40 comments

Contemporary Fiction

Trigger warning: Sexual assault


A ray of light sneaks its way underneath the door, briefly illuminating the pitch-dark room and its occupants.


They blink at each other for a second before the light goes away, and I can only see the scars and bruises that they have to keep with them forever. All of them have the same eyes, the eyes that have seen more than they should have. I suspect that I have those eyes too.


The moist cloth that has been stuffed in my mouth and tied around my head reminds me of its presence again. I scream until my throat is raw, even though the others roll their eyes.


The doorknob rattles for a bit, and then creaks open, the light blinding us for a few seconds.


The bearded man enters, the main man’s main accomplice. I look to the others, but they don’t meet my gaze. They have gone through it too; they know what’s coming. I may be new here, but I should have seen it coming too. I should have predicted that when the time would come, there would be no one to protect me. They needed to protect themselves, they were the girls after all.


He comes closer and tightens the zip ties that have been piercing the skin of my wrist endlessly. He smells of alcohol and sweat, and I stifle a gag, the cloth choking me further.


He doesn’t take the wet cloth out of my mouth, leaving it there to muffle my screams, to give him some extra cloth.


He instead takes off his pants and then takes off mine, while I look away from the other girls, my cheeks flushing.


As he pushes himself inside of me, a shock of pain runs up my body.


He ignores my whimpers, the fact that the cloth is now slowly getting stained red, and the fact that I’m passing out. He just keeps grunting and pushing, moaning and sweating.


My body is now limp, and the pain keeps increasing.


He keeps pushing, even when the room starts to blur and fade out.


Pushing and pushing.


******


My ears are ringing.


I spit out the cloth from my mouth and take in a big gulp of air, the cloth hanging from my throat.


I’m still on the ground, my pants at my ankles.


It is morning now, or maybe the afternoon. There isn’t any clock in this room. I slowly look around, taking in my surroundings for the first time.


The room is painted entirely in sky blue, the walls stripped bare of any decoration. The paint is peeling off at some parts, and crusted blood is on the floor and corners of the walls.


The four girls are lying on the ground too, their skirts and pants at their ankles. I quickly avert my eyes, not wanting to be even a bit like those men.


One of the girls, the one with red hair, slowly stirs, her eyes meeting mine and immediately breaking eye contact, clearly embarrassed at her half-naked state.


I try to say something, anything to make her feel better, but I find that I’m short of words.


She looks back at me, spitting out the cloth tied around her mouth.


We just look at each other, each daring the other to start the conversation.


What could we possibly say to each other to make it better?


Hey, are you okay?


Of course, she is not okay.


Hey, does it still hurt?


Of course, it still hurts. Everywhere.


I’m sorry.


That doesn’t stop it from happening.


That doesn’t stop him from pushing.


Her face reflects the same confusion in my mind.


Even though it is as daunting for her as it is for me, she decides to speak first.


“Hey, I’m Jillian.”


I mentally hit my head.


Introduction, of course.


How come I didn’t think of that?


“Cole,” I push out, my throat raw with pain.


“Do you think that if we scream this time, someone will hear us?” I ask, biting my lip to stop the tears that threaten to slip out.


She looks at me with wet eyes and shakes her head.


“I just want it to stop, please, make it stop,” I cry out, unable to hold it in any longer.


As I sit there, my pants at my ankles, and sob my heart out, Jillian’s hand reaches towards me, trying to give me some comfort. The zip ties remind her again of their existence and she cries out in pain as it cuts through her skin.


I stop my blubbing immediately.


When silence descends on our surroundings, I realize that it wasn’t this quiet before.


Then the footsteps return.


We listen carefully, the footsteps sounding a soft rhythm, but a rhythm, nonetheless.


I look at Jillian, and she has a wide smile on her face, having reached the same conclusion.


She mouths ‘three, two, one’ and we start screaming for help.


Some of the girls start regaining consciousness and get the idea in a few seconds.


All of us scream, even though our throats are sore and bleeding, even though some of us can’t even breathe. We scream because we know that it is the only way left to live, to survive.


The police officers enter the room, all of them men. They look away from us immediately, not wanting to make us feel worse. One of them takes a phone and calls his fellow women officers, and we all breathe a sigh of relief.


We can hear shouting and threatening from outside the room, the main man and the bearded guy’s voices clearly audible.


All of us sit there half-naked, waiting for the women officers to arrive. I look at Jillian, and her face is streaming with the tears of pain, of relief, of disbelief.


I don’t even notice that I’m crying too.


******


I open the door, and Jillian stands there, a smile on her face.


We shake hands, both of us still not into the idea of hugging or too much physical contact.


As we sit and chat about our lives, I wonder how different my life would have been if what had happened hadn’t happened at all.

I wouldn’t wake up every morning drenched in sweat, I wouldn’t reject every girl who asked me out, I wouldn’t carry pepper spray with me, I wouldn’t have scars on my body, I wouldn’t be so revolted by seeing myself.


As Jillian tilts her head back and laughs at something she said, I know that maybe something good had come out of it.


I got a sister.


******

February 01, 2021 16:02

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40 comments

Carrie O'keefe
17:17 Feb 01, 2021

It was well written. I like the trigger warning up on top so people know.

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Writer Maniac
17:24 Feb 01, 2021

Thank you so much, I appreciate it!

