Bridgette-Part 3 -1,620-words-as-it-comes-Alley
Soft groans escaped Bridgette’s battered and blood-caked mouth. The immense pain had become more than she could bear. Colder and a lot weaker, Bridgette still could not move. Her mind inevitably stirred as she came out of the blackness: roaming, looking over her shoulder, fighting, cowering, desperately wanting to run and hide, wanting to bury herself under her sheets again.
The world’s full of fucking monsters.
She could hear distant words in her head: ‘I have a daughter your age…’
‘And what age would that be, weirdo…’
I hope not. Christ! You useless freak. You couldn’t even kill me properly. Why didn’t you kill me? Somebody, please kill me.
It wasn’t my fault! Help me. Please, help me… Anybody!
Bridgette couldn’t physically cry as she stared out into the bleak lane through gaps in the bin bags. Sometimes cars cruised by. Her eyes were on alert, even though they stung like red-hot pokers. More random people passed on occasion, but they were too busy with their phones or briskly walking into their daily fucking lives.
Go on, eyes down, sucked into your mindless plates of processors. Please, look over here! Oh, god…
Bridgette could never afford a phone… or decent food. She sold her soul twice a week for cigarettes, amphetamines (or whatever was going to help her ‘escape’) along with her chips. The sordid ritual was easy since her dad constantly took from her, from the age of 7. It left Bridgette with little regard for herself, her body or people. She had apologised her way through life, taking beatings for it. She’d be fucked, she reckoned, in life and in death.
Bridgette was more alone and vulnerable than she had ever been. In her delirium, she fought with fleeting feelings of forgiveness.
No! No way! NO! Not you, and not my dad. If I ever find you again, I will kill you… Both.
Yet again, she found herself fighting to stay awake in piles of filth, like when she was younger… and for over half of her life. Piles of filth had become her life. The filth had now consumed her.
Stay awake, Bridgette! Don’t you fucking fall asleep. Stay with me. Stay here!
Bridgette’s cheek was pressed hard onto bleak, quilt-like cobbles – the indentations on her flesh were swollen and blackened. She was beginning to die.
* * * * *
Streetwise Bridgette was like a cowering rescue dog that would typically bite before anything. Loneliness stuck out of her, just as much as her ribs these days.
On cold, desperate, hungry days, or just days with daylight in them, she would try to remember things – I just love to punish myself. I must be that stupid.
She often sighed for the halcyon days of homemade, roast dinners with green vegetables, potatoes and gravy coming with warm, kitchen smells and mock slaps on the ear for her pierced nose and tattoos, both obtained once she’d finally snapped.
She had become fed up with restraints, constraints, and conditional rice puddings. Fluffy smiles turned to frowns as soon as she entered a room on Sunday afternoons, especially if she had nothing to report of her life as she trod the hamster wheel of limitations she had set herself on, all just to appease them.
Was it ever like that though? Fuck knows.
Even here, cold, bloody and alone, the black tar of memories struck like the bully it was. It was all a lie. Fluffiness only happened when relatives visited. Only then would those delicious smells permeate the air. Hiding behind all of that was the thick black squelch of her putrid life.
Don’t go to sleep in the dark – there be dragons.
Sure enough, monsters came in that darkness. They helped shape Bridgette into the ‘lost and found’ person she had become.
Some of her more tired and faded tattoos would ache from needle marks; they were the same unfriendly and often crude figures that used to give her the feeling of freedom. Only one tattoo said it all. It was the main drive of her existence, but bruises and blood now blotted out the majestic butterfly. She had starved a good while to have it done, passed out while having it done and, from then on, began to believe she could someday fly above her fucking mess. Sadly, deep down, Bridgette knew she could never really fly… or for very far.
You will get me out of here. I know you will. Even though it will be a fucking long way to go, to go nowhere, Bridgette often thought.
* * * * *
In the dingy, bleak alleyway, Bridgette’s sore eyes twitched rapidly. She kept wondering what had set him off when she fainted. Her head reeled in agony and confusion. She automatically began to blame herself; despite her pious beliefs, she knew she was often unable to resist any chance of hope.
