It was a Dark and Stormy Night… (Horror Story Below)

Hitchcookie Presents: A Christmas Story

By Kat Fury

Dedicated to Denis LaChappelle, Cookie Monster, and Brock Thompson. May you enjoy your dark and stormy night and I hope this is scary enough for you! This story is based on factual events (decorating the tree happened!) and some not so factual events!

She sat in the dark next to her freshly

decorated holiday tree, admiring the way

the white lights contrasted against the

dark foilage, the slight glitter of the

transparent glass. The angelic tree

topper’s wings listed slightly and the

porcelain face held a few cracks. The

pale glass eyes stared sightlessly out

the window. Monica shifted on her couch

and lifted out the last ornament,

hesitating as memories flooded through

her. She closed her eyes as his face

surfaced, the warmth of that first time

they had dated was overshadowed with the

memories of the night she had left him,

the nights that followed where he had

come again. It had been a year.

Glancing out the window she stood up,

the ornament, a silver photograph frame

with the year 2008 emblazoned on it and

his picture slipping back into the box

as she checked her doors and windows

once more, a nightly ritual that brought

her comfort. He was out there. She had

been seeing his face in the crowd, his

car up the street, and now she saw a

shadow as she pulled the blinds down for

the evening.

Taking a breath she checked the locks

and moved towards her bed, pausing to

stare at the wine bottle atop her

fridge. She was always tempted to drink

herself into a stupor. She kept the

bottle to remind herself not to. It

didn’t always work but she had not given

in yet. Someday maybe she would feel

safe being out of control.

She didn’t bother changing for bed, the

idea of cool air on her skin, or the

risk of his eyes finding a crack in her

windows left her too vulnerable. She

pulled the soft quilt back and curled up

under it, wishing for someone else there

now. She always hated being alone but at

night when it was dark and the world was

silent, it was worse. The worst came

always after the nightmares, which she

knew would come. Still, there were no

tears. She had gotten past the point of

crying.

After a time she drifted into a sleep,

it was a sleep full of memories. She was

in her wedding dress standing with him

before their friends, the candles in

hand, his eyes so bright and they both

smiled as the ceremony finished, the

flames merging on the unity candle. It

was snowing then, the snow flakes as

white as her dress, a wish for purity

and a hint of hope. There had been so

much hope then.

There was something in her dream then,

that frightened her. It twisted, as it

always did, down into the darkness. It

was that night when he had changed. She

had wished he had been truthful with her

about what he wanted, and still as she

relived the memory in her dream she

wished she knew. “No!” She cried out,

the echo of reality and dream twisting

together as she ran in the stairs of her

mind, her husband coming after her with

a knife. The gleaming blade dripped with

blood, leaving a trail on the white

carpet staining it’s virginal pelt. She

could not run fast enough, far enough.

She would never escape him. He said

nothing and made no sounds as she tried

to get the back door open, he had barred

it. She was cornered. He smiled, the

smile never reaching his eyes, which

held no sign of love but a cold

emptiness.

“Why Rodrick? Why?”

“There is no reason.” He whispered this

as he ran the blade over her cheek, the

skin splitting and pain rippling through

her body. She didn’t even feel the hot

blood that dripped with her tears down

her face as he cut her clothing away.

She did not move, she had no way out. He

stared at her naked body and sneared, “I

never found you attractive, you’re too

heavy.” She looked down at her body with

it’s soft curves, the dimpled flesh on

her thighs with cellulite, and the tan

lines from her work outside in the

summer. She looked up at him as he

smiled wider, enjoying tormenting her.

She woke then, the nightmare revoked by

the sound of tinkling glass. Sitting up

she crept out of bed, wishing she had

fought him then. The scars on her body

betrayed her wish sometimes, when it was

cold and they ached. She withdrew the

mace from her bedside table and crept

towards the living room. Peaking arond

the corner she saw him there, placing

the ornament on the tree.

