total (darkness)
by ariana sexton-hughes

TRIGGER WARNING: #METOO

……..it was in that darkness
that total darkness
she lay
alone
awake
………dissociating
almost always
in tears

that radiator
hissing
that floor
she hears

……..creaking
she pictures with every sound
she sees
……..it all
every
footstep
those two thousand-dollar custom chelsea boots
…….hard leather on wood
polished
perfectly
relentless
undaunted
powerful
direct
so many sounds
so many pictures
exploding through her head

doors
opening
closing
buzzing
clanking
clunking
crumpling
……..water
rushing
her mind

racing
fast

….that glass
oh…. that glass

….clinking

always

clinking

ice melting sharply
beneath the weight
of some musky
38-year-old
single-malt
scotch

then
yes, again….
more steps
always
yes, always
more steps
……“why won’t they stop?” she wonders
……..“why?”

3:33 a.m.
……..“that special time,” she dreads
3:33, a.m.
blinking obsessively in red

……..“breathe,” she screams
the sounds
careening across the walls of her breaking, broken head
……..inside
surrounding her barely breathing brain,
as the steps move ever closer, and closer
…….yet, again
creaking up the finely polished hardwood stairs,
once more…..
…….yes, again and again

beneath her door,
the light flickers,
casting morbidly deformed shadows
falling furiously
across the snowy white wainscoting of these,
…….“her” bedroom walls
it is if
they
…..these walls….
are devouring all her power

her chest pounds,
as she cowers
shivering
quavering
quivering
thoughts, pictures, places
those un-pleasantries,
she would prefer never to recall
flashing
flashing
flashing by the thousands
across the inner imax screen of her terrifyingly tortured little brain
her inner monologue, almost always so eloquent
reduced to tonight to stammering
to stumbling
to flailing
to fighting for just another fleeting moment of freedom
yet……
………there she is…..
frozen
……..alone
frozen
yes
utterly frozen
in fear
crashing
heavily
under the well-reputed warmth
of that oh-so-frighteningly expensive Italian duvet
covering six inches and 10 togs
of lavishly lovely Swedish down

topped most gloriously
by
that 600 thread-count
Egyptian cotton sateen
5 tog eiderdown
enough warmth the face the incessant freeze
220 clicks to the north of Novosibirsk
……..but,
nothing,
nothing is quite enough

to thwart the chill
……..she now
……..and always
……..feels

nothing

no.

nothing

nothing

nothing ever

……..nothing at all

nothing will staunch that biting cold
……..curdling beneath her skin

nothing
ever
……..nothing
…..at

…all

she breathes

…slowly

but

it’s not enough

“no.”

nothing can stay
the biting swirl of winter

digging deeper
into each and every bone

……..tightening every
…sinew

……..testing
every…
……..nerve

this ghastly frost

this inner gale

that ripples

beneath her pale, all-too ravaged flesh

each breath
bites deeper, and deeper, and deeper
into her frightened, fractured, shell

as if
yes
“as if”
it were some supra-artic gale

ripping
ripping
ripping
across the barren lands
the tundra….
slashing deeply into that now-receding permafrost

1000 miles east of the Alaskan line

yet…..

……..with each step
….that….she oh-so-unfortunately hears

……..the shivers seem

……..the shivers seem

to… still… her
frozen?
“yes.”
resigned

her shivers
colder than an arctic storm
a massive polar vortex
she envisions
slicing through the itty-bitty, brittle bird bones
her lonely, lifeless body
of a battered, broken climber dangling

so painfully

from
a terrifyingly tangled safety rope
……..lost
some fifteen thousand five hundred feet
between
a fiercely foreboding Alaskan sky
…….and
the jagged cliffs
crackling across the desolate and darkening, ice-encrusted granite gorges
so very, very, very far
….down
……..below
doubting every moment
of this
……..her horribly failed expedition
to the northern face
of some scintillatingly remote peak
well beyond the grasp humankind

