A silence so heavy spreads itself in the room. For an eternity the room is calm until a tidal wave crashes against the silent glassy wall and breaks through.
“Pick up, pick up. Fuck, pick up, fuck.”
The words fall out from his mouth in confused somersaults. Bumping into each other’s jarred edges. Outside, the world is nonexistent. Nothing matters more than what’s happening inside. It’s past midnight. Maybe I should leave but I don’t.
The man curses again, the word breaks in half as he bites down on it. His teeth clacks together like a nutcracker.
He paces back and forth in heavy strides. On the carpet, he leaves marks. Outside, the world doesn’t move. Car horns stop and then stretch mid-beep.
The sweat on the man’s brows brim over and trickle down in big drops and he’s still saying the word fuck. Fuck. Over and over again. Fuck.
In his apartment I am lying down, dead on the sofa. Next to the sofa is The Prophesies of Nostradamus on the side table.
I don’t want you to look at me the way I am right now. There is blood between my legs dribbling down on his expensive carpet. I have bruises around my neck, blooming purples and yellows. On my cheek, a bite mark. My hair is in disarray like clouds torn by the wind. Beside the blood on the carpet are tufts of black hair. Dripping out of me, mixing with the blood, is cum. You can still smell the alcohol on me.
The man, with his expensive watch and expensive shoes, screams at his phone and throws it away. It thuds against my legs and he grits the word fuck between his teeth. Again and again. On the TV, a basketball game. On the floor by the door, a ripped dress.
Then his phone rings. Incessant and horrible. A wave of relief washes through him and he dives for his phone. He smears his pinky with my blood as he picks up his phone. He swipes right and puts his phone against his ear. He’s shaking while I am still.
He looks at me like I want him to die.
He’s screaming, “I’m fucked, dude. Fucked! I killed her man. I fucking killed her, the little bitch. Fuck.”
“No I won’t fucking calm down. Fuck you! You gotta help me, man. I can’t go to prison. I have my life planned, man. I’m fucking engaged! Fuck!”
“What did I do? Fuck, man, she wanted it! She was asking for it! She was flirting with me at the club, she was showing off.”
“What did I do? Fuck you! I’ve done what we’ve always done. I slipped something in her drink, just a little bit so I won’t be fucking a cold fish when we get home.”
“Nah, nah. The little bitch was saying no when we got home. She punched me when I tried to unzip her clothes, the slut. Maybe I should have given her the whole goddamned drugs.”
“She wanted it, man. She was just trying to play her little game. I knew she wanted it. I know girls like her. They say no but they want to get fucked. Hard.”
“You know I always get what I want so I clocked the bitch and stripped her of her clothes. I told you, man, she wanted it. She screamed but I know she wants me to stick it inside her, the fucking whore. Bet she does this to all the men she fucks.”
And so he threw me into the sofa and switched on the TV to drown out my screams. The drug he put in my alcohol was blurring my vision, making me sluggish. He pinned me down as I squirm in slow motion under him. My throat hurt from the screams that raked through it.
He put his hand under my panties and clawed it off me. I was bare before him and he grinned at me. In my blurred vision, I saw yellowing fangs on a dog’s red face. His finger poked inside me. It felt like a rod of molten iron was cooking the flesh around it.
He laughed and I heard the sound of breaking glass on a loop. Fervid rough hands raced on my bare stomach and tore my bra off. In his heat I felt cold dread. He rubbed his thumb on my nipple and licks it. My head was spinning but I knew I was angry. There was a black hatred in my heart.
I was regaining my strength as the drug wore off. I managed to push him off me and ran to the door. My hand reached for the door knob but he grabbed my ankle and dragged me towards him. He crawled on top of me in his living room floor. His tongue was razor sharp when he tasted my neck.
“And I fucking say to the dumb bitch, you like my apartment?”
He buried his head between my breasts and bit me. I screamed and swiped at his head. Over and over but the more I hit him, the harder he bit down.
“Girls like her want to play rough, y’know?”
He dragged me by my hair to the sofa. I pulled my head away but his grip was strong and I could feel my hair coming off. I was thinking what I would do to fix the bald spots on my head when I get home. In the TV, the audience cheered as the ball went through the hoop.
His breath stank of alcohol as he pushed his tongue inside my mouth. I gagged and tasted bile at the back of my throat. He said that I should stop screaming because it was going to feel good in a minute. He unzipped his pants and took out his penis. Grunting, he spreads my thighs with strong knees. He smiled up at me and pushed his penis against my vulva.
