The graphic depiction of a young girl who experiences horror after being assaulted by her half brother. — Based (loosely)on a true story.
It Came Back
By: Nattalie Gordon
Water…or blood…or both spewed out, instantly drenching my panties. Then I heard a wet squish-squish sound. There was a sudden warm, sticky feeling between my legs, my heart somersaulted and started pounding viciously in my chest. I was too scared to look down on the ground where it splashed but I could feel it on my ankles, on the tops of my bare feet and the rest flowing down my legs.
I’d gotten the sudden urge to go to the bathroom, even though the pain made it hard to breathe and even harder to move, I had to empty my bowels. With one hand clutching the side of my stomach I managed to sit up slowly and swing my feet off the bed. The second I put my feet on the ground and stood up, that’s when it happened. It was as if a pipe had suddenly burst right between my thighs and now this liquid mess was everywhere, even running under the bed.
It was around ten o’clock Saturday morning and I was home alone in my community called Maynard Town; my brothers and their mother had gone grocery shopping and my daddy had gone hustling for passengers with his beat-up taxi cab. He’d been gone since five in the morning; I knew when he left because I wasn’t asleep. I couldn’t anyhow, the pain was too much and there was more movement in my tummy than usual. I was left alone with nothing but my own scary thoughts and the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make in my whole life. It wasn’t like I had any kind of choice anyway, telling my family would’ve gotten me beaten and kicked out of the house for sure.
I’ve been reading about this since I first found out, but I still wasn’t mentally prepared for it though. I was only fifteen; I was supposed to be out having fun with my friends, not lying…here. Thrashing around on the bed, I rolled my head from side to side as the pain sliced through me. It occurred to me that I should’ve probably gone to the Kingston Public Hospital but that’s the sort of place where my business was sure to go public so I dismissed the thought quickly.
I heard the squeals of laughter from the children playing in the street just outside my window. The dogs barking and howling sounded like some sort of warning and the impatient blaring of horns as vehicles sped by sounded in my head like giant whistles. Maynard Town was a fairly decent community situated about five kilometers from the business community of Downtown Kingston, Jamaica. I call it “fairly decent” because even though it’s not what one might call a residential area, it was safe enough despite the occasional murder. Things were mostly quiet, except for weekends when all the children and their parents were home and everybody seemed to be running all over the place. During the week, people pretty much went to work and minded their own business.
No-one paid much attention to my gaining weight, most of the young girls around this area who were skinny usually got plump when they got to my age so nothing seemed odd to anybody. My tummy wasn’t showing unless you were really paying close attention and I would say I was lucky for that but luck depended on one’s situation.
Nobody in my community could have guessed any of the things that went on in my daddy’s house, especially at night. My mother sent me to live with my daddy shortly before she migrated to Canada, which was over a year ago. Back then my mother and I lived over in Westmore, a quiet, flat neighbourhood a few miles outside of Kingston City. It was known for its famous lack of space to do anything besides living, mostly concrete everywhere and hardly any rainfall. The houses in Westmore were conjoined which made the community constantly hot, so much so people nicknamed it “All Sun, No Space”.
I bet my mother has no idea what goes on in this house. No-one would guess that my daddy and his woman let my fourteen year old brother Shane come to their room and stay whenever they did it. My other seventeen year old brother, Damon knew what was happening and he got so angry about the ‘weirdness’ he started taking it out on me, saying we weren’t a normal family anyhow so why do normal stuff.
Damon was different, in a weird sort of way. He seemed so angry all the time, which was what I didn’t get since his mother never ever tells him to do anything around the house. He was allowed to do as he pleased while I got hit and shouted at for no reason. I should be the angry one, not him so I pretty much stayed out of his way. I stayed out of everyone’s way, in fact.
I felt another volt of pain rocket through my body. Instead of blood it felt like I had petrol running through my veins and someone had set fire to it.
I must be close now, I thought as I grabbed and bit down on a dirty t-shirt Damon left on the floor. He was always leaving his stuff on the floor but his mother shouts at me to pick them up like somehow it was my duty. I clamped my eyes shut so tight I saw stars behind my eyelids. The squeaky bed me and my brothers shared in this two bedroom house was too soft for my situation and I slowly slithered to the ground in search of a much harder surface.
My thoughts darted in different directions as the movement inside me caused sections of my tummy to rise and fall like tiny waves on a mostly calm ocean. I remembered how all this happened in the first place and how normal my life was just one year ago.
