WAR: Saving Me

WAR:  Saving Me

18 April

Las Vegas, NV

 

“Prison gates won’t open up for me,

On these hands and knees I’m crawling,

And oh, I reach for you.

Well I’m terrified of these four walls,

These iron bars can’t hold my soul in,

All I need is you (come please I’m callin’)

And oh I scream for you (hurry, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’)

 

Show me what it’s like (to be the last one standing),

And teach me wrong from right (and I’ll show you what I can be),

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.”

 

She tried to remain as still as possible.  She had long since abandoned her attempts to curl into a ball; with her wrists and ankles bound together, it was painfully impossible.  She was almost thankful for the numbing of her limbs caused by the lack of circulation.  She knew from experience that when Lance finally released her, the blood would once again flow and, after the hours she had been bound, the rush would bring a whole new kind of pain.  She almost wished Lance would come back with his “toy” and finish her off.  After all this time, she still couldn’t understand why she continued to live.  It wasn’t like she hadn’t thought of suicide, or even went so far as to put a gun in her mouth, a razor to her wrist.  And drugs were so incredibly available to her.  Yet every time the thought of ending her life seeped in through the cracks, every time the temptation came along that would have lead her down the never-ending road into Hell, she would see that tiny, child-like face in her mind, remember the pain and suffering she had seen in those violet eyes, and the misery of her own life seemed trite in comparison.  She remembered all too well the details of the stories August and Davistch had told her of the horrors they had visited upon her damned savoir, each and every one more horrifying and nauseating then the previous ones.  She remembered thinking how lucky she was that she would never be a vampire, so that August and Davistch couldn’t do to her what they had done to…

She pushed the thought of Her name away violently.  She hated Her so much for saving her.  Saving her so she could be like this.  Sure, she had chosen to come out here, after subjecting Don and Myra to all the Hell she could get away with.

Don and Myra.  She couldn’t remember the last time she had thought of them as “Dad” or “Mom.”   She did remember Don’s eyes the first day back from New Salem, when she had called him “Don” the first time.  Myra had been horrified.  But the look in Don’s eyes said that he understood no matter how much he wanted her to be his “little Jenny”, that girl was dead and gone.  What she had been through, what she had seen, would have been enough to destroy the most Stoic of minds.  Yet, even then, she refused to succumb completely.  She knew if she did, then August and Davistch had accomplished yet another of their nasty little goals.

She knew August was dead, that She had Diablerized the vicious woman.  Don had forbidden Nick or Trapper to say anything in front of her, but she had managed to listen in anyway.  She had lived for years with an almost primal fear that one day Davistch would come for her since she had escaped.  She never worried about Divia, since she knew the child-Vampire had no true reason to seek her out.

Once she reached her teenage years, and puberty hit full-force, she knew she was safe from him, that he would never come for her now. Davistch only liked his prey young and unspoiled…by anyone other than himself.  Never once did she consider that the only reason Davistch never came after her was because he was hunting Her.  He would have taken Jenny the moment he left New Jerusalem had he not been obsessed with revenge.

She tried straining against her bonds again, and the contraption referred to as a “G-chair” rocked back and forth.  Normally, a woman would sit in the “chair” and could be rocked in various angles so that her partner could find it easier to reach her “G-spot”.  Unfortunately for Jenny, Lance never used the chair for its true purpose.  He always bound her, as close to ankle to wrist as he could get, backwards along the two rings of the contraption.

She ran through her litany of curses: cursing the companies that made sex toys; cursing the strip clubs she had worked at; cursing Lance and his “tip”; cursing her parents; cursing Spike for taking her in the first place; cursing August, Divia and Davistch for what had happened to her; and finally, cursing Hanna for saving her miserable life.

She shuddered at the chill that ran over her body the moment Her name entered her mind.  In all the years that had passed , no matter how far she had fled from the memories, no matter the abuse she subjected herself to in an attempt to forget them, she never once allowed herself to speak, let alone think, that name.

