I feel I should do something for Halloween. I really want to do something for Halloween. Instead of writing up something and throwing out that short little something, I decided to pull one of the darkest, most horrific sections I could find in Broken and share it with you.
I must warn you, this section contains graphic rape scenes, strong language, and sadistic sexual torture. If scary is what you are looking for this Halloween… well… 18+ and older only. Not to be read by rape survivors. Please read responsibly.
by Angela B. Chrysler
I smiled to hide the hell I lived. I smiled to hide the darkness. On the surface, I smiled and grinned and laughed. I had mastered my emotions. What emotions I feel, I allow. No one suspected my wars. Living with Joe was better than living with Shaun. I was happy. My cats weren’t abused. I no longer needed my subterranean lake or Erik. The war was over.
It was supposed to be.
Joe loved playing with my body. Loved tormenting it. Loved control. What I didn’t know, was that the cold hate left in his heart from when his mother beat and abandoned him, left him loathing women. He hated women. He sought to punish each and every one of them. He loved giving them pain. He started with me.
He asked things of me and I said yes because if I said no, he threatened to return me to my father’s house. In my mind, Joe threatened to send me back to war. It was selfish of me to say no. I felt guilt for saying no. I never said no. So I said yes, always yes to avoid that war.
The first of his requests were simple.
“Let me tie you to the bed.”
I said yes.
“Let me bleed you. Let me bite you.”
I said yes.
He handcuffed me down and he bit me. He bit my nipples. He bit my breasts and I’d scream and he’d smile in the dark.
“Let me slide ice on you.” Only he’d hold it there and he’d freeze me. Joe loved hearing me scream. He eventually stopped asking altogether.
He put my nose in his mouth and he’d blow. He’d blow so hard my brain burned and I screamed and he’d laugh. Oh, he loved hearing me scream. It was one of his favorite games. He bit my vagina. He bit my clit. He’d freeze my skin then bite me. He dug at me and clawed my skin. He fucked me until I bled. There was never any lubricant. He tore at me and left me cuffed to the bed.
When he was bored with hearing me scream in bed, he made me scream in my head. He’d turn the lights off and make me watch horror movies. He was convinced they would scare me, and I would cling to him for comfort.
Stupid fuck. I don’t need comfort. I don’t hug humans for comfort. I don’t touch. In the dark, I watched movies that scarred me. I walked away terrified of aliens and horror. One more fear. One more condition. At that point, none of it mattered.
During the day, I walked away from the bedroom smiling and pretending everything was alright. I killed the emotion. I deadened myself to feeling anything. My cats were safe. There was no war. So I was good. All was good.
At night, Joe smoked his marijuana and painted pictures on his walls. I laid there subjected to his experiments while I studied the psychedelic glues and he bled me, tasting of ash and weed. He bit me and drank my blood. His fingers would rip me. He didn’t ask. He no longer cared if I consented or not. Chained to his bed, he stripped everything from me, including my voice.
He grew colder. The control grew worse. And it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. I was his own personal sex doll and I was mute.
He had friends over and he saw the way they looked at me. Physically, back then, I was gorgeous. Green hate consumed him and so he took to locking me in my room.
“Get the fuck in that room and don’t come out.”
I sat down on my bed and I cried.
He’d come in when he was stoned. He would fuck me and leave me.
Once, I said no. Once, I found my voice long enough to say, “No.” It was the only time. It would be the last time I ever said no again.
He pouted and did the one thing I could not stand. He rejected me. He called me selfish. He shunned me and ignored me. What little love I had, he took from me. I fell to his feet.
“I’m sorry. You can fuck me. I’m sorry. Please don’t hate me.”
I begged for an hour. I unfastened his pants and I sucked him. I did anything to keep him from rejecting me. I can’t live with rejection.
It took so much to earn back his love. When I did, he fucked me and left me. He used me. He fucked me. He left me every time. I lay on my bed naked with fresh semen running down my leg and he was already out the door, leaving me there alone to cry. I cried. The voice in my head screamed. Erik was gone, and the lake.