I wasn’t happy about my mother going off to Canada, I told her this but she said she’d already gotten on the Overseas Work Program to go work as a Room Attendant in a hotel in Toronto. She’d said ‘every little thing is gonna be alright’ but that line from Bob Marley’s song was nothing but a big, fat lie. Sure, many Jamaican kids had parents who went overseas to work but I don’t think any of them ended up like me though. I wasn’t even close to my daddy or his woman, my brothers and I were cool but still not what anyone would want to call close. My daddy’s woman made it obvious she didn’t like me too much and I felt weird whenever I found myself alone with her. She’d give me these strange looks that had me fidgeting, my skin crawling and my hair standing on end. My mother went to Canada and within two months she’d ran away to a different part of the country, she stayed longer than her visa allowed so now she couldn’t come back to Jamaica unless she got married to a Canadian citizen which would make it easy for her to get a Permanent Resident Card, known by Jamaicans as the “Green Card”. I knew my mother would be depressed if she knew what had happened to me and since I didn’t want her coming back to Jamaica and ruining her chance of getting the green card, I kept it all to myself and planned my escape.
Damon only came to me on the nights when Shane went to their mother’s room. At first he tried to tell me it would be okay as no-one would ever know. He was way bigger than me so even though I didn’t want to, I let him do it. I figured it was much easier than putting up a fight. But he started really liking it, so much so he made me try other things like that one time we watched a video on his phone and I had to copy everything that naked woman did then.
The pain between my legs shook all those thoughts away in an instant, the cold, hard tiles felt heavenly on my sweaty neck and back. The sun was already high in the sky and our small bedroom was sweltering. I used what little strength I could find to start pushing as hard as I could which wasn’t even that hard. I heard more squishing sounds as more warm stuff flowed from my vagina and down to my butt. I remembered that my brothers and their mother would be back by noon and again I panicked and kept pushing, each time feeling as if I was one step closer to throwing up.
Suddenly my vagina started feeling full, causing me to open my legs a bit more on instinct. I pushed and pushed till my eardrums popped like my mom said hers did the first time she rode in an airplane. Suddenly everything sounded like I had cotton stuffed in my ears. First I heard silence then the sound of my heart pulsing like a hip-hop beat. I waited a few minutes before raising my head up as far as I could until my neck hurt; I peered down trying to see what was happening between my legs but my tummy had gotten bigger and was now in the way. I slowly reached down one shaking hand to feel for what I already knew was there. It felt a bit hard and very slippery like it was covered in slime but the rest of it still hadn’t come out. I rested my head back down on the floor and began pushing again. Sweat gathered on my forehead and upper lip, it pooled and collected in my collarbone before running down my shoulder and soaking the dress I had on which I had hiked up all the way to my breasts. I screamed into the dirty t-shirt until my throat felt raw, clamping one hand over my face and tearing at my hair with the other as the pain tore through every inch of my body. After around five more minutes I eased open my bleary eyes now drenched with my tears, my head rolled from side to side as I pushed and pushed until I felt sure my insides would come out. The tiles on the floor were beginning to swim, fading in and out of focus. They weren’t fully white, but had brown and tan specks in them. I’ve always thought they looked more like dirt than a design.
Suddenly I got the urge to make one more push and I briefly remembered the video I’d seen on YouTube. I pushed and exhaled long and hard, I think I pushed out other stuff as well. I stifled another long scream as I felt it starting to slide out; I knew when it slid all the way out because the fullness in my vagina was slowly disappearing although the pain wasn’t.
I’d been sleeping in the bedroom for a year but I never really took notice of everything in there. A thin, wooden cross was on the wall adjacent to me and as I pushed for the final time the cross suddenly became loose and a screw fell to the floor and bounced away. One screw stayed in place and the cross now hung upside down, swinging from side to side like a heavy pendulum and creaking like an old rocking chair.
My ears pounded to the now rapid rhythm of my heart. My head felt like it too was now stuffed with cotton. My body hummed like a radio station stuck between two different frequencies. Next thing I knew everything started getting blurry until it all faded to black.
I don’t know how long I was lying on the floor but It woke me. It was wriggling on the floor, wriggling between my legs. Momentarily forgetting the pain which ignited my body like a live wire, I jumped and sat up startled. There was so much blood and… stuff everywhere! I think I threw up a little in my mouth. A new wave of panic washed over me as I thought about the beating my daddy would give me if he were to walk in that instant. I grabbed the beat up kitchen knife I’d prepared, it had seen better days, a screw was missing and a section of the blunt blade had broken off. But it had to do, I had to get it over with and leave. I had no clue where I was headed but I knew it was someplace far; someplace my daddy couldn’t beat me and my brother couldn’t have fun with me whenever he wanted.
I looked at the bloodied cord; I was scared to touch it as it was still attached to the two of us and that made it looked sort of…alive. After several failed attempts I finally sawed it off, the longer part still attached to the squirming mess on the floor. I dropped it in fright as more stuff poured out of me in a puddle, my heart stopped for a second as I thought it was my intestines. But it was just the stuff that needed to come out according to the YouTube video.
