By Elizabeth Arlen
It was the kind of rain she usually enjoyed; thick drops falling at a rapid speed that drenched you in seconds. She loved the clean, fresh smell it brought, as she sat at her window. It was usually a comfort to her. It brought her back to reality when she was lying on her bedroom floor, sore and tired. It gave her something to focus on when he was with her. She just wanted to lie down in the grass and let the rain run over her and cleanse her from all her sin and filth like it did the earth.
But tonight there was no time to stop, no time for cleansing. There was only time to run. Her friend ran slightly ahead of her on the slick roadway, frequently looking back at her, calling her name and urging her to hurry. Her entire body hurt and it was all she could do to keep moving. If he wasn't somewhere behind her, she'd stop and breathe. But he was and she couldn't go back. She wouldn't.
The road was slick. It hadn't rained for weeks and all the oil, dust, and pollen was a slippery mess on the roadway. She and her friend slipped several times, quickly picking themselves up and running again, despite scraped hands and bloody knees. She didn't know how far behind them he was, and she couldn't look. This would only work once. It was her only chance. If he caught up to her, there was no knowing what exactly would happen, except that he'd take her back there. She'd rather die. And when he was finished with her, she probably would.
"Stop!" He screamed. Her friend waited for her to catch up, finally taking her by the hand and dragging her along. Her mind screamed; she didn't want to be touched. Her breath was ragged, coming in gasps. She hadn't run like this in so long…there was no room for much physical activity in that place.
"Come on!" Her friend urged. They ran off the road and into the thick trees. "Go ahead." Her friend said. She ran ahead while her friend moved fallen trees and branches as obstacles between them and him. They had a chance; she had a chance to get away.
The forest was thick and only a little rain dripped through. She ran, zigzagging through the trees, trampling bushes and stumbling over moss covered logs.
"Hurry!" Her friend yelled. She tried to speed up, but tripped over a root and sprawled across the dirt and wild plants. Her friend cried her name and was next to her, then in front of her, attempting to shield her from him. Even drunk, he was strong and showed incredible presence of mind. He pushed her friend out of the way. Now it was him versus her.
"Please." She whispered. He knelt down and leaned close to her ear.
"Wasn't I good to you? Didn't I house you and feed you? Didn't I let you go to school and bring your filthy friends over? Didn't I? All I asked was one thing in return, you little brat; I care for you and you care for me. But you're ungrateful, just like your mother." He was looking straight at her, she avoided his eyes.
"Please." She repeated. Her friend got up and came back over.
"Haven't you done enough?" Her friend said, "Just leave her alone!" He turned to her friend, a small smile playing on his lips. Her friend instinctively took a step back, but then stood firmly, glaring up at him. He reached out with both hands and grasped her friend around the neck. She jumped up.
"Stop it!" She pleaded, pulling at him, but he didn't relent. Her friend was being suffocated and she had to watch.
"See what you've done," He said, "You had to involve another person; your mother tried it too. Am I really asking so much?" His tone seemed to laugh, to mock her. "This is your fault. But I'm sure you'll be a good girl now, right?"
"Please." She couldn't say anymore. She trembled at the thought of returning to that place. All she felt was fear. There was no anger, just fear.
"Pamela…" Her friend whispered, eyes beginning to roll back. No. Never again. Never. She bent down and picked up a large rock. She held it high over her head and brought it down on his head. A sickening crack rang through the air. He turned in his last moment, reaching out to stroke her neck. Then he collapsed on top of her, the blood from the back of his head dripping off his neck and onto her.
"Pamela!" Her friend cried out. She pushed him off her and stood up.
"I'm sorry, Daddy." She whispered. The walls she spent her entire life building were crumbling and she began to cry uncontrollably. There was blood on her, and for once, it wasn't her own. She stared at the heap of a man that used to be her father bleeding and dying on the ground. In that moment, she tried to remember him for what he was before alcohol consumed and changed him. But as hard as she tried, she couldn't remember. She couldn't remember when she and her parents were all happy together. But it did happen, didn't it?
Then through the trees, she saw a house. And on the porch was a middle aged woman, terror written on her face, on the telephone. When they made eye contact, the woman rushed into her house, slamming the door. The curtains and blinds soon were shut.
"Let's go." She said. Her friend nodded, and though they had no reason to continue running, they ran anyway; fear and adrenaline still pulsing through their veins.
At the edge of the small forest, a patrol car was waiting for them.
"That's what happened." She explained quietly. The police officer across from her didn't say anything at first. They just looked at each other.
"I'm sorry." The police officer finally said.
"For what?" She asked. The woman just shook her head and stood up.
"Your friend can take you home now." The woman said, look out the window at the now gently falling rain. She stood up slowly, pushing her chair in.
"I don't have a home." She replied before leaving the room. Her friend was waiting at the door for her. They left together and as they had no car or money, they walked, slowly, silently. On their way, they passed a playground and she stopped. Her friend stopped as well and followed her as she slowly lay down in the lush, green grass. She spread her arms out and closed her eyes, letting the gentle rain fall over her.
"Pamela?" Her friend questioned.
"I want to stay here." She replied quietly.
"Okay." Then her friend lay down similarly next to her. The walls that were crumbling turned to mud in the falling rain. She let herself cry and feel her pent up sorrow and anger. She screamed out loud, letting all of her emotions go. She let everything go, as she felt the grass beneath her hands and between her fingers. She heaved long, heavy sobs, and the rain washed it all away; the anger, pain, fear and sorrow, the tears. It washed away the blood, his blood and hers. It washed everything away until it was just her. Just her raw self, her friend, the grass and the rain.
AN: An odd, sudden inspiration. Written completely on 11/10/08. I hope you enjoyed. Constructive criticism always welcome.