There were days I tried to emerge from that room.
“Get the fuck back in your room!” he would say.
“I’m sorry,” I answered and obeyed. Hey. At least I was out of the war. At least my cats were safe.
The sex was cold. It always hurt. He’d slam me down, fuck me, and leave me to bleed. I fell asleep crying every night, left alone to listen to the screams in my head.
* * *
I stood in that room. That steel room, cold and dark. There were no doors.
Every night, I dreamed of rape. Every night I dreamed of being chained down. I felt them on me. Men with no faces. Sometimes one, sometimes many. They would use me and pass me around. I didn’t say no, but I didn’t want it. They would leave me and I’d be in that room, naked and cold and the Death Men would find me. I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t get out.
* * *
I knew William was watching me, but only barely.
I stared at the kitchen table and saw nothing while I rocked in my chair, hugging myself. I pulled my blanket close to me.
Hey. Elizabeth, Ian said. You’re slipping again.
I ignored Ian. I didn’t feel like his jokes right now. All I saw was the girl on the floor in that room, swaying and rocking and naked.
“I’m sorry,” I said to her. “I’m sorry…so sorry.”
I swayed in my chair and I muttered:
“Slowly encumbered. Dying out numbered,
Death now I’m vanquished. Broken and battered.
There on the cold, stone floor, I raise my eyes to the storm,
There where the crow doth go, left me to ponder.”
“Elizabeth?” I heard William say, but I couldn’t answer.
I was in the steel room with no doors. It was dark and empty. She was there, naked on the floor in the dark. She was bent over on her knees, hugging herself and rocking. Black hair fell like sleek strips and still I muttered.
“And the silence, it cuts me. The silence, it gores me,
Spilling my blood as the rain falls on me.”
He raped me, she whispered.
I quit my rambling and I listened. She rocked.
He raped me and you didn’t know, she said.
I gazed at the blue moonlight upon her spine. I could count each vertebrae.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “So sorry.”
She hugged herself and rocked, paying no mind to my regret.
“I’m so sorry, Angel,” I said. Sweet Angel.
She raised her cold, black eyes to me. Her cheeks were sunken in from starvation. Her chains scraped the floor and her wrists, raw from the metal, bled.
You left me in that room with no doors! she screamed. I couldn’t get out! And you left me!
“You,” I said, hearing her voice and knowing. I had heard her voice before. She who told me I was selfish. She who said I was nothing. She who bled the most.
“It was you who lay in that room, naked in the dark,” I said. “Forever in the dark, shivering on the floor.”
She opened her mouth to scream, but I was already gone. And her screams followed.
I was in Dublin, standing with Ian in a pub. He had a pint of Guinness in hand.
“I dreamed I was fucking Joe,” I said over the music and laughter. I was smiling as if I was having a grand old time. The band was playing a jig. “…and his dick broke off inside of me. I couldn’t get it out. I dreamed I was fucking Joe and they passed me around like a dead doll. Shredded dolls. Broken dolls. Bleeding broken dolls.”
“Elizabeth!” I heard William’s voice again over the pub noise, but I ignored it.
“Keep with it, lass,” I heard Raven say. “I’ll listen.”
I strained to hear his voice again, but Angel’s screams grew louder.
“Raven!” I cried over the jig and the screams. A sudden belt of laughter filled the pub. If Raven answered, I didn’t hear.
“She can’t hear you, Raven,” Ian said, talking to the ceiling of the pub. “She’s gone and I’m drinking her Guinness. Sláinte!” Grinning, he raised his glass to the ceiling. “Today, drink Guinness, for tomorrow we vomit from alcohol poisoning,” he said and launched into a song of his own composing:
“Drink, drink, drink to the lass.
Drink to the cock you shove up her ass.
Spill not a drop. Drink the last drop.
Drink to the lasses you can’t tup.”
