For a free sample, visit author's website.
by Terry K
Publisher Strategic Book Publishing
For a free sample, visit author's website.
On a midsummer night in Newark, New Jersey, Rachael Watts has her first date with a rapist. Charming and thoughtful at first, Carl Bart makes a pastor’s daughter his next victim and creates hell on earth, his own hell that is.
Plagued with guilt, a devastated Rachael deviates from her moral teachings and, in a quest for revenge, commits a few crimes of her own. Eventually, her father intervenes and the fallen angel must soon choose between drowning in her pain and resurfacing to face God.
Whatever the outcome, someone must pay for Carl's sins, but it may not be who you think....
A prisoner in her own body, Rachael lay there—helpless. The drugs had reached their prime effect and as she lay in oblivion, he had his way with her.
She often remembered the day in Sunday school when she won a bottle of ketchup for having memorized the Ten Commandments. It was given to her by the Sunday school teacher Mrs. Dally, a soft-spoken woman who exercised much patience with her students. The church’s budget could more than accommodate the purchases, but the old lady preferred to provide the incentives from her own pantry. Her acts of generosity were the ones that taught Rachael how to be charitable.
The building where they attended church services was located on Cathedral Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. It was a large stone church built in the eighteenth century that captured the French Gothic architectural designs. Its wide auditorium was filled with enough worn, cedar pews to seat seven hundred, and a creaking staircase led to the balcony that could accommodate two hundred more. There, a better view of the forty- foot-high ceilings, which boasted stained glass windows and four rusted, medieval-style chandeliers, could be had.
When the church purchased the structure some fifty years ago, the leaders had a baptismal pool installed at the front of the auditorium just left of the pulpit and a small office erected on the other side. For some, the old cathedral’s musty smell and outdated look combined to create a venue where they could never see themselves worshipping, but for many more in Newark who were trying to escape a life of poverty and crime and couldn’t care less about a modernized church building, it remained a haven.
On that particular Ketchup Day, Mrs. Dally asked her students who were seated in the balcony with her to stand in the shape of a circle because she said, “God’s love was like a circle.” There, they were told to recite the Ten Commandments that they memorized for homework and Rachael was able to do so with ease. What the seven year old didn’t understand, however, was why she had to learn them. If these laws were written only for boys to follow when they became older, why did she have to obey them too?
By the time Rachael was ten, Mrs. Dally began allowing her to assist teaching the youngest group in the Sunday classes because the child, apparently, displayed natural leadership abilities. But Rachael just enjoyed singing the songs that had whacky movements to accompany them and was happy to help the other kids learn these songs as well. It was fun for her to watch the toddlers fall on their bums when the Walls of Jericho came crashing down or to throw their invisible fishing lines over the balcony and into the just-as-invisible lake when they became “fishers of men.”
Rachael’s favorite part of the lesson, though, was always snack time when little mouths became stained from red Kool Aid and tiny cheeks and chins were covered with cookie crumbs. The young kids would laugh and show off their colored tongues to each other and seem so trouble free as they relished in their weekly sugar high. Rachael found peace in their innocence. She couldn’t help comparing their behavior to that of the older folks in the church who always appeared to be so serious at their snack time. Maybe it was because they were given a mere sip of their red liquid and only a pinch of bread so, she concluded, they must still be hungry. People are grumpy when they are hungry.
The day came, however, when Rachael was asked to eat the grown up snack as well. She was instructed to stand with the adults at the church altar near the front of the auditorium then drink from the same cup like everyone else around her shared. The child expected that the blood of a man would taste awful but noted that the red liquid made her insides feel warm and tingly, as she giggled for no reason. The piece of bread, though, was still too small for her liking.
When she was twelve, the church leaders of her Pentecostal fellowship told her that she was ready to be baptized, so one Sunday morning Mrs. Dally took her to the ladies’ bathroom at the back of the auditorium and helped her to change into a big, white dress resembling a sleeping gown. As the graying woman held her hand and led her to the baptismal pool, she told Rachael that she would die when she went under the water and would be born again when she came back up!
But Mrs. Dally must have lied because the girl didn’t die- not that day at least.
Rachael awoke suddenly, stunned and dazed at first then quickly took in her surroundings: she was in her own bedroom surrounded by sky blue walls, white furniture, beige-colored lace curtains, and a large, white crucifix above her bed. The Saturday morning sun started to rise and as light crept into her space, Rachael began to groggily examine her ruffled, teal, Egyptian cotton sheets. Soon, she realized that she was naked.
Naked? Why was she naked?
Slowly, she sat up on the bed and her head began to throb. Her hand automatically reached for her left temple and her fingers became pasted to something sticky, almost gel-like. After smelling it and tracing its point of origin, Rachael gathered that it was vomit that coagulated in her hair and on the left side of her face.
“What the …” she began to ask, but after looking down at her bamboo floors where the majority of mess seemed to be, her memory was jolted.
He was here, in my home! But, how did he get in?
Rachael spun around wildly in her disheveled bed to get a full view of the room, as if expecting to find him lurking in the daybreak glow.
He was gone.
I gave him the key! she remembered. Yes, that’s right. I gave him the key to my front door. But . . . why would I do that?
Her head was heavier now and then there was the sharp pain! Where was it coming from? Her legs? Between her thighs?
“He was here, in my room, and I’m naked…” she whispered, trying to piece together the puzzle.
She then felt her stomach clench as she recalled some more. He had placed her on the bed—on the left side of the bed—but she tried to fight him off and she did!
No. He pinned her down. He told her to relax . . . .
“What the hell happened last night?” Rachael asked herself aloud while deciding to go to the bathroom, but as she placed her hands beneath her buttocks so as to ease herself off the bed, she found that she was gripping her yellow, spandex underwear.
She tried remembering again and shut her eyes tightly, as if doing so would help her see. But all she could hear were her own pleas and him whispering, “Just relax, I won’t hurt you.” He stood on her left side and she tried pushing him away, but he pushed her back down. She felt so weak. She couldn’t fight him off.
Did he rape her?
Rachael was frantic now and tried to delay the dawning reality that ebbed at her confusion. She looked down at her naked body again, begging it to tell her what happened, but as it remained shamefully silent her worse fear was confirmed. “No, no, no!” She screamed, her shoulders starting to shake. Her first response was to run to the bathroom and cleanse herself, to wash away the evil that had been done. She leapt from the bed and ran to the gray and white bathroom, which was only six feet from her bed but seemed much, much farther away, and stood in the shower waiting for her trembling hand to grab hold of the stainless steel knob.
Suddenly, a thin stream of liquid trickled down from her inner thighs and onto the silver-green tiles where she stood. She screamed again— this time with less fight— and sank to the bottom of the shower as her knees gave way. There, Rachael cried a mournful cry, a sorrowful cry, the cry that one cries when someone they love has just died.
She also discovered that her arms, legs, thighs, and neck were all bruised and that her skin was starting to change from a flaxen yellow to a dark blue-green color. But try as she may, Rachael just couldn’t recall how her body had become so mangled and allowed her long, black hair to become soaked with water and tears.
She didn’t even bother to touch the semen-filled vagina, not because she didn’t want to but because she just couldn’t. It was no longer her own. A separation occurred during the night and only one of them knew of what transpired.
And Vagina wasn’t about to tell.
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Julia Theresa Kanhai is a native of Guyana—the only English-speaking country in South America. She grew up in the capital city Georgetown where dwells a diverse culture wrought by countless ethnic groups, languages and religions. Writing since the age of eight, she spent her childhood buried in stories penned by Enid Blyton and R. L Stine while as a teen, the works of J. K Rowling and Stephen King helped her to decide on a future career.