The sudden cease of movement is what awoke me from the slumber I had somehow fallen into. My back hurt from being hunched over, my arse had fallen to sleep, and my wrists throbbed from where that man had grabbed them. The dirt on the floor became exetremely interesting as the van doors were opened, letting a warm light into the back. The warmth of the sun did nothing to soothe my fear.
All of a sudden, my arm was being grabbed, no doubt creating another bruise, and I was dragged into the open air. Tripping on my way out of the vechile and skinning a knee through my jeggings on the gravel covered ground. I had less than a second to take in my surroundings before a filthy, mould smelling rag was tied roughly over my eyes. Effectively ridding me of my vision.
Muffled noises of protests came from the other girls, as I felt myself being led -more like dragged- to someplace unknown. We rounded more corners than I could keep track of, and walked for what felt like hours. In that time, I had tripped, stumbled, fallen, been yanked back to my feet, slapped, groped, and cursed at more times than I had been throughout my entire life.
When the blindfold was finally removed, I wished they'd left it on. I had been pushed into a cage, too small for me to stand in, just wide, and long enough to lie down in if I bent my knees. Around me, I could hear the crying and wimpering of many kids, I could see so many girls of various ages in the cages around me. Boys dotted here and there, just as trapped as I now was. There was crying, sobbing and the occasional scream that filled the air. Some talking, though each voice that reached my ear was shaking, and filled with pain and fear.
Everyone seemed pale, thin, and just plain unhealthy. There was a girl standing by an open doorway, she leant against the wall. Not sitting, but standing. Her legs were bruised, made ugly by the black, purple, yellow and green that covered them. The same colours marked her entire body from what I could see. I could :see a lot. She wore only thin, lacy underwear. Her bones poked everywhich way and that. There was no fat on her body at all. She clutched something small to her chest, something she looked at with a pained longing. A sadness that tugged at my heart strings.
She shifted the bundle in her spindly arms and I caught a glimpse of what it was, and was disgusted. A baby. A tiny, clearly malnourished baby. She was the only female in this place that I could see, who wasn't caged. I was confused until I saw the reason why. A metal cuff wrapped around her ankle. Chaining her to the wall like some common animal.
A loud clang rung cut through the fear infested air, and my head snapped toward the sound. A metal bat was held against the bars of my cage, and behind that, was the man who had brought me here. I saw the glint in his eye and felt sick.
"Boss says I'm in charge of breaking you in. Before I do though, I want you to know this is going to be the most fun I've had in a while. You know why?" I had the sense to not reply to him, to just look away and to the girl with the baby.
She was looking back at me, her eyes looked dead. "Because you're different. I like that. Most girls scream you know. You didn't."
The cage door was opened, emitting an ear killing screech, I cringed from the sound, and crawled away from the man, as his large, meaty hand wrapped around my ankle. My small strugglings immediately stopped, and I offered no word of protest as he dragged me out.
I could feel the womans eyes burning a hole in my back as I was led away.
Four more girls were brought in. All of them shaking, all of them blindfolded as usual. I wouldn't have taken much notice, -as this was a weekly thing, more girls and occasionally, guy, being brought here- if it had not of been for the last girl. She was . . . different. She had seemed to be the calmest of the bunch, brought in with no gag, only one grip on her arm. Apart from the ripped jeans looking pants, and the blood on her knees, she seemed to be the most well off.
I watched as Matt pushed her unceremoniously into the empty cage beside mine, leaving her sprawled out on the dirt. She surprised me when she sat up as soon as she's gotten her bearings. Most girls that came in cried for ages. I could tell from her pants that appeared to be jeans but weren't and the thick jumper she wore, that it had been cold where ever she'd come from. I wondered what was going through her head as she scanned her surroundings, her eyes seeing me for a split second before continuing their path and lighting upon Mayra and the baby.
I had almost screamed in anger and frustration when I'd found out Mayra, my sister, was pregnant. It was worse when I was denied the right to help her through labour, especially considering the baby wasn't the first she'd carried. Four miscarriages had befallen my sister in the time we'd been in this place.
In time, Boss will start training me. Training me to be like him and all the sick men that worked here. I knew I could never do what they did. I felt too much compassion for that.
When Matt approached the new girls cage, and smacked the bars with the giant metal bat when his mere presense wasn't recognised, my attention snapped back to the person in the cage next to mine. She reacted to the noise instantly, not glancing at the bat, the making of the noise, but instead at Matt.
He spoke, and I felt physically ill. I was never going to get used to the way the women were treated here. She wasn't even looking at him, instead her gaze resting once more on my sister. Only paying attention again, when the cage door was unlocked, and her ankle grabbed. She didn't protest as she was dragged out of the cage, didn't voice a complaint, even as she was manhandled roughly until Matt was satisfied he had a good grip on her.