He ran his finger lovingly over the

shape of the frame and then kissed her

picture before he turned towards the

kitchen. She moved for the cellphone she

had left on her couch by the TV remote,

trying to remain unseen. There was no

creaking floorboard, there was no sound

until she dialed emergency. The soft

beep of the buttons brought him right to

her.

she saw his face only illuminated by the

white lights of the tree and the dial of

her phone. He was tired looking, but was

much the same. He smiled, a cold smile

that was more vicious. “Hello Monica…


She said nothing, they could both hear

the voice on the other end of the phone,

“Nine One One, What is your emergency?

Hello?” She dropped the phone and

stepped backwards, the ornaments on the

tree jangling softly as she said, “You

can’t be here. The restraining order I

have protects me.” The paper was there,

her present to herself under the tree.

She threw it at him even as he laughed.

“This is your weapon? A piece of paper?

Very useful.”

She lunged to run past him screaming as

she felt a stinging pain, she had not

seen the knife in the darkness, but he

had caught her with it. Terror filled

her and adrenaline fueled her motions as

she turned on him, clawing at his body.

She went quiet, no longer caring about

the why. He had hurt her enough. She was

tired of this pain, she was tiref of

being afrad, and he was correct, a

restraining order had not saved the day.

She pulled the tree down on his head,

the glass shattering around them. There

were sparks and the crackle of flames

told her that she would have to put out

a fire soon.

She felt her nails tearing as she tried

to claw his eyes out, her mind entering

a feral space where all she wanted was

his blood. The years of love, their year

of marraige, and the year of her living

alone and in hiding had ended tonight.

She would either die or live free of his

terror. As a nail snapped off in his

flesh and he sank the knife into her

shoulder again she heard him laughing.

“I never knew you had this in you…

such a shame. Maybe I would have loved

you then.”

She ignored his words, she knew better.

If he had not found her attractive even

if it was as some prey he would have

passed her over. If it was meant to be

that she would die at his hands there

was proof and he would die in jail. If

not he would die tonight. She let out a

feral scream even as sirens began to

rise from the darkness outside of her

house.

The bright flames licked up the curtains

that had hidden her from the world, in

the light she could see him clearly. He

knocked her onto her back and knelt on

her chest and held the knife to her

throat once more. Tears streamed down

his face as he forced a kiss upon her,

the taste of his blood mingling with the

sour flavor of his unwashed mouth, she

gagged and kicked trying to get him off

of her. It was hard to breathe between

the chest compression and the smoke.

“Why?” She choked out, finally asking

once more the question.

He smiled and shifted back slightly, she

coughed and gasped for air, staring up

at the first man she had ever loved.

“I can.” That was all he said. He smiled

again, looking as pleased with himself

as he had when he had figured out how to

fix the car one day when it had broken

down. He laughed gleefully, ” No one can

stop me, and so I decided to kill you. I

killed my first wife too, when I

realized the same thing, and I will ki-”

His words cut off with a gurgle, and

even as his blood sprayed across her

face, hot and sticky, she continued to

stab him. While he had been so pleased

with his freedom to kill, she had picked

up a broken ornament, his throat slit

with the grinning face of Santa Claus.
He fell to the side and stared at her

mouthing something. She rolled to her

feet, picked up the restraining order

and the knife he had taken from her

kitchen and stabbed him in the chest

with it, panting softly,

“Justice is served.”

With that she stumbled for the door, out

into the snowy night. Looking up at the

white flakes she watched them fall, the

police arrived piling out of their cars,

too little too late. They had been too

little too late last time. There had

been no why. There was no why. She began

to sob softly, the terror clinging to

the fringes of her mind, she would be

forever left to wonder why the man she

loved had decided to kill. The real

reason could not be so simple as the

idea that he could get away with

anything… could it? Continue reading

A Time and a Place for Silence

I was trying to explain the blog to someone, and the subject of silence and abuse came up. I have seen several things, in my life that taught me that violence and abuse mean you must never talk about it. I still have trouble saying the word abuse outloud. However, this is not true. The victim’s silence often lets the abuse go on and on and on.

