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Introduction:

This is not a pretty story.
This is my entry in the "Calling All Writers - Chapter 6" challenge on the Sex Stories forum on www.xnxx.com. (That's for those pricks who steal stories and post them elsewhere.) The theme of this challenge was to write a story about unrequited love, referencing the song "All I Have to do is Dream," popularized by the Everly Brothers as a hit single released in April, 1958. There's a catch: writers who entered the challenge were to write from the point of view of the opposite sex. I'm a man, so I had to write as a female.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a pretty story. Wantsomefun.

* * * * *

I've thought about it a lot. I have a story to tell. Sitting in this motel room, I've decided to write it all down.

The best way for me to organize my thoughts is to put them on paper. It doesn't matter if someone reads this. They know who I am, and they're getting close. I won't run any more, but I won't go to jail, either. I'm sure some smart-ass will call it suicide by cop, but they'll be wrong. I'd like to live a long life. Still, when they come for me, there's going to be trouble.

I know what's going on. I've known it for years. I have some “abnormalities,” as the psychiatrists call them Some people would use these as an excuse for bad behavior. They're weak.

Not me. I'm strong. My childhood made me that way. I detest weak people. That's part of the problem. Women are supposed to be the weaker sex. Men are supposed to be the strong ones. Mom and Dad always said that. I bought it for a while, growing up.

Dad was strong. He was a big man, but he was known as a gentle, kind man, at least in public. No one knew what he was like at home. No one saw the bruises he used to put on my mother and me. No one heard her scream in the bedroom. I remember crying myself to sleep as a little girl after hearing her beg him not to do something to her, and then hearing her crying and yelling.

On my twelfth birthday, I woke up to her screams. She was louder than usual, and she sounded hysterical. When I went to their bedroom door, I could hear the slap of his belt on her flesh. I stood there crying and scared. I guess I must have been too loud, because suddenly the door opened and Dad's big hand grabbed my arm and whipped me into the room.

Mom was naked on their bed, face down and spread eagle, with all four limbs tied to the bedposts. She had red welts all over her buttocks and thighs.

“I'll teach you to spy on us, you little cunt!” my father roared. He picked me up and carried me to the bed, where he sat and held me on his lap. “Look at your mother, you little bitch! She misbehaved, so she's getting punished. Now you've misbehaved, too. You know the rules. You are never to eavesdrop on us, and you are never to talk to anyone about anything that happens in this house. Do you understand?”

I was too terrified to speak.

“Do you understand me, Becky?”

“Yes, Dad.”

“Let her go, Ralph, please,” my mother sobbed.

“Shut up, whore,” he growled. “I'll let her go, but not until she's had her birthday present.”

“NO! YOU CAN'T!” my mother screeched.

“Why do you have to keep proving how stupid you are, Joan? I'm not some sick fuck like you probably wish I was. No, all she's getting is the belt. The fun things I save for you, my love.”

My father picked me up roughly and slammed me down across his lap. With one big hand, he yanked my nightgown up and my panties down, and with the other he held my head down on the bed. All I could see was my mother's crying face.

I was used to getting spanked or hit pretty often for something. Usually Dad just used his hand, which was bad enough, and usually I was dressed, at least in my underwear. This was the first time I got a bare-bottom spanking with the belt.

“You're old enough to know respect now, to know about privacy. To make sure you remember, you're going to get a swat for every year on those creamy white ass cheeks of yours. You'd better not cry. One!”

The pain was like nothing I had ever imagined. The closest thing I had ever felt to that was when I fell off my bike on gravel and brush-burned my arm a couple of months earlier. This stinging was much worse.

“Two! Three! Four!”

Mom was crying loudly now. In a way, I was glad, because I knew her noise might keep Dad from hearing me. I didn't want to find out what would happen if he did.

“Five!”

It seemed like he must not have been counting right. It felt like that leather strap had cut me a hundred times by then.

“Six! Seven! Eight!”

The pain was unbearable I struggled not to scream.

“Nine! Ten! You're going to remember, aren't you Becky?” he roared.

I was afraid to open my mouth, so I just nodded my head.

“Eleven! Twelve!” Then Dad laughed, quietly. Still holding the belt in his hand, he stroked my wounded buttocks gently. “You'll remember what you've learned tonight, won't you, baby girl?”

“Yes, Dad, I'll remember. I'll be good,” I whimpered. I started trying to breathe again. It was over. Why was he still holding my head down?

“I'm sure you will. Dad loves you, you know. I want you to grow up to be a good woman and a good wife some day. Not like your stupid, ugly slut of a mother. Always be a good girl. Then I won't have to do this.” I felt Dad push my legs apart, and then the belt slammed down on the tender flesh between them. “Now go to bed. I don't want to see you or hear you until your mother comes and gets you for breakfast.”

I yanked up my panties and ran to my room. The only way I could safely cry myself to sleep was to bury my head under my pillow. The next morning, when I went to the bathroom, there was a little blood on the toilet tissue.

