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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 53
Issue 2

Single Visual Art Post

Darkness. Cold. And Fear.
Vivien Eckert
Darkness. Cold. And Fear.

Chapter 1: Receiving

Another scream. And another. And another. Sometimes I wonder just how many girls have been killed upstairs in that Room. But then I realize that it doesn't matter. The only thing that mattersis that I am going to be one of them.

The noise stops, and all of the girls stand up ready to leave. The door opens and Thomas yells:"Let's go, let's go! We don't have all day for this." We walk in the same assembled line every dayto the cafeteria for breakfast and then to go our separate ways to please different men.

"Hey, you! Yeah, you! Stop. Turn around and come back." I follow the orders. This isextraordinary. Extraordinary is never good. You want to fit in the crowd. Because those thatstand out, get hurt.

"How old are you?"


"Liar." One slap. Then another. And another. A big gasp escapes my lips, and I get slapped againfor making noise. Grabbing me by my chin, he turns my head to spit in my face. "You're uglyand old. We can't make any more money off you." This is it. I'm going to die. Why? Because I'm not pretty enough. It's funny actually because that was one of the main reason why they got me here in the first place: I was a pretty young girl.

"Go back in the sleeping room," he silently yells, and I understand. Without any defense I quickly and quietly walk back inside and sit on my mattress. The door slams shut.

What now? Wait. Don't make a sound. Just pretend you don't exist.

After hours sitting in the dark cold, contemplating my death and just how they would do it, the door opens. Instead of crawling under the sheets and hiding like every inch of my body and soul want to do, I stand up straight waiting for orders.

"Take this," he demands. I swiftly walk over to Thomas, not allowing him to become inpatient, and I automatically spread out my arms to hold whatever he has to offer.

Light. Warmth. And Surprise.

Clear innocent blue eyes. Little strands of blond hair. I want to cry. A child. I'm holding a child.

"Call her Bambi," he grimaces, "if she asks any questions, don't answer them." Silence. "Did you hear me?" "Yes."

He turns around and slams the door shut.

This is my new task? Taking care of a child?

Drugs have made her body limp and silent. I wonder if she is breathing.

As I try to take off some of her clothes, I notice a name written in on the back of her jacket.

Shaina Ashley Kirkpatrick.

She has a name. Her own name.

My heart beat so fast it hurt.

I need to cut this out. Now. She can't know. Not now anyway. She has to forget her old name. She is Bambi now. But a child her age, 6, maybe 7, would not understand that she cannot say her own name or even think about it because if she does, they will know, and they will hurt her.

I take the piece of paper with her name and hide it under Candace's mattress. I really hope no one finds it, and if someone does, at least they won't blame me.

I feel guilt and disgust for a second, but then I realize that I have done this before. With my own name. And how it saved my life. And how it took someone's else's. I fight to keep my name hidden.

Looking back over to Shaina, I break down in tears. How long can she hold onto herself in hell on earth? I want her to keep her innocence, but I know it will be gone by next week.

A moan.

She is waking up. Quick, get ready to hold her down and shut her up. If she doesn't, we will both get hurt.