How dare I write these words? How dare I break the traditional silence of abuse? Do I have any idea what I am doing? Absolutely. These were not questions that my friend brought up, indeed he agrees that although there are times to be silent, this is not one of them.

Some of the hate mail I have received on this blog is unintelligible. Some of it is based in fear. Most of it is based in the need to put me in my place, to control me, to try and take away my voice and my power. I remember being told as a child, “Women are to be seen and not heard.” Not children but the female species. I too was assured by my abuser that no one would believe me. All of this horror that I faced? I thought I was alone.

That is why this is not the time or the place for silence. Silence when you are being abused is often deadly. You know those women who are beaten to death? Those rape statistics? Neither should happen. Silence lets them happen. I am sorry if this upsets you, oh wait… no I am not. The point of this blog is to set my people free.

Any person is one of my people. Skin color, intellect level, ability level, none of this matters. If you are alive, you are one of my people. I want to unlock things for you, I want to give you the life you deserve. If someone is hurting you, do not stay silent. Open your mouth, say it loud. If you are aware of abuse, or if a child comes to you and tells you they are being hurt. Believe them! It is not for you, unless you are the police, to investigate the crime. It is for you to believe the child and get them the help of the police who investigate.

Our world often teaches us that bad things only happen to bad people. Bad things can’t happen to you. This is a lie. So, I am breaking my silence to stop the lies. Silence gives your abuser power. Does this mean you have to write about your issues? Does this mean you have to open yourself up to personal attack and the sense of danger? No. It merely means you need to be honest with at least yourself, that yes, this really happened.

Not every survivor or victim of abuse can write or talk about what happened. Sometimes, those of us who can forget this and at times our words might be harsh. I am sorry for those times too.

Silence

Silence is not golden
Silence to that I am not beholden
Silence is a poison
Slowly seeping my life away
Each blow I am silent
I do not cry when it hurts
I am merely silent
Not seen
Not heard

I break the silence
It crashes loudly
I scream
I cry
I shout
I am free.
Life flows back into me.
I speak for my silent sisters
I speak for the silent children
I speak

You listen.
I speak
I sing
Let life flow out from me to thee.
Break the silence.
Break the cycle

This poem is dedicated to those who cannot yet speak out, those who never will, those who die from the silence, and those who survive, and speak up. This is dedicated to you my Sisters. My brothers. This is dedicated to the innocence lost daily. This is dedicated to even those who send me hate, fearing what I do.

This is not dedicated to those who want to take away my power. Those of you who tell me to stop writing because it is not my place? Find your own place and stick your head in it. This is my place. This is my purpose. This is my freedom.

This is not a time and a place for silence!

Beyond the Search Words

I normally name my posts before I type them out, it helps me to retain focus. Instead, I am unable to hammer out a decent title, or one free of curse words anyway. I decided, in my insomnia fit, to peruse the offerings of the internet with a few search words. Disabled and handicapped being the top two. I wanted to see what came up. I am not linking any of the blogs I found, because beyond what is already in my blogroll or private reading list (waiting for me to put it in the blogroll) disgusts me.

Ignoring the posts about disabled porn, ignoring the jokes at the expense of handicapped people I came across what appeared to be a journal of a trip by a handicapped woman. A cold and a broken leg are difficult but not disabilities, are they? The cold isn’t a disability but reasonably the leg could be a temporary disability. Not only does it effect your daily function but even after the bone heals there can be lingering damage. I still had a visceral reaction to the writing, and not in a good way.

I understand disability, and the challenges inherent in trying to maneuver in spaces that are cramped, dealing with prejudice, but writing an entire blog about how you broke your leg and that instantly makes you the most disabled person in the world is really not something I can get behind. Yes, I admit that the writer’s pain is important. However, so is their dignity.

It took me a long time to find out how to blog, because of that very thing. I did not understand the point of blogging, I did not understand that it could be done with Dignity. It was the need for dignity that lead me to posting that very first time, and each time it is the basis for my editing, rejection of some of the writing and my attempts to be open minded.

