Sharks in the Crimson Sea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
The short story of a girl's life of abuse. Hope you enjoy :)

Submitted: June 10, 2012

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Submitted: June 10, 2012

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Sharks in the crimson sea

All that winter, never once would the sun pour its glistening rays of precious warmth over my frozen face. Never once would the odd black shapes in the night sky allow even the screeching owls, on their nightly prowl for scrabbling rats, glimpse a shimmer of the comforting moon or stars, crying out their beautiful light so brightly, so hard, for everybody to see, for everybody to cherish. But nobody saw it. Nobody cherished it.

That winter I died.

My limp, breathless body was found in a recycling bin on the corner of the street next to the shop hiding beneath a tall streetlamp overlooking Hyde Park. A paper recycling bin it was. I would’ve liked it to be glass. A glass recycling bin overflowing with sharp shards of my own reflection, sending wonderful red snakes across my skin, stealing my blood into the open. But no, it was paper, the dead children of the dead trees that lay everywhere.

The newspapers stated that a man, named Kyson Frank (a mass murderer currently on the loose) had killed me. There were bruises all over my neck, suggesting I was strangled. Plus, there were bruises on my thighs and forehead and the first two buttons of my shirt had popped off, suggesting there had been a struggle. There was also a stab in my chest from a breadknife perhaps. The only factor that had turned them down was that the fingerprints that were on his other victims weren’t on me, but they patted this fact back down, saying that the man must have used gloves.

***

When I reached the still-tender age of 9, I realized my mother’s belly was swollen and large full of my new baby brother. I was obsessed with feeling the weak thuds of small, growing feet against my palms as I stroked the bump of my to-be sibling, carefully avoiding my mother’s sore sticky-out belly button. It made her smile whenever I did that.

She wasn’t always smiling though, my father Simon made sure of that. He seemed to hate it when crinkles of happiness crept into my mother’s rosy lips. He hated her smile. He hated her. The more she was happy, the more stressful nights she spent awake staring at the outside world, her eyes burning as they searched pathetically for her beloved husband.

They both thought I was asleep through their nights full of tears, screams and loud bangs of hurling things at the walls. But of course, I never was. I was too frightened that if I ever did fall asleep, my mother and her unborn baby might also fall into the same deep sleep, but they would never wake up. Sleep only knocked my eyelids shut when it was certain that the fearful cries from downstairs had stopped grating my skull.

During their endless fights, I was always itching to sprint between them, hug my mother’s pain away and scream at my father to stop. I did that once, and only once. As the result of my thoughtlessness, a part of my hair is now shorter than the rest where father had torn some out in an attempt of dragging me back up the stairs, bashing my head against each step as he went and kicking me when he accidently dropped my head to the floor, giving me three scars across my left cheek. Throughout my experience with him, my mother was shrieking at him to stop and threw many cups at him, which he just caught and threw back at her whilst she tried to protect her delicate belly. After that night, mother held my hand in hers and soothed me through my blinding tears, rocking me back and forth and stoking my hair. She made me promise in a soft voice never to do what I did again, never to get involved in what would only cause me harm. I was to be a good girl and stay in my bed, having lovely dreams. Soon, she declared, I would have my little brother to cuddle through my dreams, summoning angels to protect his fresh mind from nightmares, and share the beautiful world of wonderland together.

Sometimes, if we were having a stroke of luck, the neighbours would dare to call the police concerning the noise in a vain attempt at making it stop. They all knew exactly what was going on inside our family home and the entire street we lived on pitied my mother and me, not forgetting what kind of life the baby would have to grow up in. They too had been awoken in the dead of the night by an invasion of angry screeches and they too were afraid of what the morning may reveal.

It was nearing my tenth birthday, mother was heavily pregnant now, and yet another of my father’s unfaithful nights arrived, not caring that his wife was due to give birth in just a week and needed to at least be able to put her feet up for 10 minutes. I decided to stay up with her that night as she waited for my father to come home and terrorise her, not risking sleeping at all in case he came home and found her being lazy. I read stories to her, showing off the fact that I can read fluently despite that I knew her mind was somewhere else though she occasionally nodded when I read a big word. I went to my room at some point and returned promptly with a delightful white rose which I had bought earlier with some money I had hidden in my special cotton bag, hidden inside my pillow where father would never think to look, for I knew how dearly she loved white roses. Her mind floated back to her silent and sleek as a black cat in the night when she laid her eyes upon the flower and an explosion of happiness placed a smile in her expression. Then the slam of the door shook us from our pleasant time and the curved red beauty was removed from my mother’s face, replacing a look of fear and hope dancing together in the light of her eyes.

“Cynthia!” Father shouted up the stairs, “Bring yourself down here and get some dinner up on the table will you, babe? I’m guessing Poppy’s asleep right and good so what’s keeping you? Come here and lemme feel my lil man.” My parents decided not to name the baby until it’s born.