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Cassandra Durnin
16:50 Feb 01, 2021

This was extremely sad but also amazingly well written. It had me horrified, but also hopelessly intrigued. Well done!

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Writer Maniac
16:55 Feb 01, 2021

Thank you so much, I appreciate the comment!

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13:43 Feb 24, 2021

Damn the story was detail enough that you know what's gonna happen next. But what struck me the most was the ending where Cole considers Jillian as a sister. the recipe for this story is ( the following): 1. a dark room (excuse me)a pitch dark room 2. Cloths and zip ties 3. four girls 4. The "main" man 5. Pain & afraid 6. Pain but......... sense of someone coming ( to help them) 7. lots of screaming 8. The people coming in finding these girls ( policemen ) 9. The police MEN needs their fellow police WOMEN to help 10 Finally they are fr...

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Writer Maniac
14:26 Feb 24, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I loved reading your comment, it was a lot of fun :D I would love your feedback on three of my stories called 'Not Worth It', 'Remember that Night' and 'Still Have Each Other', each vastly different from each other, but all ones I'm quite proud of:)

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S. Athena
21:54 Feb 07, 2021

Ok - now I'm scared. You managed to convey emotion - terror, hope, sadness. One thing I'd rewrite is where you say 'my life would have been if what had happened hadn't happened at all' to avoid repetition but also because you're still alive so it'd make more sense to me to write 'my life would be...' and then perhaps 'if I hadn't experienced sexual assault' I'm a new writer and my very first story deals with sexual harassment - if you'd like to give me feedback, read my story here: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/7...

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Writer Maniac
02:23 Feb 08, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the feedback! I didn't want to use the words 'sexual assault' which is why I made that repetitive phrase. I'll think on it further and change it up a bit. Thanks for noticing it. I would love some feedback on a story of mine called 'Not Worth It' and I'll be sure to read your story too!

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I think that this was a very good and properly structured story Mania, good job!

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Writer Maniac
02:32 Feb 04, 2021

Thank you, I really appreciate it!

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Hey Mania! Love this story, the emotions are all well balanced which I loved and the trigger warning in the beginning was a good idea. Overall wonderful work!

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Writer Maniac
16:47 Feb 03, 2021

Thanks a lot, appreciate it!

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Ijeoma Okoli
08:38 Feb 02, 2021

I liked how simple it was..you sure know how to be straight to the point

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Writer Maniac
09:05 Feb 02, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

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Ijeoma Okoli
08:34 Feb 02, 2021

Nice... Checkout mine.. Almost same..but more hunting My reason for leaving

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Writer Maniac
09:05 Feb 02, 2021

Thanks! I'll be sure to check it out when I get the time!

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Pippin Took
20:43 Jun 16, 2021

I love the story, it's very well written. It's sad, but sometimes sad needs to happen before happy does.

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Writer Maniac
03:16 Jun 17, 2021

Thank you so much, I agree!

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Pippin Took
12:46 Jun 17, 2021

:D

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Valerie Robinson
18:15 May 20, 2021

I like this story, it is so sad to read, but it's beautiful at the same time. Quick question; is the narrator a boy or girl? 😊👍

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Writer Maniac
02:42 May 21, 2021

Thank you for reading, the narrator is a boy :)

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Valerie Robinson
12:45 May 21, 2021

Ohh, okay, that cleared things up :)

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Radhika Diksha
05:05 Feb 03, 2021

He instead takes off my pants and then takes off mine, Thi sentence is wrong in the case of context. See the story is serious and you perfectly explained their plight. The story was kinda intense, which you know fazed me out. The police coming to help them was sudden and quite didn't fit into the narration. I saw you narrated the entire assault sequence which I felt was kinda unnecessary and a lot harsh for this platform. {my opinion} And I am seeing that you are getting matured in your content but you have been writing kinda adult topics a...

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Writer Maniac
05:35 Feb 03, 2021

Thank you so much for the feedback, much appreciated. This was a story meant to bring light to sex trafficking, which is still a serious issue. I've been trying out new things, if you are tired of my recent stories, you can check out my previous ones. I did focus a lot on his emotions and showed a lot about that as well. Please reread it and you can get back to me.

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Radhika Diksha
06:05 Feb 03, 2021

I read it well. I said what I felt missing according to me and the plot.

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Writer Maniac
06:11 Feb 03, 2021

I did show a lot of the emotions and showed exactly how Cole was feeling throughout, please suggest what exactly you would like to be shown emotionally

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Radhika Diksha
06:16 Feb 03, 2021

You described her pain, not what she was going through the trauma. The sadness, the self-doubt I think it was all missing. She immediately called for help, started talking showed a lack of dept on her emotional journey. And the plot twisted very soon.

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Writer Maniac
06:29 Feb 03, 2021

Cole is a boy, that is clearly mentioned. He has gone through this for so long so he is quite numb to all of this by now. This is a short story, so without a rescue or a plot twist, the story cannot move forward.

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Radhika Diksha
18:14 Feb 02, 2021

New story out, would love your feedback on it.

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Writer Maniac
03:56 Feb 03, 2021

Sure! Would love some feedback on this story that you're commenting on as well :)

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Writer Maniac
15:18 Feb 23, 2021

I'll be sure to read it! Could you please leave some feedback on one of my latest stories called 'Still Have Each Other'? Thanks :)

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Thank you! I will soon:)

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