WARNING: ADULTS ONLY. Readers are strongly cautioned. “Broken” portrays sensitive subject matters including animal abuse, torture, and graphic sexual violence. There is strong language, drug reference and is not suitable for some audiences. Please proceed with caution.
I can feel it in me, right now. My hands shake, my breathing is erratic. Fear.
In most people, it provokes a response to run. At times, it evolves, and encourages most to fight. In me, arousal sets in. Right now, I’m scared, but I don’t want to fight. I want to lay you down and fuck you. Cold, hard, meaningless sex.
I will ravage you so quickly that you will have no idea what to do with it. That is my plan and I know exactly how you will respond. You’ll throw your arms up and let me devour you because I move so fast you won’t have time to keep up. After the shock wears off you’ll give in and respond. Your mind will be blank and I’ll do things to you that you can not imagine.
It will all be about you. I will fuck you and taste you. This isn’t love. This isn’t sex. This is fear. I will make you cum and then I will run. That is what I was trained to do. My brain is programed this way. My body is conditioned this way. Fear is my trigger. This is what I am. Fear. This is what I have become. This is my defense. You asked for my story. I will tell you exactly how I came to be like this.
Think of how often we fear. How often we experience it every day. Fear is the core human emotion. We are prey. Prey move on fear, live on fear, they think on fear. Fear makes mothers kill to save babies. It makes men into warriors. It turns hate into prejudice. It turns Hitlers into leaders. Fear is the primary emotion programmed into the center of our brain to command each and every choice to keep us alive long enough to breed. Fear of death spawns religions. Fear of the unknown spawns philosophy. Fear of repercussions spawns lies. Fear of isolation spawns love.
But I don’t hate. I don’t fight. Not anymore. I don’t lie. My fear converts to lust. The stronger the fear the more I pursue. Its honed in me. My body has grown around it, shaped it until I drip sex in my smile, in my eyes, in my posture, in my words. I control the flux in my voice to provoke the most sensual of images from you. Every word I speak is with the intent to relax you, to woo you, to draw you in, to make you love me, so I can weaken you, kill you, and run.
That is what I am.
Even now, I want to fuck you hard. Because I’m scared. I want to pull off my skin with lust and devour you. That is how scared I am. And if I don’t…
* * *
I pinched the bridge of my nose. I wanted to cry. I wrung my hand on knee. The desire to lunge across the table and fuck William—Mr. Shaw—right then was unbearable.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
I looked up and allowed him to look right through me. I know how my eyes appear to others: honest and completely open. Haunting is what I’ve been told. My smile forever glows in my eyes and I know it. Too many men have told me this. I’m lethal. Everything about me, I unknowingly developed to attract and seduce a male. I mastered seduction, but there is venom in my blood. It drips from my thorns.
I watched William’s eyes dilate. I watched his breathing increase, his neck flush red. I made him feel things, think things all with a glance. I had this mastered. If I smiled right now he would think I desired him. They always think I want them. I was already working on him. I did it the moment I spoke my words. I had a way with words. It was just one more bit of poison I use to seduce.
“I don’t exactly where my heart on my sleeve,” I said. “I wear my soul in my eyes. Everything in my life primed me for the next event good or bad. Every event left me in the mental state I needed to be in to enter and maintain the next stage. If something had altered at any point along the way, then maybe I stood a chance. But it didn’t. One train wreck prepared me for the next train wreck, which only prepared me for the next train wreck until I had inevitably become what I am before you.
“The hard part is watching men—good me, decent men—fall for me over and over again. The hard part is not knowing how to shut this off. The hardest part is not being afraid.”
I guess the best place to start is the beginning. I’m not going to drone on about every tedious event of every year. I’m going to be honest. I remember very little from the first eight years of my life.
