited his own bedroom, so how could he have known?

What she wanted to say and what she knew she should say were two entirely different things.  If she told the truth, she’d probably be laughed at, called a liar and sent away to live with strangers who kept monsters as pets.  “I didn’t know it was,” she answered, staring blankly into her cereal bowl.  “I must have locked it by accident.”

“Make sure it doesn’t happen again, you understand?”

 

She knew why he wanted her to keep the door unlocked, and it wasn’t for fear of fire.  As badly as she wanted to defy that rule, she knew she couldn’t, because if she did, then daddy would get really mad and start yelling and taking his frustrations out on everyone else and be mean to mom.  Not wanting to cause all that unnecessary trouble, she knew she had to abide by the house rules and do as daddy said.

“Yes, sir,” she answered, realizing that what he’d done to her the night before wasn’t going to be a one-time occurrence, but likely only the first of many more to come.

He had promised to never hurt her, so perhaps she shouldn’t be afraid of what might happen.

Unfortunately, he was destined to betray his promise.

True to his word, he’d presented her with a gift that afternoon – a beautiful rag doll with long, blonde braids wearing a blue and white checked dress and blue buttons for eyes.  Fondly, she named the doll Molly.  She couldn’t hate her.  It wasn’t her fault that she’d been given as a gift to justify daddy’s bad behavior.  It also wasn’t her fault that she’d caused a major upset in the Sheffield household.

The purchase of the doll resulted in deep ire from Helen.  She was furious with Mac because he’d given only Joey a gift and not his other two daughters, accusing him of expressing favoritism and saying as much in Joey’s presence.  From that point, it wouldn’t be long before Helen’s anger shifted from Mac to her, inevitably causing her to suffer years of mistreatment, omission from mother/daughter outings, and being the one who spent countless hours in the attic punishment room where she was forced to sit for hours at a time in the dark with no food or water until Helen said she could come out.

Those had been some of the darkest days of her life and Molly became her best friend.  One she could talk to for hours and tell all of her secrets to, whose dress had absorbed countless flows of tears. 

Molly knew everything, and if dolls could talk, she would have had one hell of a story to tell.


Submitted: April 21, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Glenda Norwood Petz. All rights reserved.

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The Punishment Room

You'd better behave...or else!!

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