In this house – (a taster)

This is something that I wrote a long time ago. I have just discovered it on my hard drive, and am debating whether to give it a bit of a rewrite. Opinions please 🙂

I opened my eyes and suddenly felt the pain surging through my battered body. I whimpered before I could stop myself but since it went unpunished I knew I was alone in the basement area. I sat up on the table I had been lying on and winced in pain. I would have cried out but then I knew better than to upset him. I eyed the instruments that I could see on the nearby desk and shuddered as I saw blood, my blood, clinging to some. How had it come to this?
Oh yes, my fault, always my fault.

I looked over at the sink knowing that I needed to drink some water. I moved slowly and slid my legs off of the table. As I tried to put my weight through my legs pain shot up and down them and they collapsed beneath me. I grabbed the table for support and cried out in agony. I would have clamped my hands over my mouth due to the noise but they were gripping the table. I bit my lip to try and silence myself and took several deep breaths until the pain subsided a little. I tried to stand again but my legs gave way beneath me and I fell, knocking things from the table and hearing them clatter noisily on the floor.

I bit my lip realising that he must have heard the noise. Indeed now there were footsteps and the grating noise I always heard before the door opened. I tried to scuttle into a corner to hide but the pain was making me breathe heavily and feel physically sick. I had no choice but to stay near the table and await my punishment. I started to shake as I wondered what my punishment might be.

The key turned and the door was pushed open slowly. Unusual, it was usually thrown open before he ran down the stairs, did he have company today? Oh God if he did and I had made that noise then he would kill me! Well, no, not kill, he enjoys watching me suffer too much for that.

Footfalls on the stairs now, so slow, a new way to punish me? I curled slightly, hiding my face in my arms as he stepped into the room. “I am sorry… I didn’t mean to be noisy at all… Please don’t…” My voice trailed away as I looked up into a shocked face rather than his cold expressionless one.

I was seeing things surely? He would never let anybody see me let alone his best friend. I just stared and watched her expression change from surprise to concern.

Charlotte had long, dark hair which curled softly to frame her small face. Most of her face seemed to be taken up with large green eyes. Her dark clothes hugged her figure which is one I had always admired. It also showed off her pale but flawless skin and accentuated the glint of metal from her lip ring. I had always fancied her although I had never had the courage to tell her that. I think Mark liked her too but I wasn’t sure as he wasn’t the type to hide feelings. I just stared at the girl before me who just returned the gaze. Why on Earth would Mark let her down here?

She came forward and stretched out her arm. I shied away from her touch and winced as I did so. “Don’t touch me,” I almost begged. Her hand stopped and she looked at me before dropping it. She was staring at me as if I wasn’t real which is probably the same way I was looking at her.

The door banged upstairs and I knew then that she had innocently investigated the noise. I stared at her and I whimpered the word “Run!”

She didn’t though; she just kept staring at me. “Simon,” she whispered softly and I could have cried with pleasure at hearing my own name after so long. She turned to face the one coming briskly down the stairs. “Mark, did you know…?”

Mark looked a bit like me but then he was my brother after all. His shaggy blonde hair hung over his cold blue eyes. He was tall and thin whereas I was shorter and dumpier in my build. He was dressed now in figure hugging jeans and a skinny white t-shirt. I was dressed in the thin cotton clothes he provided for me.

“Of course I knew, idiot!” My brother snapped angrily, his lips a thin, angry line as he regarded his friend. I always feared my brother, well I had learnt to, but now I was scared for Charlotte. She didn’t know Mark like I did which was evident from her blank expression. “Now so do you so welcome to my dungeon, Charlotte!”

“No!” I almost screamed the word then followed it with, “you can’t keep her here. She has done nothing wrong!”

“When I want your opinion runt, I will ask for it!” He snapped, sharply kicking me so I cried out. He leant towards me and I felt my cheek sting as he slapped me so I fell silent with my head down. “Better!” I couldn’t help her now; I was powerless against my younger brother. I realised how wrong my own thought sounded but it was true none the less.

