Jagged

Jagged

_______
You’ll never believe:

Some people break and stay broke,
Some people break then make,
the best of the rest.
Others,
Try to put the pieces back,
but the jagged edges stick out,
and cut those who try to help.

Please,
Shatter my rotting soul,
Grotesque and festering mold.
So,
I can put them back right.

Please,
Bring me that light,
and,
let it pierce my shell; so cold.
Do we need to grow so old?
Just want to do what I’m told.
Tell me.

A few reasons why “13 Reasons Why” doesn’t actually promote suicide.

Preface: This is an atypical post, as Bluebeard is an art project, not a platform for media commentary. I write stories, I’m the opposite of a diplomat, abrasive, even. Yet, I’m inclined to defend this series’ integrity. This show is an exception, in many regards. It handles topics most people won’t touch in a deft and admirable fashion. I’ll spare you a half-assed plot summary and get to the point. If you haven’t seen it, and you have access, I highly recommend it.

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It’s not an easy thing, to balance entertainment and tragedy. Catharsis is one of the most misunderstood and least accepted precursors of joy. The concept is this; without negativity, without different emotions, and without pain, joy would be meaningless. A constant and uninterrupted joy is the equivalent to a never ending supply of heroin at your bedside. It would be fake. Light is only recognizable amidst darkness, so to speak. This is why I respect ’13 Reasons Why’ and what it does.

It creates a meaningful dialogue in a country where, frankly, we suck at feelings. It’s 2017 and people still say “Commit Suicide” like it was a crime, a murder. It’s not, and has not been in the United States since the ’80s. We treat it like it’s something dirty, we don’t educate our youth about the dangers of depression and self-harm. We ignore the victims who suffer from it every day, telling them to suck it up, because we’ve cultivated an individualistic sink-or-swim community where many would prefer to see their friends fail than see their friends surpass them. It’s this ignorance an repression that ultimately leads to higher rates of suicide in every demographic.

’13 Reasons Why’ is a perfect example of what we need more of; exposure. You can’t fight what you don’t understand, as a chemist, that fact has been drilled into my mind for years. You don’t cure cancer without an intimate knowledge of the mechanics surrounding the mutations that cause it (cyclins, P53, etc.). Yet, research on suicide and depression continues to be given a backseat to things like developing new tanks, war-machines, and war-heads because if it can’t knock the earth from its orbit, it isn’t explosive enough. The best way to combat depression is to talk about it.

As someone who has suffered from depression, as someone who’s lost someone close to their heart to depression, and someone who has thought about suicide at least once a week for the past five years, I can tell you with near-perfect certainty that the one thing that has been effective for me was having someone to talk to. Someone who wouldn’t call me an attention whore. Someone who wasn’t going to judge me for what I might be going through, however trivial it may appear from the outside looking in. Those people aren’t easy to find, because we are socialized to value stoicism and strength over emotion and introspection.  The result of that, by the way, is that the cruel and stupid flourish at the expense of the thoughtful. If you’ve ever been beaten up by over four people on the playground while the aid turned the other cheek, you know what I’m talking about.

The argument against ’13 Reasons Why’ is this: Hannah’s suicide romanticizes self-harm, the tapes glorify suicide, makes it appealing, thereby increasing suicide rates.

Ironic to see this coming from the same news outlets that have a field day when when some kid shoots up a school. Glorifying school shootings by making the shooter famous and showing their face to everyone gives the killer what they wanted. This isn’t that. Hannah’s characterization is slowly revealed through the tapes, the (extremely valid) reasons she was in pain. One thing above all led to her decision, though. That was the fact that no-one was there for her. She tried, very explicitly, to reach out. Nobody gave a fuck. Instead they continued to abuse her, both verbally, and in one grim instance, sexually.

That’s the point. That’s all there is to it. Compassion and the simple act of being there, the act of not presuming to know what somebodies going through.

Not everything people are saying is wrong, her suicide scene was romanticized, in the artistic sense of the word. It was an artistic and cathartic scene that made me cry. But romanticizing something doesn’t glorify it, it’s the act of making it relatable. It’s the context that matters.

’13 Reasons Why’ accomplished something when they made depression, pain, and suicide relatable to a mass audience. The people who jump on it and condemn its intentions are the same callous, sensationalist, and opportunistic folks who’d sell everything they are for success. Success is relative. Means do not always justify ends.

I’m not arguing Hannah’s character is perfect, because she’s not. She has flaws that inhibit other peoples ability to help her, most notably Clay, the socially inept protagonist. But who doesn’t have issues? Who doesn’t have the occasional self-destructive moment? People who say they don’t ever have painful moments need to take their masks off and look in the mirror.

