The little boy waits in his room, dread filling his senses as he rushes to put as many pairs of pants on as possible. His heart is becoming erratic and his breathing uneven as he rushes around the room preparing for the inevitable. He knew he shouldn't have taken the pretzels from them but he was just so hungry, he always is when he gets home. Today, though, had been even worse than usual. He had PE and then stressed all day about an upcoming quiz the next day.
He had stepped into the house after walking home from school alone, something he should have remembered but it left his brain as his stomach ached. He quickly rushed into his parent's room and grabbed the bag of pretzels that sat on the dresser and placed several handfuls into his shirt. After he was satisfied with the amount he had, keeping in mind not to take too much that it would become noticeable, he then started up the stairs.
Halfway up he freezes in place due to shock and freight. Standing at the top of the stairs is his sister, her hands on her hips as she glares down at him. He gulps loudly before opening his mouth to try and explain. Nothing coherent comes out though, he stumbles through words as his sister stares at him expectantly. She shakes her head at him as she says the one thing he wished she never would. "I'm telling the witch, you're gonna pay for this." The witch is their stepmother, she's kinda a bitch and a gold digger so when talking to each other they never refer to her by her name.
This is why when he hears the front door slam closed his eyes start to water with fear of what is to come. Once he is semi-satisfied with the number of pants he has on he sits down on his mattress and waits. His hands become sweaty and start to shake the more time that passes. He knows he messed up but he never thought his own sister would tell on him. The amount of time that they had to take money from their dad just to get enough food for them, he never thought she could turn on him. When he hears heavy footsteps making their way up the stairs he grips the edge of the mattress and takes a steadying breath. He closes his eyes for a minute before finally, the doorknob starts to turn. It feels as though everything is happening in slow motion. His eyes are glued to the knob and he feels the cold slide of sweat making its way down his back.
The door finally opens and in walks his angry stepmother. She starts to yell but it's so loud that he can barely comprehend what she is saying, he makes out tidbits though. "Do we not feed you enough?" no, no you don't "Are you so ungrateful that you must steal from us?" no, just really hungry "Why are you wearing so many pants?" to protect me from the harm I know you're going to inflict on me. "You think a few pairs of pants are going to protect you from this?" I had hoped so, god do I hope so. "I never said I was going to beat your ass, there are just so many options. Your neck, back, arms, feet, head." Oh, god what have I done? She laughs then as she pulls off her work belt. She doesn't use the leather side though, she turns the belt around to the metal ends and smirks at him. A shiver runs through his body as he stares back at her. She walks further into the room and closes the door behind her.
The belt slides against his skin hard, with no pauses or breaks, continuously pounding against his flesh. He cries out repeatedly, his screams filling the room, but the hits never falter. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, the woman stops her ministrations and backs away from him with a sneer. "DO IT AGAIN, SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TIME," she screams at him but it falls on deaf ears. His sobs are too loud to hear over. His head is pounding from the exertion, the dehydration. He curls up on his mattress and moves into a little ball, his arms coming around him in an attempt to comfort himself. He's lucky, the woman didn't break the skin on his back. No blood means less pain and easier healing.
It isn't until hours later that he climbs out of bed and into the bathroom for a shower and a quick bathroom break. The water stung his skin and any movement burned. He passes his eldest sister's room and sees both her and his middle sister sitting on the floor. They both look at him, two different emotions on their faces. The eldest has a sympathetic look in her eyes and an uneasy smile on her face. The middle sister has an angry look in her eyes and a flat mouth. The middle sister looks away first going back to talking about her day. As he continues to his bedroom, his mind wanders. He lays his head down on the pillow and thinks. How had I forgotten that she was sick yesterday, I walked home by myself. Idiot, so stupid. He falls asleep to these thoughts, berating himself for being so stupid the whole night.
The next day he wakes up incredibly sore. He pulls on a t-shirt and some pants, ties his shoes, and walks quickly out of the house. He stops halfway down the driveway and turns back, remembering to take his meds. Once at school, he sits in front of a shelf full of books. His reading assistant teacher helps him go through two books before she places her hand on an extremely sore spot on his back. He winces and lets out a quiet ouch. The teacher looks at him with concern, he shakes his head telling her he's fine. He sees a flicker in her eye but brushes it off. Not even an hour after the teacher left, he hears his name come through the intercom and he makes his way to the nurse's station. He immediately knows something is off when he sees two officers, one a female and the other a scary-looking male. The female officer asks in a soft tone if he could pull up his shirt for them. He does so reluctantly, the collective gasp has him tugging his shirt back down instantly.
The female officer turns to the nurse and says something he can't comprehend. The scary-looking officer squats in front of him with a soft little smile. He tells him to go back to his classroom and collect his stuff. He does so in relative silence, the officer then takes him in his trooper car. They stop at a huge facility. The officer tells him that it's called a shelter, it's going to keep him safe from the bad person who did this to him. He just nodded and walked inside with the older man. The officer does a lot of paperwork as the young boy plays with a few of the toys they have to offer. After the paperwork is done the officer asks him several questions and then he leaves him in the custody of the shelter.
That night as the little boy lays in his new bed the only thoughts rolling through his brain are: WHY. SO. STUPID?
Authors Notes: Some of the things that happened in this story could very well be more dramatic or less dramatic than what actually happened. A lot of it has gone blank, whether that's due to trauma or just bad memory I don't know. Please do not think I'm lying, I just thought I should specify. This is my story and I wanted to share as much of it as I could. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.