Chapter 27 ~ The Predator
There are times in your life when you are forced to face that which you fear the most, times when you finally reach a harmonious place in your life and suddenly everything you had become content with, is flipped upside down and inside out and there is nothing you can do to stop the collapsing downfall – this was the moment.
You try to hide, you spend your life running away so you won’t succumb to the crippling pain and yet, all that you hid from slams you in the face without any regret or apology for placing you in the way of its horrendous destruction. You want to scream, you want to lash out, you want it to all disappear just so this rupturing disaster can’t harm your peaceful existence but instead you are soldered to the spot, completely frozen and lost as your mind is inundated with the memories, the feelings, the words but most of all – the fear.
“About time you two got here…” My dad arrived at the opened window, right beside The Predator that haunts my dreams. My heart pounding with magnanimous force under my breast bone, I could feel it hammering in my ears as droplets of heated perspiration poured from me. My throat restricting as though I was being choked by the strongest hands in the world – all limbs failed to function as he – the evil dishonourable sinner – smiled lovingly beside my father. “Bub, had a hard time yesterday, come on in Klem, we’ll tell you all about it.”
“Little Cherub?” I heard Pierce repeat beside me. My head snapped to him as my eyes gathered with tears, his face furrowed as he searched his memory bank for where he had heard that name. Oh shit.
Theodasia exited through the door, meeting dad and Klem on the front porch steps. He brushed her face and clearly paid her a compliment because she was blushing ferociously, her perfectly placed pigtails swaying as she moved her bashful face. No, that’s what he did to me, that was the beginning. He held her chin and placed a peck upon her cheek.
No, not her, you will not touch my sister.
A blazing fire ignited inside of me and I climbed out of the truck, panic-stricken and anxious. I rushed to Daisy, grabbing her by the shoulders, forcing her to hear me, to hear every word I said clearly. “Stay away from him – you hear me, Daisy? You stay the fuck away from him.”
“Cool it Lyera, Jesus…” she snapped back angrily, “just because you’re fucked in the head doesn’t mean our Uncle is going to hurt us. I thought you were getting therapy – calm the fuck down crazy.”
“You don’t get it. If I catch you near him…”
“Little Cherub!” I heard Pierce growl animalistically from beside me. His face narrowed, he appeared unhinged and volatile, ready to execute in the most heinous and violent of ways. His body trembled uncontrollably as his chest heaved up and down, “that’s who violated you, isn’t it?”
He may have asked the question but he was not seeking an answer – he already knew, he had put two and two together and came up with the need for murder. “Shit,” I paled, going after him.
The flywire door slammed behind us as he stormed in, gearing up to maim the sonofabitch, I swear steam was streaming from his ears and nostrils he was that mad.
“Ah Pierce, come meet my step-brother, Klem…” My mum began.
“You cunt,” Pierce met him alright, he met him with a solid fist directly to his face.
“Pierce!” Mama screamed.
Kaeron’s eyes caught mine and he clicked faster than anyone, we both knew Pierce was not one to act irrationally for no good reason. “Him?” He pointed in accusation as my father wrestled with Pierce to get him off Klem.
Kae leapt at Dad, pushing him off Pierce and holding him back as my man laid fist after fist of his own poetic redemption into my Predator. “What the fuck are you doing Kae?” Dad barked.
“It’s him – he’s the one that molested Lyera.” I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t even wipe the tears as they rolled down my face. There was blood all over the dining room floor as Daisy coward into mum as she watched the horrific beating being dished out on a brother she loved, a brother she knew and she trusted whole-heartedly.
“WHAT!” My father roared, it felt as though the entire ground shook as untold fury pulsed from my dad, emanating outward in feral need for justification. Strength unlike I’d ever seen, blasted through my father, he grabbed Pierce by the scruff of his neck, throwing him off as though he was nothing.
“Cole… call the Sheriff,” mum screeched. Cole did as she was ordered, shakily extracting her phone before dialling, her eyes glued to the unfolding scene before her.
Dad’s fists, elbows, knees and feet collided with vengeance against Klem’s body, but then he was pulled up. Dad was near on ripping his hair out of his scalp as he dragged him along the floor and towards the exit, Pierce brushing past me following the man that touched me inappropriately. “Get my whip Kaeron.”
Dad’s request sneered out with a demonic edge to his tone as he ripped some rope off the side of the wall, it was only now I heard the weakest voice cry out. “Please… T-Tom… I-I d-didn’t do anything…”
Dad hauled his lying ass with blind wrath, while Klem kicked his legs and thrashed his body, down the steps, still clutching him by the hair as he struggled to get free. “You tortured my child – you violated her innocence – you will not live.”
“Tom… we are family… I didn’t do it… I’m innocent,” his pleas for mercy echoed, even in the vast open space of our front yard. He was dragged to the barn that sat beside the main house, where the hay pulley hook rested at the top of the wooden structure.
He wound the rope around Klem’s arms as Pierce held him in place, my predator was begging, howling for someone to believe him. I was terrified beyond belief; could he really believe he was innocent after everything he put me through? Did he honestly think his actions were okay? That what he has done was acceptable?
For years I have suffered at the hands of this thieving villainous pirate, this scoundrel stole my hope, he snatched my trust and defecated all over my future for his own sick, sadistic pleasure. He is the sole reason behind why I sought comfort in drugs and why I lost my family for so many years, the entity as to why I harboured hatred and blame and why I didn’t care if I lived or died – and he was pleading for leniency?
Kaeron returned with Dad’s blue and white leather bullwhip, handing it to him with brimming satisfaction before Pierce and Kaeron strung him up to the pulley system, tearing his shirt from his body as Klem whimpered and argued his irreproachability.
