I am past pain. My body is heavy and broken I can no longer even cry out. The darkness blankets me like a fog pulling me down. It is so cold.
Through the trees, I can see the stars lighting the night sky. I can feel my consciousness fading away, my breath a frosted mist fading away. Maybe someday I will dance among the stars.
The pain dissipates a moment before the darkness envelopes me.
Last Encounter with the Living
I am past reason. Pure unadulterated hate pushing me forward, his screams and pleas for mercy feeding the darkness within my heart. The little man before me is no longer fighting back, but it is not enough to satisfy the abyss growing within me. The light trying to break through the darkness is becoming stronger, pushing through the insanity, forcing me back. I don’t want to yield to the light, anguish and pain feed the violence pushing me forward.
My hate fuels this innate need to hurt. The light pushes forward, somewhere in the darkness a strong, but firm grasp is pulling at me. The minute I feel these hands the hate and violence within begins to dissipate. Pain, so much pain crushing down, it feels as though my flesh is being ripped from my body.
Nothing will give me back the life and love I lost. I am so tired. Is there no place for me? I am so tired of fighting.
As he pulls me back a scream tears from my body. I can feel my body heaving, fighting. My whole body is shaking. Heart wrenching sobs reverberate, echoing, my sobs breaking me down. I am naked, my pain exposed.
I do not ever remember feeling this heartache even as my whole being lay broken dying from their fist.
“It is time to go little one.” He whispers softly, gently rocking me in his arms.
“Why” I cry, his warmth breaking through the anger until all I can feel is the sorrow.
“There are those who will never value life. It was never your fault. There is no answer to justify or atone for the pain you suffered.” He soothes. “You are not alone anymore. Look around you little one. He instructs me gently.
“I can’t.” I whisper throw the shame.
With gentle strength he pulls me up. This hatred had become a weight, suffocating me. His warmth saves me, resuscitating.
Crying I cling to him. I do not want to be alone anymore. I am so tired.
“Please don’t leave me?” I ask between broken breaths.
“Do you really not remember me? Remember, before the pain, Remember me.” He instructs me as he lifts my hand still clutching the medallion.
“Hey, little one come here a moment.” He calls me over from my mothers’ warmth.
I am brimming with pride. A young boy taking his first steps into manhood. He gives me my first bow and arrow. Today my father was going to teach me how to handle a bow.
“Father, come on let’s go!” I cry, my chest puffed out with pride.
“Come here child, you are not ready yet.” He pulls me back.
“I am not?” I ask in confusion. “What more does a warrior need, but his bow, arrow?”
“Come and I will teach you.” He says a soft smile playing across his lips.
When I stand before him looking up he slips a medallion around my neck.
I remember him now. The medallion came from my father.
Father, he is my father. I remember that day so clearly now. How could the bad have overwhelmed my most cherished memories? How could I forget the medallion my father had given me?
My father had always been my hero, the warrior I strove to become. That is why I hid and endured to keep his medallion with me. That is the love and kindness that pushed me forward to save those I loved.
“Father” I whisper through bruised and parched lips.
“You are safe now little one.” He answers back pulling me tighter into his embrace.
“The day they stole you away, I fought. In the end I could not protect you, for that I am sorry my son.” He explained through his own silent tears.
“That is why I did not stop you when you began to lose control.” He continued unconsciously rocking me like a newborn babe.
What my father must have suffered. What all of us had suffered. For I knew all too well the shame of not being able to protect those you love. To have no control over your own self or to be able to protect the ones you love.
“Are you ready to move on?” My father asked of me.
“Where do we go from here?” I said rising from the safety of his nurturing embrace.
“Look beside you.” He instructed. “You are indeed a strong warrior son. Once again you led those around you to safety.” He said reaching for my hand. “We can go home now.”
Lifting my head, I look beside me. The shy quiet boy I once knew, and the girl were standing before me. There are others now. Children murdered, forced to stay with their abuser through his theft of their personal items. He had imprisoned their souls. They smile timidly at me so relieved to be free of this monster.
I look to my father. “What happened to the old priest?” Will he come after us?” I ask uneasy.
“Little one you must never look back. In your rage, wrapped in the darkness you took his sanity. He is imprisoned in his own abyss. He will pay the rest of eternity for what he did to you and the others. Do not weigh yourself down, by looking back.” Father explains holding tightly to my hand.
Light filled with warmth guides us me. It still feels like a dream. My pain is over, given back to the one who inflicted the torment upon us in his god’s name.
“He can never harm anyone ever again. Now let us go home. All our relations await you.” He assures as he leads us into the light.
Clasped hands, one by one, we step into the light. Loved ones long lost gather to greet us open arms. Welcomed by laughter and warmth we are finally home. The home and way of life I remember before the boarding school took everything from us.
-End part 5
This is part 5 in a 5 part series. Read Part 1 here
My name is Rae Rose and I live in the Pacific Northwest. I have always, always loved stories. I love writing, reading, listening and imaging the words coming to life. My youth was not the happiest and it is not an exaggeration when I say stories saved me more than once.
Every story I tell carries a seed of truth. Mine and of those who were not able to survive. Every story is special and personal to my heart. It is my hope that you enjoy the stories and find comfort, love, and laughter in my words.
*Rae Rose (Paiute, Mayan, Japanese) is a writer based in the Northwest. Follow her @Rae_Rose7
In memory of all the survivors and those who did not survive