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The sheltered life: Fiction

(A small project of mine that I am hoping to develop a little more if it is well liked)

She never knew her father, not in person but she was told enough about him which made her glad she never did get the chance to meet him. Her mother becoming tired of the constant beating and fearing for the life of her unborn child, a child he never did know about, packed all she could carry upon her back and walked out into the night never to return back to that way of life again.

Her mother’s life was not easy, being pregnant and having nothing but what she had managed to carry. Often living out in the wild, taking shelter from the harsh weather in caves. In one of these caves on a particularly harsh night, the rain and ice battering down upon the surroundings making them unrecognisable, Anna was born. Her screaming drowned out by the racket from outside. Her mother went through it all alone but brought into the world a ray of hope, something no-one could take from her. Or so she thought.

Anna spent every day near her mother, not venturing away from her security, even when she became of age and it was only right for her to leave her mother. She never did. Until one day, her mother had become distant and always seemed to be looking over her shoulder. Every time they walked into town they would go a different way and come back a different way, so not to be followed. However somehow they found that cave Anna and her mother called home. Anna had always been told to keep away from men “Men only cause pain and hurt” her mother would always say, with a distant look in her eyes.

But that night it was then men who came to her, and her mother was right, men do cause pain and hurt. That night Anna lost her mother and so very much of herself. She didn’t know who the men were she just wanted them to leave. She awoke to the smell of burning, the smell of blood but she couldn’t move, bruises all over her body. Her legs felt paralysed, her stomach sore to touch so she just lay there, hearing nothing but the distant crackle of a fire but the smell. The smell that hurt her nose she had to get away from it. Drawing from some hidden strength, from where is unknown, she got up and immediately wished she hadn’t.

The sight before her will never fade from her mind, never fade from her nightmares. The source of the smell was her mother, she could see her hand twitching trying, fighting to get out from the fire, away from the flames burning her to a cinder. Nothing would be left of her soon, walking towards the fire knowing if she didn’t do something she would lose the only thing she had in this life. The heat. The pure unadulterated heat. It singed her hair; she just couldn’t get close enough to save her. Having sat as close to the fire as she could, feeling completely hopeless, tears staining her cheeks making her hair cling to her face, the only embrace she would ever feel again. The only comfort coming from her, from the hair clinging to her.

Totally alone in the world, a world when men cause pain, where men hurt. Unknowing if those men were coming back for her now that her mother was gone. She had to move. In order to survive, she had to move. And so she found herself wandering aimlessly, often sleeping out in the open a tree her only source of shelter. Her clothes torn into tatters from that night, and gradually getting worse. Only a simple scrap of material hiding her dignity, what was left of it. She had lost a lot more than her mother that night. She had lost her innocence. It was ripped from her and discarded away as if it was nothing

The next chapter:

A man. A man of all beings. He let her into his home, he took care of her. In a world where men caused pain, where they caused hurt. This man took care of her. Removing her scraps of clothing and giving her clothes of her own, an identity of her own. Anna refused to speak of that night, but it still didn’t stop her from waking screaming every night. No matter how hard she tried she could not save her mother.

The man was there. Every night he held her till she had calmed till she slipped back to sleep once again. But he always seemed to be gone in the morning, even though the bed still felt warm beside her throughout the night. He taught her the things she had missed from being inside that cave for her whole life, only ever venturing out when her mother did. He taught her how to write, to write such beautiful things; poems letting out everything inside her. The hurt and the passion. The passion that never faded.

He unlocked her talents, things she had kept hidden, even from herself. “Blend and you will be safe” her mother had always told her, but now she was becoming her own person. Standing out. She could sing better than and rarest birds, charming them from the trees with a simple melody. She had truly blossomed into the woman she was meant to be and he was there every step of the way. Until one day.

She had been at home working about the house, waiting for him to come back to her from the local town. Saying he needed to complete some business but he never returned. She waited for him, hours turned into days, days into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. She never stopped waiting for him. He seemed to be the only person who truly cared for her. He took her into his life and never asked anything from her but gave her so much. The tears she should have cried she locked away, no-one would ever see her cry, for to cry was a weakness. “Men only cause pain and hurt” those words still ran around in her head. But now she finally understood what her mother meant.

The physical pain men could cause was easily ignored, people heal and move on. But the emotional pain, the pain you had to hide, that was never easily ignored and you simply couldn’t move on or heal from that pain. It left a scar, an open wound. She had nothing without him. She was living in his home, wearing the things he had bought for her. Everything around her reminded her of him, she was constantly haunted by the memory of him. Everywhere she looked where signs of him, the books he used to read, the clothes he loved to see her in. But there was no him. And that pain inside her, the pain she refused to admit, she could never fall in love, nearly consumed her. She spent most of her days curled up in the bedroom, barely eating, barely surviving. She didn’t sing. She didn’t smile. She didn’t write. She didn’t laugh.

Movement could be heard downstairs after what seemed like years, her heart jumped thinking it was him coming back to her. She ran from that bedroom, the room she had spent so much time locked away in, almost flying down the stairs. Barely making a sound but moving just like the wind, quick and deathly silent. But what she saw wasn’t him. Those men, they had come back for her, like she had always feared, like her nightmares had always warned her. They were in his house, in her home, touching his things, corrupting everything.

She could feel him fading away with everything they touched. Their dirty hands running over everything, valuing it all. “Worthless” “pieces of junk” their words filtered through to her, clearing the fog upon her mind, the fog that had descended when he had left. A snarl vibrated through the house, everything they were calling worthless, calling pieces of junk, were all she had left and they were priceless. She couldn’t let them destroy her memories of him no matter how painful they were for her to keep. That was when they saw her, or at least felt her.

She changed that day, became stronger. Became faster. Became a fighter. They never saw it coming, the closest to her fell silently his throat cut. The rest fell just the same, no time to cry out, no time to fight back. There was one, bigger than the rest, hidden in the shadows, remaining silent until the end. Until he struck her down and all she saw was blackness. Awaking sometime later, her home was clean; no sign of what had happened just a mere memory in her mind. Something else to haunt her. These men had found her, and would find her again. History repeated itself, she gathered all she could carry upon her back and left the only place she properly called home, the only place she felt close to him.

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