I can’t move from underneath him and clearly he hasn’t drunk enough of his special medicine because he’s not even a tiny amount sleepy. I made sure I did just as Daddy told me to, empty it all, swill it around the bottle and soon he’d drift off. Soon hasn’t come. I’d like it to be soon now.
I’m not allowed to call my Daddy until the man’s fast asleep. I’m not allowed to call him until I’ve completed all my tasks. I’m not allowed to call him until I’ve been a very good girl. And I want to be a good girl, I want to make Daddy proud.
I lay still and remember that Daddy knows best.
Deep into the sanctuary of my imagination I find distraction. I picture how we’ll make this our home. My toys can go over by that dresser. Some of Daddy’s special red painting art on that wall. There’s no play room like my favourite house but we can still have our Daddy-darkling time here, this bed is comfy and room enough for two. I’m confident it will be what Daddy wanted; a new home for us to make our own and we’ll be happy.
In my body I take the full weight of him bearing down on me. He’s heavy, crushing my ribs, it’s hard to breathe, but I pretend I’m not here…
I imagine how we’ll have days out, Daddy and I can go to the park at the end of the road. The one where I met the man, where he brought me an ice cream and invited me to his house. He said he had sweeties but I think he lied. Daddy will have sweeties and he can push me on the swings. The sun will shine and we will smile and we’ll be happy.
His sweat slicks across my stomach, it makes slapping noises as he moves against me. It’s matted the hair that covers his body, it sticks to me but I ignore the gross sensation…immersed in the safety of my mind.
I think about Daddy making breakfast in the morning, I spied a breakfast bar in the kitchen; I will sit there watching Daddy prepare our feast. Orange juice and heart shaped pancakes. I’ll still be sore from special Daddy kisses. My girl parts will ache from where he loved me and we’ll be happy.
My girl parts ache now but I won’t allow myself to feel them, they are full with the man desperately pounding away inside me. He’s panting into my ear. Hot breath that smells of beer and cigarettes. I screw my face up and turn it into the pillow, avoiding his tongue invading my mouth.
I think of Daddy’s mouth instead, telling me stories before bed; in this bed, our new bed. Visualising in wonderfully familiar detail how easily I nestle into his lap, his body always warm. I stroke my fingers against his rough beard as he chatters away, voicing each character with exuberance. Our infectious bonding laughter fills the room. Storytimes will lead to happy dreams, we will sleep well and we’ll be happy.
Right now this room is full of the man’s voice and his grunts. He says bad words and calls me names. He keeps asking if I like it. I mumble a reply, it’s not a lie, it’s not the truth, and it isn’t anything I have to concentrate on, keeping engaged in my distractions instead.
I can hear Daddy’s voice, ringing clear and louder than my reality. He calls me his good girl, he tells me how proud he is, how much he loves the house, our new home. How I did well, just as he told me to. How he knows I talked to the man nicely, let him touch me, let him take me home. How I’m his bestest girl, suffering so we can live here forever, my Daddy and me. How happy we will be.
The first morning we have together in our new home is just how I imagine. Daddy sits opposite me at breakfast telling me funny jokes and teasing me. I shovel pancakes into my eager smiling mouth, scrubbed clean from the memory of the man forcing himself, bulbous and weeping with sores, past my lips.
Daddy was so mad when he finally came to find me. The stupid man’s fat body had soaked up his special medicine, not quite taking the effect Daddy had expected.
Quietly Daddy slipped into the room while I lay in the bed, still damp from the man’s juices, drying in crusty patches over my bruised body. I was trapped in fitful sleep, no escape or protection from the nightmares that echoed my waking hell.
I woke frequently in a panic, horrified to find the naked man spooning around me. Horrified to find myself still here. I buried my tear-stained face into the pillow and desperately wished for my Daddy; I almost didn’t dare believe he was real when he snuck into the room.
The man wasn’t able to see Daddy properly in the half light of the dawn. He lunged clumsily towards him, grunting with confusion before Daddy struck him firmly on the nose. One hit and the man fell dead to the floor, the splinter of bone thrust up into his brain.
My mind returns to breakfast as Daddy provides the most wonderful of distractions to haunted memories. We’re playing a little game, one of my new favourites. Daddy puts on a silly voice and chatters away, a puppet on his hand. The face of the fat man now a leathered Judy to his grotesque Punch on the other hand.
I wonder if he likes it, the fat man. I wonder if he likes how Daddy manipulates his dead features with his fingers. I wonder what he would say if I asked those stupid questions he asked of me “Yeah, you like it don’t you….? You like it when I’m inside of you…?”
I like him now. I like him much better this way indeed. Voiced by Daddy and dancing on his hand, weaving a story of magic and fantasy, making me squeal with delight. I like him as a puppet.
I like him dead.
I like his house better this way too; Daddy cleaned and scrubbed it up nice and now it’s our home. It’s extra special because I earned it. I was a good girl, Daddy’s dark princess, rescued from the beast. Now we’re safe here… and how happy we will be.