A story about the developing Stockholm Syndrome a girl feels for the demons who took her.
|Synopsis: Betrayed by her mother and just one out of the dozens of daughters taken from their families, Lana is cast into a world of torture and terror. Death is imminent, but a developing Stockholm syndrome towards the demons who took her is proving to complicate things for Lana... and the demons.
Chapter 1: Current
Chapter 2: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2214030-Disturbing-Devotion-Chapt...
Chapter 3: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2214031-Disturbing-Devotion-Chapt...
Chapter 4: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2214355-Disturbing-Devotion-Chapt...
Chapter 5: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2214356-Disturbing-Devotion-Chapt...
Chapter 6: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2214898-Disturbing-Devotion-Chapt...
Chapter 7: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2215254-Disturbing-Devotion-Chapt...
Chapter 8: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2217285-Disturbing-Devotion-Chapt...
Daughter of Shame
They called it The Taking. It was the one night a year where this miserable town fell into even deeper woes. The one night a year that wiped the streets clean, that caused the town to go dark, that left nothing but the whisper of the wind twirling between the tree barks and around the corners of the buildings. On this night the townspeople had something to hide as sorrow waited to bid them welcome from the shadows of their homes, and from beneath the waning crescent moon their fate was sealed. And it was on this night that I would discover if my life had reached its end, or if I would carry on to see another year.
"Stay quiet." My mother's whisper was void of panic, but her eyes carried the weight of a parent in worry. "Stay here, no matter what you hear, and don't make a sound." Those widened eyes fell on me and a forced smile found her lips. "It'll all be over soon." She leaned forth, leaving a kiss so light upon my forehead, I wasn't even sure she had. I watched her from where I sat on the floor, my back resting against the furthest wall in my bedroom closet, my body shielded —poorly— behind the clothes that hung on the lowest tier. She closed the closet door, the orange glow from the bedroom light turned to black, and I listened to her footsteps upon the stairs as she hurried down them. Then there was silence, so much so that I could hear the shriveled leaves shuffling along the neighborhood street, and in the distance, the first toll of the heavy bell that signaled their arrival.
As the bell drew near, growing deeper in tone, prolonged in toll, I listened to the creaking of the carriage wheels as they carried forth the victims, and the demons who had claimed them. I wondered how many there were already, and how many more were left to go. I closed my eyes, body trembling, my breath escaping in stuttered huffs. I struggled to keep quiet, though I knew, if my time were up, silence and hiding in the dark would do nothing to save me.
"Procreators," one of the demons began from outside. His voice was smooth, more handsome than one would think a demon to possess, and it carried easily to the neighborhood's ears, despite the aid of amplifiers. "Release forth those who shall belong to us of your own freewill, and spare yourselves further loss.
"Tonight we take from you, the mothers and fathers of those who have been deemed of higher importance than that of their kin, and those who have been abandoned to the shadows cast by the light of their successors. Own your truth, accept your darkest desires, for tonight they are recognized. Send forth your sons to claim their fate and hand out your daughters of shame."
A short silence followed the sound of bodies being dragged against the road and thrown against the iron cages. My shaking wouldn't cease and I hugged my knees closer to my chest as I listened to the reign of terror from beyond the bedroom window. I shut my eyes, body rocking back and forth. I thought to the demon's words and how they might apply to my mother. To think of my own mother feeling humiliation or distress any time she looked upon me was enough to make me feel sick. Our family simply wasn't like that. Her own mother and father had adored her and her siblings, they always put the children's well-being before their own. This was why The Taking had never claimed her, had carried on right past her home each and every year. The demons of The Taking never took from selfless families or those who were unconditionally loved. When my father had left us I watched my mother work herself to the bone just to support us, support me. They won't take me, I thought, over and over. My mother loved me, she was a good mother. They won't take me. They won't take me.
It became difficult to tell what was occurring outside as the sobs of the girls echoed on into the miserable night. The minutes passed, and I hoped that it was over, that I was safe. But all hope was lost when I listened to the front door of my home slam against the wall and fall from its hinges.
A shrill shriek left my mother and I jumped, my heart racing so fast I was sure it would give out before my brain could truly fathom what was happening, compute that my worst fear was about to be recognized.
"No one is here!" I could hear my mother pleading. "We live alone! We—"
"Your lies fail you." I could hear the demon from before speaking, from inside the comfort of my own home, the only home I had ever known, the home that would become nothing more than a memory— No. I couldn't believe that. My mother would protect me, my mother would never let them have me.
"I swear!" Came her voice again. "No! No, please no!"
"You've chosen to suffer further loss. I warned you..."
"Please!" Came her cries. "No! Not him, anyone but him!"
Him? I realized she was talking about her boyfriend, another step-father of sorts, pleading to save his life... His life, and... not... mine?
"She's upstairs!" She sobbed. "In the closet. Please! Don't hurt him!"
The trembling had ceased. My heart rate had slowed. The sound of heavy steps pounding against the stairs was muffled as was the bedroom door knocking against the drywall. My body fell limp even as a demon grabbed me, hoisted me to my feet, and pushed me along out of the room, into the light, down the stairs. I was only able to comprehend the sight of barbed wire wrapped around his head and sunken into his face, and my stomach lurched.
