Matryoshka

Saturday 30 – Sunday 31 May 2015

Dawn, she thought, had been a good three hours ago, but she couldn’t tell exactly anymore. Hours and days were blending into one another, and without her trusty watch, it was impossible for her to tell the time. How long she’d been stuck in this mess, how long she’d continue to be stuck in this mess, well, she’d decided to stop thinking about those questions. She had no answers for either, and any time she’d tried to think about them, her thoughts had gone around in a circle over and over again.

The air was stale, and with a window that she was unable to open, it was going to remain that way for however long she was stuck inside this room.

‘Broom closet, more likely,’ she moaned to herself. She yanked on the chain that connected her to the wall. It didn’t budge; just as it hadn’t every other time she’d vented her frustration on the chain. It did, however, worry her ankle, angering the wound until it bled. Again, tears followed the blood and mild pain.

Eventually the tears and the sobbing would subside. It had to. He didn’t like it when she cried. He’d told her again and again, and when telling her hadn’t worked, he’d tried beating it out of her. Clearly, she’d thought in a moment of clarity as she endured his fists, he doesn’t quite understand the paradoxical nature of what he’s doing – beating me to stop me crying just makes me cry because he’s causing me pain. Of course, she could never say that out loud to him. After all, he apparently wasn’t too stupid, as he’d abducted and imprisoned her without getting caught. And, from the sounds she’d heard within the compound, she wasn’t the only woman he had here.

She’d tried communicating with them. She’d screamed continuously when he’d first locked her in this room. She’d heard at least three other female voices. She’d called out to them, pounded on the walls, thrown trays of food at the window, all to get their attention but none of them had ever replied. They must have heard her screaming but they ignored the fact that she was there. What the hell was wrong with these women? Then she’d learned at the hands of this beast. She stopped calling out to the other women, in part because if they too were prisoners here, they’d probably already endured what she was going through, and in part because one punch had broken her jaw.

While he’d been beating her that first time for screaming, he’d remained calm, and that had frightened her.

‘If you’re a good girl,’ he’d said between punches, ‘I’ll move you out of here. Into a bigger room. Then, if you’re good there, I’ll put you into a bigger room again. And when I can completely trust you, you’ll be in the house. But until then, until you learn what to do and how to behave, you’ll be in here. Do you understand me?’

She couldn’t answer. The pain in her jaw was excruciating, and she was sure that it now hung at an obscure angle from the rest of her face. He acknowledged her inability to answer by grimacing, and she hoped he was aware of the injury he’d inflicted upon her.

She was right. He grabbed hold of her face, and she flinched and squealed in pain.

‘Sshh, sssshhhh, ssshhhh. Lemme look at this.’ He turned her head without any concern for the pain he was still causing. ‘I’ll have to fix this, and it’s gonna hurt. But I gotta get some bandage or something to kinda strap your mouth shut. Y’know, it keep your jaw in place otherwise you’re gonna have a crooked mouth.’ He laughed, quite amused by her potential facial future. ‘Can’t have my little dolls with messed up faces.’

She rubbed the left side of her face as if she still felt the pain. But it was the memory of his words that made her cringe. My little dolls. That’s how he saw her, as a doll, a possession, something to play with. Dolls, plural. There were more women here, and they’d been playing his game, no doubt. Making their way out of the tiny room that held her, into the bigger rooms. In her head she pictured concentric circles growing in size as each ring was added. One inside the other.

‘Matryoshka,’ he’d said. ‘Matryoshka. One inside the other inside the other inside the other. That’s what you all are to me.’ And then he’d walked away, slamming the door as he left.

. . . The end . . .

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About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
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