My completed stories
|Nighttime, a young man and the truth Meg Ann locked deep inside.
Meg Anne sat silently on the edge of the dock, her feet dangling high off the water. She wished she could reach the water and dip her toes in the cool liquid. She stared down at the colorless pool and frowned. Her mother had left her there, again, sat her at the edge of the dock and told her not to move. She knew what her mother was doing even if her mother did not realize it. Her mother was sleeping with the man they had picked up earlier.
Meg Anne didn't look over her shoulder at the blue Toyota Tercel because she knew what she would see. She had made the mistake once of sneaking over to the car and looking in. She never did that again.
Gathering saliva in her small mouth, Meg Ann spit into the water. She watched the small circles of ripples expand and fade away. She wished she could fade away. She lifted her eyes and looked at the far bank of the lake. She wished she was on the other side.
She heard a car door open. "Come on, Meg Ann. Let's go." Her mother called to her. Meg Ann ignored her. Why did her mom drag her out here and leave her on the dock? Why couldn't she stay at the apartment? She was nine after all. Old enough to stay alone.
Meg Ann knew why. Because there were men there too. One in particular who was mean and violent and even Meg Ann didn't trust herself alone with him. She bowed her head once again and thought of jumping in and swimming to freedom. Or something.
"Meg Ann!" Her mother called again. Meg Ann stood and walked slowly up the too short dock. She wished there were sharks in the lake, large sharks, so that she could shove the evil men into the lake one by one and let them all die. She reached the car and got in. At nine she shouldn't even know the smell of sex but she did. The car reeked of it, as did the apartment and even her own bed and room. Nothing was sacred. She sat silent while her mother drove them home.
They arrived at the high end apartment complex she called Hell. No one questioned her mother even though men came and went as often as the hours of the day. That was partly because of the high rent they paid but mainly because the landlord visited her mother often. The man's car was parked out front. Meg Ann watched him throw a wad of bills down and get out.
"Next week?" Her mother asked, no emotion just professional.
"No. I'm taking my wife to dinner for our anniversary. Maybe afterwards. Say one am?" His voice grates on Meg Ann's nerves and she clenches her jaw.
"Okay." Her mother responds and he slams the door. "Do your homework and go to bed." She says to Meg Ann.
"What about dinner?" She asks, already knowing the response.
"I'm going out. Make a sandwich." Her mother growls as Meg Ann gets out of the car. As her mother pulls away, Meg Ann longs to scream. She didn't have any homework since she hadn't gone to school for three weeks and she wasn't going back. The kids there had found out about her mother and Meg Ann was sick of hearing catcalls and slurs against herself. She could care less what they said about her mom but when they walked up to Meg Ann and asked for a demonstration or called her a slut it was too much.
Meg Ann didn't make a sandwich, she never did. Not because she wasn't hungry or she was overly defiant, but because there was nothing to make a sandwich with. There never was. She sat in her room on her small bed and stared at the blank walls, feeling bitter.
"Who are you?" She whispered to herself. "Who are you?" Louder. "WHO ARE YOU?!?" She screamed. There was no answer.
"There you go. There you go. Yes. Yes." A deep voice entered Meg Ann's dreams and she slowly opened her eyes becoming aware of the deep grunts and moans with a growing hatred. "Now. Now. Come on. Now."
She reached up and plugged her ears. The noises muted but remained. She longed to scream, to bring her mother and the man to a startled halt, to bring them rushing in to find out what was wrong. She opened her mouth to do just that when she saw the dark figure standing at the edge of her bed. There was someone in her room! Panic flooded her body, rising from a hidden well and engulfing her.
"Get out of here!" She shouted. "This is my room! Get out!"
"No." The voice was young. It wasn't a man, it was a boy. "I'm not going out there. They're on the couch."
"You can't stay in here." Meg Ann said slightly calmer. "You can't."
"Why not? I'm not doing anything." He said.