Another salient point is that just because Netflix produced something that contains an instance of self-harm, doesn’t mean Netflix is trying to get people to kill themselves. That same logic only holds when applied to everything, including murder, crime, and things a whole lot worse than depression that are regularly aired without criticism. We do this, this taboo stuff. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s ironic and damaging. The reason people get mad that a suicide is depicted in a story is the same reason that people get mad when there is nudity. All the while mass-murder and unapologetic gore become normalized.

I’m not arguing against depictions of violence or further censorship, rather, that people start giving more credence to actual context than click-bait titles. ’13 Reasons Why’ doesn’t convince people to kill themselves, if anything, it’s a positive step in combating the enigma of depression,

Maybe it could help our society grow in a positive way that encourages youth to be open instead of smothering uncomfortable emotions and pretending they don’t exist. That’s when the damage is done, when you bottle the negativity up. This show simply tries to alleviate that built up societal pressure. One thing it won’t do, however, is convince psychologically healthy individuals to up and kill themselves. There are reasons for suicide, it’s never trivial.

 

Saving Hadley Chapter 16

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/

XVI

May 25th, 2017-Simon

 

Simon waited, nervously tapping, for the car to arrive. In his left hand, he held a stuffed paper bag, in the other, a reinforced metal briefcase. After much thought, he’d decided on a black T-shirt, dark cargo pants, and black leather shoes. He also wore dark rimmed sunglasses under a black and orange cap. They’d picked a small and isolated road in the boonies to make the exchange. Simon checked his digital watch, 7:12 PM. He’s two minutes late. Did I get the location wrong?

A moment later, a black Sedan with blacker windows turned onto the country road where Simon had parked. Simon’s pulse quickened, his tapping sped, as the car slowed to a stop in front of him. This is it. An older man in a navy-blue suit stepped out of the drivers-side door. Gracefully, he slipped around the front of the Sedan and opened the back-passenger door, and motioned for Simon to get in. Eagerly, Simon walked forward, ducking to get into the Sedan. As Simon sat, securing his belongings on his lap, the driver closed the door.

A man sat to Simon’s right. He looked rough with his long beard and black pin-striped suit. I may have underdressed. Without looking to Simon, the man asked, “Do you have the cash?”

Simon handed the man his paper bag and said, “Yes. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, all unmarked.” Simon felt a wave of anxiety as the man took the bag without response, opened it, and took out the money.  I suppose it’s natural for him to want to count it.

Two minutes later, the man greedily stuffed the money back in the bag before saying, “Good.” He gently rapped the divider twice and the Sedan started to move. The man opened his small briefcase, stored the money inside before looking to Simon, “Your mark has been prepared, as per your request. Currently, he is sedated at a small farm-house within two miles of this area. I will, as we discussed, remain at the location with you to dispose of the corpse once you are finished saying what you need to say, Mr. Sheffield.” Smiling, he continued, “Please don’t hesitate to let me know if something is out of order.”

Meeting his gaze, Simon responded, “I’m sure I’ll find everything to be in order.” Simon turned away from the man. This is so casual to him. It’s like I’m buying a car, not a person. Unnerving. The pair rode in relative silence for another three minutes before the Sedan came to a smooth halt. Simon and the bearded man both got out of the car. Simon examined his surroundings. For miles, all he could see was meadow-like grass and weeds, uncouth life flourishing in the warm summer sun; infecting his resolve. How can such beauty and horror collide? And no one will notice. In front of the Sedan was a red barn. Behind the barn was a fence that stretched for at least three acres. A few large horses were running from one side to the other, as Simon walked towards the entrance of the barn.

The bearded man, walking ahead of Simon, reached the barns two, large, sliding doors. Looking back, he smiled enigmatically, before theatrically sliding the doors apart. This is the circus my life has become, apparently. Stepping back, he motioned Simon forward, not unlike a sales man emphatically revealing his product. Simons jaw tightened as he saw the limp form of Bud Clifton. The fires ignited Simons senses, all trepidation slowly trickled from blazes embrace, freezing or dying as it was caught in the blackened and glutinous soul-fire. Simon walked into the barn, liquid rage distorting his vison, frost exciting his nerves to the point of numbness, as he pictured Hadley’s cold and limp frame on their bathroom floor. This is the man who ruined my life.

Clifton was bound by leather to a wooden chair with an ambiguous IV trailing from his right elbow to a saline-bag. Low dose anesthetic. Time to wake him up. The entire floor of the barn was covered in two layers of material. The bottom was an opaque white, while the top was a clear, thin, and unapologetic plastic. Simon moved to the small, wooden, table to left of Clifton’s IV stand. Clifton was a short man with a muscular build. He looked to be in his late twenties and had a handsome face. He can’t be older than me. He looked older on the news.

