February 2nd, 2023
March 22, 2022
01/26/2023 02:26 PM
Sheriff Carl Bryant probably has the nicest house Lizzy’s ever seen. It stands proudly, with it’s pristine coat of paint (not a single chip!), perfectly manicured hedges, and cobblestone walkway that takes Lizzy and her mother up to the door. Her mom keeps fixing herself – she pats her hair down and she straightens her already straightened blouse for some reason. Then she inhales, and she lets it out slow. Lizzy’s eyes slowly wander as she feels the beginnings of some sort of lecture just like the ones she got on the way over. Please don’t embarrass me, please behave, please don’t say this, don’t say that. Her mom’s not given much more time though, before the door opens and the sheriff is standing there with his creepy smile and dead eyes.
“Hey baby,” he says first to Lizzy’s mom, and the two share a kiss that causes Lizzy’s eyes to roll just a bit. They seem to remember pretty quickly that Lizzy’s there, and they stop their googly eyes and PDA for the time being. Sheriff Bryant lets them into his house and right away, the girl Lizzy sees him pick up all the time from the dance studio comes trotting out into the entryway. She’s hyperactive and smiley and Lizzy’ mom seems charmed by her in away Lizzy’s never seen before. She formally introduces herself as ‘BRITTANY ANN!’ and sticks her hand out to the both of them. Lizzy’s mom is the first to shake the little girl’s hand. “It’s nice to finally meet you, Brittany,” she says before eyeing Lizzy to follow suit. It’s not as if the two haven’t met before at the studio, but she’s never known the little girl’s name. In fact, Lizzy found herself avoiding the little girl the moment she found out Sheriff Bryant and her mom were dating.
“Hi Brittany, I’m Lizzy,” Lizzy finds her voice somewhere, and she gives the girl a limp handshake. There’s a thumping on the stairs by the entry way, causing Lizzy to look up from Brittany Ann and take notice of the other girl she’s never seen before stomping her way down the stairs. Her hair is carrot orange, and she has a sour look on her face. She’s almost the exact opposite of the bubbly, platinum blonde-haired princess Lizzy sees twirling around the dance studio all the time.
“This is my other daughter, Victoria,” Sheriff Bryant says, pulling the redhead in close but her expression never changes. Lizzy finds herself wondering if her attitude is the reason why Sheriff Bryant’s never brought her up before, in the few conversations Lizzy has had with him. He sings Brittany Ann’s praises for sure, but Victoria’s been like a secret or something.
“Hi Victoria, I’m Elaine,” Lizzy’s mother extends her hand and the way Victoria seems to just ignore her has Lizzy fascinated. She doesn’t seem to care about her dad, and certainly doesn’t seem to care about Lizzy and her mom being there. After being nudged by her dad though, she does shake Elaine’s hand, and gives her an exaggerated smile that shows off every single one of her sharp teeth. “And uh…this is my daughter Lizzy.” Elaine then brings Lizzy in front of her, creating a shield between Elaine and Victoria. Victoria’s smile fades as she stares down at Lizzy with the same kind of pout she was just giving her dad.
“Hi,” Victoria’s brief and she asks her dad if she can go back to her room.
“Yeah, why don’t you show Lizzy your room?” Sheriff Bryant suggests.
At first Victoria looks like she’ll argue, but then Carl gives her that look – that look all parents seem to have mastered. Victoria huffs and gives in, and the two girls start to walk upstairs without saying a word to each other. Victoria stomps up every single step and then pushes her door open for the two of them. She throws her arms up like she’s giving some kind of presentation and then she says, “Welcome to my room. Don’t touch anything.” She plops down onto her bed, and she grabs an open magazine off the shelf beside her. Lizzy stays in the doorway, but she begins to look around because Victoria’s walls are covered in posters. Most of Lizzy’s friends usually have one or two posters of Zac Efron or the Jonas Brothers on their wall, but Lizzy doesn’t recognize anyone on Victoria’s.
Motley Crue, Led Zeppelin, Ratt…who’s listening to a band called RATT? Gross.
“You can COME IN…just don’t touch anything,” Victoria says after a short silence. “I already have one little sister breaking my crap all the time…” she then mumbles.