"You'll steal from me." Meg Ann replied though that wasn't the reason. No one was allowed in her room when she was in there. That was her rule.
"There's nothing in here to steal." He said.
"Who are you?" Meg Ann asked.
"Justyn." He said. "That's my dad out there. I wish I could kill him." He was silent and Meg Ann imagined him waiting for her to respond. She didn't. "How old are you?" He asked finally.
"Nine. How old are you?" She countered. She figured she should make conversation with the boy, anything to drown out the noise form the other room.
"Sixteen." He said. He sat down on her bed.
"What are you doing?" Meg Ann asked, barely keeping the panic from her voice and trying to sound more annoyed than scared.
"Sitting. They're going to be awhile." He said matter of factly.
"Turn on the light at least." She replied, not wanting to be alone in the dark with the sixteen year old boy on her bed.
"Are you sure? Don't you like me?" He asked, his voice getting deeper.
"What are you talking about?" Meg Ann asked, though she knew exactly what he was talking about.
"Nothing. I'm just kidding. Geez, lighten up." He said as he stood and walked to the door. "Is it over here?"
"What?" Meg Ann asked before she remembered. "Yeah. On the right."
"Oh, yeah." He said as he found it. He turned the light on and Meg Ann blinked against the harsh brightness of the single bulb. Once her eyes adjusted she got her first look at her visitor.
He was tall and handsome, with thick black hair that fell into his eyes of teal-green. His lips were full and soft looking and he had a cleft in his chin. His nose was slightly crooked and his jaw was strong and well-defined. He was dressed in jeans and a tight white T-shirt that showed off his young muscles. Meg Ann blushed as she realized how she was studying him.
"It's alright." He said as though he could read her thoughts. "Happens all the time."
"With clothes like that I wouldn't doubt it." Meg Ann countered. A half smile touched his lips and Meg Ann felt weak. She sat up in bed, grateful that she had worn her day clothes to bed, as always.
"You're not that bad looking yourself, kiddo. Just wait till your my age. Guys will be waiting in line." He said.
Will you? She thought then blushed again. "Thank you." She said. Then she laughed.
"What?" He asked as he found the chair Meg Ann kept to shove under the doorknob when she felt frightened. He turned it around and straddled it, staring at her.
"This is insane. I should be sleeping." She said.
"For school tomorrow?" He asked and an alarm went off in Meg Ann's head.
"Yes." She said cautiously.
"Sure." He said. "Come here." He added after a moment's pause.
"Why?" She asked as she tensed her muscles, ready to fight.
"I want you to see something." He said. Meg Ann hesitated. "Don't worry." He stood and Meg Ann bolted from the bed. He lifted an eyebrow. "Do you always sleep in jeans?"
"Yes." She said without pausing a beat.
He just nodded as though he understood. He went to her door and opened it. That was when Meg Ann noticed the noises had stopped.
"Are you leaving?" She asked suddenly.
"Not without you. Come on." He repeated as he stepped out into the hall. Meg Ann followed though she was not sure why. He led her down the hall, past the large, white empty kitchen, past the den where her mother and his father were kissing passionately and naked on the couch. "It's only a matter of time before they start up again." He whispered and she tore her eyes away, feeling disgusted with herself. "Do you want to stay and watch?"
"No!" She whispered harshly as she turned to head back to her room, fully prepared to shove the chair under the handle and cry herself to sleep.
"Me neither." He replied as he grabbed hold of her hand and led her to the front door. "Come on, Meg." He said and Meg Ann felt a thrill race through her. They were leaving. He was taking her somewhere else for awhile. That was all that mattered to her.
He opened the door and they stepped into the hall. He released her hand and headed for the stairs. Meg Ann raced after him. "What if they notice we're missing?" She asked.
"So what if they do? Do you care?" He moved aside to let her down the stairs first and she looked back at the door with the numbers 812 on it.
"No." She said as she raced down the stairs, Justyn right on her heels.
