I lay there naked, as my battered and over-used body was too exhausted to move. Tonight was not the first, and certainly would not be the last. My biological father, the one who gave birth to me, somewhere along the way decided to use me as his personal sex toy. How much longer can I take this? His disgusting beer gut scratched all over my teenage skin; his lewd tongue invaded me in the most hurtful way; and worst of all, his eyes, eyes of a monster, would look at me as if I were just meat. “Rebecca, open wide and let Daddy in” – he would mumble under his drunken breath. I felt sick to my stomach. All night long, every night, I would just lie there, wishing I were dead, or at least brain-dead, so I would not have to endure this any longer. And in the morning, I would look at all the bruises and cuts, barely able to recognize myself in the mirror. “Daddy likes it rough” – he said. No matter how much I scrubbed myself, to the point of bleeding, I would never feel clean. That’s all that I am: tainted meat.
In school, I tried to hide it as best as I could. People looked at me, and all they saw was a blond girl, a bit shy and withdrawn. But they would never be able to guess the horror that went on in my life. Why haven’t I killed myself? Well, my Mom was sick with cancer, and my baby brother, Gyro, was too young to take care of himself. I had to live, for them. Why haven’t I called the police? Because he threatened to take my baby brother into the bathtub for a “long, long bath until he never wakes up”, he said.
Today, on my way back from school, I tried to walk as fast as I could, so nobody would be able to catch me. But Daemon did. He’s a boy in my class, with a slim yet athletic body of a swimmer. His medium-length brown hair would touch his shoulders in the most inviting but carefree way. The most amazing parts of him, however, were his eyes: deep blue of ocean on the clearest day, with a hint of golden sunshine if you look closely enough. I have only had the chance to look closely enough twice, for fear of getting lost in them. Or at least, that’s what I told myself. No, my worst fear was not getting lost in them. It was me, not deserving to even look into such beautiful things. I am, after all, tainted meat.
“Becca, wait up. I have something to tell you.” _ Daemon shouted out behind me. I shortened my pace until he could catch up.
“Hey… Daemon” _ I said.
“Are you free tomorrow? It’s my birthday, and I would really be happy if you could come.” _ Daemon asked, almost afraid I would say no. As if I could say no.
“Umm are you … sure? I don’t think people like me very much.” _ I tried to cover up my excitement.
“How could they not? You’re the most beautiful girl in school.” _ Daemon grinned. Gosh, a slick tongue like that should not be given to such a gorgeous boy like him.
“Umm ..kay. I guess I can come for a bit.” _ I said, turning my head away to hide my bright red cheeks like two ripe tomatoes.
“Yay. I can’t wait. It will be so great to have you there.” _ Daemon said as he ran back to his car.
The whole way home, my head kept spinning with all these thoughts. Does he like me? What if this is some practical joke? It gotta be. But he wouldn’t. Daemon is such a sweet person. He would never do that to me. Even if he did like me, where is it gonna go? It’s not like I could return his feelings. My heart and soul have been stampeded on and torn apart so many times that I doubt I have any feelings left anymore. But…but… the strangest thing happened. Somewhere in that deep abyss of my tormented soul, a faint giggle of a little girl infatuated by her puppy love just rose up.
That night, I slept soundly. My father must have dropped dead somewhere after devouring countless pints of beer. Please God please, let that be true.
In the morning, I woke up early and showered like a normal girl. I put on my Mom’s cherry lipstick, its cap filled with dust since she never used it anymore. I looked at myself in the mirror while tying a pink bow on my head. I guess it goes with my blond hair. Hopefully, I can still look somewhat presentable after my eight-hour shift at McDonald’s. Between my Mom’s medical bills, and my brother’s schooling, I had to take two jobs during the day to support them, while my Dad used his unemployment checks to fill up on alcohol. As I entered the store, my co-worker, Stacy, greeted me with a big smile: “Hey girl, you look especially pretty today. Got a date later?” _ came her usual interrogation.
“No, not a date. Just … uhm … a friend’s party.” _ I said, trying to hide my joy bursting through my chest.
“A cute friend, I hope?” _ Stacy continued to tease.
I shoved my elbow in her rib and put on my uniform.
“Oooh somebody is overprotective of their man already. Hehehe, just remember, bro over hoe!” _Stacy laughed. She has always been somewhat of a wild card. How it must have felt to live without fear and regrets like her, I will never know.
“You mean, hoe over hoe?” _ I retorted, referring to her promiscuous lifestyle.
“Hehe you wish you were fabulous like me!” _ Stacy said, shamelessly wiggled her butt to the counter.
