Author: Sadieperez9


   Thuds sound against the wall of my pitch black room, making me flinch every few seconds. Mom's screams stopped a few minutes ago, but that never seems to slow him. He goes until he is finished or exhausted. 

Fear and a sense of utter weakness pass over my chilled body. I pull my thin blanket up a little higher and squeeze my eyes shut. He was coming for me, and mom saved me as usual. I was too weak to work today, and to my father, that is unacceptable.

  A coughing fit begins to build within my chest, and I panic. If I cough with him this close to the door, he will be reminded of my existence. To save myself I press my lips together as hard as I can and squeeze my eyes closed.

  "Please," I pray just as one of my brothers speaks.

  "Dad. Stop. She is unconscious. Mam worked today. It's the wee shrimp that didn't," he practically snarls, and the thuds cease as my blood goes ice cold.

   Seconds feel like years before I hear the devil sigh.

  "The bure is jammy the old soith exhausted me. Bring me a drink. These females always stick together. Sick or not, that gammy bure will work tomorrow," he grumbles, and my heart rejoices as I hear their footsteps move away.

   When I am sure they are on the other side of the house, I creep out of my narrow bed and tiptoe across the room. Adrenaline aids me as I slowly open the door and pull my bruised mother inside. When I manage to get her on the mattress, my cough wins, and I go into a full-body fit. I feel the blood and spit spray from my mouth as I try to keep the volume of my coughs as low as possible.

  Mom's face doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. Just the usual bruises on her cheekbones, but it's her stomach I am worried about. He kicked he several times before one of his devil spawns saved her.

  "Mam," I whisper desperately as I gently stroke her face.

  Her eyes flutter, and her dry lips spread into a smile as she comes to.

   "It's okay. I'm okay," she whispers, and I shake my head before another round of coughs hit me.

  She tries to sit up to aid me, but she winces and grabs her stomach just like I feared she would. I wipe my mouth to hide the evidence of blood and Mam closes her eyes. Silence falls between us as we both accept our own pain. This is life for us. Our doom for being born female.

****Three years later****

  "We have to go now. You are dying," Mam whisper yells, and I shake my head.

  I know what will happen to her if I disappear. The devil loves control. He likes torturing us. He wants to slowly watch as I die, and he wants her to see it too—punishment for giving birth to a bure...a weak, sickly bure. I am going to die anyway...and soon. She doesn't need to be punished for taking me somewhere else. Let me die here like he wants.

  "Fiadh, listen to me! I cannot watch you die. I have spoken with dochtúirí. You have been placed on a list. You are weak right now, but if they can get you healthy...Please Fiadh. Don't make all my sacrifices mean nothing," Mam says desperately, and my insides feel as if she dumped a bucket of ice water.

  She has sacrificed everything for me. She has bled for me. She has survived several broken bones for me. I can't even lift my hand any more without getting exhausted. I know I'm going to die, but she still has hope. I can't take that from her. She has suffered enough. I can't abandon her when she needs me. If she needs to believe I will survive if she gets me to the clinic, I will do whatever I can to make it there.

  She deserves that. She deserves to think she saved me! She deserves to think she didn't take beatings and hateful words for nothing. She deserves to think she saved her daughter from the evil man and her disease. I refuse to die here and abandon her hope, her fight!

   "Okay, Mam. I'm sorry. Let's do it! If the dochtúirí get me healthy, I can come back to you. I can save you. We can run away together," I whisper past my blood-covered lips, and her smile stretches across her face like a wide river.

That's always been her dream. We both know it won't happen, but I will not break that illusion here in our final hours together. She knows I will die...she knows he will kill her when he finds me gone. We will be together again, happy and free, but it won't be here. He got his three clann mhac. His bean cheile has no further use. He will kill her, and she will join me in heaven.

   Mam doesn't waste a second before she transfers me into the wheelchair she got from somewhere, and even though she did all the moving, my body still feels exhausted. Talking...blinking... even breathing is tiring at this point. But Mam is still pushing for me to make it. Hoping I survive to at least be free of this place.

  My eyes look at her one last time before I slip unconscious.  I am too tired to stay awake for the trip. I only want rest.

*******Fiadh's Mam******

  "I don't know what to say. I thought I was meeting with a person that would help her," I whisper frantically as the sharp-dressed American gives me a smile filled with pity.

"I have to have her consent...and I can only speak with her about the reasons I am here," she repeats, and my frustration grows.

  "The doctors told me they would be calling someone for me! Who are you? I don't understand! She is dying," I cry as I look down to make sure Fiadh's chest is still moving.

    The woman looks toward the front door before stepping into my personal space. Her voice drops down to a whisper.

  "I can help. But you have to sign for your daughter...Let me take her. You will never see her again, but I promise she will be happy and healthy. No violence...nothing will hurt her," the American says with a tender smile, and I immediately nod.

Anything to save my angel. Anything!


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