She didn’t need to move, didn’t need to be able to see, to know that She was there behind her.  She felt the presence and for a moment almost thought it was August.  But she knew she was dead, beyond returning.  Yet why did She feel…

“So much like August?”  The voice was harsh, with none of the velvety warmth she remembered.  She didn’t know which startled her more: the fact that She could read her mind or that Her voice sounded almost like Davistch’s would have had he been a woman.  Of course, she shouldn’t have been startled by the mind reading, since merely thinking Her name seemed to have summoned Her, just like she had…

“Known it would.”  That broken glass voice tsked, and she “felt” the presence move until she could see tiny shoed feet in front of her.  Yet another shock: what she could see of Her dress and shoes was entirely white.  She never wore anything but black.  Never.

“Things change.  And some do not.  There were some ancient cultures that wore white as a color of mourning.”

Mourning.  Of course, she’d be mourning Jonas.

“No.  I mourned for my lost husband and Sire so many times over the last decade or so that to do so now would border on redundancy.”

Jenny flinched.  It wasn’t what She said, but the way She said it.  Back when She had saved Jenny, when She knew she was going to be tortured for it, She had been light-hearted, almost cheerful.  Now, it was like listening to an animated corpse talking about…

“Things that no longer matter.  As for the “animated corpse”, am I not?  I am, after all, a vampire, risen after my death almost a millennium ago.”

She saw the tiny, white-gloved hand reach out and lift up her head by her chin.  Jenny closed her eyes tight.  If Her voice and presence had changed so much, Her attitude and manner of dress, she really didn’t want to see Her face.

The broken glass voice tsked again.  “Open your eyes, Jennifer.”

She wasn’t sure if it was the command, or being called by her name, that brought her eyes open, but she figured it was probably both.

Hanna regarded her calmly, one delicate eyebrow lifted in amusement.  Her lovely doll’s face was harder.  Her eyes were cold and piercing, to the point Jenny wanted to look herself over for the proverbial dagger wounds.  The most shocking of all was her hair: before, Hanna had always wore her hair in a single, impossibly long braid, now her hair was cut till it barely reached the nape of her neck.  Jenny couldn’t help herself; her mouth dropped open of its own accord.

Hanna’s lips compressed, till they were almost a line slashed across a perfect, ivory surface.  “I told you.  Things change.  The hair was cumbersome.”  Her eyes traveled over the contraption, the damage done to Jenny’s body.  She tsked again.

“All of this could have been avoided, Jennifer,” she chided.  “You had only to think my name, and I would have come to you.  Stubborn, foolish child.  Do not tell me that you wished to suffer this.”  Her tiny hand flicked towards the contraption Jenny was bound on.  “You ran to prove you could.  You degraded yourself not because you wished for it, but because you thought it a suitable punishment for surviving.  I have watched you all these years, Jennifer Schanke, watched you hurt yourself, knowing that you did nothing to deserve it.  How ever much I may have wanted to come to you, to save you from yourself and those you allowed to abuse you, I left that choice to you.  Every time you were close to even thinking my name, I felt it, and stood ready to come to your aid.  And each time, you refused succor.  And finally, my reluctant martyr,” she almost smiled as she reached up one hand to stroke Jenny’s cheek, “you have relented and summoned me.  You have but to ask, and I will set you free.  Free of this contraption.  Free of that nasty little pig.  Free of the travesty you have made of your life.  Let me save you, dear, sweet Jennifer.”

 

“Heaven’s gates won’t open up for me

With these broken wings I’m fallin’

And all I see is you

These city walls ain’t got no love for me

I’m on the ledge of the eighteenth story

And oh I scream for you(come please I’m callin’)

And all I need from you(hurry I’m fallin’)

 

Show me what it’s like (to be the last one standing),

And teach me wrong from right (and I’ll show you what I can be),

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.”

