“I said I’d tell my Daddy if you didn’t stop.” My words triumphant.
His eyes look back at me, broken and dead inside. No replies come from his lips, now sewn together with wire. The dark brown blood surrounding his mouth like the lipstick of a clown.
Daddy closes the door on the playroom, leaving the beaten man strapped down to the bench. “Don’t worry little one. The mean man won’t say nasty things ever again.”
I skip ahead of him towards the front door and sing “Thank you Daddy.” Spinning around just in time to be scooped up into his arms.
“It’s my pleasure little one.” he smiles, still holding me as he steps outside.
The porch shelters us from the light rain. It’s a springtime shower, but not enough to hold up today’s adventure. We’re going to look for a new friend today. I’ve worn my favourite dress specially, the little cherries matching my shiny red wellingtons. Red is my favourite colour.
“Is red your favourite colour too Daddy?” I ask innocently, sliding my hand into his.
I look up at him, awaiting a response. The huge umbrella he wields casts dark shadows across his face, they obstruct all but his creeping smile. A knowing smile that makes my stomach knot, like I forgot something important.
“Yes, it is my sweetness, I told you yesterday. I showed you. Don’t you remember?” his words are soft; they make that smile less menacing. “Yes Daddy” I nod, letting thoughts of yesterday come to me, fragments of memories that I allow into my consciousness. I flick through them quickly, until I settle on the moment he refers to and immerse myself.
“Oh my precious Blade, look how the red flows, see how rich and dark it is? This is what Daddy loves. This is why it’s Daddy’s favourite. Drink, good girl, share it with Daddy now…”
The vivid flash of memory floods me with the associated feelings, a thrilling arousing exhilaration so tinged with fear that it manifests physically, making my breathing shallow and muscles tense.
I mask a smile and hope, just as I did last night, that Daddy doesn’t see. He won’t be proud if I’m afraid, he wants a brave little Blade.
He looks pleased and squeezes my hand, rubbing gently with his thumb. Out here in the daylight, with the sunshine making a rainbow in the distance, Daddy seems like Daddy again. He’s not scary. I feel silly for ever having thought that.
Yesterday’s Daddy was a bit like a monster but today’s Daddy is taking me to the park and we’ll get ice creams. Having a day out and the special Daddy kisses I got this morning, those are the things that means he loves me.
I gently rub my tummy through the soft cotton of my dress; his bite marks have left indents and a lingering ache. I nod to myself, yes, their ache is real, his love his real. No more being silly, I decide, locking down memories of last night’s events with their unwelcomed fearful feelings, locking them tight away in a bubbling pot.
“What are thinking my special little girl?” Daddy lifts both our hands to gently stroke my face, bringing my attention back to now.
“Just how much I love you Daddy”
My reply instantly warms his expression and he responds in kind, the relief makes my stomach unwind. Just in time to reach the playground, just in time to push me on the swings “Come on Daddy, the rain’s stopped, please push me, please Daddy…” skipping ahead of him to get the best swing, the one that goes the highest.
Little pushes take me off the ground, smoothly back and forth in increasing arcs. As I get higher my stomach starts to flip on the swing back down. The feeling is exciting, like how I felt when Daddy started to hurt the man. Daddy’s fists and feet forcing a fight, his words taunting him, pushing him to respond, to defend himself. The air felt charged and it infected me, it infected the man too, and when he started to fight back, it was the fuel Daddy needed.
I swing forwards, “Wheee, oh Daddy,” I giggle “I like it! I like it!” I imagine myself flying through the air like the man lifted off the ground by Daddy’s boot. Except the silly man landed on his face, but I liked that too, it made me laugh and made ever such a pretty puddle. I’d found my fingers in my mouth as I imagined how it would taste to lick it all up.
I swing backwards, like the man dragged backwards by his collar and pinned against the wall. He started to beg then, I liked that too, it made me laugh, just like I’m laughing now, wild peals of girlish giggles.
The man had looked at me then, still pinned against the wall, just swivelling his head, he looked at me in that way that had upset me before and said those nasty words again “I told you she’s not right, look at her laughing. She looks deranged” Realising his words were a mistake he panicked, firing out questions with increasing distress “What is this? This is so fucked up! What are you two? What do you want? No, please…no….” His words upset me far less when Daddy was able to punch them out of his horrible mouth.
I couldn’t stop now if I wanted; the swing’s going higher and higher every time Daddy pushes me. He’s in complete control. I like it when he’s in control, he looks so powerful, such a big strong Daddy. Just like last night, when he picked the man up and slammed him onto the bench. Holding him down by the throat, making him nice and sleepy so he could use the ropes to secure him.
I watched Daddy’s muscly arms as he made the ties and wanted to touch them, to dig my little fingernails into them like when I get special cuddles, to let him take control of me.
I’m flying now, soaring high into the air, laughter swallowed up by the wind rushing past my ears. I grip hard onto the chains, aware that a sudden tip in balance would see me falling. It’s scary but I feel safe because Daddy is looking after me. Just like he looked after me with that horrible man, made sure he’d never be horrid again. He took away his words forever with a needle and a thread. A metal thread, weaving it between his lips, pulling hard until they were sealed. Daddy fixed it.
I look back at Daddy who watches my flight lovingly and I let that bubbling pot spill open.
I feel all those feelings, the thrill, the fear and wanting and I embrace them as part of me; pumping through me and making me feel alive.
Daddy was a monster last night, my Dark Daddy, and I liked it.
I liked watching his beast unleashed.
The beast just like mine.
I want to see it again.
I want to feel it.
I want to help.