Lizzy’s not exactly sure what the girl wants her to say, so she says the first thing that comes to mind, which is, “Sorry…” Victoria then looks up at her and her expression becomes less harsh.
“It’s not YOUR fault…” Victoria sits up, and she closes her magazine. “Just my dad’s,” her eyes then roll.
“And my moms,” Lizzy says quickly. Both of them look at each other, and they laugh a little before Victoria moves and creates space on the bed for Lizzy. Lizzy comes to sit beside her and she finds herself looking at all of Victoria’s posters again. “So…you…seem to like boys – a lot….and rats.”
“Rats?” Victoria laughs a little. “It’s Ratt, dummy, not RATS. You’ve never heard of ‘em before?”
“No,” Lizzy shrugs.
“Alright then!” Victoria says, springing up from the bed and walking over to the CD player she has on her dresser. “Get ready to have your life changed.”
09/25/2022 08:13 PM
|Even though the room is completely empty, and the senior kids have just left, Lizzy makes her way in and takes a seat on the ground to start her pre-stretching stretches. She’s always the first one there, because she doesn’t have to worry about school like the other kids do. She can get a head start, so her splits are extra stretched by the time Mrs. Williamson comes in. She sets her dance bag beside her, and she starts to change from her tennis shoes into a pair of ballet slippers and then she grabs a scrunchy to begin putting her hair up. Each time she gathers it up, she misses pieces because it’s getting so long. Her mom won’t let her cut it though, because it’s ‘so pretty’ she always says. |
Someone else comes through the door, and Lizzy expects it to be Mrs. Williamson, so maybe she can help pull Lizzy’s hair up. She turns quickly, but it’s not Mrs. Williamson – it’s Summer. Right away, Lizzy looks down, and she re embers what her mom told her; That Summer doesn’t like her, and that Summer thinks she’s better. The two haven’t gotten to talk since the weekend, when her mom talk her the truth about Summer. Summer was really sad when Lizzy refused to come over, but she doesn’t seem sad now. She greets Lizzy like normal, and she comes to sit beside her. Just like Lizzy did, she starts putting on her ballet shoes. Lizzy glares at her but doesn’t say anything. She continues trying to mess with her hair instead.
“What’s wrong?” Summer asks, but Lizzy says nothing again. She just shrugs her shoulders. “Are you mad at me or something?” Summer presses further.
“No,” Lizzy insists, for the last time, letting her hair fall out of her hands and deciding she’ll have Mrs. Williamson braid it. “Why would I be mad?”
“I don’t know – you’re just being kind of mean…” Summer finally says.
“You were mean to me first,” Lizzy argues. “My mom told me you were talking about me, and you were saying a bunch of mean stuff about me.”
“What?” Summer frowns, turning to face Lizzy. “I never said anything about you!” She insists.
“Don’t lie,” Lizzy says quickly. “Yes you did, and that’s why I don’t want to be friends with you anymore. So, leave me alone.”
“Lizzy, I’m not lying,” Summer frowns, and she starts crying but only a little. Lizzy looks at her, finally.
“Well, my mom wouldn’t lie,” Lizzy says.
“Well neither would I,” Summer insists, starting to wipe her face. “Your mom just doesn’t like me, that’s why she said that.”
“My mom likes you,” Lizzy insists.
“No she doesn’t,” Summer says quickly. She inhales deeply and then she begins fishing through her bag. “Your mom told my mom I was the reason we wouldn’t get first.”
“She did…?” Lizzy frowns. Maybe that’s why she’s crying – because that’s really harsh of her mom to say. “You heard her?”
“Yeah,” Summer says. Lizzy doesn’t say anything back but Summer reaches over and she puts her hand on Lizzy’s knee, probably so she’ll pay attention to what she’s saying. “I’d never say anything bad about you, Lizzy – even if I thought it. But I don’t – I’m just saying…I’d never do that. ‘Cuz I like you, I think you’re cool. And…you’re a really great dancer.”
“You are too,” Lizzy smiles. The smile fades as soon as she remembers she needs to decide how to feel – and how she wants to feel, is not mad at Summer anymore. She wants them to be friends, just like they were when they were working on their duet. “I’m sorry…” Lizzy finally says. “Sorry my mom said that about you, and…that I didn’t believe you.”
“It’s okay,” Summer says, quiet but smiling. “Sometimes your mom’s a little crazy.”
