Keth slammed her fist against the wall of the shower,
the blue and white checkered tile cracking at the impact, chips falling
into the tub, carried by the water to the drain, stopping up the holes.
She hit it again and again, the water falling around her, sliding down her
body like a lover's caress, hugging to her, making the white lace of the
dress cling to her body. The knuckles of that dress were bloody now,
the red marbleizing as the water hit it, staining parts of the lace pink,
Barbie vines traveling up her arms. Her back and buttocks were
covered in welts and cuts, hand shaped bruises were purple and angry on her
She sobbed, again and again, cursing herself and the gods, cursing Beth and Bryant, cursing everything she could think of. Her blue eyes clenched tight, the tears melding with the water, though they still tasted salty when they strayed to her mouth. She slid down into the belly of the tub, her skin squeaking and pulling against the tile, the jagged edges cutting her, the water and blood making it slick, hard to stay balanced. Not that she cared.
She curled up into a fetal position on the floor, the water cleansing her, washing her of her sins, absolving her. She felt so dirty, so used.
She'd been raped.
Not physically, that would have been easier. Her past, her mind, her self, all raped. All of it destroyed. It was violating, it was like being stabbed with an icicle. There was the pain, and the trauma, and it was cold and hurt so much you wanted to die. But in the end, there was only the gaping wound left, open and sore, and nothing concrete to point to as the cause.
Her father was not her father. Her mother had lain with another, her perfect pristine mother, a goddess, had lain with another, had been an adulteress, had been the other woman. Had lain with a vampire. Had given birth to the child of a vampire.
She whimpered, and curled up tighter. She didn't believe at first. She couldn't. Her mother had been her life. her mother was why she did this. All for her. Everything for her. She had died a few years ago, alone and still pristinely beautiful. Now, it was like she died all over again.
Carefully, after a few hours, Keth extended her legs, and stretched her arms. They ached from holding the position for so long. She stood after a few moments, shakily, and climbed out of the shower. She didn't remember much about getting home, just that she had. She didn't remember too much about the how, or who she'd seen along the way, or how long it took, or anything else about it. It was as if a few hours of her life were gone, erased from memory, probably forever.
She stepped out into her living room, dripping wet, and stopped in the middle of it, on the Persian rug, and waited until her hair stopped dribbling water. It was a long wait. She settled her eyes on a blinked red light by her phone. She had messages.
She pressed the button, heard the tape whirring back, high pitched, reversed, sped up voices jabbered, then the click, and a long beep.
"Keth? It's Tommy. Gar met a man...god. He...there were a pair of tattoos. Remember the dragon? The stuff on the side of the neck? The symbols? That's what was done. She was held down, and tattooed. Gar had no choice, do you understand? He had no choice."
There was a long pause, where Tommy's breathing was heard, Garrote sobbing near him. A few whispered words of comfort, then Tommy spoke again. "Gar's in hysterics, I gotta go. I don't know what this means, but...Keth, he didn't show up on the video tape. The bastard didn't show. The goons were there, the girls were there, Gar was there, but the son of a bitch wasn't there."
There was the sound of a dialtone, meaning Tommy had hung up, then another beep.
"Hello?" a slightly tinny voice said, a lot of breath behind it. "I am Kasumi. Your friends are here. I...I apologize for what is next. If you wish to see them again, you will come to me. Please, bring the dragon. I'm sorry. Please."