Title Pic

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Chapter 3

They changed my name.  They started out calling me Flower.  Soon enough though it was changed to Thorn.  I’m not going to go into all the details of those early years.  I don’t like having to live with them, I sure don’t want you to have to live with them too.  Suffice it to say that my life was a living hell of revolving men that stripped me of my innocence and the remainder of my childhood.  I learned to stop thinking about yesterday and tomorrow.  I learned to survive today.  But I never stopped fighting.  I suffered for it but some men like that and Mother Mary as she demanded we call her was happy to supply what men liked regardless of the flavor … for the right price she’d supply anything they wanted.  

One of the few things I can say for myself is that I never did was fall for the drugs or the drink.  My other “sisters” used it as fast as it was dished out, mostly to numb the pain I think.  But for whatever reason not me.  Mother Mary used to laugh at me and say I must like the pain.  Some of the other girls and women made fun of me too, would wind a man up just so he would hurt me more so they could see just how much I could take.  Sometimes I wondered myself.  Some days the pain was the only thing that felt real, that made me feel alive like a real person.  Sometimes the pain was the only thing that kept me from going crazy. 

I know that is a terrible explanation but it is all I have.  I don’t think about it anymore than I have to.  It is in the past.  I’m never going to live that way again.  I’ll never let you live that way.  I’ll kill us both before that happens.  I’m going to make sure you are safe from that life one way or the other. 

What I haven’t explained yet is how I eventually came to understand that it wasn’t just my world that had changed, but everyone else’s too.  It took time but I did eventually notice there was a world outside my hell.  It came in dribs and drabs.  Like how Mother Mary was always complaining about the cost of feeding us constantly going up, how she had to sell a couple of girls to another stable to deal with increased expenses.  Then instead of money she started taking barter from men to allow them to spend some time with “her daughters.”  Eventually she got rid of the cleaning staff and we “sisters” had to help with housekeeping chores and the smarter of us had to help in the office.  She stopped having to buy girls and started turning them away at the door when they came begging for work just to get fed.  The changing world is one of the reasons why I can still read and write and do math.  I got a lot of practice as it turns out that I was the only other one in Mother Mary’s gang besides herself that could do more than the basics so I had to do a lot of the office work. 

I hated it in there.  And I hated Mother Mary.  But it was better than the alternative so I put up with the beatings and being ordered about.  Anything was better than being on call.  Night or day didn’t matter; if it was your turn then it was your turn. 

Then the lights went out.  It started in the District and spread through the city.  Riots occurred often and sometimes they even touched us.  I made the mistake of saving Mother Mary once during one of these riots – I don’t know why, it was mostly by accident to be honest – and the next thing I knew I was her pet.  Oh she still sold me but the clientele she sold me to changed.   

Because she kept me close I was one of the first to figure out that Mother Mary was sick.  Actually the witch was dying and dying hard.   

“I’m selling the stable,” she told me out of the blue one day.  I froze.  “Did you hear me Thorn?” 

“I heard.” 

“You want me to slap you B****?  I’ll give you to Brian; maybe that will pull you back in line.” 

Brian was her enforcer and he was a wicked mean sadist.  He’d had me once as punishment and I knew I wouldn’t survive a second time.  I turned to look at her.   “I heard you Mother Mary.” 

“That’s better.”  She looked at me hard.  “You remember that blonde scarecrow what had you three days ago.” 

For the sake of argument I told her yes as I tried to forget every man as soon as they left my sight. 

“He’s offered me a proposition.  He’s willing to pay your keep for a year so long as he is the only one that gets to have you.” 

I didn’t believe her.  In the world I was living in that was tantamount to saying Prince Charming was coming and the shoe was going to fit your foot.  Before I could stop myself I asked, “Why?” 

“Hell if I know.  You’re easy enough on the eyes but there’s others that are better looking than you.  Maybe he just likes it rough.” 

Then I remembered and shuddered.  He’d been the man that had tried to be nice.  Mother Mary cackled believing the exact opposite.  I let her. 

“Thorn, I own you.  I own everything about you.  I own the clothes on your back, the food in your belly, and even the air you breathe.  I could sell you and there’s not a damn thing you could do about it.  You know this?” 

“Yes Mother Mary.” 

She stopped for a moment then glared and threw some papers on her desk before going over to the window to stare out.  “Take this offer.  Do what you can with it.  He says that he’ll give you something to tide you over between his visits.  Save it.  In a year … in a year you could have you a nice little stake to start your own business maybe.  Or close.  It’d be a start anyway.” 

She turned back to me and caught me staring back at her suspiciously.  She snorted and then winced in pain.  “Don’t be a dumbass girl.  If I’m alive in a year I’ll have you back and you’ll be on your back as often as I say and with whoever I say.  But, say I ain’t around …” 

I had convinced myself up to that point that I wasn’t like the other girls.  I fought.  I always fought.  Whores don’t fight, they give in.  I knew what people thought of me but this was different.  I was facing a choice that would make me a whore, making me a willing whore. 

I’m sorry.  Maybe I was weak.  I wanted out of the life I was living so badly that in the end I convinced myself it was just another type of fight … this one a fight for survival.  But that’s not much of an excuse for saying yes.

1 comment:

  1. Some light at the end of the tunnel. Yeahh

    Thanks Kathy