Rumbling, a deep voice whispered, “He’s the one, his age is irrelevant. He must be made to pay.” You’re right. I can’t falter, I’ll do this for Hadley, for Adam. Simon set his reinforced metal briefcase on the wooden sill, unclicking each latch before opening it. A shiver of dark anticipation chilled Simons back, fraying his sense of self. He moved to where Clifton’s IV stand and cut the flow of the sedative. Just a few minutes now. A chorus of voices whispered sub-audibly, encouraging Simon’s dissociative haze of vindictive-lust. The briefcase contained several chemicals, neurotoxins, nerve agents, and laxatives.

Smiling, Simon grabbed both laxatives and placed them beside the briefcase. The vials were labeled  and .  Next, he grabbed a mid-volume syringe with an oversized needle. Simon opened each tube of laxative, then drew half of  into the syringe. I do love this one, if the math is right, and it is, his large intestines will reabsorb around 700% more water. That’s roughly equal to taking six medically effective doses of MiraLAX. Carefully angling the syringes needle into the air, Simon compressed the laxative a tad, too much of  could kill a person, so it was important to get the dosage right. Simon drew approximately four milliliters of  before compressing the rest of the needles volume and checking for air.  was a bulk-forming laxative that ensure Clifton’s discomfort would be maximal. By combining the two laxatives, Clifton would almost immediately empty his entire bowel, solidly, and be forced to sit in his own filth. He may also vomit shit, a nasty side-effect. Intestinal spasms are a bitch. He’ll be fine though, as long as I keep him hydrated enough to keep the shock away.

As Clifton began to stir, Simon went to loosen his restraints, syringe in hand. Not so loose that he could escape or wreck his IV, but enough to struggle. The bearded man called out “What are you doin?”

Annoyed, Simon shouted over his shoulder, “Remember when you told me to tell if you if anything was out of order? Please stop commenting.” The bearded man didn’t respond as Simon pulled Clifton’s shirt over his head. He palpated Clifton’s abdomen, feeling for the duodenum of the small intestine. Cruelly, Simon forced the large needle into Clifton’s skin until he felt the intestine rupture. Carefully, he released the solution as Clifton groaned, starting to stir. As he removed the syringe, careful not to damage Clifton’s intestine further, Clifton began to shout in pain and confusion.

Smiling unkindly, Simon pulled the smaller man’s shirt down before taking three slow steps backwards and observing his prey. Clifton looked at Simon, eyes wide, and half choked, “Where the fuck am I? Who are you, what’s wrong with my stomach? It hurts!” Simon felt an unapologetic rush of euphoria, reveling in his own perversion. “Ugh, my stomach, what is that feeling?”

“Well, that’s a lot of questions, Clifton, how about you answer some of my questions first, then we can consider yours, I think that’s fair.” Simon responded, flatly, eyes dead, and lips snarling.

Desperately, Clifton said, “I’ll answer anything you want me to answer, man, I don’t know anything though.” Clifton suddenly screamed in pain. “My stomach, help me!”

Shaking his head condescendingly, Simon said, “You do, actually.” Clifton blushed as he released a large amount of gas, violently soiling himself. “Does the name Adam Sheffield ring a bell?” Clifton’s face froze, suddenly stoic.

Jaw tight, he responded, “Yeah, he’s the kid that lady buckled into the car seat wrong.” How dare you.

Simon spit on Clifton and shouted, “You ran the red! Your blood alcohol content was point two-six percent!” Clifton shouted in agony as another stool passed. “You killed my son, Clifton…You can’t even take responsibility for that? My wife slit her wrists because of what you did!”

Shaking in fear, Clifton stuttered, “So…wh..what are you going to d..do to me?”

Scowling, Simon answered, “I’m going to teach you how resilient the human body is to death.” As Clifton started screaming at the bearded man for help­–Help that will never come–Simon moved to his briefcase, removing a small vial of an augmented muscular neurotoxin he’d labeled . Simon set the  on the table before removing his smallest syringe, the one with a child’s needle attached. He drew exactly point three milliliters of the  into the syringe before compressing the syringes remaining volume. Clifton had quieted considerably after the first thirty seconds of screaming for help. He hung his head in a mixture of defeat and exhaustion as Simon approached.

Pleading, Clifton said, “I’m sorry man, I fucked up, I shouldn’t have been driving. I never meant to hurt anyone, I had a problem.” He suddenly looked up to Simon, eyes wide. “It was my friends twenty-first and we were showing him a good time, you…you gotta believe me, I never meant to hurt you or your family.” His eyes were streaming tears.

Simon’s mouth curled into a disgusted grimace, as he spat, “Now if only you’d told the court that, you wouldn’t be here, would you?” Simon walked around the right side of Clifton’s chair, syringe in hand.