It suddenly hit me that I hadn’t thought of a way to get rid of It, I couldn’t just leave it there thrashing around on the floor all bloody like.
I didn’t want to see its face, I didn’t like it and I never would. Damon created it and I wanted nothing to do with it. I was gonna throw It in a scandal bag and leave it at the nearest rubbish bin, I could pull it off and I would too.
What happened next was not planned – I swear, it never crossed my mind before and it wasn’t my fault it happened. You know how people always talk about someone losing a screw? Well at that moment when it turned its stupid face causing me to look at it all the screws in my mind became loose and my brain fragmented. Like we say in Jamaica: “provocation mek dummy chat”. I came apart for good I guess; I was just about to plunge the bloody knife in my chest like Juliet did in the Romeo and Juliet play I watched in Literature class just a few weeks ago. I looked at it and saw Damon, everything that was hurt and bruised inside of me exploded and that’s when I started punching holes in it.
I started punching holes in it, trying to get it to cry like I did, scream like I did, hurt like I did and finally fight back like I didn’t. But instead it just squirmed; a gurgly sound escaping like it was being forced from the deepest part of its body. It kicked a few times and I think it peed too, and then it laid still. I was on my knees bending over it, the taste of tears, blood and vomit in my mouth. I stared at its twisted, tiny, red face now splattered with blood. My heart started pounding viciously once again; I could smell the life disappearing from it as I sat in a pool of blood and pee. A section of the cord I’d sawed in two now laid shriveled still attached to it while the other piece was coiled in the mess on my bedroom floor. Its face looked frozen, still wrinkled up, like it stopped breathing in the middle of a scream. It looked just like Damon’s face would get whenever he was close to the end of having fun with me.
I was still punching holes in it when they came home…
THREE YEARS LATER
I haven’t seen anybody I know in so long; but I knew everything was all over the news. The days I spent in hospital I was kept asleep with injections, but I’d wake up and listen without opening my eyes. I listened to people talk about me and what I did. I could hear everything they said, none of it good. One woman said I was the devil’s child and they should give me the ‘lethal injection.’
“Look how di likkle gyal bring dung disgrace pon har people dem! Har poor mumma mus’ shame, a so dem tan. When dem go out go tek man an’ breed dem wah dash weh di pickney!” I kept my eyes closed so I didn’t have to look at the woman; tears had formed behind my eyelids and slowly leaked out as they continued talking. I wondered how the hospital people allowed them inside.
“Is true, she wicked bad, man! If she neva wah di baby all she did haffi do is give it weh to smaddy, yuh know how much woman deh out deh who want a pickney an’ cyah get none?”
A lady whose grand-daughter had given birth at sixteen was there. She didn’t agree with them. “We know not why dis child do what she do, so we can’t judge. I hear is har brother do di damage so we can’t jus’ condemn har. Wi jus’ have to pray fi she an’ har madda.”
The nurses were the worst; they would stand over my bed when they thought I was sleeping. “Look pon har face, damn wicked! If a neva prison wuk mi wudda jus give di likkle bitch wrong injection. Dem fi lock up har backside, man! A Satan own heart, jus’ look pon har damn face!”
I planned to run away from hospital the night I heard the nurse, I was scared and angry and very sad all at once. My mother came to see me before they took me away, she never said anything as she was just bawling non-stop. I was sad to see her there crying like that, she was back in Jamaica and would never get her green card and it was all my fault. But what was I supposed to do? I told her not to send me to my father’s house but she didn’t listen. Still it was my fault, if I’d told her why maybe I could’ve escaped.
Maybe she wouldn’t believe me. I didn’t want to take that chance.
I wasn’t really awake when they took me to what was now my cage.
I wasn’t crazy before it happened and I wasn’t crazy after either. But they kept me on those pills and cups filled with that stuff, telling me it was medicine and that it was good for me. No-one ever came to see me so a few days ago when those funny-looking people came by I was afraid. They spoke to each other about me without using my name; nobody used my name. They think I don’t remember my own name and that I’m not really a person anymore. But I remember, I remember them talking about ‘Manifestations at three each morning.’ They spoke about ‘the witching hour’ and ‘Dibuks,’ they still talk about ‘what happened’ as if they were afraid to say what it was directly.
Sister Mary-Clarence came in a few times per week to comb my hair and talk to me; most times I didn’t talk back to her although I wanted to. There was something inside me, preventing me from saying anything to her or anyone else. I liked it when she combed my hair, I didn’t know why, I just did. She prayed for me too, sometimes.