My shift felt so long that day, especially since I had something so much better to look forward to. I used what little saving I had in my piggy bank to get Daemon a bracelet with the word “R” on it. Gosh, is it too forward? It’s not like I’m his girlfriend or anything. I really hope he likes it. Anyway, it’s too late to take it back now. I’ve already gift-wrapped it last night and put a card inside. Just one short sentence: “Happy Birthday, Daemon. I hope you like this bracelet.” It took me an hour and a half to write! I second-guessed every single word. Does it sound too casual? Too serious? Should I use an exclamation point? It was a miracle I even got any sleep last night. Too many questions…
I followed the address to a cul-de-sac in the northern part of Chicago near Wrigley Field. What I saw left me dumbfounded. Daemon doesn’t live in a house. He lives in a freaking mansion! I would have thought I got the wrong house, had it not been for the huge “Happy Birthday” sign on the well-manicured lawn. As the gilded gate opened, a middle-aged woman dressed in the most exquisite way offered to take my jacket.
“Hi! You must be Daemon’s Mom.” _ I asked shyly.
“Oh no. I’m just the maid” _ she said, while signaling to the butler to show me to the lobby.
Gosh, I felt so under-dressed. And I was stupid enough to think this pink bow would look cute on me.
“Hi Becca! Cute bow!” _ Daemon practically ran outside to greet me.
“Wow, you never told me you were royalty.” _ I said to him.
“Psss… I’m not. We just have enough to be comfortable.” _ Daemon looked a bit uneasy.
“Yeah that’s exactly what super rich people would say.” _ I would not let it go.
“Come, let me show you the staging area.” _ Daemon tried to change the subject.
“There’s a staging area?!” _ I asked, never ceasing to be amazed.
“Becca, meet Peter and George, my brothers. Guys, this is Becca, the girl I told you about.” _ Daemon introduced me to his family. Wait, did he say he told them about me? When? What exactly did he say?
Daemon’s brothers look almost the same age as him. Peter has brown hair like Daemon, but with piercing ice-blue eyes, not deep ocean blue, but ice-blue like an iceberg. George, on the other hand, has long blond hair, thick brows, and emerald green eyes. Any one of them could easily be mistaken for a model. I guess it runs in the family!
My mind was distracted by a voice from upstairs. “Hello Becca. It’s so great to have you with us.”
The most elegant woman came down in a golden gown, with her updo hair tied together by a luxurious string of pearls.
“Becca, this is Jane, my Mom.”
My eyes popped open. I couldn’t believe the words that just left Daemon’s mouth. Jane looks more like his sister, a young aunt if you really push it. But Mom? No way.
“I know what you’re thinking, Becca. I had Daemon when I was very young.” _ Daemon’s Mom smiled, and in the classiest way, lifted her gown to step to the ground.
“I’m so sorry… I would have dressed up more if I knew…ummm.. well…” _ I suddenly felt tongue-tied like a fish out of water.
“Don’t you be silly, Becca. You look very beautiful tonight, just like Daemon told us.” _ Jane smiled and took my hand in hers. So warm, supple, and smooth, her hands let you know she had never done any physical labor in her life.
I was embarrassed beyond words, especially since they kept calling me “beautiful”. To an objective eye, any objective eye, I am the ugly duckling in this crowd.
“Daemon, I got you … um.. a present.” _ I handed him his gift, now more nervous than ever it would look like a joke next to all this luxury.
Daemon opened the box and literally jumped with joy the moment he saw the bracelet. “Oh wow… oh wow. Becca, you didn’t have to. Wow, I like it a lot.”
“Guess it’s his turn now to put his mark on your wrist, huh?” _ Peter joked, while giving me a smirk. Something about his icy blue eyes and his breath-taking smile made me nervous.
“Do you have any water? I’m kinda… thirsty.” I asked.
“Oh sure. Let me show you the kitchen.” _ Daemon took my hand, for the first time, and led me away from Peter’s inquisitive eyes.
“Peter could be a little inappropriate. I apologize.” _ Daemon said.
“Oh no worries. I was just nervous to meet so many new people at once.” _ I reassured him.
“Oh then you’d better brace yourself. Cause the guests are coming!” _ Daemon let out a giggle.
How I wish he were joking!
“So that’s literally all you guys have in the fridge, just water?!” _ I asked, a bit surprised.
“Well yeah, we eat out a lot and we don’t bring leftover home.” _ Daemon answered.
I guess rich people never cook. I grabbed what felt like the most high-end water from the fridge and took a big gulp, trying to calm my nerves. The doorbell almost gave me a heart attack.
“Must be my uncles and aunts.” _ Daemon said.
I never realized this is such a big family reunion. For his birthday? And on our first date, if you can even call it that?
Daemon’s extended family continued to pour into the mansion, each one more gorgeous than the last. I was so overwhelmed at this point that I just stood there like an idiot, trying my hardest to keep up a fake nervous smile on my face to hide the nausea in my stomach. I guess mental anxiety can cause physical stress sometimes.
After an hour or so, everyone has already arrived. They all seemed so enamored with me, which I guess must have been from Daemon’s non-stop narratives before I even got here.
“Well, let the feast begin!” _ Daemon’s Mom said out loud. It was then that I noticed something strange: there was no food! Where did the catering people go? My nose must have been broken because I could smell nothing, not even dessert. Where and what are they going to feast on? It was the last thought in my head before I blacked out…
I woke up to a bone-shattering headache. I tried to move my hand to get a hold of my head, but … it was stuck, handcuffed to a standing headboard. In fact, my four limbs were all tied to the board, as I stood there exposed. What the hell is going on?!