I strive for personal dignity and I work hard to not strip away the dignity of others. Reading about how cruel the world is for those with an obviously broken leg, the desire for pity instead of dignity frustrated me. So I moved on, another person was complaining about handicapped parking, and how rude it is for people who are handicapped to use it. I read about this one a lot, it sneaks up in most blogs at some point. The concept that a safe spot, with enough room to move a ramp out, your chair, and easier access to a building is beyond some people.

Moving on again, I had to do some deep breathing, refusing to let myself post cutting words to try and make them see. Attacking people, no matter how much I disagree with them is not something I want to do. That would lack grace on my part and could remove their dignity. Then, I found another post laying out another problem people seem to have with handicapped parking.

Did you know that “all handicapped drivers park crookedly, blocking me out of my car when I park near those damned cripples”? Not only is this a blanket statement making it a stereotype but, I often have to have our van pulled out, because there is rarely handicapped parking, and the cars by able bodied people are often parked just as poorly. I am not a driver, so I am not aware of how hard it is to parallel park, but with the monster chair that does not turn I cannot do it in a conference room. I perceive this act as massively difficult.

I am often tempted by magnetic signs that say “Please do not block access to this door, a ramp is contained inside and access is needed for my wheelchair”. I do not because of the local culture. It might qualify as a subculture, and yet it is dominant in my daily life. The culture towards the disabled springs from a lot of superstition and the very poor education available.

I know that the education offered to the American Children fails more and more annually, yet if you are slightly different or have any challenges you are shoved into a room and no one wants to see you. No one teaches you. I am primarily self educated, except for the teachers who actually cared enough to break into my world.

Being aware of this, and what was taught about disability in school, I know that they fear me. the ubiquitous they, in this case means the average New Mexican. The little that was taught about disability in my schooling included first, that disabled people could never function in society unless they were Franklin Delano Roosevelt, though we were taught he contracted Polio after his presidency. This is a fallacy, as I know now. Then, we were taught too, that no disabled person ever did anything of historical value. Disabled people are just evil. The contradiction in FDR’s existence never seemed to make a difference.

The superstitions continue, one of the local superstitions states that if a pregnant woman sees a horror or a disabled person, her child will be disfigured in the womb. This means if you are pregnant and stare too long at a person in a chair or even a person with a broken leg, you kill your baby. A lot of the pregnant women out here are teenagers, and a lot of the pregnant women teens and adults drink and smoke. yet the blame falls to the disabled.

The more I read tonight the more frustrated I grow. I did stop, but only to protect myself from festering rage. A cold is not a disability. Illness does not mean disability. A broken leg is a physical injury but injury does not always mean disability. Depending on the rate you heal, you might need a placard, temporarily, but that does not mean you quantifiable understand what it is to be truly disabled. Your pain is valid, do not use it to invalidate mine.

Violence (Trigger Warning)

I keep rewriting this post. Violence is bad. We all know this. Violence is often celebrated in our culture. In the US most of the television shows, even for children, include some sort of violence or attempt to teach children what boys do and what girls do. Girls like fashion, pink, and hair. Boys like to fight, are great leaders, and work. Bull pucky. The media also rarely illustrates that women can be violent.

I am capable of killing. I am not capable of murder. I know that if I had to kill someone to defend myself or the ones I love, I could. I discovered this when I was young. I am very loyal, it is a part of my nature to protect people. This does come from my history with violent abuse. If I could take the pain then I could save my sister or brother. They used to do that as well. Each one of us did our best to be the only one in pain. I am capable of killing, but, I never have.

I have had run ins with so many things, my life sometimes reads like a fiction novel. I never used to think about writing nonfiction, so afraid of being told I had dreamed it all. My biological mother and I talked on the phone today, partially about violence. The violence of doctors.