……every gust of wind

cutting deeply

beneath her skin

gnawing at her sinews
tearing beneath her tears

terrorizing
……..her

……………..lacerating
beneath her bones

…her marrow screaming

as helplessly, she spins…
……..in circles
fear
encircling
swirling
fore and aft
floating
mid-air
dangling
lifeless
…awaiting
…..certain
……..death
eyes glazing
chest pounding
with every lesser and lesser and lesser
demi-oxygenated breath

“beat”

“beat”

“beat”

her heart
slowing

her breath
thinning
her thinking
fading

…….her

everything

…..slows

……down

everything

slows

down

down

down

down

“i float”

“i think”

“i float”

“it feels

all

so

dis

con

nec

ted

dis

jointed

and…”

“ever

so

so

cold”

suddenly

a “crack”

like

like

like

like

a

cannon shot

“CRACK”

the hall door

opens

exploding

or

at least it seems

“breathe.”
she screams inside
her inwardly bleeding hide

but….in reality,
he is ever so quiet
ever, ever, ever
so very, very quiet
it is so much….
…..so…. so…. so…. much
an integral part
of…. his….. ever so horrifying….
….game

but

with each step

each step

approaching

creaking, on the centuries-old hardwood floors

creaking

creaking

creaking

……..coming

……closer

…..and

….closer

…and

..closer

until

a flash of light

as

he opens

her door

“her” door?

ha.

it’s not “her” door

it’s “his” door

for everything that surrounds her

everything

everything

everything

was bought

and paid for

by him

all of it

from her duvet
to her teddy
to her kitty
to her toe shoes
to her
……..tights

from her fluffies
to her hair bands
to her lotion
to her soap

from the food she barely touches
to the school she deplores

……..from the driver, who makes her chuckle
to the mother, who makes her scream

……..ALL OF IT
EVERY LAST MORSEL

the dance classes and photography lessons

the ice cream and the Prada loafers

the memberships and clubs

the vacations
in St. Marten, Ibiza, Paris, London, Santa Fe and Gstaad

……………………..her mother

ALL OF IT

EVERY LAST MORSEL

bought and paid for

by him

every last morsel

“yes.”

each and every one of them

from

her mother
to her tutors
to her duvet
to her sweats
“ALL OF IT”

bears the stench of HIM

ALL OF IT

is simply borrowed

on lease
on loan
due and payable

to

HIM

…..indeed

nothing

in this life

nothing

in

……..her

….life (“if you could call it that”)

was hers
….to own

“breathe”
“it’s true.”

NOTHING

was her

own

a flash

……..light

……..screaming

streaming in through the hall

piercing the darkness

yet

deepening the darkness

building it, somehow, into something

……..something….
so, so, so much…
……..darker

him

“yes.”

him

his cigarette

….still burning

the smoke,
languidly contorting itself into swirling ribbons

of oh so threatening and teary-eyed irritation

almost as hot

smoldering…..
as the desire

behind those steely

eyes

suddenly, the chill

ever colder

slices into her

shivering

quavering

quivering

flesh

she knows

yes, she knows

every detail to soon follow

every sound

every scent

every breath

every puff of smoke

every word
(unspoken)

every movement

so unfortunately

unbroken

the ice

….crackling
beneath the weight of his 38-year-old single-malt scotch

rattling

ringing

in

her ears

the smell

so sweet and

sour

that breath

filled with all too many scents

the aroma of Dunhill cigarettes

and Cuban Cohiba cigars

the stench of so many
……..others

……..not lovers

just……
…………others

yes. so many others………….

…………mother, most of all

……“breathe,”she whispers silently to herself…
cringing…..
………deep inside her increasingly mottled little mind

“breathe,”she confides….

…..to that great…
something
…somewhere
…………that “somehow”
…in some way
…she prays would save her
…well before… it gets so much worse…

“breathe…”he says….

and……………..she begins to cry,
the tears rolling painfully down her sunken cheeks, realizing that
she is all alone
in this horrible moment of horrifyingly horrific, horrendously hideous,
almost always ritualistic demi-drama

“hey,don’t cry,” he demurs.