When he forced his erection inside me I could feel barb wires parting my flesh. I screamed louder and forced him out of me but he pushes in harder. The pain was too much to bear.
“From the fucking minute I was in her I knew she wanted it. The bitch was wet for me.”
The Nos I screamed were flaring out of my mouth like fireworks but he refused to listen. Strings of my saliva flew around as I snapper my head back and forth. He pounded me like I was a piece of meat. Like I was nothing but a hole to him. With his every stroke I felt him rending my insides. There were shards of glass inside me. My thighs are wet with my blood.
His grunts and moans filled my ears and I clawed at him through his douche-y shirt. With all the strength left in me I reached for his eyes and tried to scratch them out.
“So I told the fucking kinky bitch to stop but she wouldn’t let up, man. She wouldn’t! It’s not my fucking fault, right?”
He snaked his hands around my neck and began to squeeze. His thumbs dug deeper, carving out a well on the center of my neck.
I couldn’t scream and when I tried my voice came off as a hoarse bleat. At that moment, as he keeps choking and violating me, I knew I was at the end of my life. And as he came inside me, shouting obscenities, he squeezed the last of my breath. I had no last words. I died, disrespected and humiliated. Treated like cattle.
The last thing I saw was his face as he came. His ugly face twisting in pleasure.
“You gotta help me get rid of her, man. You gotta, you owe me one!”
“Fuck you, man. Shit, I’ll fucking tell your girlfriend you cheated on her. You owe me one. You owe me. You owe me. You fucking junkie.”
“Yeah, I’m at my place, retard. Fucking hurry.”
As he waits he glares at me, burning holes into my body. Maybe if he looks at me hard enough, I will disappear. He’s thinking that this is my fault. That I wanted to die under him as he took me like an animal.
“You don’t even have great tits,” he says.
When his friend arrives an hour later I was already in my ruined dress. I looked like I walk-of-shamed myself from the last to the first train stop of the city. If I could speak, I’d ask him to cover my bald spots with a cap. At least, I wanted to be secretly thrown away with a scrap of dignity. At least. I wanted to look beautiful when I die. Not this. Never this.
His friend pushes up his signature glasses, believing that I would disappear if his vision clears. If I could, I would tell him I’m not a drug-induced image.
“Oh, man. You’re in big trouble,” his friend says as he nudges my leg.
“Don’t you think I fucking know that? Now help me load this bitch in the car.”
“Your car or mine? I gotta be honest, bro, I don’t want a dead girl in my car”
“Fucking pussy. Fuck you, we’ll take her in my car then. Fucking pussy.”
“Wait. What are we gonna do with the CCTV, man?”
They load me, wearing his Nike hoodie, in the backseat of his car. The CCTV could mistake me for a drunken friend they helped take home.
My rapist’s hands quiver above the steering wheel. He feels a wave of nausea wash over him followed by a numbing coldness. His friend takes out a joint and lights it up. He takes a drag, gritting his teeth together as the smoke scurry towards his lungs. He offers the joint to the driver.
“I’ll smoke when the bitch is somewhere hidden that they don’t find her for months. Hell, years if I’m fucking lucky. By that time, I’ll be out of the country with my hot wife.”
“Amen to that! But here, man, you gotta take some bennies to keep ya focused on the mission.” The friend with the glasses takes a pill out of his pocket. He shows a white pill and winks at the driver.
My rapists, the donor of the drying cum on my bloody thigh, looks at the pill like it was going to bite it. He narrows his eyes and pops the pill into his mouth. He swallows it, still glaring his suspicion deep into his friend’s eyes. He’s afraid his friend will take advantage of his drugged state. If I could, I would laugh.
In the backseat, my arm drops. The thud is a thunderclap inside the car. They jump from their seats as if struck by a whip. The hairs on the back of their necks rise and they half-expect me to sit up.
Glasses boy looks back and sees my hand on the floor. He catches my rapist’s eyes. They both peal out in laughter, howling like dogs and thumping their knees with sweating fists. The driver barks a last heavy laugh and steers the car out of the basement parking lot.
“Fuck, man. What the fuck did you give me? Holy mother of shit!” His eyes pop out of their sockets and there’s spit on the corner of his mouth. His face glistens under harsh street lamps as the car cruises alone in an empty highway. Here is my improvised hearse.