“What are you doing, please man don’t hurt me!” Clifton shouted, struggling against his restraints.

Chuckling, Simon said, “If you keep struggling like that, Clifton, you’re going to hurt yourself more.” Simon grabbed Clifton’s under-chin, forcing his head backwards, and brought the syringe to Clifton’s left eye. Clifton, understanding, stopped his wild movements, and screamed as the needle entered his iris. Unapologetically, Simon injected the neurotoxin, before removing the needle. Simon walked back around the chair to get a better look as Clifton’s eye started to dart in random directions. Clifton was still screaming, his voice cracking as his chords chaffed. Now he understands what he’s done. A thin stream of blood started to trickle from Clifton’s spasmodic eye.

Four minutes later, Clifton’s eye had slowed its seizure-like spasms. His screams had dwindled to scratchy gurgles, his voice near death. Shivering, he looked to Simon and pleaded, “Please, just kill me now.” His right eye was looking, pleading into Simon’s eyes, while his left eye had rolled down, ceasing any coordinated movement.

Grinning malevolently, Simon responded, “But, we’ve only just started. And to be honest, I paid good money for our appointment here today. You still have to experience at least two deaths to make up for what you’ve done.”

“You’re fucked!” Clifton screeched, mournfully. I know.

Daily Blog 9/11/17

Start from the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

All published chapters are archived under the Saving Hadley menu at: https://bluebeard-art.com/

_______________________________

*Contains graphic, accurate, and disturbing depictions of self-harm and emergency medical procedures. Also has naughty language. If any of that stuff bothers you, please don’t read this. I also suggest you go here to get the good feels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zidiWe9yq88

_____  

Simon’s perspective of what happened in chapter 11-1.

Enjoy!

XI-II

February 8th, 2017-Simon

 

Simon had left work sick, not that he was sick. Not in the traditional sense. The urge to slip drugs in that setting was simply too much for him to handle right now. He was barely holding on, and Hadley…Hadley wasn’t holding on. He’d caught her going through their old store of painkillers two nights ago. Simon had tried to stop her, but she had threatened him with the dull metal scissors on the counter. He’d had to distance himself that night, sleeping on the couch. I’ll talk to her about it, get her help.

Simon went over what he’d say as he pulled into the large driveway. I hate what happened to Adam, but we’re still here, we’re still young, we can beat this, together. Parking, Simon opened the driver’s side door of his Audi, and got out. Closing the door behind him, Simon walked towards the side entrance. He pulled the key out his pocket, put it in the lock and twisted. Things are going to be all right, we’ve been to hell and back together. I just need to stop being so damned distant all the time. I’ve never been good at handling emotions. Hadley had recently theorized why Simon had made a good ER doctor. He remembered the sting he’d felt as she’d said, “It’s because you don’t care when the patients die, and you can just tell the family then go have a fucking cigarette.” She’s right, though. I need to be more available. I’m going to settle this. Walking into the kitchen, looking around, Simon yelled “Hadley, you up?” It’s nearly 7:30, don’t tell me she’s still in bed.

As Simon walked towards the stairs, he heard a muffled noise. What was that? Simon paused momentarily, listening. Not hearing another noise, he called out a second time “Hads! You okay?” while starting up the bannister. About halfway up the steps, he heard another noise, a scream. No…no. Simon rushed up the stairs, skipping a step with each stride. “Hadley! Where are you?” he rushed towards the master bedroom. The door was closed, he tried the handle. Locked? Oh shit. Voice cracking, Simon yelled “Hadley!” as he kicked the door. It didn’t break. On the second kick the doors frame concaved slightly.

He heard Hadley scream “Simon!”, she sounded in pain. What is she doing?

Panicking, as the door failed to cave after the third kick, Simon shouted “Hadley! I’m here, hold on honey, I’m here!” On the fourth kick, the lock broke and Simon rushed into the dark bedroom. Hadley was still screaming, but Simon couldn’t see, fumbling for the lights he called out, “Hadley I’m here, don’t worry, you’re okay!” Finding the lights, he realized Hadley was in the master bathroom. Simon barreled into the bathroom. The lights were dim, looking around his heart sank. Small pills were scattered about and there was blood all over the floor, and the Jacuzzi…the water was a dark, lifeless, red. No.