In front of me was Daemon, or what I thought looked like Daemon. His blue-eyes have now grown a deep crimson. His teeth were more like fangs. They were salivating as he licked his bottom lip. His entire family surrounded me. All of them have the same crimson eyes and fangs dropping down.
“Well, looks like our feast has finally woken up.” _ Daemon smirked.
“Daemon, what is going on? Please let me go. Please….” _ A panic rushed through me as I struggled to understand the situation.
“Don’t be silly, my dear. Would a lion let his meal go?” _ Daemon’s Mom said calmly but sarcastically.
Meal? What are they talking about? What meal?
“You wouldn’t think a rich, handsome boy like me would fall for someone like you, would you?” _ Daemon said. There it goes again, the words that hurt me to my very core, words that reminded me of how worthless I am.
“From the first moment I read your thoughts in school, I just knew you’re one of those girls who would never be missed. Nobody would even notice that you are gone. And that, baby, makes you a very secure meal.” _ Daemon continued, his voice sounding more like an evil hiss now.
Why, why are they doing this? No! What did I do to deserve this?! Why couldn’t life give me a break?!
Daemon moved forward to lick my neck, as if to mark where his first bite would be.
“Since I brought home the bacon, I’m entitled to the first drink. Guess you’ve always wanted me to be your first, right babe?” _ he whispered into my ears. The sickest part was, my heart still responded to his seduction. Deep down, I was still wishing that he would untie me, and they would all take off their optics and fake fangs. And we would all have a big laugh.
But this is not Halloween. And they are not wearing costumes.
The moment Daemon’s fangs sank into my veins, I screamed out in unrecognizable pain. He drank hungrily from my neck, as the rest of his “family” moved closer to take their turns at me. One by one, they bit into me, neck, wrists, thighs, abdomen, until my body became a barrel riddled with bullet holes. I could feel the life force being drained out of me. My heart slowly gave in to the inevitable death, while my mind was still struggling to understand what is happening. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The first and only boy I ever gave my heart to turned out to be a monster, just like my Dad. The two men I put my trust in have violated me in the worst possible ways. One took my virginity, and the other my life. Maybe this is what hell feels like. Hell could not be worse than this. I closed my eyes, and welcomed death with open arms.
Convulsions, twitches, broken bones, sore rashes, dry throats.
I woke up in the middle of the night with the most agonizing pain in every inch of my body.
Is this hell? Am I dead?
I passed out again.
It must have been four, five times that I kept jolting up to an upright position and collapsing like a broken ragdoll.
The sixth time I woke up, I was able to stay awake a bit longer. I was in a cold, dark room. I looked around. No one. Not a single sound. There was some whispering on the other side of the door.
“So you think she would sell for a high price?”
“Are you kidding? A blond doll like her? She’s practically a virgin, having only been raped by one man.”
I passed out again.
Freezing ice was thrown at my face to yank me back to consciousness.
“Wake up, baby doll! You’re costing me money every day you lie here.”
“Come on up already. This is the longest fucking crossover I’ve seen.”
Daemon and his two brothers lifted me off the table. I coughed like crazy. I felt weak, very weak.
“The trucker will be here in an hour to collect. You’ll be transported to your first job. Hurry up and make yourself presentable.” _ They tossed me some old clothes.
I was too weak to resist, so I just put them on. “Am I…not dead?” _ I asked.
“Hah you wish! No. But you’re also not human anymore. Know what you are now?” _ Daemons said.
I shook my head.
“You’re merchandise, an immortal whore.” _ He snickered.
“You’re gonna make us some good money to remodel our kitchen.” _ Peter sneered wickedly.
“Please… I have nothing more to give you… Please let me go…” _ I pleaded between coughs.
“Au contraire, baby, you have a lot more to give.” _ Daemon looked at his brothers and asked: “How much time we have?”
“55 minutes top” _ George answered.
“Good, let’s sample the goods, shall we?” _ Daemon said, as he yanked me back down. The three of them were too strong for me to resist. Before I knew it, they had me tied up and gagged. Tears were rolling down my face. Please, God, if this is a nightmare, please let me wake up now.
But this is no nightmare. It’s real. Daemon forced himself into me from the front, as Peter and George simultaneously entered me from the back. Even when I was being raped by my father, I never felt such pain and shame. He was one person. This is three of them at the same time. They never bothered to ease me in. In fact, they got off on my pain, my muffled cries and scream. My body didn’t know what the hell was happening to it, until it was torn all over. They scratched my body, slapped my face, yanked my hair out, as they sandwiched me in the middle like a piece of meat. By the time they were done, I already passed out from the pain. The last thing I remembered was a loud thud, as they threw my body into a truck.
“Ten thousand dollars. Count it” _ The trucker said.
I fell deep into darkness.