Silence rides with us as they search for ditches and canals. They search for hidden caves and alleyways that disappear during the day. They thrum their hands in hope to send secret codes for successfully disposing a dead body. The headlights flicker on and off, morse-coding the word rape. Over and over. Fuck. Rape. Fuck. Rape. The streets are more iridescent in the strange light of three AM. Lights have taken leave of how they are perceived and begin to dance in the morning chill. After all, those that can see them will dismiss them for illusory.
A light rain starts to float down, veiling the city in. The car, still alone, illuminates the drops as they fall to their deaths ungracefully against tarmac and steel.
Three AM is a wonderful time. I should go on and be with the lights but I want to know where my body will rot. I want to stay until I smell as sickly sweet as rotten fruit. I want to stay when the rats come after the worms have peeled my flesh from my bones. I want to stay until I don’t recognize my face anymore.
The car stops in a sudden jolt. My body sways as if to fall but it thumps back against the leather. Warehouse buildings, with cracked windows and giant rusty locks, lie on either side of the car.
“Dude, wasn’t this whole place your dad’s?” The boy in glasses asks as he pops another pill in his mouth.
“Where the fuck do you think we were dumping this bitch? We can’t dump it in a sugarcane field, retard. All the other fucking dead bodies are there,” he says, hitting his friend behind the head.
The driver jumps out of the car and puts his hands in his pockets. He brings out his phone and turns on the torch. He swipes the light from left to right, making the shadows play a game of cat and mouse. He walks around the car, checking if someone is around. If I could, I would scream.
His friend steps out of the car moments later, hugging himself. “Bro, it’s gonna rain hard pretty soon.”
“Shut the fuck up, ‘tard. I’m making sure no one’s here to fuck this up,” he snarls, aiming the torch at his friend’s face.
“I thought this place closed down a couple years ago when your dad got sued for some shit.” Wincing, he covers his face from the light.
A lightning flashes, illuminating everything in stark detail for a brief moment. Two skeleton boys with a skeleton girl in a skeleton world. “He had to let this place go and pay some fucking lawyers so they could leave him alone. Those fucking assholes.”
He takes another sweep of the place and sees only shadows dissolving in his light. A dog barks somewhere in the distance. “Okay, I think it’s good. So where do you think we should store the bitch?”
His friend shakes his head and peers at me through the window. “I don’t think you want to put her inside one of those warehouses, man. I think junkies come here and do some shit, y’know?”
“Fuck, you’re right. Okay. Fuck!” He throws his arms up into the air and stomps his feet. The thunder comes and it shakes his bones. He tries to hide the shudder that races across his spine. I wish he was thinking about me. I wish he wants to vomit as much as I wanted to earlier.
The dog barks again, louder this time. “Man, come on. I think we should better go. The rain’s not letting up. Let’s just dump her on the side of the road.”
“Fuck no! Are you out of your goddamned mind? I’m not gonna let that bitch ruin my life. Do you think my dad’s gonna take care of this? Do you? He’ll personally throw me in jail if it makes his government friends happy. Jesus Christ! I asked you to help me clean this mess not to fucking implicate me. Got it?” His voice cuts his friend open.
“Sorry, man. I wasn’t thinking.” Glasses pops another pill into his mouth with a shaking hand.
My rapist gets on his knees and narrows his eyes. “Wait, what’s that?” He points at something on the ground. Somewhere closer, the dog howls.
Glasses looks at where his friend is pointing and runs towards it. When he arrives he give a delighted yelp. Hooray! Finally they know where my funeral is gonna be. He beckons for him to come over. Steadily, curtains of rain pitter-patter against the windshield of the car. In the distance, they give each other a high five.
He opens the backseat door and takes my legs in his hand. If I could, I would kick his teeth in. He pulls me towards him and I slide out of the car . His friend puts his hands under my armpits. Here are my pallbearers without a coffin.
From the back of one of the warehouse, the dog runs out barking. At last, my dirge has begun. They walk me slowly towards the open manhole as another lightning strike flashes across the sky. The priest who says I was a good daughter and friend is a rumbling thunder. This is as close to a funeral as I could get. At that moment, the rain was for me.
We stop beside the manhole and my rapist drops my legs. His friend gives a surprised shout and falls on his ass. They hear a crack as my head connects with the ground.
The dog howls at us from beside the car. It’s missing a left eye and its nose is bleeding. There are patches of white fur but mostly just scabbed skin on the dog. Its ribs heave up and down. Its mangled tail is between its legs. It howls at us again and ends it with a throaty growl.
My rapist flips the dog off and lies flat on his stomach to peer down the manhole. He turns on the torch of his phone and shines it down inside.