“A little?” Lizzy laughs. Summer laughs in return, now tying her hair up all the way. Lizzy looks down at her scrunchy and then she hands it to Summer. “Will you help me?” She asks.
Summer doesn’t even stop to think. “Sure!” She says. She takes the scrunchy from Lizzy and the two face the mirror while Summer does her hair, just like she did the entire time they were partnered together. She wants to stay friends – even if her mom hates Summer, Lizzy wants to stay friends.
06/21/2022 10:32 PM
The concrete beneath her is freezing cold, and her oversized jacket did nothing to protect her the entire night. The backpack she used as a pillow has deflated enough for her to feel every hard object in there – her phone charger, her headphones, her hairbrush. She was so tired the night before, she hadn’t even noticed how wickedly it wreaked of piss and stale garbage behind that Shell Station, but now it’s everything in her not to gag each time she breathes in. The sun’s just beginning to rise, but she can’t lie there anymore. It’s been probably two weeks since she’s closed her eyes for eight full hours of sleep, and she’d give anything for a break even if it’s just for one night.
She gets up from the ground, and she slings her backpack over one shoulder, while her free hand takes a hold of her rolling suitcase that’s just big enough for her clothes, makeup, and a few things so she can fake a shower. She comes to the front of the gas station, and then pushes the glass doors open. It’s dead silent in there, because it’s so early in the morning. Her presence draws the attention of the single cashier standing behind the counter, so she smiles at him and then she keeps walking towards the restrooms. She opens the door to find it’s one of those single restrooms, which gives her an ounce of privacy to get ready in.
She washes her hair in the sink – dries it beneath the hand dryer. She changes out of her brown sweatsuit into a lacey black skirt she wears at least three times a week and the same tank top she had on the night before. She brushes her teeth and sprays on perfume. Her running shoes are replaced with a pair of clunky black heels. She lines her bloodshot eyes with a thick, black rim, and she uses some glittery eye shadow to draw attention away from the exhaustion even she can see. She paints her lips red, and she runs her hairbrush through her semi-clean hair.
No one will ever guess now when they look at her, that she’s starving. No one will ever guess she’s wincing because her back is sore from sleeping on the cold, hard ground. No one will ever guess she’s on the brink of crying because she’s so exhausted. Of course…even if they could guess, would they even care?
05/22/2022 07:59 PM
Trigger warning: verbal child abuse
“And in second place, we have entry #28, Elizabeth!”
Second place – the biggest loser on stage. The very first one to be ‘not good enough’ for first. It’s a spot she’s not familiar with, yet she’s already terrified of it because she’s heard all her mother has to say about it. She can see her mother’s face from the audience; her scrunched eyebrows, her tight mouth. “Entry #28, Elizabeth,” she hears again, causing her to break focus from her furious mother. There’s a man standing at the other end of the stage with her ‘award,’ if it can even be called that. She stands up, and begins to walk the miles between them while everyone in the audience claps their hands and cheers for her – well…almost everyone.
She meets the man at his side, but she can’t help but look out at the audience again. She doesn’t see her mother anymore but she still feels her fiery stare burning holes right through her. A plastic, diamond-shaped trophy is handed to her with 2nd place in the biggest letters across the label. “What studio are you dancing for today, Elizabeth?” the man shoves his microphone at her and she looks up at him. She tries to speak, but nothing comes out. It seems like the crowd is betting louder, and it’s drowning out everything else. She can’t even hear herself think, so she just smiles at the man and quickly shakes her head. “Alright, ladies and gentleman, let’s give Elizabeth one more round of applause,” he encourages the crowd, but he smiles at her. He guides her off the stage, right to Ms. Williamson, who Elizabeth almost forgot about. Ms. Williamson gives her a hug.
“You’ll get ‘em next time, Lizzy, I thought you did great,” Ms. Williamson smiles at her.
“Where’s my mom?” Elizabeth asks. Ms. Williamson looks out at the crowd for a moment, before frowning.
“We’ll go find her,” she says and then grabs onto Elizabeth’s hand so they don’t get separated. They make it out to the lobby, and Elizabeth spots her mother standing by the exit. Ms. Williamson grabs onto Elizabeth’s shoulders gently but then begins storming over to her mother. Her grip is tight, and seems to tighten especially the closer they get. “You can’t just leave her in there by herself, Carol!” Ms. Williamson begins yelling at her mother and her mother jumps at the chance to yell just as much.