Upon the reaching the bottom of the stairs my eyes fell not upon the monsters, but to my mother, who was on her knees, reaching for my step-dad, who was held captive by one of the demons, throat exposed. My mother's eyes raised to mine, and unable to bear it I severed her gaze to look upon one of the demons, the most humanistic-looking one of them all. His dark hair looked to be combed back, as though he had actually put forth the effort in making it look presentable. His face was pale white, eyes surrounded in black as were his lips. He didn't necessarily smile or smirk as he returned my gaze, but his eyes seemed to glisten with amusement
"Lana, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry, baby! Please don't do this!"
I returned my eyes to my mother, and the demon who had grabbed me bound my hands tightly behind my back with rope, the fibers digging into my wrists. I could feel tears welling in my eyes and I struggled to hold them back, not wanting to contribute any further to the demons pleasure. The tears burned not due to the pain, to the unknown that awaited me, to the fear, but rather to the shame, that shame that I was not worth saving in my mother's eyes. I never thought that I would come to feel such betrayal. I never thought my own mother would so easily hand me over to this, all in the name of saving someone she hadn't even known for half as long as she had known me.
I never thought that I would be first case of a daughter so willingly, and so easily handed off to evil.
"You look surprised, Lana." The demon with the black and white face, the one who had been speaking before, stepped forward to circle around me, his voice lingering on my name in the most unsettling of ways. In the midst of lowering my eyes to the floor I tried not to look at the other demons in my home, though I couldn't help but to catch a quick glance of one who wore three big hands over his face, bloody and with holes in the palms as to allow him to see.
I jumped. The demon was standing in front of me now, and the one behind me tugged on my hair to pull my head back to force my eyes to the demon's gaze. I couldn't find my voice. So I nodded. The demon looked satisfied.
"Obliviousness will not serve you well where you're going," the demon spoke, placing his hands behind his back, and he stepped towards my mother. "Are you satisfied? You've received your wish, the dark prayer you dared to never speak aloud, but was heard nonetheless." The demon looked to the one who stood behind me, and he nodded to the door. "Take her to the rest."
My mother didn't look at me as I was shown out of my home. Her eyes were fixed on her boyfriend, tears streaming down her face as she stood up, reaching out to him in relief. My stomach churned, yet I craned my neck to watch the scene unfold, and I waited to wake from this nightmare, to the life I had always known. The black and white faced demon met my eyes again, and as he turned to follow he uttered one simple request to the creature who held my mother's boyfriend.
The shrieks and wails of my mother overpowered those of the girls in the carriage, and now I kept my eyes forward as I walked towards the cage. Throughout the neighborhood fathers watched, stiffened, furious and terrified as their daughters were hauled off by these masculine creatures, knowing very well there was nothing they could do about it. They clutched onto their wives who sobbed uncontrollably in fear for their sons, watching as the boys shook in fright beneath the demon's hands, fingers curled around their faces.
From the other side of the black carriage, between the bars and standing on the street, my eyes fell upon yet another demon and I wondered in the back of my mind how many there were. This one had dirty yellow dreadlocks that sprouted only from the top of his head and stretched down to the middle of his back. I couldn't look away as he used his own fingernail to rip into his wrist, dragging it up the length of his arm, and he brought the bloody finger to his face. Standing before him, cowering on the sidewalk, I saw two older people, a man and wife, watching in absolute horror. And as the wife sank, burying her face into her husband's chest, the dreadlocked demon turned to me and gave me a smile as he used the blood from his wrist to finish drawing a cross over his face. I looked away, shutting my eyes tightly.
I was pushed— gently, oddly enough— up the steps, and once my bare feet touched upon the creaking wood of the carriage the demon who had bound me handed me off to another, the one and only who stood waiting among my fellow daughters of shame. He had to be the hardest one of all to look at.
His once human face was now absolutely mutilated, looking as though the middle of his face had been cut and spread apart and later sewn and stapled back together in the middle, poorly. This left large open holes where the skin could no longer meet down his forehead and the bridge of his nose. A human mouth or lips were no longer present, and instead his cheeks had been sliced apart, ear to ear, to form what could only be described as a gaping mouth of a monster, complete with pointed and very sharp teeth that had later been added by force, by the looks of it. His eyes were so sunken in to his skull that shadows of black surrounded them, yet the orbs of his eyes glowed a brilliant pale blue and cut through the night. These eyes stared directly into mine.
His hands, quite possibly the only human thing about him left, despite the longer and jagged fingernails, gripped at my jaw. I struggled to fight it, attempting to step back, to move my head in any other direction, but he forced me closer, gripping harder, and I was made face him head on, his nails digging into my face a silent yet direct order to open my eyes and look into his own again.
My heart raced as he studied me, what was left of any semblance of eyebrows furrowing lightly as those pale orbs moved all around my face. The tears were welling up again, my body shaking so hard I was sure my legs would give out at any second, and that was when he turned my head sharply to the right and used his nails to slice what felt like an 'X' into my skin, directly behind my left ear. I winced at the pain, shivering as I felt the blood drip down my neck and disappear beneath the collar of my shirt, and he pushed me back further into the cage. I lost my footing and fell down into the rest of the girls, watching as the one who had marked me exited the cages, his steps heavy upon the whining wood, and not even a second later the iron barred door slammed shut, sealing me, and the rest, away. Forever.