Simon rushed into the Jacuzzi as Hadley mouthed something, he couldn’t tell what. “What did you Hadley, what did you do. Lovely, what have you done.”  He wrapped his arms around her, picking her up into her arms. He left the Jacuzzi and set Hadley down gently onto the cold bathroom floor. My god, her arms. No. It can’t be. Not like this. Panicked, Simon ran to the second bath, turning the shower on and stopping the drain. She’s too warm. I need to stop the blood-flow. Returning to Hadley, he picked her up gently, making sure her wounds faced up. Grunting, he carried her to the shower, setting her down carefully with her back against the glass, letting the cold-water wash over her. “Hadley! Wake up Hadley!” Simon cried in desperation as her eyes fluttered. She was still mouthing the same, inaudible words. “I can’t hear you, honey, stay with me, I need you Hadley, I need you to stay here… to stay with me.” He could feel her pulse, a wave of relief shot down his spine. It’s weak, I need to act quickly.

Turning, Simon got to his feet and walked to the sauna’s towel rack. He opened the sauna door, grabbed two towels and threw them inside before setting the heat to max and shutting the door. He grabbed the other two towels and ran to Hadley. Why is she smiling at me like that? Simon wrapped the first towel around her left arm, tying it off, and repeating the process on the right arm.

Hadley’s eyes had opened again. Quietly, she murmured “I love you.”

Stricken, Simon responded, “I love you too, Hadley, you’re going to be fine, stay with me.”

Eyes closing again, Hadley whispered “Let me…go.” Never. Hadley fell limp, blood soaking through the towels. How did she cut so far up the arm? Simon ran back to the sauna, grabbing one of the now-hot towels. Turning back to Hadley, he draped the hot towel around her famished midsection and turned the cold-water stream off. Too cold and she’ll go into shock even faster. Her pulse felt weaker than it had a few moments ago. She’s lost too much blood. Simon ran to the medical cabinet adjacent to the sink. He grabbed a high-volume syringe and a tourniquet. Quickly, he wrapped the tourniquet around his left arm, found a vein and drew blood as quickly as he could without blowing the vein. Damned anxiety is constricting my vasculature. Stay calm, Simon, or Hadley will die. After about thirty seconds, he’d managed to fill the syringe. Now comes the tricky part. Her arms are completely shot and I don’t have an IV.

Moving to Hadley, Simon paused, looking for a vein on her inner thighs. I’ll worry about infections later. Hands steady, Simon pushed the syringe into Hadley’s Femoral vein, pushing slowly but steadily before retracting the syringe and moving to Hadley’s greater saphenous. He switched back and forth until the blood in the syringe was gone. The injection sites aren’t bleeding, low pressure, not good. Simon checked her pulse, it was gone.

Tears streaming down his face, Simon ran back to the medical cabinet and found a small bottle of adrenaline. Come on, just another ER shift…Keep it together. Grabbing a new, lower volume syringe, he drew half the adrenaline, hands shaking. Rushing back to Hadley, Simon pulled her left tank top strap down over her arm. He palpated the area, feeling for a break in the ribcage. This has to work. It WILL. Finding the spot he was looking for, he carefully pushed the long needle into her chest, until he felt a break in the resistance. The heart. He injected the adrenaline, pulled the syringe out, and threw it aside. He maneuvered her cold, limp body so that she lay on her back, arms to the side. Getting on top of her, he started compressions. His arms and face had gone numb from the anxiety, making it difficult to keep going. Must…keep…going, I have to save her.

Crying, he shouted “Come back to me, Hads, come on baby, you’re okay, everything’s going to be fine!” After about a minute of compressions, he felt Hadley’s ribs break. Slowly, defeated, Simon slowed his compressions. Leaning back, he cried out in agony. I’ve failed.

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Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/13/daily-blog-91217/

Daily Blog 9/8/17

*Contains detailed depictions of Self-harm. 

This is a very sad, very dark, chapter. I post thoughts on it later, editing it put me in my sad place.

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

 

XI-I

February 8th, 2017-Hadley

Hadley read the old Digitex clock on her nightstand. 7:12 PM. She had forty-eight minutes until Simon would be getting home. I’ve put this off for too long as it is. Forcing herself out of bed, she headed to the bathroom. The room was dark, blinds and curtains drawn to hide the fading summer sun. Halfway to the bathroom, Hadley lost her footing and fell, hitting her face, hard, on the carpet. Dazed, she sat up, feeling foolish, realizing she had tripped on a pile of clothes that had grown into a mountain over the past weeks. Hadley groaned, pushing herself to her feet. She walked the last few feet to the bathroom, and reached around the corner to fix the lights. She set them to a dim, comforting glow. Walking past the sauna, she turned left, reaching for the drawer to the right of the sink.

She opened the top drawer and briefly searched through the various pillboxes. Pausing, she considered her choices and decided on the oxycodone and ibuprofen. Clumsily, she opened the oxycodone, taking four pills out of the pillbox. One extra. Might help. She turned the sink on, putting two of the pills in her mouth, she bent down and took a gulp of water, easily swallowing the pills. She repeated the process for the second two, choking on the water this time. Hadley picked up the Ibuprofen, staring at it in a daze. She could already feel the oxy getting to work. This will save me.

