sandandwater: (groggy)
[personal profile] sandandwater
Summer 2009

She didn’t scream this time. The tightness squeezing her chest made it impossible to draw the breath needed and the swollen lump of her heart was lodged (or so it felt) so far into her throat that she wouldn’t be able to cry out in any case. She didn’t cry either. Her eyes were wide with shock and fear, but dry as she shifted her panicked gaze from one focal point to another.

Meaningful movement of limbs tangled in sweat-soaked sheets took a bit longer. By the time she was able to untangle herself from the damp cotton and sit up, Pippa had found the ability to breathe again. Breathe and shake, trembling as she recalled the too-vivid, too-real sights and sounds of the nightmare.

The nightmare. It was always the same. Never ending, never changing, always filled with the same terror and helplessness and always, always his voice. A sick, twisted narration for her suffering punctuated by the laughter of a monster. She’d been trapped, strapped to the table in his dirty, dank, filth-filled apartment. Tied down and screaming, begging for no more. An end, only he never listened. No, he continued on with his little project. His stack of presents for an Irish singer: first it was her hair and that was humiliating but painless, then her finger and oh, how she screamed. It never stopped there, the events of reality and sick fantasy twisting until Larch had managed to use those rusted-dull garden sheers to cut away every last digit, right hand and left.

On the good nights, that was when she’d wake up.

Tonight hadn’t been a good night. Pippa retched and gagged as she shut her eyes against another onslaught of images she’d woken up from. Things worse than being slowly dismembered, Larch hadn’t managed to do what he wanted to the redhead, no, but he made sure to share with her the grizzly fate of all the women before her. In sleep, her tortured thoughts turned on themselves and rewrote his narrative, applied it to her and let her feel what her fate could have been. Should have been, but wasn’t.

Because of Rory. She was alive because of the relentless way he’d refused to accept her disappearance. Because he’d urged his brother to search for her by means inhuman and incomprehensible to her. Because he and his brothers…she was sitting in her moonlit room in Venice because three very brave, bold and self-sacrificing men came to her rescue. Men she repaid by rejecting, avoiding and leaving. That realization was even more painful to bear than anything the madman had inflicted.

The dry heaving stopped and the tears began, hot and silent they coursed down her face, wetting her cheeks and chin, newly dampening her nightgown. She pushed them away; all of them, anyone who wanted to help her. Rory, most of all, most importantly of all. The only one who could help at times like these. Comfort and reassure her. Make her feel safe and whole. She ran away from him, from that, because she was scared. She was still scared and now, here, without anyone to protect her.

When she moved next, it was almost instinctive. Her hand reached for the phone on the bedside table, pressed the buttons in the dark. She didn’t need to see in order to call up something so deeply ingrained in memory. If she’d been awake and calm, she likely would have ignored the impulse to call him, or would have at least hung up before the call had connected. But tonight, tonight she sniffed back fresh tears and as soon as she heard the line pick up, be it voicemail or Rory himself, she let out the heartfelt truth:

“Oh, Ro…I wish you were here.”

Pippa Kerr//Last Call//630 words
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sandandwater

October 2009

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