When I was eight I began to see a psychologist. After the first meeting they handed my mother a prescription for Zoloft. The pills made me sleepy. I hated taking them, because I couldn’t think. My father was still around, and taking the pills at his house always meant more pain. My reflexes were already slow, how could I fight back? I mentioned this to my doctor and the threat came. “If you do not take your pills you will be locked up with the other worthless children.” This doctor was a man, I remember falling silent, wishing to tell my mother. He threatened too that if I told her that she would be sent away, abandoning the others. I took the pills.

This man is no longer a doctor, he tried this on a competent adult a few years ago. There was a scandal, it made the papers. This was just after I fired him. He was the first doctor I fired. I spent years after that taking more and more pills. At one time I was on six antidepressants, an anti psychotic, an anti epileptic medication that they thought would make me not depressed, birth control pills to try and force my body to have a period, and a few other things.

When I threw up, I had to take a second dose. Doctor’s orders. There are chunks of my life lost not just to suppressed memories but to my brain shutting down from the constant overdose. Most of the medications I was on were not approved for children, just adults over the age of eighteen. I reacted to most of them. Being allergic to so much, that is no surprise. Throwing up, bleeding with each dose, and hallucinations weren’t big enough side effects to be taken off of the drugs.

I was more violent during that time, as they tried to fix a chemical imbalance that did not exist, due to the drugs. They are not the only reason I lashed out at the world. Abuse does that, it teaches people to strike before they get hurt. I barely remember assaulting my best friend in High School. She touched my sandwich and teased me for it. I remember the anger and seeing her on the floor but not the act of hitting her in the head with a chunk of wood.

This was caught on film, there were witnesses. I went into a psychotic rage over food. I have some serious food issues, and I thought she was going to take my food. The fear of being deprived was so strong, that I had to protect myself. This was what I knew, I never knew people could share. I was a beast, primal in my reactions. She did not suffer permanent damage but was hospitalized for it. This lead to the only psychiatric hospitalization that benefited me. Hospital hiding the institution, feeding on itself and drugging children. Teaching them first hand who Nurse Ratchet was.

The reason being I finally needed help. I was shunted around the state, with my history and diagnoses no one wanted to treat me. It feels familiar at times with doctors, sending needles into my heart. I was misdiagnosed with mental health conditions. One to explain every disability. I was accused of things, such as self mutilation that came from my disabilities. I was lazy, I was stupid, I was just not good enough. Years of that, a decade in fact, of being told how worthless I was by doctors and I did not trust them.

I was sent to an experimental facility. The Ranch, as my family calls it, was a peer support program. We did see therapists, and we did have medication given to us but we lived in a boarding school environment. The program depended on it’s recipients to function. This made a difference, as I found people my age I could talk to. This was a first. I also learned I was not alone. At the other facilities you were shoved in until you behaved for three days or so, then went home. In and out like a yo yo.

Each of the children at the Ranch had been in and out as well. Most were not from New Mexico, but a few of us were granted access to keep diversity up. There was violence there, though there was also nature. The Ranch is the only place I have ever been able to drink the water. The water came straight out of the ground. The first thing the doctors did was take me off all of my meds. They gave me two months before they started me on another. They came so close to freeing me from my shackles of medication. The medicine they put me on did change things, it seemed to reverse some of the damage to my brain from the drugs that came before. I stopped losing my hair, I gained some weight and lost some girth. I even began to smile sometimes.

I also met horses. I was one with nature there. There was silence at times, and there was bonding. That was where I learned I could love. The fact is, my father was a diagnosed psychopath. Even knowing this these “great” doctors did not seem to consider that my behavior was environmental. The ranch is where I learned about PTSD. It is also where I learned that flashbacks were not just my burden.

One of the other dorms, full of boys, found a dog. I was triggered when the dog came to us bleeding. The flashback lasted for six hours. I relieved my father killing people’s pets because I liked them. I still cannot go into detail on those horrors without triggering myself. This poor dog was hungry, lost in the middle of no where, and then was assaulted. When he came to our dorm, my brain left. I woke up, and found that the world had for once stopped for me.