Hadley dumped the ibuprofen on the counter. She counted out eight two-hundred milligram tablets and took them, one at a time. She turned to face the Jacuzzi. Stumbling, she walked up the two steps, and tripped as she climbed down into the tub, slamming her head on the nickel-plated faucet. Blood dripped from her nose and forehead as she reached down to stop the Jacuzzi’s drain. Hadley cranked up the hot water all the way until the tub was nearly full, topping it off with cold water. Needs to be hot. The water burned her skin at the meniscus as she stepped into the water. The burn felt good. Perfect. She sat down and laid back, letting her meds kick in. A little better.

After a time, she sat forward, reaching back to stabilize herself on the Jacuzzi’s side and stood up. She struggled to step over the Jacuzzi’s edge, almost losing her balance, light-headed as her blood pressure plummeted. She stood up and gazed in the mirror, blood slowly dripping from her forehead to her left eye.  She’d lost more weight. Last she’d checked, she was down to ninety-three pounds, and that was three weeks ago. Her baggy tank top, now soaked, hid much of her skeleton figure, but her legs and arms were a reminder, a morbid template of what she used to be. What she could have been. Her green eyes, which she’d always been proud of, had faded to a dirty olive. Maybe it’s the drugs. But if my hair can turn to grey, why can’t my eyes lose color? How did I let this go on for so long?

Smiling, Hadley took a few steps forward, and grabbed the pink razor behind the sink. She removed its head, and took out two of the blades. She turned around, steadier now, and walked to the Jacuzzi. Effortlessly, she swung over the edge, wading again into the scalding water. The pain felt good, it felt peaceful. No more conflict. This is it.

The drugs made Hadley feel safe, made her feel at home. The running water became muted, all she could hear now was she and Simon laughing, back when they were whole. Setting the back-up razor behind her head, on the side of the tub. She held her left arm in front of her face, bracing herself. She cut her left wrist from left to right, slow and deep. It stung, a manageable pain. Carefully, Hadley switched the razer to her left hand, cautious to keep the wound out of the hot water. Not yet. I need to deepen the cut. She repeated the cut from right to left, on her right arm, but it wasn’t deep enough. She went over the cut again, twisting the blade back and forth, grimacing in pain. Tears welled up in her eyes. It’s too late to quit now, this is the one thing I can’t let myself fail at.

As a new wave of pain hit, Hadley dropped the razer. She cursed herself for not taking more of the oxycodone. Struggling to stay awake, she grasped the other razer with her right hand. Holding her left arm out again, she dug the razer into the base of her palm, screaming weakly as she slowly moved it an inch towards her inner elbow. Panicking, Hadley’s bladder released, her breath quickened.

She pictured herself with Simon, kissing, the day he’d brought her Silgan. For a moment, Hadley thought she heard Simon call out to her. It’s the delirium. Renewed, she sliced through another two inches of flesh, whimpering. Her wrist now formed a cross of sorts. Her tears shifted to laughter and back again as tore another inch. Struggling to keep her eyes open, she moved the razer to her left hand, and dug the blade into the same spot below her right palm, twisting back and forth to compensate for the lack of strength. Again, she thought she heard Simon call out to her.

This time, as she struggled to make the cut she screamed “Simon!” in agony.

 

Another inch she gouged “Mommy!”

 

Another inch she lacerated “Simon!”

 

A final inch she gained “Adam!”

 

Crying, Hadley looked at her arms, she’d done it. Now all she had to do was let them fall into the water. She would finally be free. Smiling, she saw her mom tucking her in when she was young. She saw Adam, being born. She heard Simon, call out to her, stopping her from getting on the plane, so he could get on one knee, to prove he loved her. Her arms fell into the water, which quickly turned pink. She heard Simon call to her again, she saw his face when she’d told him she was pregnant. She saw his eyes, as the water turned red. Hadley heard her husband call out “Hadley where are you?! Hadley!” A moment later, the bathroom door slammed open, it was Simon. No! He wasn’t meant to see me…like this.

As the water turned a muddy, blackened red, Hadley whispered “Simon, you’re…early.”

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Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/10/daily-blog-91017/

A Gentle Breeze (Poem)

I wrote this in Bio-statistics this morning as my soul started to immolate from acute boredom.

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The lonely neurotic bleeds regret,

Climbing higher,

Mind is set,

Unseen hands scratch his epithet,

Fates unwoven scream and threat,

His times not done but the winds do fret,

They guide him gently; end is met.

_____________________________________________________

Written: 9/8/17

Daily Blog 9/7/17

*Contains graphic depictions of sexual assault and extreme violence. If this type of content is likely to offend or disturb you, for any reason, please do not continue. 