I was born in Cortland. I remember the staircase where my older brother, Charles, and I threw little parachute men off the banister while my father watched the news with his back to us. I remember the toy I played with in the driveway that belonged to my neighbors. I remember the walk we took down the road in the stroller, and my sister’s bedroom: a large closet painted pink. I remember my mother crying over a load of ruined clothes because she had washed a black crayon with the laundry. The dryer had melted wax all over the machine and the clothes. That day taught me never to wash children’s clothes without checking the pockets first. I think I was four.
Her mother was there. It was the only time I ever saw her mother leave the dump of a trailer where she festered. My mother was Irish and had a sliver of Egyptian in her. Lundy and Fitch were the family names. I don’t know much about her family. In fact, I know almost nothing. My mother was—and is—a chronic liar. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother. But I don’t believe a word that has ever left her mouth.
My mother was beautiful, but insecure, and she boosted her lack of confidence with boasting and bragging. Every story was embellished. Every truth, exaggerated. The rule with my mother is simple. Believe nothing. My mother was, to say the least, messed up. From my earliest memories. the signs were there.
Her punishments were random, unpredictable, and, at times, unusually cruel. My brother received the brunt of those fits and, more times than not, she humiliated him to such a degree that it left him scarred. Most of the time, she exercised the classic discipline from the early 19th century. Bend over and hold the chair while I spank you with a belt. She was the mother who literally washed our mouths out with a bar of laundry soap. I grew up with my mother threatening to spoon feed us castor oil. I think we were the only children in the school who knew what castor oil was.
But it wasn’t the punishments she doled out that groomed my siblings and I into what we would become. It was the constant, dedicated lack of support and complete absence of physical touch. My mother made sure we were clean, cared for, and beautiful. My brothers had suits. My sister and I were dressed as porcelain dolls with curls, petticoats, pinafores, and saddle shoes. I don’t remember a single hug. Ever. What little I remember in way of affection was too boldly overshadowed by her rage, her anger, her screaming, her reprimands.
My father was a by-the-book kind of guy. According to his religion, he was to go to work and bring home the bacon while the wife cooked, cleaned, and mothered children. The only time my father stepped in is when we deserved an extra hard spanking. We went to church on Sundays, Saturdays, and Wednesdays. Yes, we were well-behaved children. Yes, we were manicured into perfect ladies and gentlemen. My mother would have it no other way at any cost.
I remember very little of my father from those days. I remember when I was four, we were camping and a recent spanking had left a bruise on my leg. My father never spanked me or my sister ever again after that. I remember that camping trip well though. We went to Buttermilk Falls and oh…we swam beneath the falls. I loved the forests in New York. The water and gorges the trails. More on that in a moment. I could talk for hours on the forests of New York.
After Cortland we moved to a larger house that I have no memory of, then, when I turned eight, we moved into the ranch. Town was an isolated village with a population of one thousand and was fifteen minutes away. We had two traffic lights. We lived on a dirt road and the ranch-styled house sat in a clearing. I remember that day very well. Not the house, but the forest, endless stretches of woodland area that went on for days behind the house. All around me were hills and mountains covered in endless forest.
Barefoot, I would run to the trees and play. For hours I would explore the Wood.
The forest was old. So very old. You could tell there were places where no man had walked in centuries, if ever. There was a peace there. A refined, ancient peace preserved from society, electricity, and people. Electricity is loud. Did you know? When we had power outages the peace from the forest would seep in and blanket the house in perfect, beautiful silence.
Those were my happiest of days.
One hundred years ago, there had been a road that cut through the wood. An old wagon trail still remained. Moss and grass had grown over it, streams flowed across it, shaping it into an old path through the wood. I always strayed from the path. I would climb into those woods and find little newts, the beautiful little red ones with black spots. They’re endangered. I would love them, carefully pick them up, pat their tiny heads, and return them to their streams and beds of moss. I visited them often. I knew they were precious. I miss them.
I remember little from that time. Only the forest. I remember when the screaming got loud, I would run, barefoot into the wood and find my newts. I named the trees and followed the streams to the gorge. Oh, how I loved the gorge.
