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The Door to Nowhere; Death or Freedom - Flash Fiction - Billybuc's latest challenge
Was it really only yesterday?
Sara stared at that door for the thousandth time in the last five minutes. Did it really lead straight to a painful death? To hell on earth with no escape? That's what Barry had told her for as long as she could remember.
For the millionth time today, she wondered if death would not be better than the life she was stuck in. At eleven years of age, Barry and the men that paid for her hourly had become a hell she could not escape. Yesterday was the first time she ever considered that she could.
Yesterday some random looser had actually opened the door.
Door leading to Heaven or Hell.
No one had ever opened the door.
Sunlight touched her face for the first time since Barry took her some eight years ago. Had it really been so long? It was only for a second the forbidden door was open. Barry killed that pig almost instantly after he opened it. The sound of the guy's neck breaking was both sickening and heart lifting. He wasn't the first Barrry had killed in front of her.
Despite her desperate wish to the contrary, she could not help but remember the first person she ever saw Barry kill, her mother. That night, so long ago, her mom had pulled over to help someone. Sara was in the backseat when her mother's blood and brains were splattered over her face as Barry yanked her from the car seat, reverberations from the gunshot still ringing in her ears.
When she thought of her mom, all she could remember was soft blonde hair, a sweet voice singing "You Are My Sunshine" and the smell of chocolate. That, and the sickly metallic smell of being covered in blood. The terrible taste, like a filthy penny. It used to make her cry to remember what she could. There were no tears left anymore.
Barry had said since that first night that going out the door would be instant death for her. She'd seen him kill enough people to know the threat wasn't an idle one.
Would death be better? Could it be worse? Could anything be worse? What did she have to live for? There had been at least three pigs on her since that random John bought it yesterday. Usually, she checked out in her head, just went bye bye. Today, she could not stop thinking of the door.
That damn, dirty door.
She had been terrified of that door forever. Terrified of Barry. Terrified of the never ending parade that used her night and day. Would it ever end? Barry said she would be his till the Devil took her. Sara didn't know who that was but how could he be any worse than the rest of them?
She had always thought a fire filled lake of torture lay beyond that door, one from which she could never get relief. For the briefest second, just a flicker in time, she saw sunlight come through it. Was it a dream? Could it have been real? Was there really a world outside that door better than the hell inside?
The door, it was becoming an obsession.
No matter what she did, Sara could not get her normally easy to turn off head to shut up. The same questions kept rolling around, getting louder and louder, refusing to give her any peace.
Why did she want to live? What was there to live for? There was never anything but pain, shame and more of the same. Barry always said she was too ugly, too stupid to ever be anything but a toy for some hard up fool. But, he said fire and death was on the other side of that door. She could still smell the sunshine. Had her mom smelled like sunshine?
That damn door was important.
It meant something, if she could just figure out what it was. Was it freedom, an escape? Could there be an escape? What if Barry was right?
For the first time, a tiny voice in her head stated so quietly, what if he is, as if it just didn't matter. How could that be? How could death not matter? The endless litany of jibberish continued to invade her thoughts.
What is death? She had seen enough johns dropped to know it meant no more moving, eating, talking, no nothing. No nothing was starting to sound not so bad.
The pressure was building up in her like a volcano.
She was going to do something. She had to do something. She felt it like she had never felt anything before. The problem was she didn't know what that something was.
After what seemed like hours, she finally had reached a few conclusions. She was shocked. Never had she even considered there were any choices in her life. That glimpse of sunshine had somehow brought home the fact that there were. As far as she could tell, she had two choices. She could leap out that door and maybe die, maybe not, or she could stay here and continue to exist, to survive. The question was, was it worth it?
Everyone wants to live.
She kept telling herself just that, that everyone wants to live. But, each time she told herself that she believed it less and less.
What was there to live for? Why live if it only means pain? Was it worth it? What's the point? Was there anything to live for?
There it was again, that small, quiet voice, the one she could not ignore. It told her yes. Yes, there was something to live for though she surely didn't know what that was. What she was fast determining was that it was not this nightmare she was stuck in.
The phone jangled louder than a siren.
Oh, crap! That was Barry's cell. The pigs always showed up shortly after it rang. She didn't have long. She had to figure something out.
For no reason she could fathom, things seemed to get quieter. Her mind seemed to clear. A few things were coming into focus. Some things must be worse than death. This was worse than death. Some things must be worth living for though she surely did not know what they were.
The sound of Barry moving around in the next room brought a sense of urgency that only cleared the fog of her thoughts even more. Time is almost up she heard the little voice say. But, she still didn't know for sure. There was something else, something important. If she could just figure it out, she would know what to do.
Sara's head was pounding.
Her heart felt like it was about to explode. What is it? What's the answer? She had to know. She just had to!
And like a gift from on high, there it was glowing warm and steady in her head, the final answer. You, Sara. You are worth living for. You are worth dying for. No one is going to save you and no one can help you but you have the power to help yourself.
Clarity was a new thing but somehow she knew at that instant she would take whatever was on the other side of that door over this. If she died, so be it. If she burned forever, it couldn't be worse than the hell she was in right now.
Barry's door creaked. Her face felt so funny. Was it already starting to burn? It felt tight, stretched. She did not know she was smiling for the first time in years as she bolted for the door.
She heard Barry's thunderous advance behind her as she flung it open and lept.
As she fell, she felt bliss for the first time ever. This must be what freedom is like she thought as life finally began on the other side of that damn, dirty door.
Life or death
Is there anything worth dying for?
This disturbing flash fiction was inspired by Billybuc's writing challenge.
Special thanks go out to Bill Holland, a.k.a. Billybuc on Hubpages for issuing this writing challenge. I have not done fiction in forever and a day and thank him very much for the inspiration.
FBI estimates from 2012
The FBI estimated in 2012 that just over 293 thousand American children were at risk of becoming sex slaves in this country. The average age of said victims was estimated to be between 12 and 14 years of age.
Check it for yourself; FBI data.
CNN: Child sex slaves in America
The video above was created and aired by CNN. I do not own it but display it here for educational purposes in the hopes knowledge will help end this horror.
© 2015 Rhonda Lytle