Self-Preservation

Prompt Day #6: Craft a piece whose theme is captured by this anonymous quotation from the world of zoology: “An effective way to deal with predators is to taste terrible.”

 This was yesterday’s prompt which I did not get to post but here it is. The prompt immediately brought some horrible memories flooding back and here’s how I managed to put them together. I wish I could say some of this is fictionalized.

Self-Preservation

She is only 17 with a lifetime ahead of her

College and parties. One night stands and long term relationships

Waiting and hoping for a ring

She is beautiful, her smile infectious. But now,

Now, they are touching her, telling her how soft her skin is

They taste her and whisper to each other about how good she is

Hands all over her, in her hair, on her breasts, squeezing, tweaking

“Stay this way and you’ll always have men wanting you” they assure her

As their violations continue

Every word they say is true, at 17 what girl isn’t soft, voluptuous and beautiful?

Their words are not pleasing; instead they burrow into her soul like maggots

She can feel them squirming inside her and she wants to scream

But she can’t, they warned her with the gun. She may not scream, she may not cry

She can only smile. She wears her mask and curls up inside herself to hide.

When it is over and she is safe again, she can’t find the girl she once was

The girl who hid away inside is now covered by the debris of broken dreams

Lost to her own self, she begins to craft a new identity, a full body mask this time

A spiteful girl, one with a sharp tongue, using words to build a barbed-wire fence around her

An ugly girl, covered in grease and calories; a thick insulation around all the parts she was once told were beautiful and soft

A careless girl, letting any man who wanted in until the mystery was gone and no man wondered anymore

A ghost town of what was once a bright and prosperous city full of potential

One hundred years later, like a sleeping princess, a little girl, 17 and dreaming, begins to dig her way back out of this ball of madness and chaos.

She has learned there is no fairy tale; there is no prince that will fight the dragon and cut his way through the briars to rescue her.

The time has come, she decides, to rescue herself.

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