“There’s definitely a passageway down there. We can take the bitch down there, take a little walk in the park, maybe see the sights and leave her to rot till kingdom come.”
“Hey, can I ask you something?”
“What was her name?” Glasses looks at my face smeared with make-up.
“Shit, man. How should I fucking know? Stop asking stupid questions and let’s get this over with.”
“How can we get her down though? We can’t carry her and go down at the same time.” He wipes away the rain on his face.
“Shit. I guess she has to go down the faster way.” He pushes me feet first into the blackness and the gurgling water below.
They hear the unmistakeable break of bones as my feet collide with the sewer floor. The dog’s barks are hollow and dreamlike in the sewer. In the darkness, something moves.
A beam of light shines down on me and illuminates the bones protruding from my skewed legs. The bones are whiter than his teeth as he grits them together. My rapist descends on steel rungs on the sewer wall. He tries to avoid looking at the shin bones that poke out of my skin.
Shining the beam forward, he finds walkways on either side of murky water. Dry heaves rush up out of his throat and he has to steady himself against the musty wall. He notices the blood from my broken legs is trickling down to the waters below.
“Is it safe down there?” The voice floats down.
“Yeah yeah. Come down here you pussy!” He shines his light to the opening.
When his friend arrives in unsteady legs the dog pokes its head in and barks at us.
“What the fuck is wrong with this dumb dog?” He looks around to see something he could throw at it but he only sees our shadows and the darkness beyond.
“Leave it, man. Come on, I wanna go home.”
It was quiet except for the burble of water and the sound of careful footsteps bouncing around the sewer. A rat scurries across the mold growing on the sewer floor.
“I can taste the piss and shit in here, man. How much further?”
He grunts and adjusts his hold on my legs. “Far enough that people can’t find her.”
“My arms are tired, man. I can’t carry her any further.” They hear his voice say further again and again until it fades off. Glasses gives an involuntary shudder.
“Just one fucking more and we can go.”
They tread on. Two boys on a quest to bury the damsel in distress. Two boys on a quest to save their damned skin. They come to two passageways ahead of them. One is free of obstruction but the other is laden with sacks of rice.
They put me aside, leaning my head on the gray wall. Grunting and sweating, a sack of rice is thrown into the water. A path is cleared for me to enter my tomb. I am the poor man’s Pharaoh and this is my version of the pyramids.
My rapist crouches down to face me. I stare back at him with dead eyes. He reaches out to close my eyes but they spring back when he lets go. If I could I would say, “I am your guilt and you can never run away from me.”
“Look, maybe you shouldn’t have smiled at me. Maybe you shouldn’t have worn that make up and those clothes. Maybe you were asking for it. Shit, I don’t know. I didn’t want to kill you. I thought you wanted it and maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly. You ruined it, you know. I will always be thinking about what I did to you.” He shakes his head.
“This isn’t my fault.” His voice is hushed as if he’s telling me a secret. “I’m so-“
The word is ripped out of his mouth by a piercing scream. In the sewer, the scream travels through a multitude of passageways. It sounds like souls trapped inside the place are screaming all at once. Copying the scream because they don’t remember their voices anymore.
When he turns his head he sees a tall shadow behind his friend. Sticking out of his friend’s stomach is a clawed hand covered in black fur. The shadow opens its huge mouth and reveals long rows of jagged teeth. The teeth people have nightmares of. It bites down on his friend’s face. The sewer hears the bone and glasses break. Blood squeezes out of the puncture holes and staining the teeth of the shadow. In the following silence they hear the clink of the glasses as it lands on the floor. Glasses boy’s last word is “Oh.”
The shadow bites off a chunk of the face and crunches on it. It swallows and shoves the body into the water. A deflated eye waves goodbye as the red water swallows him. His scream’s echoes fade out and is replaced by a guttural roar from the shadow.
The shadow is almost as tall as the sewer’s ceiling. My rapists falls back. He sees the thing but he’s not sure if it’s true. Maybe it’s the side effect of the drug he took. Maybe it’s the darkness playing its tricks. He takes his phone out and fumbles to turn on the torch. Under his breath he whines, “Shit shit shit.”
He directs the light at the thing and revealed to him is a creature covered in glistening black fur. Its snout is elongated like a wolf’s but so much bigger. If I could, I would ask, “Grandma, where have your eyes gone?” The body of the creature is insect-like, thin and sharp edged.
Its arms touch the floor of the sewers. It stands there as a solid shadow, a nightmare’s true form. It raises its incredibly long arm to its mouth and licks the blood off with a sick-yellow tongue.