Charlotte stared at Mark in shock. “How can you do that to him?” she questioned, “to your own brother?”

Mark shrugged. “I own him and now I own you to so let’s get one thing sorted shall we?” He strode towards Charlotte and struck her with a length of pipe that he picked up from the table. Charlotte fell down, clutching at her arm and Mark grinned as she cried out in both shock and pain. “I ask the questions here.” He spun on his heels and left, the door locking behind him.

As the door closed and locked I put my head down. Getting myself trapped was one thing but to bring it on to someone else wasn’t good at all. Of all the people who could have been dragged into this situation Charlotte was a worst case scenario for me to consider. All because I had made a noise and the reason behind the noise was my wanting a drink. Oh, I could be so selfish at times. Mark was right; I brought this all on myself. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts now that I hadn’t noticed Charlotte crawling to be beside me. Her soft touch made me jump, which made me whine in pain. I met her concerned gaze. “I… I am so sorry.”

Charlotte stroked the blonde hair from my face. “I had no idea that he was doing this to you. I thought you had just gone like he said. Simon, you should not be the one who is sorry down here.” She put an arm loosely around me, so that she was hardly touching me, and I rested my head on her shoulder. “What is going on here, Simon? I don’t understand why you are here and why he is doing this?”

“It is my fault; everything is always my fault,”  I said quietly.

“No Simon, you are… Well, you are the victim.” She replied, frowning slightly. Charlotte looked about and saw the mattress in a corner and she half carried me over to it. My muscles screamed in protest but all she heard were gasps, the hot tears scorching silently down my face. She looked at me with a deep pity before going over to the sink. She came back with a rag, a bowl, and a glass which she held to my lips. “Here, drink this babe, and then I will get you cleaned up.” As I drank the water gratefully Charlotte walked to the cupboards and saw that everything medical she could have wanted was there. She raised a brow as she realised that Mark wanted me to heal. She returned with armfuls of supplies and painkillers that she watched me take.

Charlotte moved to peel the shirt from my body and she made a noise of horror as her eyes took in the various cuts, bruises, and marks littering my bare torso, plenty still oozing blood. She took my thin trousers off too, leaving me in just my boxers. Oddly though this didn’t leave me feeling exposed as her gaze swept over my body.

Gently she began to clean me and dress what wounds she could. She wrapped the small blanket around me and held me loosely against her side.

I leant against Charlotte and the selfish side of me was glad that I wasn’t alone here anymore and that I had someone to look after me. I tucked my arms around her waist slowly to see if she protested. When she didn’t seem to mind I relaxed even more against her. “He didn’t hurt your arm too much with the pipe did he?”

“Not too much; it’ll just be a bruise. I am more concerned about what he has done to you than I am by my arm. Does he do this all the time?”

I shook my head which made me grimace as pain radiated around my form. “It isn’t this bad all the time, Charlotte. I am here if he has had a bad day I guess.”

“I wish I had known. Mark had said you had just gone away for some reason he never explained and that we should forget you like you had forgotten us. I was confused by it all and never really dug very deep. Mark wasn’t concerned by it at all so I just kind of accepted it. Baby, I doubted you and trusted him and for that I am so sorry.”

“Everyone should forget me, I just don’t deserve anything.”

“That is so far from the truth, Simon.” Her fingers fluttered in my hair as she stroked it lightly. “You certainly don’t deserve what you are getting.” She was silent for a while, her fingers working their magic and making me drift towards sleep. “Sleep now, we can talk tomorrow and you can explain it all to me then.” My head slid into Charlotte’s lap and her hand continued to stroke my head. “Sleep now, you’re safe, I am with you.”

For the first time since my imprisonment I fell asleep with a smile curling my lips. I felt so safe in Charlotte’s embrace.


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