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Shattered by You

By´╝ÜNashoda Rose

July 2014

MY FEET SLID in the spongey wet grass as the rain teemed. The heavy sludge of mud on the soles of my shoes bogged me down and I fell, landing hard on my hands and knees, panting.

The wind whistled through the trees, fragile branches snapped and plummeted to the ground, forgotten limbs broken under nature’s fury.

The monsters lived, but they’d never catch me.

I’d survived them.

I crawled to my feet again and ran, fighting against the wind as it tried to push me back. I put my head down like a bull and fought it. Fought nature. Fought the haunting memories. Fought the pain.

Tonight unravelled me. I’d been able to keep the horrific memories hidden for months, but seeing the news about a mutilated body of a drug dealer named Olaf Gordenski, found washed up on shore, was as if a tornado slammed into me and everything surfaced at once. I didn’t think. I ran. It was the only way to bury the emotions again.

He was dead.

Olaf was dead. Mutilated.

I wanted to feel relief, but my past burned in my chest like a volcano threatening to erupt.

I knew who was responsible. Deck. Or one of his ex-military men who worked for him at his not-so-legal company, Unyielding Riot. Deck was friends with my brother and after I escaped my hell, I told him about Olaf. My brother had already given Deck information on him, but what my brother didn’t know was about the club, the illegal club, with girls who didn’t want to be there. Girls like me who were taken there and forced to strip and keep men happy in the backrooms.

Anything I told Deck was confidential, him and his men only. ‘Nothing touches me,’ were his words. I didn’t trust him. I didn’t trust anyone, but I had no choice. Olaf had to die. Not only because he deserved it, but because he had always threatened to come after Ream.

He’d kept me prisoner for over a decade. He kept other girls too, although I was the only one who lived, or rather existed, in his house. Even at the club, I was kept separate, never allowed to talk to them.

There was an alarm on the house preventing me from escaping, although that wasn’t all that stopped me. I stayed to protect my brother. But that reason detonated the moment Alexa, Olaf’s psycho bitch, kidnapped my brother and his fiancée, Kat, a few months ago, which led to my escape. Alexa had been so focused on getting Ream back that she made the grave mistake of not locking me up.

I grunted as I fell again and my hands dug into the mud. The wind eased as if it were giving me a reprieve or maybe it was merely out of breath from laughing at me, knowing I was weakening.

My thighs quivered and my chest hurt as I struggled to breathe. I had to go farther. A little longer. My past would never have me again. Conquer. Destroy. Bleed the memories.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

I shot to my feet and ran with the memory of the vibration in my hand as I pulled the trigger. But it wasn’t a gun now; it was mud clenched in my fists. I’d killed. I’d ended three lives and I had no remorse or regret.

I’d watched blood leak into their clothes, eyes widen with shock and then the light fade from them as they died. And still my hand remained steady. The satisfaction of killing them lost to the numbness in which I’d encased myself.

But that was months ago and now . . . now my pores leaked poison and tried to unlock the pain I’d kept veiled.

Strength and resolve. I had to be strong. Fight harder. Do whatever it took. No one would ever control me again. The wind was my proof. If I defeated it, it wouldn’t slip through the cracks and let the monsters in.

I stumbled as the ground dipped and my ankle buckled. I crashed to my knees, and a sharp pain shot through me as my right knee landed on a rock. I remained still for a second as my chest heaved in and out while I hung my head low.

My blonde hair curtained my face in thick wet strands as the rain pounded harsh, relentless pellets into my body, over and over again. My shirt and sweatpants stuck to me like heavy cool blankets; blankets of pain and a weight of memories that refused to die.

I raked my fingers into the wet earth and crawled. I had to get the numbness back, kill the emotions, but there were so many faces, so many monsters. Gerard. Alexa. Olaf. The men, who grabbed and pulled at me, touched me, ripped me apart. Even their whistles and hollers haunted me, just like the wind.

Nature tried to defeat me, but I wouldn’t break under its rage.

My knees suctioned into the earth as I continued to crawl up the hill. With each ragged breath, my chest burned as if it had been set on fire. But pain drove the body to do more than you’d think possible. I knew about pain and anguish. I knew if I pushed hard enough, the pain would fade into the darkness again.

It made you stronger.

It made you do things you never thought you could do.

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