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Sad Child

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I Will Always Protect You
By Sad Child
Wednesday, October 09, 2002

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"I will always protect you..."

In a lone cell room two girls slept huddled together on a rusty, metal bunk bed. The older one, maybe fourteen years old, lay with her arms protectively encircling the younger, who had a faint, comfortable smile on her gentle face. She radiated innocence, her pale skin clear and pure and her hair soft and light. Yet her guardian, though older by about five years, shivered often; as though having a nightmare. The darkness of her hair and contrasted sharply with her ashen skin, and her manner was that of a hunted animal. Her flesh was marred with bruises and cuts, and for unknown reasons, her right hand was handcuffed to the bars of the bed. Together they slept, one smiling, the other cringing at some mysterious horror not yet revealed.

"Daine," Ashley murmured while drawing on the floor, "did you have a good dream?"
The older girl smiled slowly. "Yeah, I did."
"Really?" The small child grinned. "Great! Tell me about it."
Daine stared hard at the stained, cracked ceiling above her bed, willing her mind to dig up a good memory that would give both of them hope. One hand strayed from her hair to rub at the wrist chained to the bars. What could she, should she say?
"I dreamed about my mother."
Ashley stopped drawing. "Really?" she asked in a hushed voice.
Daine nodded absently. "Yeah."
The little girl resumed drawing. "Daine, do you think we'll ever see our mommies again?"
"I don't know, kid. I just don't know."
Ashley turned to look at her friend. Her little face had brightened.
"I got a idea! How 'bout YOU be my mommy?"
The dark haired girl turned to look at the little girl coloring on the concrete floor with a bit of rock.
"Hey, kid, I'm not your mamma. We just gotta wait a bit 'til we get out a here. 'Kay?"
Ashley grinned. "'Kay! But Daine," her voice became serious, "you won't leave me ever, will you? Will you be with me forever?"
In response, the older girl slid off her bed and knelt on the floor. She picked up another rock and, using her left hand, drew a picture of a big heart.
"Ash," Daine's voice was firm. "You see this?"
The little girl glanced over at it. "Yeah."
Daine tapped the heart with her free hand. "This is my heart. I'm gonna cross it, and make a promise that I won't ever leave you. I'll always protect you. Got it?"
The fair haired child broke out into a big smile, and jumped from her small space into her friend's arms.
"Yeah, Daine! I got it!"

The place was dark and still, as it had always been. Without change. But then, the door to the girls' prison opened as soundlessly as the night, and three forms emerged from the darkness. They approached the small cot both girls were lying on. One dark figure, recognizable as a man, readied as though to grab the small child, while the others, also males, prepared to seize Daine.
One man's hand suddenly shot out and grabbed Daine's mouth, almost smothering her, while the other hand went around her throat. The older girl's eyes flew open, and she regarded the men with horror and hatred. Before the second man could yank Ashley away, Daine's free hand shot out and gripped onto her friends. The little girl's eyes were large with terror, yet she managed to hold on.
The man holding Daine let go of her throat and hit her repeatedly until the girl was forced to let go. Ashley was hustled to the other side of the room.
"N- NO!" gasped Daine, as she struggled to free herself. The third man grabbed her hand and forced it to the other bed post. Kicking furiously, Daine continued to try and free herself, but failed. The second man flipped out a pair of handcuffs, clanking in the darkness, and snapped them around her other hand and the bar.
"Please, NO! Leave her alone!" Daine sobbed, pulling at her bonds, slicing her wrists on the cold, unrelenting metal. The third man snickered, then belted her hard across the face. Through blood and tears, Daine saw little Ashley being held down on the other bed. Then realization set in.
"Noooo!!" she yelled, jerking hard. A red haze settled over her vision, hatred seared from her heart. "Get off her!!"
The two men grabbed her, tried to make her quiet. Yet she resisted, and continued to yell and pull, swearing and kicking. They struck her repeatedly, but she didn't quiet. Finally, they uncuffed her, to take her out of the room.
But Daine broke free, spurred on by the cries of her friend, and launched herself at the first man, who was holding Ashley down while pulling out an evil looking knife.
The older girl slammed into her attacker, dodged the knife, and whisked the sobbing Ashley off the bed and onto the floor. Diving down and pulling the young child beneath her, Daine dove under the bed, and huddled up against the wall.
"Get out here! We ain't done with you yet!" The men began to kick at them, aiming their sharp boots at Daine's legs and arms.
"S- sweetie, sweetie, are you okay?" gasped Daine, bracing herself against the blows.
"Daine!" sobbed Ashley. "Stay with me!"
"I will, I will!" Hugging the girl to her, Daine cradled Ashley beneath her, holding her head in her hands, and soothing her over the cussing and yelling of the three men.
"Come out, NOW!" One of the men dropped to the ground and grabbed Daine by the neck. Ashley scream and struggled, but was dragged out from under the bed.
"NO!!" Daine lunged after the child, but was grabbed and hauled up by one of the others. He threw her down by the door, and kicked at her fiercely. Daine was forced to curl into a little ball, but the blows continued. A sickening crack and some of her ribs snapped.
Crying out in pain, the girl was grabbed by the hair and pulled upright. The man pulled her back to her bed. Ashley's screams penetrated Daine's swimming mind, and she struggled still.
"No," the second man grinned evilly in her face. "Put 'er back on th' bed, an' hold her down. She's gonna stay for this."
Still kicking, Daine was forced down onto her bed, and her hands were once again secured to the posts. One of her attackers hit her several more times before she weakened.
Dipping in and out of consciousness, Daine could still hear the cries of Ashley.
"N- no..." Tears of hatred and pain coursed down her cheeks and she sobbed from her very center. A piercing shriek rent the air, causing Daine to jerk feebly at her bonds. But to no avail.
"ASHLEY!!" With a heart rending cry, Daine arched her back against the buck, throwing off her captors. But they didn't seem to mind; they simply gathered around the other bed, laughing cruelly as Ashley screamed.
"Ashley...", the thin, bleeding girl sobbed, "Please, no..."

The room was dark, but for the faint moon beams that penetrated the clouds.
The cries had long since stopped, the room empty but for two still bodies lying on the beds.
Daine weakly lifted her tear- stained, bloody face from the mattress, consciousness returning once more. She slowly scanned the cell, looking around for the attackers. There was no sign of them, save the bloody knife lying on the cold, hard floor.
The Daine's eyes focused on the other bed.
"Ashley..." her voice hoarse and grating. "Ash, they're gone now..."
No answer.
The older girl strained to hear, but she couldn't slow her heart enough to make out anything.
Suddenly, the clouds parted, revealing the still figure lying on the other bunk. The little girl's eyes were closed, her face stained with blood.
The moon began to set, slowly panning down the cruel, dark sky. Its beams of light cut through the darkness of the room once more, and revealed the little, pale girl lying face down on the bed. Revealing the blood covering the mattress. Revealing the ugly stab wound in her back...
Panicked, Daine raised her voice. "Please! Wake up, kid, we gotta..."
The little girl didn't move. Her eyes remained closed.
Over the frantic, heart- broken cries, the moon continued to light up the room. It illuminated the spreading puddle of blood, which had began to cover a shakily drawn heart, creating the illusion that it was bleeding.

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 2/13/2003
This was a heartbreaking write, but well done!
God Bless
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 10/9/2002
sad, heartbreaking write!! very well done, cami!! love, your friend, karen lynn. ((((HUGS)))) and xxxx,too!!

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