“NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!” That wretched witch of a stepmother Eris ((sorry if your name is Eris)) stood over me, her rotten brown eyes scanning disapprovingly over the dining room I had spent the last hour cleaning to meet her outrageous criteria. I gaped for a moment before bowing my head submissively. “I am sorry I disappointed you ma’am, how may I make it satisfactory?” This was a daily routine for us, she would give me a five mile long list of things to clean, I would clean them, she would come home and yell at me or throw things at me then send me to the cellar or make me stay up and clean everything again.
Even worse, sometimes she would whip me or let my stepbrother Daniel beat me. ((Sorry if your name is Daniel...)) “You’re a disgrace, no wonder your father killed himself, you’re so useless you drove him over the edge!” My stepmother shouted, sending me over the edge. Grabbing the first thing I could find which just happened to be a brass candle holder, I jumped at her, slamming the heavy metal into her skull. “DON’T YOU EVER TALK ABOUT PAPA THAT WAY!” I screeched, running for the door.
I was only a few feet down the hall when a foot connected sharply with my knee, sending me flying down the stairs. I lay there for a moment, assessing my injuries as loud footsteps could be heard upstairs, followed by Daniel’s booming voice. I rolled over and forced myself to stand, ignoring the burning pain coursing throughout my body from connecting with the hard marble floor. Daniel’s footsteps grew nearer as I broke into a limping sprint for the door, my bare feet moving on their own accord. “GET BACK HERE YOU LITTLE WENCH!” My brother roared, chucking a bottle at me.
The bottle scarcely missed my head as I yanked the back door open, a shiver running down my spine as the freezing winter air brushes my bare arms. I sped out of the house anyways, my feet numb from the snow and my body barely covered by the faded blue housedress and white apron I wore every day. Daring to look over my shoulder, I saw Daniel not far behind, his eyes full of fire. “You can’t run away!” He shouted, causing me to whip my head back around only to run head on into a bush.
Flipping head first into the foliage, my momentum caused me to roll right into a snowbank, coating my already numb body in the freezing white powder. When I tried again to stand, I was met by a pair of strong arms, causing me to panic. Using all of my energy, I let out a scream before a hand clamped over my face, effectively covering my nose and mouth. As I writhed under Daniel’s hold, I felt the heat of his face edging closer to my ear. “You can scream all you want, but no one will ever come for you. You know why? Because you’re worthless, and don’t you forget it.” I felt the world begin to spin as his hand stayed clamped over my face, and I would have passed out if not for several voices followed by Daniel letting out a surprised shout, dropping my limp body onto the ground. I gasped desperately for air, the cold night making my lungs burn as the sound of his footsteps grew further and further away. My vision was unclear in the dark and cold, but I could vaguely make out several figures standing over me, then one smelling of licorice leaning down and picking me up out of the snow. I shivered violently, nestling into the unfamiliar person’s heat. I wasn’t sure if I could trust these people, but being away from my stepmother and stepbrother was worth the risk. After a few moments, I heard a boisterous man’s voice shouting something about beer, causing me to quake as I thought of the times Daniel would come home drunk with his friends and abuse me.
I felt a hand on my forehead, then a piece of warm fabric wrap around my neck, causing a tear to slide down my cheek. I forced my tired eyes open, meeting with a pair of ocean blue ones staring intently down at me. I gasped instinctively and buried my face in his chest, I was never allowed to look into anyone’s eyes, if I did, they would beat me harshly.
After a few minutes of hushed voices and the sound of footsteps in the snow, my mind started shutting down as my wounds formed bruises and the pain of falling down the stairs resurfaced with the growing warmth in my body. I let out a shaky breath and let the tears stream down my face as I fell limp in my rescuer’s arms.