Clearly, his plea fell on deaf ears as Dad began to roll his shoulders and loosen his neck by tilting his head left and right. He circled his right wrist before flexing his fingers, shaking out the tension within his arm. I could see mouths moving but the words were muffled, I felt Daisy’s arms wrap around me with Cole holding the other side but it was only now I gazed upon the damage that had been inflicted on him at the hands of both Pierce and my father. Not an ounce of pity was felt for this putrid monster.
“Stand back boys… I’d hate for you to get hurt because of this piece of shit.” They stood back, Pierce had lost his signature Stenson Cowboy hat somewhere inside when the scuffle began but the afternoon sun was not obstructing his view of the impending torment – he lusted for blood – Predator blood.
“I welcomed you into my home…” He reared his arm, firmly grasping the bullwhip handle in his palm and released the long plaited leather strand, it elegantly unfolded in front of him, “and you groomed my naïve innocent child.”
Dad raised his arm, tensed and took a step forward, planting his stance securely, bringing down his arm with a snap, the whip lashed with cracking force upon Klem’s flesh. The sound penetrated the dense thick air as we all jolted in fright. Klem claimed his virtuousness loudly – not one single person believed him.
The viperous slash reddened his skin before Dad pulled back and raised his arm again. “You manipulated my daughter when you were meant to care for and protect her…” His arm snapped down, the whip striking the same exact spot as before, this time splitting the skin on impact. Klem’s sweat and blood morphed together as it dripped from his hanging form. A harrowing scream expelled from his voice box as he pulled at his binds wildly, hoping they would break.
“You raped her of her confidence…” Again the whip slashed violently, opening the wound more.
“You stole her light…” CRACK! The sound washed through us as he repeated his form of penance.
“You betrayed not only her trust but ours…” WUH-PSHH!
“You lied when I questioned you about why she had changed…” SNAP!
“You orchestrated this entire ploy to defile MY CHILD…” CRACK! Klem’s wound gushed as he violently shook.
“You will die for this…” WUH-PSHH!
The sounds of blaring sirens didn’t stop him unleashing his hatred as he ripped the flesh from his body with each punishing whip. Blood soaked the gravel below as Klem’s body hung lifeless and bound from the winch.
“Tom,” Lenny, our town sheriff bellowed. “Stop.”
“No!” My mother screeched, “he molested our Avaleria – he is vermin.”
I felt the bile rise as my mouth flooded with saliva and I sprayed the ground in vomit. With my head spinning, throbbing in unholy agony and my vision blurring, I saw Pierce one last time before darkness.
I awoke with a start, launching my body up to see the cognac-brown eyes of my hero, staring back at me with panic. “You okay?” He timidly asked, the strain and worry in his voice was unmissable.
“Where am I?” I looked about, noticing the floral bed covers and the scented potpourri jars littering the room on top of embroidered doilies. Mum and Dad’s bedroom.
“We are still at your Pa’s, you collapsed and passed out. Tell me you’re okay.”
His knuckles had been cleaned but the swelling and abrasions were already visible. “Your hands?”
He looked down and smiled, “it was worth it.”
“What happened?” I croaked.
“Lenny took Klem to the hospital, he’s arresting him if he ever gains consciousness.”
The door opened and in comes my father, “here bub, I’m here.”
I threw myself off the bed and straight into his arms, relief crashing in waves over me. “Thank god you’re alright.”
“I’m so sorry bub, I’m so sorry, I failed you – I failed you,” he cried into my shoulder.
“No – this is not your fault,” I soothed, holding him as tight as I could.
“No, it’s not, it’s mine.” I pulled back, noticing Mama had entered, her angelic greens devoid of any light. “I trusted him, I asked him to babysit you repeatedly, you begged me not too – I put you into that predator’s hands. Forgive me, please forgive me.”
“This isn’t your fault Mama, you didn’t know. I kept my mouth shut.”
She fell to the floor, wailing and howling in unbridled pain. I slumped down next to her, wrapping my arms around her shaking body as she sobbed with exhausting lamentation, her regret exploding from her heart. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry Lyera.”
“It’s okay Mama, it’s okay.”
As it turns out, we had just caught him in time. Klem had already started to prey upon Theodasia, the process of ‘grooming’ her, preparing her for his sexual depravity was well and truly underway and he had been thwarted in his plans. The Sheriff, Lenny, made it ‘appear’ like Klem had been found disfigured in a random field and a cover-up began. After the pathetic sentence handed to Toni he vowed to not let another scumbag slip through his fingers and understood my father’s actions. I couldn’t believe all these people… I had fought hard to leave my town in my past, buried deep within my subconsciousness and yet, these folks were willing to do whatever it took to protect me from any further harm – both mentally and physically.
After many tears and a lot of guilty apologises, we finally came home. To our home, Pierce’s and mine. A place where I felt loved, safe and free.
It may have been the middle of the night but Pierce tenderly and lovingly cared for me, showering me – careful not to display any hint of sexual desire, just nurturing. As I dried, he washed and then reverently brushed my hair before collecting me and tucking me into bed. I was dressed in his shirt, held against his body and smothered in whispers of praise, admiration and adoration – he was perfect.
“I’m so sorry Pierce, I’ve put you through so much,” I whispered insecurely into his chest.
“I know right – now you have to say yes when I ask you to marry me, it’d be rude not too.”
I chuckled, only he could make a joke out of this. “Okay.”
“Okay you’ll marry me or okay you’ll say yes when I ask?”
“You still want to be with me after all of this trouble and drama?”
“I love you, I’ve waited years for you to love me – why would I throw away my perfection?”
I snuggle into his secure warmth, feeling better, lighter, settled.
“Okay… I’ll marry you.”
***No, this is not the end just yet. ***