“She had you, she didn’t need me in there,” her mother argues back. “I told you ballet wasn’t her thing, and that she was going to LOSE if she did ballet. And look what happened,” her mother continues in on Ms. Williamson, but then her eyes go right to Elizabeth and she begins pointing her finger at her. “And you – what happened to all that training? All those extra classes, huh?” She’s right. Elizabeth was the one who begged for extra classes; she’s the one who begged to focus on her pretty ballet number. She begged and begged until her mother agreed, and now she’s seeing she should have listened to her mother from the beginning.
“She did that dance the BEST she could have done, Carol,” Ms. Williamson reasons. “I wouldn’t have changed anything.”
“Well…then maybe, you’re not a very good teacher,” Elizabeth’s mother fires back with so much anger, but somehow she’s quiet about it. The only one who can see how truly angry she is, is Elizabeth because she’s seen that look before. Elizabeth is pulled from Ms. Williamson’s grip by her mother, and then her mother begins dragging her out the door by her arm. Elizabeth stumbles to keep up, and she can feel how hard the ground is beneath her thin ballet slippers. “We’re going to find you a better place to dance,” she hears her mother say. And just like that, she’s off looking for better. She’s always looking for better – better dance studios, better boyfriends – maybe even a better daughter, because Elizabeth is never enough.
05/22/2022 07:33 PM
breaking trust. the finale
trigger warning: graphic violence, sexual
abuse/sexual abuse mention, murder and
Her eyes snapped open, but immediately she was she was thrusted into a game – using only the small clues she had, she had to attempt to piece together the last few hours. Her nausea is her first clue; it plagued her so powerfully that it compelled her to sit up, and begin making steps to the bathroom. Her second clue revealed itself when she did sit up, and she was wearing nothing now but a tank top and underwear that was wrapped around her knees. That was the first thing she fixed – next was rolling her shirt back down. She would have just sat there or even given up in favor of going back to sleep, but in an instant she went from vicious but manageable nausea, to practically choking when her body had finally had enough and needed to release.
She began stumbling her way through the dark bedroom, arms stretched out to use every wall she possibly could for help. She latched onto the doorknob and flung the door open, then went running toward the bathroom until finally she collapsed to her knees in front of the toilet. Over and over again, she heaved and purged but she never let go of the toilet bowl because it was the only thing keeping her balance. She had to force herself to breathe again, and when she began fighting for air that was when she finally stopped throwing up but she could only keep it back for so long.
“Oh you’re awake,”
She looked up to see Danny Connell standing in the doorway. He had an unexplained smile on his face, and no concern in his tone. “What did you do to me?” She couldn’t help but ask, in between labored breathing. But she was never allowed to hear the answer, because her body submitted once again to the nausea and she began heaving over the toilet bowl. He waited for another lull, and then he yanked her off the ground and bent her over the counter. Then he pressed against her, and that was when it all began to dawn on her. She remembered feeling him that way – the pain she felt when he closed the space between their bodies reminded her of what she had endured. He was going to do it again,s he was sure, so she began to struggle as much as she could.
She felt his hand on the back of her head, gripping her hair tight and using that hold to keep her in place. She did all she could think to do, and began to scream as loud as she could. Her voice as it drew from her burning throat filled the entire room but only for a moment before he used his hold on her to ram her face into the counter top so hard her nose began gushing blood. He did it a second time, this time making sure it was the side of her head that cracked against the counter, and then he held her there. He leaned down to speak in her ear, “See what happened here tonight,” he began. “No one can ever know…you understand?”
She began to nod, hoping she could play along enough to at least make it through the night. His fingertips went from harshly tugging at her tresses, to brushing them gently off of her face. Was he going to do it again? She couldn’t let him do it again, but she had no advantage so all she could do was plead. “I won’t say a word, just—please—please, I—” She choked out a few words that did her no good. He did pull away from her for a moment, but only so he could have enough room to grab her and throw practically drag her backwards and send her towards the ground. He got on top of her, and quickly wrapped his hands around her throat. Right away she began trying to squirm and thrash, as he tightened his grip enough to immediately cut off her air. Rather than try and pry him off, she instead jammed her fingernail into his left eye. HE began to scream and he became distracted enough for her to grab the closest thing next to her – a shoe – and strike him over the head with it a few times until he fell off of her.