“Poppy, get into bed dear, please, and stay in there for all our sakes hun, please.” Mother begged with pleading eyes.

“I will, mum, don’t worry so much, it’s not good for the baby you know.” I replied with a smirk, remembering that I will have a baby brother in about a week’s time. I watched as mother straightened down her dress over her bump and carved a fake, cheery smile onto her face as she staggered down the crooked stairs. When I was sure that nobody would come back upstairs, I opened the door just a crack as I usually did, so that I could be aware of everything that happened downstairs.

“There you are, I was just wond’rin’ if you’d done a runner on me and left me with your brat eh? Hehe, but you wouldn’t never think of doing such a thing, would you Cynthia?” My father laughed in a drunken voice.

“No darling, why would I?” Mother brushed it away, “Besides, who would help me look after the baby, hmm?”

“You saying that you’re only here with me ‘cos’ of the baby?” Father asked.

“No, I, I do love you…” I could hear my mother’s voice trailing away as she knew it was already too late.

“You’re pathetic, you are, do you know that? Pathetic…” Father started and the voice telling me to help my mother started whispering.

“Well if you weren’t such a drunk, maybe life would be easier for all of us!” Mother screamed back at him. I was actually quite surprised by her outburst, but then I became even more fearful as I knew more and more anger was being bottled up in father, just to be let out again.

“Excuse me? How dare… What?!” Father was a bit taken aback by mother.

“You heard me; you’re a drunk and nothing more.” Mother said – her voice calmer now.

“Yes I did, and you know what, you have no meaning. You’re nothing. So why do I let you stay in my home? WHY?!” Father bellowed.

“I have your baby.” Mother ended a bit too quickly.

“Well, we’ll have to get it out of you, won’t we? Then I can get rid of you.” Father said.

“Wait, no, stop, Simon, please,” Mother screamed as hard as she could when my father rammed a chair into her belly in a drunken rage. She shoved him off her and sprinted up the stairs yelling at me to ring the police and lock myself in my room.

I cried when I realised that this might just be it, the night I have been constantly terrified of. I stood in the doorway of my room, watching my father yank mother’s hair back down the stairs, still blinded by his drunkenness. I shrieked at him to stop, only to catch his attention.

“And you, my little brat, you do nothing, you’re just like your ma’am you are, just like her.” His eyes gleamed as they started to focus on me and walk up the stairs to unleash his wrath upon me also. Then, out of the blue, my mother stepped in front of him and locked my door from the outside and chucked the key into next door’s back garden.

Floods of tears streamed down my face, and I wanted them to stop burning my cheeks. I pressed my head on the door, trying to hear if any police came to the rescue, but no police came. The screams of my mother suddenly died and I knew the deed was done. My father laughed… He hated my mother’s smile. He hated her.

I couldn’t take it any longer; the echoing laughter ringing through my head; the thought that my mother was gone forever. My brother… he was surely gone too. Everything became silent and the world spun round just for a second as I took everything in. I looked up at my window. The curtains were flailing around freely and calmly – they knew nothing of what was going on. They weren’t even alive. There was a knife in my drawer – mother made me keep it there. She said it made her feel better that I had some protection… Mother…The word grew through my heart as beautifully as the white rose I gave her earlier, but ripping holes into it with its sharp thorns.

My mind was made up, I was to go. Now. Thuds were already bashing on my bedroom door as my father wanted to get me into the grasp of death as well. Grabbing the knife, I sprinted to the window and jumped out. I hurt my ankle, but that was okay, because I couldn’t feel the pain through all the pain I felt for the loss of my mother. I ran, I ran as fast as I could for ages on end.

I was nearing Hyde Park when a man (wearing black leather gloves) stood, 7 ft., in front of me. I trembled as he took the knife, sliding it into his pocket, before taking me by the shirt and neck and kissing me gently. Then he dropped me and made to walk away.

“Stop, please, stop.” I shouted back at him, “Give me the knife, and let me do something first, it will only take a minute, then you can go and you’ll never hear from me again, I swear.” Fortunately, the man listened and handed me the knife. Then he stood in amazement as I carefully sliced it into my heart. I felt the pain as it tore me open. I heard the panics of my soul and spirit as they were pushed out of my body. I saw the black coat of death looming over me, waiting for my life to completely end. I felt the knife being pulled out of me and my body being pushed into a paper recycling bin. He walked away with a smile… Kyson Frank had watched me kill myself, and walked away with a smile. I smiled gently, closing my eyes and praying for my soul to re-unite with my mother’s. I fell asleep, mentally alongside my mother and her unborn baby. We never woke up.

My name is Poppy Brown and I died in the winter of 1998.


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