A young woman stood over a large basin, up to her elbows in the hot dishwater that filled it. She picked up a plate, rinsed it off in the water, before scrubbing it clean, rinsing it again, and then drying it. Her hands were red, and raw, from having been doing this for over an hour. The girl who normally washed the dishes hadn’t turned up after the last time Master had seen her. The woman feared the worst.
“Darla.” A quiet, timid voice caught the womans attention, and she turned to see a girl standing in the doorway of the washroom.
“Oh, Tina, it is you.” She smiled, her eyes drawn to the bread the girl held in her hands. “Mirian back is she?” the girl nodded. She had learnt to respond to this name a few years back. Nobody but Darla ever called her by it.
“She isn’t happy.” Tina spoke, as she tore the bread in half, and gave some to Darla, who ate it as if she had not eaten in days. This wasn’t true. She hadn’t eaten in weeks. Save the scrap, here or there, that Mirian could sneak to her. Both of the girls knew how much trouble Mirian could get into if she was caught sneaking them food, and were grateful that she would potentially risk her life just to feed them.
“Oh? Do you know why?” Darla frowned, normally when Mirian went out, it would be to see that girlfriend of hers, who would normally put her in a good mood. She’d come back smiling brightly, and with a new shine in her eyes, that would last until she saw her Father. Then she’d go back to being -mostly- obedient, though with a sly glint in her eye. It was no secret that Mirian despised her Father.
“She was muttering something about ‘vermin’ and ‘parasites’ said that ‘she’d show them’.” Tina frowned, “what does ‘I’ll show them’ mean?” Ah, so she had run into her girlfriends parents. Darla could see why she would be upset then,
“It means that she wants to get revenge. But it is not something I want to hear you saying Tina, I know we all may hate it here, and wish Master got what he deserved. But I do not wish for you to live with hate in your heart.” Tina nodded at Darlas’ wise words. Darla may have been only in her mid-twenties, but she had the wisdom of someone thrice her age.
“Yes Darla.” Tina responded obediently, as Darla gave a curt nod, and turned back to the dishes saying,
“Good, now, the next time you see Mirian, I want you to thank her. Tina? You hear me?” Tina nodded at Darlas’ strict tone. Darla knew best.
A bell chimed, loud, full, but distant. Master was hungry. Darla glanced at Tina and nodded to the fridge.
“His lunch is in there, just throw it in the microwave. He will not be able to tell the difference trust me.” Tina did as she was told. She walked over to the fridge and pulled out Masters pre-cooked meal. Before turning to heat it up in the microwave oven. “Now Tina, when you give Master his food, remember not to knock. Do not speak, and God forbid do not look into his eyes, he’s like a dog h-”
“He takes it as a challenge.” Darla spun around at the feminine voice, her eyes widened as she saw Mirian standing in the doorway, not in fear, but happiness, as she sent a bright smile Mirians way.
“Hello Miry. How was your visit?” She asked, referring to Mirians visit to that girls, Stephanies, house.
“Fine.” Darla heard the anger in Mirians voice, and didn’t believe her words.
“What happened?” She asked, even though she’d already guessed the answer.
“Her parents happened.” Darla nodded solemnly,
“Oh, did they catch you in their house again?”
“Yup. They called me vermin! A parasite! Worse than a leech! Why do they hate me so much Darla?” Mirian wiped at her eyes. There were no tears visible yet, but Darla could see her cheeks reddening, and knew they were on their way.
“Hush girl, they do not hate you as a person. They just hate that you are different, that is all.” Darla stayed where she stood, her voice carrying a caring quality that Mirian had not heard since she was only a child. Innocent to the ways of her father, and under her mothers loving care.
“It’s bad enough, and now, thanks to me being there, Stephanies being beat worse than before!” The pout on Mirians face and the anger that showed in her clenched fists as she whined brought a sad smile to Darlas face. To see such a strong-willed girl whining like a toddler was amusing to the woman. Mirian gave a wobbly sigh and turned to Tina, smiling sadly to her,
“I’m sorry.” She said reproachfully, referring to having pulled the trigger on the girl.
“That’s okay. Thank you for the bread.” Mirian smiled, this was the most Tina had ever spoken to her, and she was glad the girl wasn’t so afraid of her that she wouldn’t speak.
“Hey, Darla?” The woman in question raised a brow at the tone in Mirians voice, a huge contrast to the previous angry and lost tone Mirian had held in her voice only a minute before.