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

 

Author’s notes: Definitely a more horror-oriented chapter. Hard chapter to write, felt disgusting after I did. It’s one thing to raise awareness about sexual trafficking by talking statistics, it’s another to depict the experience and give the victim a name. It’s one of those scenes you really don’t want to write, but you know you have to. It would have been easier to not include Nessa’s history, but it’s important in understanding her characterization and motivations in Act three.

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October 30th, 2021-Nessa

                The maid had entered Nessa’s room twenty-three minutes ago, as the sharp, abrasive, fluorescents had saturated the tattered cell. Silently, the maid had bathed, dried, and dressed Nessa, preparing her for the day’s work. Nessa had laid awake too many nights pondering if the maid knew what she was preparing Nessa for each morning. Nessa had concluded, to her dismay, that the maid did know. Two major clues played into Nessa’s hypothesis. Firstly, the maid refused to speak to Nessa, secondly, she avoided eye contact. The one time they had made eye contact, the old woman’s eyes had been sad, ashamed.

None of that mattered, not anymore. Today was the day. Nessa’s first visitor would be showing up any moment and she’d be waiting for him, on her back, in her pink, silk nightgown. I’ll let him get close, and then I’ll make him pay. The room was dimly lit, the harsh fluorescents used to wake Nessa were always replaced by black lights before a customer visited her. For the ambience, probably. It was the queue for her to assume her current position. The furnishings were nothing special, a cheap IKEA wood table sat between Nessa’s bed and her washroom. The table didn’t have chairs, settings, or a lamp. What it did have were scratch marks, blood stains, and occasionally, hair. The maid usually sweeps the hair. Nessa was brought two meals each day, one around midday, and one late at night, if she was lucky.

Nessa’s muscles contracted in unison, as the door opened. An older man she’d never seen before sauntered in and looked around the room, scoffing. Too humble for his majesty? A nervous chill harassed Nessa’s already tensed muscles as his eyes rested on her. A slight smile crept up his face, as if he could somehow sense her fear. He wore a white, collared, golf shirt tucked in over his enormous beer belly. An unnecessary leather belt was straddled around his khaki shorts. That things fit to burst. His eyes were sunken and his lips chapped blood-red. His face had weak, short features, his nose was pimpled and hooked. Casually, the man pushed the door closed behind him, maintaining his malevolent gaze. Nessa jumped as she heard the lock click, trapping her in the room with the short man. Your fate is sealed, creep. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s the one who’s trapped.

The man walked to the foot of Nessa’s bed, and said, “Sweetie why don’t you sit up so I can get to know you little better.” Obliging, Nessa pulled herself forward, moving her knees under her core, and resting her hands on her thighs. His wide smile revealed crooked and yellow teeth, as he continued, “Well aren’t you cute, my names Ben, darling. What’s your name?”

“I’m Nessa, sir.” She responded, flatly. He’s disgusting.

Taken aback, he moved closer, sitting on the foot of the bed. Giving Nessa a stern, almost concerned look, “That’s a pretty name, Nessa. But I won’t have any of this sir business. I don’t take our relationship lightly, you see. I’m hoping I can steer you in the right direction, so you can mature into a beautiful woman. Think of me as your mentor, you can call me Ben, or even dad, I won’t mind, my sweet.”  I want to cut your smug neck from ear…to ear.

Nessa felt sick, but managed to keep her face blank and her tone even as she smiled, responding, “Okay, daddy, what are you going to teach me?”

Blushing, Ben, in an instructive tone, responded, “I’m going to teach you what it means to be a good woman. I’ll teach you how to please your man.” His pupils had grown enormous. “Would you like that, Nessa?” No, you sick fuck.

Leaning forward, Nessa, in her best seductive voice, whispered, “Teach me, daddy.” Ben stood, removed his ridiculously tight belt and unzipped his khaki shorts, revealing tight white underpants. Nessa moved her knees out from under her, inching backward. Come get me. As Ben struggled to get his pants down, he fell backwards onto the bed. Clown. Nessa struggled not to laugh, as he righted himself and his pants finally fell. Ominously, he crawled towards Nessa, belt still in hand. Out of nowhere, Ben’s face hardened. Sitting on his knees, he swung the belt, copper buckle first, into Nessa’s left eye. Nessa let out a small whimper, as she was thrown onto her back, recoiling from the force of the blow. The unexpected, blinding pain, sent hot tears streaming down Nessa’s cheeks. He caught me off guard…

“Your first lesson, Nessa, is to not patronize your daddy like a whore. You are not a whore! So, I better not catch you acting like one, no daughter of mine will grow up to be a whore!” Ben shouted, spittle flying, as he threw aside the belt. Again, he crawled forward, struggling to get his beer belly over Nessa’s small, fetal-oriented frame. Violently, he grabbed her shoulder and shook, trying to roll her over. “Stop crying, only whores cry. You aren’t a whore, sweetie.” As Ben successfully rolled Nessa onto her back, he shouted, “Stop crying! Bitch.” As Nessa wiped her tears, he grabbed her neck with both hands, squeezing as he rested his substantial weight on Nessa’s stomach. I can’t breathe, he’s going to smother me. “Stop, crying!” He screamed. His penis was erect against his tight underwear, pushing against her.