They went for ice cream. She had to pay. Justyn didn't have money. At least he said he didn't have any. Meg Ann just glared at him as she counted out the money she stole from her mother's dresser daily. The ice cream was worth it though. Cold mint chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone.
"What did you want to show me?" She asked as she threw her napkin away.
Justyn looked at her. "This." He said as he grabbed hold of her hand again and pulled her to the back of the ice cream parlor. She didn't resist until she saw his destination. The men's restroom!
"No!" Meg Ann said.
"Relax. Trust me." He said as he pulled her into the restroom with him. It was a small room with a toilet and a urinal, a sink and a mirror. He shut the door and bolted it. No one had seen them because the owner was the only one in the shop at ten thirty at night. "Look." He said.
He was pointing at the mirror. "I've seen one before." She said.
"Not like this." He replied as he pulled her to the mirror. "Look." He repeated. Meg Ann looked.
Her young face stared back at her. Pale blonde hair, light blue eyes, full pink lips, a small pixie-like nose, a heart-shaped face. "So?" She said with a shrug. "What's so special about it?"
"Can't you see?" He asked and she shook her head. It was just a mirror. "Do I have to do everything?" He asked in frustration. He stepped up behind her. "Look."
"I'm looking." Meg Ann barked.
"Beautiful blonde hair, eyes as blue as the sea. My God, Meg, you are lovely. Do you see how special you are?" He leaned close and Meg Ann could see the contrast of their looks in the mirror, could see how well their looks complimented each other. "Think of all you can do, of all you can be." He whispered in her ear and Meg Ann shivered.
"Looks aren't everything." She said.
"To ugly people, maybe, but not beautiful people like us." He said and he moved closer. "What do you want to be, Meg, what do you want to do?"
Meg Ann thought for a moment. "I want to be me." She said. But I don't know who I am, she thought.
"More, Meg, think more. You could be a model." He pressed.
"You could be a movie star."
"You could be my wife." He murmered. Meg Ann started and stared at her own wide eyed expression. "Just kidding, kiddo. But not even the sky is the limit. You can be anything."
"Who am I?" She asked Justyn.
"I don't know who you are inside, Meg, but I know who you're not." He smiled. "You're not that whore at home you call mother who hires a Gigolo to turn you into a woman at the tender age of nine." Justyn straightened up and smiled down at her. "Do you know who you are, Meg Ann?"
"No." She said as her lower lip trembled. He was supposed to take her, to turn her into her mother. Meg Ann shook her head in denial. "No."
"Yes you do. You are Meg Ann, princess and future, redeemer of lost souls. You, my sweet, are pure." Justyn looked sad. "It's time to go home."
"No. I don't want to go back! I don't want to." Meg Ann turned to flee but Justyn took hold of her arm.
"She doesn't understand. I have been searching for you. I have looked everywhere. The witch tried to take you from me! Do you understand? She tried to take you but she failed! I have found you." Justyn knelt on the dirty tiled floor and met her panicked gaze. "Let's go home."
Meg Ann nodded and shut her eyes. The trip home was shorter than she remembered. Of course, on her way to the future, to New York, she had been terrified and with the evil Marladre, witch of Indisor. Now, returning to midieval England, she was with her prince, Erik DuPrey, and safe.
Meg Ann stood in her room, staring down at her wedding dress. Seven years had come and gone and now she prepared to marry Erik. What if the witch had never intended to rob Meg Ann's purity? She would be miserable in New York forever. Her memory had returned as she stared at herself in that bathroom mirror. The evil witch, the terrifying journey to New York, the tears and the potion which erased it all.
Meg Ann hugged her mother, Queen Elena, and smiled. "I know who I am, Mother." She whispered.
"Who is that?" Her mother asked as they held each other.
"I am Meg Ann. I am me. That's who I am." Meg Ann replied and her mother released her. "Soon to be Queen of the Twelve Kingdoms, wife of Erik DuPrey, beautiful, pure, loving and wise, Meg Ann DuPrey. That's who I am."