THIS PARTICULAR STORY SERIES CONTAINS CONTENT THAT SOME MIGHT FIND TROUBLESOME
Chapter 6: No More Bandages
The chain tugged and Toro fell back on himself, his foamy mouth fizzing with anger as his crooked jaw started to gnaw at the rusted metal holding him a few feet away from us. Eli’s nails were pressing into my skin and hurting me, but I wasn’t worried, perhaps I was doing the same thing to them, but I had no idea. But am I not? Is this not my fault? Margret said something wrong, she did. But I could have just scolded her, I could have talked to her. Instead I decided already, for myself, that she could not understand what she was saying, and needed to be punished, so that she would never cross that line again. I did that.
It didn’t just stop there, I then told Mother and Father and Ms. Hunter and Ms. Wilco the truth about what happened and it got us punished again. Even though they lied about what happened, Mother and Father did nothing to them. Instead they punished us all because I told the truth. Why? I don’t understand it.
Mr. Toro Scampers drooled all over the weak chain, biting deeper and harder every time. It’s my fault that he’s going to hurt us again. Chelsea withdrew from our huddle and crawled away to the nearest corner, near the over-hanging cabinet where Mother kept her stuff.
“Guys..” she spoke back at us, quivering. “Help me with this.”
I had no idea what she was talking about, and neither did anyone else, but I had made up mind that I would not fight them anymore. I had let them down enough, and its time that I help them some, as well. I let go of Eli and Margret and nudged at them to follow me as I joined Chelsea in the corner, while she looked at Toro, the Pitbull, ferociously chewing at his chains. She didn’t have to say anything and no one else did either, but we all were thinking it: we need to do something fast, otherwise Toro is going to bite through.
Margret consoled Eli, who was sobbing, her knee was hurt when she fell and I could see how scared she was under the flickering dull-green light. We needed to keep Toro away and Chelsea had an idea.
“Help me up,” she asked me as I let her stand on my back to open the cabinet hook-lock and fling it open. Inside I got to see Mother’s stuff that always made me close my eyes. I saw the various thick ropes and belts, the plastic baton, the small darts, the wooden stick and at the top shelf in the corner, the old dirty rag that she gave to me if I didn’t control my volume. That had not been used in a while, because I was becoming a better and better girl every day.
Which is what bothered me now. I did everything the way I was told to, and I tried to make the other’s do it as well. I tried to make everyone a good girl. I behaved and made them behave and told the truth, but that only made them angrier at us. I started to think about it, asking myself: what’s the point of being this good girl, if they still look only at your faults. But there aren’t any, I did exactly as I was told. I’m sorry, I just don’t understand… I couldn’t understand but slowly, the more I relaxed my mind and the more I considered what Margret had told me, the more I agreed with her. The only thing I did wrong, was listen to Mother and Father, because they just want to hurt us. That is a bad thought to think, good parents don’t do that, and good girls don’t understand why.
Chelsea threw down everything onto the floor, including the rag, and hopped off my back. She picked up the baton and looked at us, her eyes were huge.
“Guys, it’s all we have. Its all we can do.”
Toro was going to break through at any moment, Eli was hurt, Margret was crying and me and Chelsea were scared. If Toro hurt us again then we would need a bandage for another month, but I am tired of bandages and I already had several on my back and had no room for more.
Then, I had an idea. Let’s make another fort.
I ran over to the big table in the Room and tried to push it, but barely could because it was so heavy. I wasn’t strong like Mother and I knew that, so asked the others to help me and immediately Margret and Chelsea came to my aid and helped push the table to the corner where Eli and the stuff was. Just like Mother, we tilted it over and stood it up against one of the walls, leaving just enough space for us to squeeze though the other side and then pull it back to close off the corner.
We sat in that little triangle for a few moments, tightly holding onto the stuff Chelsea brought down, listening to each other’s breathing and the grumpy sounds of Toro grunting, hissing and barking at his chain, until finally hearing a shattering ‘clink’ sound followed by some crunching metal.
It fell very quiet for a few seconds, then we heard sniffing, deep, muffled but steadily approaching towards us. I peeked out the tiny space we had between the table and the wall to see how close he was, but I couldn’t see him.
Something heavy hit the other side of the table and shook it violently.
Toro was definitely attacking the table, then clawed at it, we could hear the scraping on the wood and every few seconds he would bark at the table, mad and frustrated. I heard him walk the table’s length and even poke his bad eye towards mine, muttering something bad in his snarl.
After a few moments of vicious barking, I heard the Room’s door open and saw a shadow car down the stairs and Toro run straight towards it and then back to us.
Someone walked down the creaking stairs and I heard Father’s voice, directed away from us, saying, “It’s been 15 minutes. I think they’ve had enough.”
“Yes Father,” I spoke under my breath, but everyone was so close that they heard me too.
“Yes, I have had enough.”