Choking, Nessa rasped, “Stop…you freak.” As he started to grind his lower half against her exposed stomach, his grip tightened. I need my knife…He’s going to kill me… His eyes were almost fully dilated and spittle slowly dripped from his disgusting mouth. Nessa frantically reached behind her, feeling for the two pillows her knife rested between. Can’t…reach! As Nessa’s vision started to blacken, he released his grip before leaning back and taking his weight off Nessa’s abdomen. He’s not done with me…still have a chance. As he started to struggle out of his underpants, Nessa slowly inched backwards, placating, “I’m sorry for disappointing you, Daddy.”

Ben glanced at her for a second, an appraising look shadowed his ugly face, before responding, “I accept your apology, darling. I’m sorry I had to punish you, but I care about my daughter. I don’t want her to act improperly, I don’t want her to become a lecherous cunt like her mother was.” Fuck you. Nessa found the two pillows and grasped the small knife as Ben finished removing his underpants. “I think I was too hard on you, Nessa, I think I need to reward you.”

“I’d love that, daddy” responded Nessa, feigning sincerity as she tucked the hook-knife against the small of her back.

Ben grabbed Nessa’s knees, forcing her legs apart, and tearing off her silk panties. No…don’t you touch me! Nessa bit back her panic, steeling herself as Ben entered her. Groaning, he started to thrust in and out. After a few seconds, he fell forward, hooking his arms behind Nessa’s shoulders, letting his obscene weight center on Nessa’s chest. He’s suffocating me, I need to act now!

As Ben continued to flounder, his eyes closed and his spittle splashed everywhere. Enraged, Nessa bit his neck as hard as she could, immediately tasting blood. Ben’s eyes shot open, screaming in agony as Nessa bit deeper. Trying to pull away, Ben removed enough weight for Nessa to get the knife out from behind her. Before he could pull away from her bite, she plunged the hook-knife into the side of his gut, before twisting it. Pig…I hope you suffer.

Ben struggled free of Nessa’s bite, freeing his left arm, “You, Whore!” He shouted, punching her in the nose, hard. “I try to teach you how to be a woman, and this how you fucking treat me?” He punched again. Dazed, Nessa put every ounce of her fast-dwindling vigor into pulling out the hook-shaped shiv. Ben fell, screaming, to Nessa’s right as the hook fished out part of his large intestine. Teeth bared, Nessa pulled the hook to her chest, and rolled left. Guards will be coming soon, but I’ll make you hurt before they do! Ben’s screams intensified as Nessa rolled off her bed, violently jerking the eviscerated intestine with her. She hit the ground hard, but felt nothing as the endorphins and adrenaline numbed her senses. A loud siren started to go off. As Nessa pushed herself to her feet, she noticed Ben’s intestine, which had wrapped around her chest twice. Quickly unwrapping herself, she glanced to the door. Still no guards?

Nessa smiled, as she looked to Ben, writhing in agony, crying profusely as his liquid vitality stained her sheets. Serves the sick fuck right. Feeling a burst of rage, Nessa shouted, “Hey Ben! Stop crying, you don’t want to be a whore, do you?” Grinning, Nessa picked up the hook-knife, and started to pull. “How about…I make you…my bitch?” Ben’s intestine, offering resistance, started to pull him across the bed as Nessa played tug of war.

Laughing cruelly, Nessa pulled the hook-knife out of his intestine, and walked towards his writhing body, which had shifted to the edge of the bed. If the guards aren’t going to save him, I’m going to make him pay. His screaming had stopped and his face had assumed a ghostly-pallor. Nessa climbed on top of Ben’s stomach, straddling her legs around his beer belly, back facing Ben’s head. Manically, Nessa said, “I hope you like reverse cow-girl, daddy.” The alarm was still ringing in a shrill monotone, surely it would deafen any further screams. Sadistically, she shoved the hook-knife into Ben’s exposed, and shriveled scrotal region. As he let out his loudest scream yet, waves of pleasure shot down Nessa’s back. With a wide and toothy grin, Nessa twisted the hook, and pulled up.   

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Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/09/daily-blog-9817/