This was my turning point. It wasn’t being threatened with institutionalization in the adult hospital, it wasn’t the new drug. It was coming back to myself and finding that every girl had stopped what they were doing, had sat in a circle around me and the dog to which I was clinging and waited. When I stopped screaming, apparently I had been, my roommate asked what happened. When I told them, no one told me I lied, no one told me it was my fault. The first time in my life, someone hugged me and cried with me. No one punished me for needing help, a first in my life.

I was on the cusp of adulthood when this finally happened. I was about to reach a point of no return, trapped in the system. They saved me from my violence, and I saved them in turn. I love each of those girls still. Someday I may cross their paths again, though I do not plan to admit it to them if I do. We each deserve the right to deny our childhoods to an extent.

I spent my childhood dying daily. I am certain that not every therapist was bad, I do not remember them if they were not. I only remember the incidents of threat, of lies, and of burden. Child psychologists often can get away with crimes and breaking the rules of conduct that their profession has. Not all of them do, but, an adult has power over a child. A psychologist is alone for at least an hour with a child, and some of them abuse this power. I had one who found out I would turn on her like a dog hit one too many times. She spent the sessions telling me about her husband’s erectile dysfunction, and telling me I was fat. The male doctor who gave me the pills threatened me each time with different torments. One of the other psychologists took part in encouraging the children at my school to burn me at the stake.

It is no wonder that I hated the world. Until the ranch only a few teachers had ever shown me adults could manage to not hurt me. Each of them saved a part of my soul, saved a fragment of hope from the violence. My mother did try, but, it seemed hopeless that any of her children would turn out to be a healthy adult. How could we? She wasn’t. We only knew violence.

Perhaps the violence I know tempered me? I doubt it. I believe it was the small bits of love I could find. I do not believe the Ranch did all the work in saving me, I think instead they unburied the ground work set by another.

After Toastmasters I will write of my first Sensei, I will tell you of my time as Little Lotus and how the Batman was my father until I was six. It sounds silly, and the fantasy was. It still held violence but my Sensei taught me ways to thrive, not just survive. I will also write about my experience with hate and nearly being burned as a witch.

We, the subjects of oppression are forbidden anger, we are forbidden violence. Even when it is used against us, violence is often attributed to us. Those with mental health issues, mental disabilities, and physical disabilities are vulnerable to violence in unique ways. When defending ourselves we are demonized. Women who show anger are told to simmer down, they are told that their anger is inappropriate. Some are raped to control their power, to try and punish them for anger. Persons of Color of any gender are also forbidden anger. The stereotypes tell how violent they are, and yet when a man is shot down for his skin color and people get angry, the murdering cops get away with it because the people get angry.

Violence is all around us, it is on the TV, it is in books, it is in my beloved comic books. Violence is in our history. It is sadly in our future. I mourn for all the children and those who once were children who know violence. The kiss of violence is the scar of fear, the spectre of disillusionment, and the taste of bitterness that shatters dreams.

Violence is the most horrifying entity that has ever been introduced into society. Violence is not a part of human nature, it was taught. We learned it from somewhere. Violence is not never ending. The cycle can be broken. I have broken the cycle in my family. Even when attacked I try to protect myself without violence. How do you survive violence? How do you endure?

Anger is violent. Violence is a poison. My antidote for violence is to sing, to write, or to create something. To be violent is to become what you fear. Fear can turn to anger, anger turns into violence. The cycle swirls around. I created this post not just to educate, but to share. I want to share my peace. In order to do that, you must see my pain too. I fear these words most of all, therefore I offer them up to transform and fly into the universe like butterflies, unlocking the caged minds of others. I write these words not with anger, but with sorrow for who I was, mourning for the death of innocence as I knew it, and with love. The love is not just for myself, though I truly love myself. It is Wishing Love, I wish love upon each and every person in this world.

I wish love upon you, for whoever you are you do deserve love. I may know you, I may not. I embrace you with my soul. I offer you a haven of knowledge, a haven of peace, and a haven of change. I am a butterfly. Here you too may learn to fly.

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