I watched her walk obediently, watched as my sister looked after her. Holding her slowly dying baby to her chest.
I waited for the new girl to return. Wanting to talk to the only sane person near me. Needing to hear news of the outside world. There was a small makeshift broom in the corner of my cage. Really it was just a stick with a couple of rags tied to the end, but it worked well enough. I hated living on dirt, so grabbed the broom and began using it to sweep up the muck on the floor. It took me a while before I finally gave up, realising I'd been only moving dirt, rather than getting rid of it.
"It's a dirt floor, you can't sweep up a dirt floor." The voice was unfamiliar, feminine. I looked up to see the new girl knealing in her cage, a fist wrapped around one of the bars that seperated us, and her dark eyes watching me with a startling intenseness.
She seemed quite unsettled, a red flush covered her cheeks, and moisture glinted in the dim light below her eyes. I could see her knuckles, where they gripped the bar, were white from the pressure she was using to hold on. A way of dealing with what had just happened. I could appreciate the effort she took not to show any of this. So I offered her a smile that came out more like a wince. It had been a long time since I'd last smiled.
I shrugged in response to her comment, not really having much to reply with. She looked ahead of her, her eyes searching, flitting from bar to bar, from person to person. She seemed to be deep in thought, I wanted to know her name.
"I'm Kevin." I offered her my hand through the bars of our small cages. She loosened her grip, the white leaving her knuckles as she held my hand. Her grip was firm, sure. Unlike what I thought it would be. I had believed her to be timid, submissive. Seems I was wrong. Not exactly an uncommon happening but still, I was surprised. When she had allowed Matt to drag her away, she had seemed so . . . Obedient. Allowing. Almost like she didn't care what happened to her. Or maybe she just knew it was worthless trying to fight it.
Whatever the reason, even if she didn't know it, not resisting was saving her some pain.
"So what're you in for?" Her question caught me off guard. She said it as if we'd been found guilty of some crime and had been thrown in jail. I wasn't entirely sure how to respond.
"I was uh, walking with my sister," I nodded my head towards Mayra grimly, "she had wanted me to go with her while she bought her, um," I was surprised to feel a blush colour my cheeks, "lady products." I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, willing the redness to leave my cheeks.
I opened my eyes in time to see the girl wrap her hand around a bar once more, as her knuckles, again, turned white. She was staring at Mayra, seemingly in a trance-like state, as she said; "I was about to go home. I just had to go back to work and sign off then I could have gone home. Just five more minutes. Just five more minutes." There was a tear building in the eye I could see.
She opened her mouth, pulling in a large quantity of air before expelling it slowly, her eyes shut as she did. Her lids fluttered open again after a second. She turned her face towards me.
"I'm never going to see my sister again. Am I?"
The boy looked away from me. The sad look in his eye, that had been present there from the moment I saw him with that rag-tag broom, intensified. My answer was there. I would never see my family again. I was never going to yell at my sister, or brother for annoying me. Never going to tell my brother I don't want to play Pokémon with him. Never going to have a girl on girl talk with my sister when she grew up. I'd never see her grow up. I choked on a sob.
I could see the boy, Kevin, gazing towards the girl with the baby. His sister. He still got to see his sister everyday. But I tried to cut the bitter thoughts off, nip them in the bud, before I became angry at him over something out of his control. There was nothing great about seeing your family in the state that woman was. God. It must have been heart breaking for him to see her like that. Bloodied and bruised, with some rapists baby in her arm, sitting on the step of deaths door. About to knock.
I was glad to have someone to talk to. Someone who was sane. I looked at the boy and frowned. His name was Kevin. It didn't seem to suit him at all, I'd always pictured a 'Kevin' as bein some big burly bloke, with a cruel mind, mean looks, and a sick sense of humour. Nothing like the thin, starved, realistic boy in the cage beside mine. Kevin was cute, I had to admit. He was a good looking boy. He looked back at me and I hurriedly looked down. Brushing a stray tear from my eye.
"You haven't told me your name." I looked up at him, my head tilted and a small, sad smile tilting the corners of my lips upwards. I shook my head,
"No I haven't. My name's Tay, short for Taylor." He nodded in response, looking in front of him, at a spot I coukd not see.
"That's a very pretty name." He told me. I rubbed some dirt from my knee, I sat cross legged, facing Kevin.
"Thankyou." He turned his body to face me, crossing his legs also.
He put a finger in the dirt that made our floor, and moved it around, making shapes. I followed his lead, and did the same.
We sat together, seperated only by the cold, cruel bars of our cages, and drew in the dirt.
I hope you like it!