“You,” the creature says. Its voice is like gravel being crushed.
My rapists screams and all the ghosts in the sewers scream with him. If I could, I would join in.
“Fuckpleasefuckfuckpleasefuck.” He dials in a call but he only gets an automated voice telling him he is out of coverage area. The creature remains where it is.
He tries again and the creature takes a step forward. It is close that he can feel the heat coming out of the creature. His breath comes in rapid gasps.
Taunting him the creatures says, “You.” It draws out the word into a rasping whisper.
He tries the phone again but he gets the same automated voice. He gives off another scream, frustrated this time, and throws his cellphone at the creature.
The cellphone hits the head of the thing but it doesn’t flinch. “What the fuck are you?” He shouts as he gets to his feet. From far away, he hears the echoes of the dog’s barking.
“You,” the thing says, pointing a long finger tipped with a curved black knife at him.
He bends his head from side to side and chuckles under his breath. His shoulders are heaving up and down as his laughter grows and grows. It is a humorless laugh. It is the laughter of a man who will get the electric chair.
“You want a fight? Is that it, you fuck? What do you want?” His eyes are ablaze and his hands are in fists as red as apples.
“You,” the thing says again. For a moment, he was certain that it gave a short laugh. Sandpaper on cement.
He gives a scream filled with poisonous rage and swings at the creature. His punch lands on the creature’s palms. Spider-like, the creature closes its hands around the man’s fists. He feels the hair on his skin and he gives a whimper. A memory, fresh and cutting, of him pulling me by my hair burns in his mind. He grunts as he tries to take his hand back.
Before he could say anything, the creature’s free hand is on his crotch. The clawed hands tighten and he screams as the edged points start to penetrate his flesh. His blood trickles down the fingers of the thing.
With one motion the creature rends his penis off. His screams become shrieks of agony. A ragged hole where his genitalia should be bleeds out a copious amount of blood. If I could, I would tell him to shut up and take it like a man. He’s screaming from the pit of his stomach. His breath sticks in his throat and his eyes roll up into the back of his head.
His feet come undone under him and he sags to the floor. He’s blubbering, “Nonononononono.”
The creature pulls him up, touching his slack fist against the ceiling. He tries and shake himself lose but he’s distracted by the pain. All he can do now is cry and say no over and over again.
“You,” the shadow says again and moves him closer to its face. With its tongue that looks like dried pus it opens his mouth and shoves the tongue in his throat. He tastes the rancid decay of the tongue moving inside his mouth and he gags on it. His face turns a dark red. Spilling out from between the creature’s tongue and his lips is vomit.
He hears a squelching sound like teeth chewing on meat. When he looks down through the tears in his eyes, he sees a claw parting his stomach in half. Already, he can see parts of his intestines coming out. His stomach is burning. Underneath him, a puddle of blood widens.
For a moment his intestines remain in his stomach. His vision is dark at the edges and his head is swimming in a haze. He doesn’t remember his name. The pain is the only thing he knows now. The creatures gives him a shake and ropes of his intestines fall out of him. Like worms, they slid towards the water.
He’s flung away against the wall and his body crumples to the ground. My rapist is dead. His mouth hangs open in frozen disbelief.
The creature turns to face me. There is something familiar about it. It stoops down and picks me up in its arms. Countless others spring out from the shadows. The creatures with their black fur whispering among themselves. A sea of thin bodies surge their way to me. They stop around me and continue their soft rasping. A million cicadas singing for a good rebirth.
The creature holding me sets me down and punctures my belly button. It slips something in and it stands back. After a moment, the stone the creature put inside me starts.
The bones in my body repair themselves and they stretch out, becoming longer and stronger. My face juts out from my skull and my jaw becomes bigger. Serrated teeth grow out of the normal ones. My whole body is burning but I feel no pain. Just a soft warmth that envelopes me. My wounds disappear from my flesh. One of them rips my dress in half, revealing my deformed body to them. Their sandy singing elevates.
The black hair starts sprouting from my belly button and moves outwards to cover my whole body. And as my fingers become claws I stand up. I am complete. I feel my new body and I move my mouth and my arms. I feel the power inside me vibrating.
I see none of them open their mouths but I hear their voices welcoming me in my head. Their voices are clear and angel-like. Hello.
I know now that I am not myself but I belong to them. I know my purpose and I understand. Two little ones grab my hand and they look up at me. I draw them closer to me. I feel their warmth. I feel their love.
I stand with my brothers and sisters and together we walk into the shadows.