The rope was tearing into my skin. The more I struggled, the more it tore and burned. Sweat poured down my face to intermingle with my tears. My heart was pounding, ready to rip itself from my chest to escape the building fear growing all over my body. My throat had gone dry from the screaming and now a corse whine issued from my mouth. I had a briuse on my upper right shoulder where I had kept beating my back against the foundation post I was tied to in our basement. It was dark that day in the basement. I remember it was day because, the only thing that filled me with hope was the small window in the basement, with warm rays of sunlight shining to a spot a few feet in front of me. I wondered why Mom hadn't come down to rescue me yet. But I already knew the answer to that. Dad.
After all, he had tied me there.
And that was how I conquered my fear of the dark. If I hadn't, I wouldn't be able to type this now in a darkened room, lit only be my computer screen.
Mom has recently said that she doesn't recall why Dad tied me down there, but there was a shouting match between them about it. All I remember is the sunlight and fear. Fear has been my constant companion since that day. And since most of us have vivid imaginations, my fear has always had a voice. A voice that even now as I type this is telling me to stop and delete this post. I don't know if any of you have ever suffered this type of abuse and perhaps it's not right of me to share it with you and ruin your day. However, if I don't, it makes me a coward and my fear wins.
I remember wanting to escape badly. To run outside and keep running away, until I found a place where I wouldn't be hurt. And then, I remembered where I lived and what resources I didn't possess. The streets of Des Moines would offer no salvation and neither would its people, all dealing with their problems and abuse, that had changed them into unsympathetic citizens. I know what you are thinking, it was your father, Cameron, not the town. It was both is my reply.
The sun beat down relentlessly on the pavement. I reached down to feel its heat make the empty street feel like a skillet. My hands press against the hot surface to gauge my pain threshold. Lifting my head, I surveyed my neighborhood and see that no one is watching. Slowly, I kneel down repeating my pain exercise on my knees first, then belly and finally my right cheek. Heat sears its way all over my body, and subsides after a few moments and then I can feel the coldness of the street return. Staring down the street I can see the two sewage drains on opposite sides at the end of the road. They are raised, so nothing can clog them, but a child could slip and fall down to the sewage below. From my belly resting on the street I can hear what seems to be footsteps and water. I was still alone and no cars had driven on the road since I had laid down. I listen again and this time I hear something else, a pulse. A pulsing sound, and the street seemed to move. Breathing. The whole street was breathing and the two drains suddenly became jet black eyes that caught me in their gaze and I could not move. These words formed in my head. No escape.
And this was the beast that I had hoped to escape to during my time in the basement.
Fear. It's a hell of a thing.
Next time, I'll share a good memory to offset this horrible one.