Everything she did now, she did without thought. Her body sprang up from the floor, and she ran out of the bathroom and stumbled down his hallway. She ran towards the front door in a mad dash, but she hadn’t stunned him enough to keep him away from her forever. The way he grabbed onto her waist with such fury let her know he was beyond doing what he thought was necessary and now acting on pure rage. He threw her on the ground in his living room, and she quickly rolled onto her stomach to try and crawl away, but he was too swift in the kick he delivered to her side.
“You’re gonna get it now, bitch! You’re gonna get it now!”
Several blows to the stomach struck her so hard she began to gag and heave, but he just kept doing it until she crumbled to the ground. He then latched onto her shirt and he yanked her up like a rag doll. He dragged her to the kitchen while she kicked and screamed. He brought her to the sink, and once again he was holding onto her hair. He turned on the faucet and yanked the hose out and aimed it at her. He began pelting her face with water, intentionally going for her mouth each time she would try to scream. When water began slipping down her throat so fast she could hardly breathe, her body took over once more, and she began elbowing him in the side as hard as she could until he let go. She then began to run, but she noticed on the other side of the kitchen was a knife block.
She stopped at the counter across from him, and she grabbed the largest knife from the knife block. She lunged forward when he came at her, and forced the knife through his stomach. That was when he stopped – that was when he finally shut up and he just looked at her with all the fear and shock in his eyes that he had earned. She hoped it hurt like hell too. She WANTED it to hurt like hell, so she slowly started to rotate her hand, twisting the knife and making him gasp. “You’re gonna get it now, bitch,” she said before pulling the knife out and then using it to jab his neck over and over. His body fell like a sack of potatoes into the river of blood he had created.
And finally, she was safe...but what had she done? There was a dead body in front of her. A literal dead body. There was a knife saturated with blood in her hand. The air she had fought so hard to keep was being choked out of her once more, and the ‘what ifs’ that plagued her mind began to close in on her. What If someone finds out? What if she goes to jail? What will she do? Does she even deserve to go to jail after what he did?
No…not after his mistake.
She dashed to the back bedroom, and she put her shorts on. She grabbed her coat out of the pile of her things in his back bedroom, and she encased her body in it, before she got down onto the floor and shoved the murder weapon into her backpack. She didn’t know where she was going to ditch it, but she knew it couldn’t stay here. She sprung up from the ground, and she sprinted out to the living room but then…she stopped. Danny Connell’s lifeless body in it’s crimson pool was visible from the living room. It entranced her for one final moment.
In that stillness, she could feel her own pain. The gravity of it all began to way on every part of her body he had harmed. Danny Connell was a son of a bitch, who got what he deserved. He would never be able to tear anyone else apart the way he did her, and for that, she was thankful. She made her escape out the front door, and when she closed it behind her, she left any shred of guilt behind.
04/29/2022 04:49 PM
breaking trust. pt 2
trigger warning: sexual assault, drugging
click here for part 1
Danny Connell was night enough – after showing her around, he offered her something to eat. It had been awhile since she had anything except pretzels and peanuts from the bar, so a plain turkey sandwich on Wonder Bread seemed like a delicacy. Instead of water, she drank coke, and he even offered to let her use his shower. In about ten minutes, she was able to wash the curls out of her hair and the makeup off her face, and she was able to say goodnight to Lizzy Rose, the dancer. Now she could just be Lizzy, and she could relax. She could relax, and just be thankful she had somewhere safe to sleep that night.
She stepped out of the shower, and she paused. Her clothes weren’t on the counter like she had remembered – they were on the back of the toilet. The steps from the shower to the toilet were somehow difficult, like she was being fought against her own body. She felt like maybe she’d fall over if she hadn’t been so determined not to. She felt so heavy and it hit her so suddenly. It made her eager to get out of there and lay down somewhere. She held onto the counter and used that to help her with every step she took. She got her clothes on, and she had every intention of running a hairbrush through her hair. When she looked in the mirror, however, she became aware of just how aggressively the room around her was spinning.