If you’ve ever seen central New York, you’ll know it’s all hillside. Everything is at a constant forty-five to sixty-five degree slope. Houses and farms were built on the occasional slot of not-so flat land. The wagon trail in the wood was on a rare layout of farmable land flanked by sheer drop offs, massive slopes, and plummeting gorges. This was my playground and oh, did I use it.
I had this one spot in the forest mastered where I could jump on the leaves slide for three feet, snag a branch and slingshot myself around and bolt, hopping and sliding, surfing the hills on leaf litter into the gorge. I would end my dance on a jump into the shallow streams with my skirts hiked up to my thighs. That was my home. That is where I wanted to be more than any place in the world.
The stream continued down to the river below. The Tioughnioga (Tee-off-nee-o-ga) River. Some summers we would swim in that river. It was so, so beautiful. The streams that trickled down the mountains cut through the shale and earth leaving behind massive walls of slate and stone that cradled streams and waterfalls. One stream formed the Gorge.
The Gorge had walls nearly thirty feet high. I would climb them in my skirts, stand at the ledge, and gaze down at the deer with their fawn. Up there with the wind and the trees, I found me. I could slip, so easily into the elements and feel them move through me. It felt like I could really fly and wanted, so badly to jump, to try. Self-preservation and Darwin said otherwise. I could see the rows of waterfalls and, upon, my descent, I would strip off my dress and swim naked in the pools of cool, clear water. I crossed rivers and streams hopping bare foot from stone to stone.
There, in my glen I was home. That is the only happiness I remember.
* * *
Life on the ranch was quite the opposite. Life in the ranch was hell. Together, my parents had four children: Charles, myself, Marie, and Eugene. My mum was a screamer. The screaming was relentless. There was always noise. If we fell and got scraped my mother screamed and coldly reassured us that we were fine as if she was annoyed that we bled at all. There was no hug. No kiss. No contact.
At night, we watched TV. My sister sat snuggled into my father’s lap while I sat on the floor as far from everyone as I could. No one touched me. I was fine with that. I don’t think I would know what to do with it if I did.
I remember seeing Marie, her thumb in her mouth, her head resting on my father’s shoulder. I remember wishing. I wanted it. I pined. So I hated. I never said anything. “Children should be seen and not heard” was verbally beaten into us. You didn’t speak. You didn’t ask. You didn’t talk. I turned my thoughts back to the TV.
That was a memory I had. The TV was precious and when it was on, we were not to speak to our father, and it was on from the moment he came home from work to the moment we sat down to dinner to the time we went to bed. The TV was more important than us. My father loved it more than me. It was one of the first lessons I learned and I learned this lesson well. I detested the TV. It was a fifth sibling who absorbed all my father’s love and attention. I was jealous. I loathed it.`
Dinner was the only time we had with our father. Again, we were not to speak, but my father did. Every meal he made his rounds. He’d start with my brother, Charles, and would spend fifteen minutes telling him how worthless he was, how selfish and miserable he was. Then it was my turn.
I would slip food in my mouth and I’d hear the words.
“You’re selfish, ungrateful, and spoiled.”
“You only think of yourself.”
I spooned my food in my mouth flanked by tears.
“You don’t spend any time with the family.”
It hurt to swallow. My stomach tightened. I lost my appetite and I stopped eating.
“You only ever think of yourself.”
He went onto my sister. She was five at the time. Eugene was two. He got skipped.
The next night, the routine repeated itself. My father would drive in.
“Go to your rooms,” my mother would say. “You know your father doesn’t want to see you.”
We scattered knowing we would be scolded if seen.
I’d steal a peek. He kissed my mother and, after changing out of his work clothes, he turned on the TV and watched. My mother called and we’d sit in silence at the dinner table while my father made his rounds again.
“You’re selfish and spoiled.
I’d spoon food into my mouth.
“You care only for yourself and shut everyone out.
I’d swallow and the tears would fall.
“You’re ungrateful and spoiled.”
My stomach would clamp and I wouldn’t eat.
“You’re useless and rotten and spoiled.”
His words became a recording that play in my head to this day every time I try to eat.