Why didn’t he scoop me up into his arms and carry me to Munro’s? Why didn’t he help me?
No big shock there. Another one thinking with his trousers, scraping me along the grim glassed path to the fucking alleyway – scum! He didn’t know me, but hated me enough to…
Just then, through the clump of frizzy hair partially covering her eyes, Bridgette caught sight of the shop window opposite to where she lay, and vividly recalled the vast mountain of black shadow thrusting into her relentlessly in the rain. All during her ordeal, when she could no longer fight, she went further than the shop window and pretended she was inside and warm, trying on fur hats and sumptuous coats because she was so very cold, while the monster…
There is no god – I made him up. Add another sick overture to my life.
Bridgette’s synapses were on overdrive, though her will was drowning in blood. She could feel her bra, which was halfway down her body, laden with the papier mache rain-soaked notes, which, she remembered, he’d shoved down her blouse after he had tried to brutally shove her shoe down her throat, raped her and then beaten her half to death.
What are you? What made you hate so much? I know I can beat you. You’re not my dad. I beat him… I got away. Fuck! Please, stop hurting me! You sick bastard!
She also recalled frantically smacking her hand on the wet ground searching for her shoe before managing to grab it. She lifted her arm, and when she smiled at him (he seemed to like that), she hit him full force in his eye with its stiletto heel. Her meagre force against his unhealthy BMI was no match. Soon after that, he crushed her hand and much, much more. Bridgette spat at him before his brute fists arrived at her beautiful face.
Stop hurting me! You sick fuck!
Lying half-naked and brutalised, Bridgette moaned. Blood pooled at a faster rate than before in front of her weary eyes. She drifted in and out of consciousness…
I would gladly kill you if I could, but you might have a daughter. I want to kill you because you might have a daughter. You freak!
A short time later, a small cat with ribs like Bridgette hopped down off the toxic bin bags and wandered over to where she lay. It nestled cosily between Bridgette’s blackened, dead hand and her battered face. Bridgette’s eyes opened slightly. She felt heavenly warmth from the patchwork, black and tan coloured creature.
Inside, Bridgette’s heart was breaking about many things. It broke as it had done daily on the bare, cold, lonely streets of hunger and rain. It also broke for her father’s sick mind and her mother’s weakness. It broke for her sordid childhood, and the irony of all of this, for all the books she couldn’t read and those she did, and only in broad daylight, behind walls – out of school and away from the house.
A thin, bloodied stream ran down Bridgette’s cheek, stinging everything there. A sharp intake of breath made her jerk horribly. The pain was too much. She stared into the small cat’s eyes. It hurt to try and smile.
Don’t count on me to take care of you, little bugger. You’re on your own, like me. I always thought I might die alone too, just like in the books. Well, maybe not now, ay?
I’ll call you Midget. And just maybe, I can get some fecking food for you, soon… I promise…
Bridgette couldn’t keep her eyes open, and more blood began to spill as her chest heaved.
As flashes of her life snatched precious breaths from her, Bridgette recalled a book she’d stolen from school one day.
I actually like poetry. Bridgette’s eyes flickered open.
Stopping the clock of gods,
speaking or praying,
this coldness is chilling –
with a hint of a lone heart.
I die here.**
As the cracking pain on the floor spread – and with the coldness slipping, Bridgette’s last breath stuck to her lips.
* * * * *
Twelve hours had passed, and while in the midst of another row, Bridgette’s parents were interrupted by the teatime news.
“A body was found in a quiet part of the city centre. Police believe it to be that of a homeless woman in her late teens. Local youths discovered the body. Police are treating the death as suspicious.”
A brief description of Bridgette and her various, distinctive tattoos was read out by the newsreader who called on the public for information about the crime.
Down in the street, a couple walking underneath the window of the family house was stopped in their tracks by a loud scream.
‘No! Not Bridgette! No…’
**Verse with kind permission from My Valiant Soul who weaves fabulous words. Thankyou!