She practically spilled out of the bathroom, and then she hurried into the back bedroom. By the time she made it to the pile of blankets and pillows on the floor, she could hardly keep her eyes open. Whatever he gave her – whatever she ate – had to have gone seriously bad. Her one night of relaxation, she’d have to spend puking her guts out in the bathroom. It would only happen to her.
She heard the door open, and her eyes fluttered open once more. Right away, she was blinded by the light spilling in from the hallway in an otherwise dim room. Danny was standing there and he asked her if she was okay. “I just started feeling like sh*t,” she mused out, and even that was taking up some of her strength. She felt like she had spent the entire night downing shots of Jack Daniels, but she went straight from the party to the miserable in-between, where she was not quite hungover but not necessarily enjoying her buzz. She hadn’t had anything to drink that she could remember – sometimes the bartenders would give her a free shot or two if it was slow, but that night had been so busy.
She heard the door close suddenly, but gently. Footsteps begin echoing closer and closer to her, and the silhouette of Danny Connell blocked the moonlight from the window. The way he hovered over her made her wish more than anything that her weighted body would spring into action and go into defense mode. But she was stuck. She could only move her eyes enough to follow him as he made his way down to the ground. When he left her vision, that was when he began making contact with her body. He grabbed her thighs to pry her legs apart so that he could fit between them.
“Maybe, I can make you feel better,” he said in a voice she’d never heard from him before. Even in her state, she could hear the perversion and depravity. Her eyes opened once more, and she was looking into the devil’s eyes as he smiled at her. She forced her hands to grab at his as they started to snake up her tank top and make grabs at her bare skin. She also forced herself to at least try and get up. “F*** you, get—” she strained out a few words that he instantly put an end to by grabbing her wrists and forcing her hands to the ground. He held her there that way and she just couldn’t find the strength or coherency to fought off anymore attempts.
That was it – he had won.
04/26/2022 12:12 PM
breaking trust. pt 1
tw: sexual assault (will be mentioned in pt. 2)
Danny Connell was a regular at Rocket’s – he had been ever since Lizzy started working there. Compared to some of the regular clients, he wasn’t quite as insufferable and overtly disgusting. He had his moments, but for the most part, he seemed decent. At the very least, he had a place warmer than a park bench which was what she was looking at for the time being. At first she had wanted to ask Faye, but she had a real jackass of a husband Lizzy couldn’t stand to be around – he had the world’s sweetest wife, and treated her like garbage. In return, he wasn’t Lizzy’s biggest fan either. He didn’t like anyone.
Danny Connell stood in front of Lizzy, unlocking the door for the both of him and opening it up into his tiny house. He had turned the living room into a bedroom, with a television and a mattress on the ground. He had an xBox too – an old one, she remembered one of her neighbors having when she was growing up. The carpet had a thousand stains caked into it, and the lights seemed faulty. She knew this because it took him three tries to get the one in the front room to turn on. “Wow…nice place,” It almost came out accidentally, but with how sharp he dressed, and how clean he always looked, it was surprising. She slid her backpack off of her shoulder and turned the first corner down a hallway where the rest of the rooms seemed to be.
“Yeah, I’m pretty in and out. I travel between here and a few other places,” she can hear him behind her.
“Where can I put my stuff down?” She called out, and he answered ‘the back bedroom.’ When she made it to the back bedroom, she turned on the light. The room was empty, outside of a large suitcase with clothes spilling out of it and all over the floor. She slid her backpack off her shoulder to join the clutter on the floor, and she began to wonder why he offered anything to her when there didn’t seem to be anywhere to sleep. Maybe the carpet in that room was thick enough to be comfortable? Maybe she should just be grateful that the heat does seem to work in there, and sleep wherever she could. She got down on the floor, and she unzipped her backpack to get out a comfortable pair of shorts she could sleep in. He brought her a pillow and a blanket, and gave her the ‘OK’ to take the floor in that room.
The final time he came back, he had drinks for them both in glasses. “I only have coke,” he said.
“Thanks,” Lizzy took the glass from him. “And you know, thanks for everything else.” She added, before finally taking a sip from the glass he offered her.
“Hey, don’t mention it,” he smiled at her. “Just try to get some rest tonight.”
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