Bruised and Battered
A hard smack whips across my head sending pain shooting across my face. “Wake the fuck up you ungrateful little bitch! Time to do your chores,” My mother screams at me.
I jump from my bed with a start as my mother walks out of my bedroom. “You better be down those stairs before Blade wakes up,” she sneers.
My brother Blade is my twin and he is the favorite only because he has shifted. I on the other hand haven’t shifted which is a problem for my parents because I have been promised to become Axel Dubalt’s mate. I get the brunt end of the stick all the time. Every time someone comes of the age of 18 we shape shift into wolves, which is why I am a burden.
“Y-ye-yes ma’am,” I stutter as I throw on something quickly, I make my way down the stairs behind her. As long as I kept moving and kept busy cleaning she shouldn’t hit me again, I start with putting the dishes away. Blade walks sleepily into the kitchen and gives me a disheartened look at the welt on my face. I purse my lips at him and begin washing the leftover dishes from last nights feast.
“Hurry the hell up Raelle, I’m hungry, and you’re slow as shit,” My father boom as he enters the kitchen.
“I can help her,” Blade says nonchalantly trying to save me a beating.
“No she can do it, she can’t do anything else right,” My mother cuts in.
I finish with the dishes and begin whipping up pancakes eggs and brussel sprouts. Once I’m finished I set the table and make everyone’s plate before I make my own.
“It’s about damn time girl!” My father booms with a cackle, “Are you forgetting something?”
Making my stomach twist and turn.
“What?” I ask trying to remember everything I need to do.
Standing up my father grabs glasses out of the cupboard one by one he drops them sending them crashing to the floor. “We need something to drink!” he roars evilly. “Now clean that shit up and get us something to drink, these pancakes are thick!”
I rush over and begin bending down to pick up the glasses and he adds insult to injury by kicking me hard in the stomach. “Worthless bitch!” he says as he shoves a giant piece of pancake in his mouth.
I try hard to keep breathing while picking up the shattered pieces of glass. Don’t cry, don’t cry — I chanted to myself. If I cry then they win and I will get beaten more. When I lift my head my eyes meet with Blade and I can see the sadness in his eyes. I break eye contact quickly and make my way to the garbage. Once I am done I pour everyone a glass of milk. I eat quickly and begin finishing the rest of my chores.
“Hey you want to go for a jog?” Blade asks, and I know the only reason why is because he has been trying to get me to shift.
I nod at him “Yeah just as long as you don’t shift on me, let me go change,” I say.
“I can’t make any promises,” He says jokingly.
I make my way upstairs and throw on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt, then I make my way downstairs and head out the door. He is waiting impatiently on the deck.
“Ready?” He asks.
“Yeah let’s go,” I say. We live in Johnstown Pennsylvania, in Cambria county. It’s a quiet small town, but word gets around about everything and everyone. So nothing is really kept a secret, especially when it comes to me.
As we make our way down the road I can tell Blade is holding something in, “Alright Blade, your my twin, you can’t hide shit from me so tell me what’s on your mind.”
“You need to start sticking up for yourself to them Rae,” He says firmly.
“Yeah right, you saw what dad did today. Had I said anything I would have gotten beat worse. There is no way in hell I can ever get on their good side, not like you can. Your the prodigal son,” I finish with an eye roll. “No offense,” I say with a sigh.
“None taken, I am just trying to help you shift.” He pauses. ” I love you Rae, your my only sister and I can’t stand to see you take a beating. It takes all of my wolf within me not to shift and defend you. If I did then you know they would attack me too,” he says with a with a sad countenance.
“I know and I don’t want you getting hurt either, so please stop trying to step in,” I say.
“I can’t help it, If anything ever happened to you. I just, can’t,” When he finishes I see him wipe a tear from his face.
“Don’t cry little brother,” I say.
“Hey I am only little by five minutes that’s not fair,” he says and we both chuckle, “Hey you wanna race?”
“Sure let’s go, but no cheating.”
“I can’t promise anything,” He says whipping off his shirt, then he shifts and his shorts and boxers drop from his white little wolf’s butt. I quickly grab his clothes and begin running as fast as I can trying to keep up with him.
“I said no cheating you little shithead!” I yell at him and I can see him chuckling with his mouth open and his tongue hanging out.
When I finally catch up with him he is finally home. I open the door for him and hand him his clothes, he runs up the stairs clothes in mouth.
Both parents are sitting at the table drinking a bottle of whiskey.
“See that you little runt, that’s how you shift, but you can’t even do that,” My father says.
“You keep this shit up and you will never amount to anything just a worthless little cunt. No one is going to want to have pups with you if you can’t shift. Why your nothing but a dud,” My mother tunes in.
“Thanks,” I say turning to make my way upstairs.
“Don’t get smart with us!” My father says standing up, His hand reaches my throat before I can move. The last thing I remember is him throwing me by my throat, and a loud crack as my head hits the wall. Followed by darkness.