 

Hurry I’m fallin’…down”

 
Jenny’s mouth worked silently, incapable of uttering a sound of any kind.

“Please.”

If Jenny had been at a loss before, she was completely rudderless now.  She had never heard Hanna beg for anything, and yet the tiny vampire, one of the most powerful of her “kind” of vampire, was standing before her, begging to be allowed to save her from herself.

She wanted to tell her she was sorry, that she had never meant for it to go so far, but the tears started spilling from her eyes.

“I understand, Jennifer dear.  I was there myself.  I want to do for you what was done for me.  You need to be allowed to bring your heart and mind peace.  Your body, however, cannot accomplish this.  You cannot feel your arms and legs.  You believe it’s from the binding. However, your “Lance”,” she spat the name, and Jenny knew she’d rip his throat out with relish given the chance, “has damaged you beyond normal repair.  Your ankles and wrists are broken, twisted so he could bind you tighter.”  Jenny tried to think, but could only remember blinding pain and then mercifully passing out.  “Your arms are dislocated at the elbows and shoulders.  If you could move, you would be able to see where the bones at the joints are trying to free themselves of your skin.  If you had ever seen the way someone is stretched upon the rack, you would understand how this came to be.”

“And then, of course, there is his newest “toy” that he purchased for you.”  Jenny remembered it all too well.  Before using it, he had shown it to her: a whip with long, leather straps that had heavy metal balls at the ends.  She had passed out after the third time he hit her with it.  What had he called it?

“A flagellum.  Used by Romans, among others, for scourging.  The metal balls are weighted lead.  Made simply for the purpose of crippling the unfortunate one it is used upon.  Slaves were beaten with them, then sold as “damaged goods”, if they survived.  Most, however, didn’t survive a dozen lashes.  Do you remember how many times he hit you?”

Jenny couldn’t remember much of anything.  She had passed out so many times, there was no way to tell.  Hell, she couldn’t even remember what day it was.

“Your back is in tatters.  Whole parts are laid bare to the bone.  Even if you could recover from the damage to your legs, your arms, or the damage to your insides from Lance’s “tip”, you cannot recover from this.”

Brown eyes opened to peer into piercing, violet ones.  “You want to make me like you.”

“No.  Not like me.  I will give you what you need to heal, give you your freedom, help you stand on your own feet.  But you can never be like me.  I will not allow it to happen.”

“What do you mean?”

“Later, Jennifer dear.  Right now, let me end your suffering.  Any more explaining just delays your relief.  I will tell you all, anything you ask of me.  Just let me free you now.”

Jenny barely paused.  “I don’t want to die like this.”

Hanna came towards her, lifting her wrist to her lips, tearing it open with her teeth.  As the blood started to flow out of the wound, she brought it close to Jenny’s lips.  “You must drink.  My blood will help me to heal you.”

Jenny never hesitated.  She figured it had to be like sucking on a finger after a paper cut, which she tried to duplicate.  She almost vomited when she swallowed the first mouthful.

“I know, Jennifer dear,” Hanna whispered, stroking Jenny’s hair with her other hand.  “It is foul to you.  But you must drink.”

Jenny gagged a second mouthful down, and was surprised when Hanna pulled her wrist away, licking the wound closed.  Before she could say anything, there was a sudden burning twist in her stomach.  She opened her mouth to speak, and another burning twist brought out a scream instead.

Hanna whispered in her ear, still stroking her hair; the broken-glass sound was gone completely, replaced by the smooth velvet she remembered.  “Sleep, Jennifer.  It will be easier for you if you sleep while I heal you.”

Jenny let the velvet voice carry her away into oblivion…

 

“All I need is you (come please I’m callin’)

And oh I scream for you (hurry, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’)

Show me what it’s like (to be the last one standing)

And teach me wrong from right (and I’ll show you what I can be)

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.

 

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.”

 

“Saving Me” by Nickelback

About Kristi Deming

RAFO

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