The Caged Bird Sings



He alternates every other visit. He's harsh, critical, nothing but acid and embers and the other times he's soft, letting out gentle murmurs and touching delicately, glass petals. In the end, he always gets what he wants—quickly, without emotion, and with sadistic glee. It's the beginnings that are always different.

I don't know what he's doing to me, what his strategy is and I'm weary of attempting to figure it out during the day. It's not hard to guess some of it: the responses of my body, no matter what, will always be under the mercy of this horrible individual, so he'll torture me both ways—where there's clawing and gnashing of teeth and where he breathes out near silent sounds, kissing me all over with slow, agonizing touches.

The intensity of both spectrums causes me to retreat during the day, curled up in large amounts of snowy down, where my own mind alternates, thinking of how to kill him and thinking of how to keep him next to me at all times. He's constantly in my thoughts. When I fall asleep, he's there, holding bloody, awful things, from weapons to limbs, wearing sweet smiles as he says something incomprehensible, babbles that are caught between a creepy mixture of guttural growls and whispered moans. This is my procession of warped reality.

I find myself waking up to the sound of the door opening. I've been exhausted since captivity but I've never fallen asleep for so long before; thankfully, there were no red romances this time.

He's walking towards me, already removing articles of clothing without shame.

I catch it—the scent upon the clothing. It reminds me of home: of coal, of earth, of outside, of death.

But it's still home.

Tonight is one of the more grueling ones because he's going to take his time, curling my hair around his digits. The digits are black, from being covered in my tendrils and dust. I scoot backwards, my back against the headstand of the bed. He only inches forward to close the distance, a hand behind my neck.

The smell of his sweat and the dust brings back memories that I thought would never be associated with him—of my father, coming home, picking me up and holding me tightly. I reveled in those moments, for we were undeniably close.

I want to punch him in the face, annihilate him, for bringing back such tender recollections because they hurt, and mainly due to the fact it's him. He's nothing like my father was—a brilliant man who had a passion for living, loved those dear to him, proving time and again how capable, how honorable, how inspirational he was.

I also want to bring him closer, to keep those memories of home near me, even if it's emanating from my captor. I've lost so much; it's pathetic to whine about it. But I want to grip onto a solid reminder of home that still exists.

So I betray myself by pulling his lips onto mine, delving into the taste of earth, salt, and bittersweet memories.

I pull back, and the way he's looking at me makes my stomach churn uncomfortably because there's no malice there, nothing hinting to abuse. There's just a smile there, a different gleam.

Like he knew this would happen.

Chagrin and rage against my pathetic need for home, him, and the world, come in a blinding rush. I attack him, pinning him to the bed for a few seconds then hop off, aiming for the door. He had grabbed my ankle however, so I land headfirst upon the floor, dizzy and disoriented from all these sensations and experiences.

"Where do you think you're going?" he asks me with infuriating calm, but he's angry—I see it in the furrow of his brow. I've seen it long enough to recognize the telltale signs of another psychotic rampage.

I don't answer, I only glare at him.

He sighs, "You're being difficult."

I'm being difficult?

Then he does something I never dreamed he'd do: he gets ready to sleep. Right there, on the bed.

No sex.

No rape.

Nothing; at all.

I can't help it, they leave my mouth before I can think, "You're not going to do anything?"

He groans, pulling the sheets on him, "Too tired…" he lets out a long yawn, "Working all day."

I stand there, in shock.

"Don't bother trying to escape though," he says, stretching, "I still locked the door…"

I immediately test the knob and curse aloud that he's right.

There's a chuckle resounding from the sheets, and I see him sitting up, just staring at me lazily, head cocked arrogantly. "Told you,"

This new side of him is worse than anything. The one where he acts human, treating people like they're part of the same race, like I matter…

I don't understand.

"Understand what?" he asks, and my cheeks flush. I hadn't meant to say it out loud.

I blink quickly, trying to gather my thoughts, "The— The work. Why do you have to work?"

He shrugs noncommittally, "I felt like it. Being a Victor is kind of… boring."

"Boring?" I hiss, "You call having a sex slave boring?"

He smirks at me, rising from the bed and I back into a dresser, clunking loudly into the wall.

"Why? Did you want to have sex with me tonight?"

"I want you to stop fucking with my body and head!"

The room is deadly quiet.

Is this it?

Did I push the line, snapping it?

Will he finally kill me?

He does—in more ways than one, except the way I want most.

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