Where I stayed is a tiny place that had walls built from stone instead of concrete, white walls, a toilet and my cot. I wasn’t allowed to have anything else in my space and nobody was allowed in there with me. I liked that, being alone gave me the chance to talk with them. My voices, I get to go in my own head and talk and scream with them. Sometimes they spoke so I couldn’t understand. I speak to It too, it had started coming to visit me and although It never speaks to me I felt good. Maybe It realized that it was ill-conceived and wouldn’t have a rightful place in society, maybe IT started visiting me to show it understood that what happened wasn’t my fault.
Sometimes my voices scream real loud in my head, when they do I scream too. Not for any particular reason but because it feels right to join them. Sister Mary-Clarence says I’m ok and that God understands me, even if no-one else does. I don’t quite believe her as I’ve never seen God since I’ve been staying in my square, stone box. I hear my voices and I see It from time to time but never God.
I heard the sound of footsteps and smiled in the direction of the rattling chains on my door. My smile vanished as I saw that Sister was not alone, three serious looking men stepped inside my space with her. She came towards me and I sat down on the floor just in case she wanted to pat my head like she sometimes did.
“How are you feeling today? These gentlemen were sent here to help you, I know you will be a good girl and be nice to them.”
One of the men was huge and wore a long, black robe with a red scarf that hung all the way down to his waist. He held a metal stick which had a round head; the other man also came forward and carried a large tattered book in his hands. I felt a bit safer with Sister here; surely she wouldn’t let them hurt me like Damon did. But Sister was backing away as the strangers came closer to me. She went out in the hallway, looked over at me then turned and walked down the corridors.
“We need to see a physical manifestation in order to determine how we proceed from here. Reverend, you may begin.” One of them said.
The big guy in the black robe moved closer and I ran-crawled to the farthest corner and hid my face.
“Our father who art in heaven…”
He shook the metal stick and cold liquid sprinkled all over me, another one came up to me and yanked my face upward. I pushed him off and snarled at him.
“Carry on, Reverend.” The one who had given the first instruction said.
“Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come…”
I had no idea what happened but my body lurched forward, I wasn’t myself. I didn’t move but my body was moving as if someone else had invaded me. I was rolled over so hard my head bumped the wall with a dull thud. I screamed out as hard as I could until my throat got that raw feeling like it was being torn out. They were saying things I didn’t understand and my fingers began clawing the walls as the big man continued praying. I stayed there hiding my face and hoping they would go away or that Sister Mary-Clarence would come back and make them leave.
“I command you to show yourself! If you are in there show yourself now!”
I felt like a thousand frogs were hopping about, up and down in my body as I jerked and coughed up something I didn’t wanna look at.
The big man continued praying and shaking that metal sprinkler on me, I was now damp and cold. And angry. I snarled at them again, I was ready to fight but then they started backing away finally.
“That’s enough, Reverend. Call the elders immediately and inform them of our request to proceed.”
They all walked out of my space backwards, each spinning around three times before they left. I felt the cold liquid turning warm, it got warmer and warmer until my skin started burning. I was becoming paralyzed with fear as the burning made me twist my body up in such a confusing angle all I could do was lay there hoping I could untangle my limbs eventually.
My breath came in short gasps as my bones and muscles creaked and popped like I was exercising for the first time.
The three men studied me for a long time before leaving; I could hear their voices fading to muted murmurs as they hastily went down the corridor, their footsteps echoing as loudly as my voices were starting to scream.
I think somebody started playing with the lights as the single bulb in my space was now flickering and making hissing sounds. My body now felt heavy and I got the feeling I wasn’t alone. Without turning my head I rolled my eyes as far to the side as they could go without hurting. I looked over to the other corner and there It was. It had gotten way bigger since the last time I saw it. I was suddenly afraid as it started moving towards me; I could hear myself breathe as it came to a stop a few steps from me. I couldn’t hold my breath any longer so I resumed breathing as it studied me, it looked the same way it did on that day when I first saw it on the floor. Except now it was bigger and its mouth was twisted, I wasn’t sure if it was a grin or frown.
Suddenly its head started turning slowly; its breathing was raspy as if its throat was a hollow, dry tunnel. I was beyond scared but my contorted body made it hard to move. Then It turned its head all the way around! A complete three- hundred- and- sixty- degree turn while standing still! It’s twisted mouth shifted as it tried to form words.
Black blood pooled and dribbled out of its mouth along with the words. I peed right there.
Suddenly it flew at me, forcing itself in my body, clogging every orifice it could get into. I felt a pressure starting to build within me, my bowels let go and the overpowering stench of burnt flesh filled my senses. All of a sudden my voices became silent and instead of screaming there was a low humming in my head. They were calling my name; the wind was suddenly being sucked out of me.
Then everything went black.