“there.there,” he comforts.

“you’re my special, special little girl,” he confesses.

“this is our special time,” he cajoles in his mind
…as his left hand draws a cube of ice from his clinking glass, softly tracing the scotch-tainted frozen tap water across her swollen lower lip

“kiss,”he demands

and, without struggle, she presses her lips onto the dripping ice, the taste of scotch burning her lips

“kiss”

and now, unfortunately,searing her delicate, quivering tongue

“beautiful,” he whispers

“beautiful,” he implores

“beautiful,” she screams silently
………………deep inside her broken mind

“breathe,”he smiles, pulling another jagged cube from his glass

“breathe,”he commands,
the silken sweetness of his husky,
too deep voice souring ever so swiftly into a darkly dominant shadow form of his nominally jovial very public personae….
…………that ever-so-chilling chimera of cheer, obsessively taut, tanned,trimmed, and…
……..tailored to perfection in a relentlessly impeccable collection hand-sewn Saville Row worsteds, linens, and sartorially splendid Shanghai silks

“breathe,”he whispers, tracing the gently thawing ice from behind her ears down her neck,slowly, uncomfortably across her protruding clavicles, her sternum….
…………and, as his obsessively painful ritual, his tradition, he slides the ice under the strategically ripped neck of her loose, white, 1980s elite model management t-shirt onto her boyishly flat right breast, swirling ice across her swelling areola until her nipple tightens into an almost defensively erect position……

“breathe,” he utters, partially to her, and partially to himself, as he momentarily, just momentarily, letting himself go, as he circles her nipple again, and again……“mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,” he moans, as the ice circles her nipple to the point of burning and stinging,the pressure building up to an “enufffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff,” her mind crescendos into the void. her climber, frozen in free fall, not know when she will “bounce.”

……..it was in that darkness

that total darkness

she lay

alone(yet, with him)

awake (yet, entirely adrift)
………dissociating
almost always
in tears

that radiator

hissing……….
her mind
………adrift

the ice…..

……..melting
……..inside her

her body, broken
her spirit, adrift
her carcass, shaking
and shaking and shaking and shaking
as seconds turned to minutes
………and minutes to what seemed like hours
the pain, twisting her insides
every muscle contracting,
twisting,
fighting off his icy intruders
one by one by one by one by one
………………….times ten
the shaking, now convulsions
as the pain begat blood
and guts
exploding
the crying, sobbing
frightened

the horror
the horror

the horror

as……..
what passed
was warm
and red
and……………………………..
……………she cried inside,
…………..“i want to die….”

his hands, so strong
his voice, so steady
her pain, his ultimate pleasure
her convulsions, his horrible treasure

“breathe,” he cooed
“breathe….”

“you can take it.”

“so beautiful…. so…strong….”
“just one more….”
“so beautiful…. so…. strong….”
“good, girl,” he cooed
“breathe……………”

……..it was in that darkness

that total darkness

she lay

alone
so, so very all alone

awake (to nothing, but the pain)
………desperately drifting
toward what seemed like certain death

“breathe,” he asserted
“breathe,” he squeezed
“breathe,” he drifted off to sleep

……..it was in that darkness

that total darkness

she lay

alone
so, so very all alone
in time, she learned to take the pain
in time, she no longer even knew her shame
in time, the blood was a horrible relief
………it was so much warmer than the ice
………and………………………….
………it meant his game, his training

………was at…………….the end

……..it was in that darkness

that total darkness

she lay

alone

awake (to nothing, but the pain)
in that total darkness,
……..she grew to hate
……..her being

© 2013 by ariana sexton-hughes, all rights reserved

TOTAL (DARKNESS)

total (darkness) by ariana sexton-hughes TRIGGER WARNING: #METOO ........it was in that darkness that …

WRIGHT TO HEAL

wright to heal ariana sexton-hughes february 1, 2018 each of us has the …

NEW RULES?

#MeToo makes for new workplace boundaries? The Washington Post surveys the …

Share to your femination

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar