299. Story Continues

“I hadn’t come
With anyone.” She
Paused, corners of her mouth
Drawn bitter at that phrase.
“I’d barely moved here,
Not met Bo,
Nor no one–
Just the folks
Where I was boarding.
I knew them to say
Hello, is all….

“Well, the fiddlers
Started packing. Wringing
Sweat out of their kerchiefs,
Wiping those black cases….
Folks was heading home.
Some fellows
Said they’d drive me back,
They had a car.
But I said no. I just–
I didn’t want to go:
I smoked awhile,
Then set out on my own.
I could feel the breeze
Slide through my dress,
All cool. I took my time.
It’s quite a piece to town.

“They must have
Had their eyes on me all night.
So I thought later.
Later, I remembered
Two or three of them
Kept asking for a dance–
I didn’t pay no mind,
Said yes.
Not being careful,
Like we got to be.”

Louise shifted her gaze
Uncomfortably, from wall
To window, floor, as if in
Search of some way
Out. Her hands
Moved vaguely in the air.

“Course,
They was waiting for me.
Quarter-mile on down the road.
And then,
They jumped me.

“Wouldn’t you think
Someone’d hear?
What I remember mainly
Was the laughing.
Pulled my skirt off,
Waved it round, was
Laughing. Held me down–
Don’t that sound hard?–
You’d be amazed.
Two arms on yours,
It’s done. But I kept
Squirming, jerking with
My knees–just made them
Laugh–they’d take turns,
Slamming, squeezing tight.
The blood was coming then,
On me, on them. Ripped
My bra, and they near
Bit my nipple off–
And I kept saying,
No! Please!–like they’d
Listen.
I wish now….
Kept saying No,
They mashed against my face,
I couldn’t breathe–
I passed out once, came to–
We’ll kill you, they said,
Do this, touch that,
This way, or
We’ll kill you.

“And I did.
Did what they said.
Was I still screaming?–
Can’t recall.
I’d try to crawl,
To scoot, but
They’d just laugh–
I had blood from my stomach
To my feet,
And on my face now–
Please! I said.
I begged them.
I wish now–
Don’t kill me! Please!
They was so dirty.
They smelled bad.
I remember at the dance
I’d seen them, when nobody’s
Looking, grab a dog there,
Hold his paw
Into the fire.
But time had gone
Away, they did it over,
Over, each one it hurts more,
But no time passes,
No one comes..
I’d vomit, gagged–
You’d think
Someone would hear?
Went on forever.

“And it still does.
To this hour.
In my head.”

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2 Responses to “299. Story Continues”

  1. Kaki Warner Says:

    This was–without a doubt–the most compelling, frightening, wrenching thing I’ve read in a long time. And the ending–perfect. How can you live in your character’s heads the way you do, and still make sense of it for us? WOW.

  2. sshaver Says:

    I responded on the comment thread on the Welcome Page.

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