TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, VIOLENCE, & BLOOD
By Emma Gail Compton
I. The Bed
I had a dream that woke me up at 4:39 in the morning, laying in a pool of sweat in my frigid room. I must have thrown my shirt above the bed; the sleeve was caught on my bed frame and barely held the rest of the fabric up from the pink rug on the ground. I struggled against the confines of my fuzzy green blanket that had twisted itself around my wrists and waist, holding me tightly against the bed.
II. The Bed
I had a dream where I walked into a bar alone in the middle of the night. Or perhaps it was the early hours of the morning. It was dark. There was a bed at the front of the bar, illuminated with black lights that shone purple. The sheets were tied down to the bed frame and the floor with heavy ropes. At the very head of the bed was an elaborate rope mechanism that mimicked the ropes tied to the sheets.
I. The People
There was a man that approached the bed in nothing but a tight black leather speedo and long white gym socks. He had no mask covering his face and no fear of being seen. The people beneath him on the ground floor exploded into massive applause and elbows came flying at my body. I was pushed to the front of the room and onto the stage with the man. I pushed and kicked and was raised anyway. An offering.
II. The People
There was a man who pushed me onto the bed with a smile on his face while I screamed and spit and swore. He pulled my wrists above my head and tied me down. My fight was stupidity and futility sewed together with rage and terror. He took out a knife and cut my shirt off of me and the only thing I could think was that it was expensive. And he moved on to my pants and then bra and I stopped screaming.
I. The Stage
I kept thinking about dying there. How my family would ache with grief that I was raped and killed for entertainment. And I remembered that I was entertainment. Surely there was someone here who could help me get out — who would. My mouth opened and my last breath slipped out as the man cut into my arm with a saw. The blood of my own body dripped down to my wrist and into my open mouth.
II. The Stage
I kept thinking about how many other girls there must have been. To have regulars cheering and jeering as he sawed into white marrow, desensitized to the stench of piss and blood and the vomit that was choking me. At least they’ll make a podcast about me, I think to myself. There will be episode upon episode detailing my death over wine and crackers, cracking jokes in between communion.
I. The One
The one person that I want to see the least is breathing into my drying eyes. This face will be the one they broadcast on the news and Dateline and Netflix originals with a copycat actor that will win an Oscar for killing me. This is the face that I will see last. This is the one that will be splashed across talk shows and will have blog pages dedicated to how attractive he is. He is just misunderstood after all.
II. The One
The one person that can bring me down from all of this is next to me. She is sleeping soundly and soon she will be holding me and whispering that I am safe. My face would be forgotten along with hers, but at least the pain would end for me. She would be the one that has to go on living. And go on hearing about how good the new documentary is. She’d never hear my name without his right along with it.