Dreams and Memories
The sound of metal clangs around within the dark space around her. It rings through her head, her heart and makes it race. Anxiety blooms rapidly as only more begins to fall and still she’s not sure how she’s made it into this room. It’s unlike any of the others in the abandoned building.
The darkness doesn’t exactly help either. There are others, she knows; the ones she’s been trying to escape from, and others still Kayla’s tried to escape with… but the idea of freedom only comes on the hands of the highest bidder and that’s not a life for her.
At least, that’s what she tells herself.
The place she’s backed herself into begins to register as a boiler room of sorts but it isn’t where she needs to be. She needed to be further up. Shadows and angry men chased her here. There isn’t a doubt in her mind that they’re the ones who abducted her in the first place, but then again, she was too little to remember how she really got here.
What mattered now was leaving.
The trouble was not having any idea where the exit was or if she could make it out without making any more noise! Being shrouded in darkness hasn’t helped one bit either.
Kayla can’t help but reach out to feel her way around the pipes, finding some which remain together while others sway at her touch. It’s unnerving. Kayla prays they won’t cause her any more grief, grinding their edges against the cold concrete floor. The hollow promise rings carefully in its space before her, then drops with yet another loud clang causing a domino effect where everything around her seems to fall.
The gasp she makes is stuck in her throat, its sound is dull in comparison but still, Kayla’s worried that she’s given off more of her position.
Something… someone lurks behind her. She can feel their presence, or is that her mind? It could be both but she can’t stay to find out. Kayla took several steps out from where the last pipe had fallen only to be grabbed at, her arm falling victim to one of her captors. It makes her panic and will it off, but she is healthy despite her lithe form.
No, no, no, no! Kayla screamed in her head. Her tongue seemed to know better, not allowing a single additional sound out of her mouth. Her gasp had been enough.
It’s then when Kayla realized her size. She’s small, childlike… its… it’s a dream she wails at herself. Wake up! She shouts but not a single sound escapes her. There’s no help coming. Kayla forced herself to get away as if she could, still feeling the way the large hand covered her entire upper arm.
She tried screaming again. Kayla can feel the calloused, leathery palm hold her only tighter. There’s a foul stench creeping ever near that makes her sick to her stomach. It reminds her of him, and even she hasn't seen him. Kayla wondered in her panic-addled mind if she ever did, if she would this time… if it would all be over the moment he showed his awful face.
Kayla hears how he slurs his words, each meaning more horrid than the last. She knows what’s coming next. It still hurts, the loss of the coveted freedom slipping through her fingertips, the retaliation they’d take for her unchecked behavior. All the while, she wasn’t sure what’s worse, knowing that they weren’t family, or how they pretended to be until she was considered a bad girl. Then all bets were off. They’d come at her like she was meat, something to chew out until she had learned her lesson. That was the trouble though… Kayla never seemed to learn, and there came the yank, the one she remembered, sharp and securely whipping her back to the ground.
This time… this time she goes black, thankful for the change in the view.
The voices are gone.
The threat is gone.
And Kayla, well. Kayla can’t help but be thrown into her past while she wakes up. She can't help but think about how she got here, the trials after leaving that horrid place, those terrible people…She would have thought it would have gotten easier but life isn't easy. Not for her anyway.
She thinks about how the years went on, how she had been thrown into the system, in and out of foster care like a mutt avoiding animal control. Families would come and go until she gave up going back. Kayla could just feel when something wasn't right. It was in her bones. It would crawl under her skin like a parasite. One look, one tone off key, and she knew what they were thinking. Being from her situation and all, it just came as a survival skill. Kayla wouldn't be surprised if they couldn’t even begin to understand that. Some of the parents who had pulled her from the wreckage had wreckages of their own. She had been used as income, getting money back from the state for doing a good deed and housing a stray kid such as herself really felt wondrous. Especially when the money given to the families or returned in taxes wasn’t spent on her… not that she thought it would be. And she certainly didn’t need more than what she had. It was just extra weight she couldn’t see herself bringing to the new place anyway.
Kayla shudders at the last home she remembers being placed at. The man was some old drunk, Mr. Smith. He was a collector of all things. He used to talk about the wealth in everything he owned and how happy he was to have it. She stayed silent during most of his talks and even Kayla could see it. It wasn’t happiness. It was greed. He couldn’t have just that one item, he had to have more of the same thing, no matter how great or small.
She supposed it has given her an interest in tinkering but she’s not sure she would want to give him the credit for discovering pieces of herself. That, she simply cannot do.
Kayla lingered there, wondering just how she came to be her or if she had been herself all along. She always wondered if her being was always as it was and her situations just changed around her instead of the other way around. Whatever it was, it didn't stop her from feeling out of place or lonely… that is, until she would be useful to the man. Pride would run through Kayla when she came across something he fancied. Looking back now, she shouldn’t have been thrilled with the reward, but be it as it was, a shower was too much of a risk. She had known since being in the other places and homes not to trust a place that could leave her vulnerable.
Kayla grunts at the prospects of that. So many strange men had been around, no matter the designation, a male was a male and they usually had no control over themselves, which made her decision for herself. Bathing could only be done in public places or within nature. But even then lakes and streams hadn’t been nearly as easy to find as a YMCA.
She rolled her eyes at that one too. Women could be just as strange as men, so she spent her time being the dirty loner just to keep her space with people.
Food was her other reward, and while it was a step up from other homes, it was practically what was left in the dumpster at school. That was another blow. Being in my constant state made it hard to make friends, and from simply being that odd student, Kayla spent most of her time being ignored in school and tinkered with old junk she would find walking to and from it to ease the stress of even going.
Her mind wanders back to being at the side of the road, avoiding puddles and kicking stones when she realizes it was the way back to Mr. Smith’s shack. It was a shack, there was no denying it, honestly. It was a place he could hoard all types of things though and what didn't need to be protected from the weather and nature, spewed out of every window and doorway less for the front of course, onto his property. There was everything imaginable out there that, if it could house items in it, like old buses could, he filled those things as well. He had everything from machine parts, to old newspapers, nick-nacks that hung up on walls that he would practically file against outer walls of his home if he couldn’t hang them anywhere. He had buckets and boxes of pieces of engines, cans upon cans of beer and wrappers that would get swept up by the wind of him passing in the space at times. It was unsightly and unclean. Rodent droppings were everywhere, nests and piss baked as the sun rose high in the sky and baked the home, and Mr. Smith had been completely unphased by it.
To this day, she cant remember how she dealt with it all but nothing hurt more than the day he’d attracted raccoons. He hadn’t done it on purpose but they were known for ruining things out in the field, and once they realized there was the potential of warmth and food, they got right in. By the time Kayla found them, they’d ruined her old cushion that was once her bed and tore it to pieces, those bastards.
But then she was thrown out… Kayla was blamed for it, for the damage, for them getting in! Her! After all she did for him.
As much as her head throbs in a flurry of emotion, she knows it was for the best.
She blinks several times to push herself into her consciousness. If she’s going to be awake, she should be doing something...