“Yes dear? Quick Girl, go take that food to Master, before he gets angry.” The latter was aimed at Tina, as she had just taken the Masters food out of the microwave. Mirian smiled sadly at Tina, as she moved quickly out the door with the food, her long blonde hair flowing out behind her. Giving Mirian a full view of the disgusting state it was in. She was glad for her lack of a sense of smell; otherwise, she knew the servants would stink to the high heavens.
“I was just wondering. You know, how you do. But I was thinking, what if none of us had to deal with Father? What if something happened to him, and we no longer had to deal with him?” Darlas eyes widened at what the girl was suggesting. She knew Mirian hated the man, but he was still her Father, she shouldn’t want to kill him. Darla knew Mirian had pulled the gun on many a human being. A number of them deserving to be sent to Hell, but most of them only victims of her Fathers. Mirian hated killing anyone; Darla knew that, no matter how much of a brave face the girl might put on, in reality she was just a scared little girl, doing what she can to get through life.
“You are not really suggesting what I think you are Mirian are you?” Darla said after some few seconds. Mirian nodded.
“Yes Ma’am. I believe I am.” Mirians eyes hardened, and Darla recognized the look in the girls eye. “I’m going to kill him. And not necessarily painlessly either.” Darla sucked in a breath. She knew Mirian could do it, knew she would do it. She knew there was nothing she could do about it.
Darla sat in an old rickety chair, mulling the days events over. It was nothing new, finding out Mirians desire to kill her Father. Darla had suspected the girls hate to run so deep a long time ago. She thought about that morning, when Master had pushed Tina into the servants room, none too kindly, and told the poor thing to hurry up and get ready to serve his son breakfast. Tina had been shaking like a leaf, and blood was trickling slowly down her legs. Master had obviously had his way with her again.
Darla found it sick how the man could do something so horrendous to such a young girl. From what Darla could tell, Tina wasn’t even thirteen yet, though it was impossible to tell, considering the girl herself had no idea, and her height could easily be chalked down to mal-nutrition. Darla herself had been in the place for four years. Tina only two. Her thoughts drifted back to Mirian, she’d seen the girl more furious than even her father could get, and Darla wondered whether she’d gotten her temper from her father, or if maybe her mother had that temper. Darla had never met Mirians Mother, as far as she knew, Mirys Mother was dead.
A bump sounded from somewhere in the prison. It wasn’t really a prison, but that was how Darla thought of the place. In reality, it was a dungeon. Long corridors, stone walls. The only reason the place didn’t attract public attention, was because to get into the dungeon, you had to climb through a trapdoor in the basement of an ordinary home. On an ordinary street. In an ordinary town.
“Hey Darla, what’re you thinking about?” Darla looked up and smiled at Mirian who stood leaning against the doorway,
“Just, things. What is up Mirian?” Darla had noticed the apprehensive look on the girls face. She was nervous about something.
“Wh-what do you think about me bringing Stephanie here Darla?” Mirian shifted her weight, looking down at the ground. She knew she would only get Stephanie over, if Darla somehow convinced her Father not to touch her. If Mirian herself tried to ask her Father to leave Stephanie alone, she knew he would hurt her just out of spite. But Darla had a chance.
“Stephanie? Your girlfriend? Mirian, I am not sure bringing her here is such a good idea.” The girl looked up with a pleading look.
“Please Darla, I can’t stand being here when I know Stephanies being hurt. Especially when it’s my fault.” Darla looked at the girl, frowned and thought about it. She knew she might be able to convince Master to let Stephanie be, but if she did not manage to, Master would take his frustration that she even dare ask him, out on her or one of the other servants. It was a big and dangerous thing Mirian was asking.
“Mirian I understand you are worried b-”
“Please Darla! Please!” Mirian was begging now, and Darla knew how much she despised begging. Even when her life was being threatened, Mirian would never beg. She would demand. She would fight. She would use any tactic to get out of a situation, but she would not beg. Mirian had too large a pride. Darla sighed, giving in to the girl.
“Fine, I will see what I can do.” Darla nodded, standing up from her chair, and smiling lightly as Mirian squealed quietly, but happily and clapped her hands. For that split second she looked like any regular teenage girl down at the park, hearing about how her friend got tickets to the next big concert.
“Thank you Darla! Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!” Mirian moved forward to hug Darla, but stopped and turned at the sound of a throat clearing.
“Well, if it isn’t my dear sister, sucking up to the slave. What? Is your bastard girlfriend suddenly too good for you, you have to go for the slaves?” The menacing voice caused a deep frown and a look of hatred to form on Mirians face, as she turned around and faced the boy who was supposed to be her brother.