“Raven,” I whispered. The jig finished and there was applause. “Are you there?”
I looked around the Dublin pub.
No answer. And the room went quiet and changed.
The moonlight touched down on the lake and I was there all over again. In the distance within the shadows, I saw him. Erik.
“I see you, Erik,” I whispered. “My silent Erik.”
He tucked his violin under his chin and he played. His opera cloak moved with him. Drawn once more to the shadows, I followed. And as I stepped, I sang:
“Within my dreams you are there.
With watchful eyes the shadows stare.
Those haunting eyes I know them to be yours.”
“Elizabeth!” I felt William’s hands on me. I heard him, but I couldn’t see anything, but the lake.
“Those summer eyes forever there,
Haunt me, forever stare.
Within your eyes I see the pain I bear.”
“Silently watching me.
Forever haunting me.”
And I saw William. I focused on him for that moment.
“I can’t hate them,” I said. “Not any of them. But I want to. I want to hate them, and I can’t.”
Erik was slipping. The subterranean lake was fading and I was back in my kitchen on the floor. William was holding my face in such a way that I had to look in his eyes.
“I can’t hate,” I said. “I want to hate them. But I can’t. I can’t—”
I remembered Raven.
“Raven?” I said, looking about the kitchen. “Where—”
Don’t let her fuck you, boy, Ian said to the right of me. Whatever you do, don’t let her fuck you.
William didn’t hear and I kissed him. I closed my mouth onto William’s and I kissed him. I licked his lip. I tasted him. And I felt safe. I was safe. He opened his mouth for me and I shifted, pushing my tongue inside of him. He held my face. I felt his fingers curl gently into my hair, and he kissed me, but I wanted it rough. I was safe and exhausted and spent. I fell into his arms and this world slipped away.
* * *
I was back in the room with no doors. Blue light spilled onto the floor and across Angel’s spine. She shook, she whimpered, she rocked, swaying to the music in her head. Slowly, she raised her face from the floor.
Crescents blackened her eyes as she peered through strands of hair. The madness had taken her. The madness was her. She shook and held herself against the death that clung to the air.
“It was you,” I said. “You who sent me those dreams. All those dreams.”
“You wouldn’t listen,” she said. Her voice was raw from the endless screams. Each word cut her throat and I could hear it bleed.
“And you left me,” she said. “You left me here with no doors.”
She hugged herself, her arms wrapped tight across her breasts.
“And you left me,” she whispered. “You didn’t listen. You didn’t hear and you left me.”
“They’re coming back,” I said boldly and before she could look at me in horror, the Death Men appeared and it was I, not she, who lay naked and cold and cowering in the dark.
And I could not breathe. I could not—
I opened my eyes.
I was in my kitchen again. I smelled the simmering stew. I heard my Cookie mew. I felt William’s arm holding me up from the floor.
“Maybe we should call it a night,” he said.
I had to get through this.
“I have to get through this!”
The memories flooded back and I tried to hold in all the pictures and pain. I was drowning and I couldn’t hold my head above water. My lip quivered, I shook my head, trying my best to battle it all back. My hands shook, a tear spilled down my face and with it, the last of my strength.
“For six months,” I said. “He held me locked in that room! To fuck me! He used me! He left me, abandoned me while I cried. I wished for death! It was supposed to be better! The war was over! It was supposed to be over! There was no one! No end! I’m alone! I was locked in that room for six months! And no one knew!”
William didn’t move.
“I’m still there,” I sobbed. “Always there. And I can not get out. I can not… I will always be there. I’m locked in that room with no doors.”
And right then, after all the hate and the hell and the horror, I broke right there on the floor in front of William and sobbed like a fucking little pansy girl.
This part of Broken is based 100% on a true story.
Finalist for the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards. Goodreads Reviews "Broken is graphic, shocking, raw, disturbing, intense, appalling, shameful, and so very, very sad." "This story has the complexity of The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, but written with the flow of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson." "Your ...More info →