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Author: Ker Dukey









Fifteen years old…


“Drink up, Lily.”


“I don’t want to.” My hand tightens around the glass, my knuckles turning white. The snowy crushed tablets swirl in the water, settling at the bottom of the glass. The air condenses, suffocating me. Yellow flowers on the wallpaper wilt before my eyes. The old wooden chair digs into my thighs, my foot tapping manically beneath the table. The dull, outdated kitchen makes me want to vomit.

I hate it here.

The words don’t make it past my lips, fear holding them hostage. The last time I spoke those words, I couldn’t walk for a week. Grandma’s paddle hangs on the wall like a medal, mocking me from across the room.

“It’s better for you if you drink it,” Grandma tells me. I know she’s right. It will silence the voices. Block out the pain inflicted in the dark. Drown out the betrayal.


“Drink it.” She glowers, pushing my head toward the glass, her jagged nails scraping against my scalp. Tears burn the corners of my eyes. My stomach growls, wanting to eat the small portion of food before me. Ever since I hit fourteen and my boobs became noticeable, Grandma began limiting my meals, like that was the reason I was changing into a woman. Now, my bones protrude from the skin. I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror.

“Drink, Lily.” Her voice is sharp, stabbing into me. Wounding.

Please don’t make me.

To drink this poison makes me complicit in some way.

“Drink or you won’t see your brother this weekend.”

A pit opens in my chest. I don’t want to see Jameson. What if he sees the dirt on my skin, the sin, the disgusting stains that litter my soul?

“No!” I shout, throwing the glass across the kitchen. It slams against the fridge and shatters, making a loud sound that shocks us both. My heart pounds behind my ribcage. Panic ravages my thoughts. My bladder threatens to empty on the kitchen chair.

“You ungrateful little devil child. Get to your room now,” she scorns snatching my plate away.

I need that food.

My hands shoot out to stop her, but it’s too late. My fingers thud against the tablecloth, the plate out of reach.

“Room. Now.” She jabs a finger, and my breath hitches. I look at the door but don’t move. Gentle tremors shake my hands.

Kill her, Lily.

The thought creeps in from the shadows of my mind, rolling in like a tide to wash all the fear away, all the pain she’s caused me.

“What’s going on?” Grandpa’s raspy voice calls from the basement. My stomach twists. Nerves chew beneath the skin, trying to get out.

“Do you want me to tell him to come up here?” she asks, narrowing her small, crinkly blue eyes at me.

My voice catches in my throat. I want to scream, Why! Instead, I say, “No,” shaking my head vehemently.

Pushing the chair back from the table, I stand and hurry down the hall, closing the door to my room as soon as I enter. Slumping back against it, tears fall down my cheeks as the lock clicks into place.

This room is full of furniture, dolls, soft toys, but I’m hollow. Candy cotton pink walls and embroidery drapes left untouched from when my mother slept inside these four walls. They do nothing to offer comfort. Mama’s six feet under, rotting in a casket.

The world was too much for her.

I was too much.

How could she leave me to this fate?

I don’t know how much time passes, but I know something bad is coming. The wait is almost too much to bear.

Sitting in the corner of my room, I grip a soft teddy bear until pain aches my fingertips. The chime of the doorbell signals the visitor who haunts my nightmares.

Please go away.

Please go away.

Mumbled voices followed by footfalls stopping outside my room blast like a siren in my head.

The latch clicks. The handle drops, and so does my stomach.

No. Go away.

Panic seizes my joints. I can’t move.

The door creaks open, the imposing figure filling the space. “Hello, little love.”

Sickness roils my stomach.

“I want the drink,” I plead, the words clawing up my throat.

The man steps into the room, licking his lips. “Remember, no visible bruises,” Grandpa tells him, he and Grandma standing behind the man looking in at me.

What about the internal ones? The mental ones? Why don’t you love me?

“Grandma, I want the drink,” I plead.

“You should have thought about that.” Her evil face twists.

The man reaches for his belt as the door slams and the lock engages. “Be a good girl. I’m not going to hurt you,” he spills his lies, taking off his jacket and hanging it on a hook on the door.

I want to die too.

Mama went to heaven and left me in hell.

The man pulls off his collar and places it on my doll house. The devil disguised as a man of god.

“On the bed, Lily. Be a good girl.”

One day, I’m going to kill them all.

Heaven be damned.









Twenty years old…


“She’s fucking crazy,” the little wimp cries out, nursing his hand against his chest, red liquid dripping to the floor at his feet.

“Why the fuck did you stab him?” Rage exhales, sick of my shit. He’s sitting at a table in the main room of the clubhouse with our prez and two guys I don’t recognize. My gaze is drawn to the one fidgeting with a lighter, twirling it in his hand, glacier blue eyes focused on the action.

“He grabbed my ass,” I snap, justified.

“She was bending down, waving it in my face,” Milk whines. Only in our chapter a month and he’s already outstayed his welcome.

“I was tying my fucking boot, you grubby little shmuck.” I should have stabbed his tongue, then I wouldn’t be standing here getting tattled on like some pre-school bullshit.

“So, if you stabbed him, why the hell is your ass cheek bleeding?” Rage points to my ass. Frowning, I look to see the small gash in my jean shorts oozing blood down the pocket. Fuck. I love these shorts.

“His hand was on my ass when I stabbed it.” I shrug.

“Wait—” Animal shakes his head, “—you stabbed your own ass to punish, Milk?”

“I don’t like being groped by an inbred freak. I reacted, my ass be damned.” In reality, I’d reacted without thinking at all. The anger took over, and the next thing I knew, Milk was wailing like a bitch and my ass stung.

“I ain’t inbred, you crazy fucking bitch.” I shift my foot in his direction, and he flinches. Pussy.

“Enough.” Animal slams his palm down on the table, making it rattle. “Milk, have Doc stitch you up. Lily, for fuck’s sake, stop stabbing brothers.” It’s only been three. They all deserved it.

“Is that it? She tried to kill me!” Milk belts out.

“If I wanted to kill you, you’d have a hole in your head, not your hand, dumbass.” How this waste of leather ever earned his patch, I’ll never know. I roll my eyes and cross my arms, my gaze landing on the new guys again. The lighter twirler is stone-faced, his eyes flitting between Milk and me and my ass, his fist tightening around the lighter. The other one grins like we know each other and share a joke.

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