At breakfast, neither of my parents said a word about the events of the night before. It was as though they never happened.

I started to suspect that other families didn't do some of these things Other girls had friends come over to their house, but no one was allowed to visit me if Dad was going to be home. Other girls got to sleep over at their friends' houses, but not me. I knew this was because my parents were afraid a friend would see the marks on me. I decided that what my Dad did to Mom and me was wrong, but it was the only life I knew.

* * * * *

Early on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, Dad came to my room and woke me up.

“Becky, you don't have to go to school today,” he said. “It's your birthday, so you can stay home. Help your Mom around the house today, and then we'll go out for your birthday dinner when I get home. Would you like that, honey?”

“Really? Thanks, Dad! I hate school.”

“I know you do, baby girl. Don't worry. I wouldn't send you if I didn't have to, but the law says you have to go to school. One day off won't hurt, though.”

“Why do they make you send me to school, Dad?”

“I don't know, Becky. I can see it for a boy, I guess. Boys have to grow up and get jobs and support a family. Girls have to grow up and stay home and take care of the house and the babies. They don't need school to do that. They don't teach a girl the stuff she needs to know in school, anyway.”

“You mean the things you and Mom teach me?” I asked.

“Yes. You know you're supposed to do what a man tells you to do. You're getting better with tools, you know how to do some housework, you're good in the garden, and you wash dishes. I'm going to have your mother teach you some other things, starting today.”

“Like what, Dad?”

“It's time you learned more about cooking and baking. In fact, here's a great idea. I'll have Mom take you to the grocery store today. You'll get everything you need to make your own birthday cake. Mom can help you make it.”

“I've helped Mom make cakes with mixes before, Dad. I wonder if I can make one from scratch?”

“You want to do that, baby girl? We can have it for desert when we get home from dinner.”

“OK, Dad,” I said.

As always, we kissed on the lips, and then he went downstairs while I got dressed.

I had a good time with Mom that day. She had the radio on in the kitchen while we worked on my birthday cake. Just as I put in in the oven, my favorite “oldies” song came on. The Everly Brothers sang,

“When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream
Dream, dream, dream....”

I hummed along to the song as I started washing the mixing bowl.

“You really like that song, don't you, Becky?” my mom asked.

“Yeah, Mom, I do.”

“What do you think about when you hear it?”

“I guess I think about what it will be like to be in love. What's it supposed to make me think about?” I asked.

“Oh, I don't know what the songwriter wanted you to think about. I just wanted to know what it means to you,” Mom said. “You know what I think about when I hear that song?”

“No.”

“I think about the way it was when I was young, when I first met your father. I was just a little older than you are now. The first time I saw him, he was playing basketball with some of his friends. I watched him for over an hour. I had never felt like that looking at any other boy. The next time I saw him was a couple of weeks later. There was a teen dance at the pavilion at the park. A local band started playing a cover of that song, and your father came over and asked me to dance. Later that night, I got my first ever kiss from him. I knew he would be my husband some day,” Mom said.

Suddenly I knew my mother was going to cry. I knew all the signs. God knows I had seen them enough times.

“He wasn't always like this, Becky. Your father was a good man, the only man I ever loved. And now sometimes I think I hate him.”

“Mom!”

“I'll never leave him, honey. He means well, I know he does. In his own way, he's trying to show you and me how much he loves us, but it just comes out all wrong. I try to do what will make him happy, but I'm just not good enough, so he has to punish me. If I could be a better wife for him, maybe he'd be nicer to me.”

Dad took us to the diner/truck stop on the edge of town. I used to love that place because they served breakfast twenty-four hours a day. Not every girl gets to have blueberry pancakes and sausage for their birthday dinner.

When we got home, Mom lit the fifteen candles on my cake. I carried it into the living room and set it on the coffee table. Mom told me to make a special wish and to blow out the candles, which I did.

“What did you wish for, Becky?” my father asked.

“Now Ralph, you know she can't tell you that. Telling ruins the wish,” Mom said.

“Oh, all right then,” my father said.

I was glad she said that. I would have been pretty embarrassed to admit that I had wished for a boyfriend. Lately, I had been noticing boys a lot. Some of the girls at school had boyfriends and talked about how they loved them. I wanted that love. More and more, I was convinced that the love my parents had for each other and the emotional relationship I had with my father were not normal.

For my first attempt at a “made-from-scratch” cake, I thought it turned out pretty well. Dad had a big piece and told me how good it was, although I noticed he didn't eat the icing. He was nice to me the rest of the evening, but I could tell he was angry inside about something. I knew Mom was going to have a rough night.

The yelling and screaming in my parents' bedroom that night was louder that it had ever been. I could hear Dad telling Mom how stupid she was, which was nothing new. This time, though, it seemed as though he was mad about me.

“You're supposed to be teaching her, you stupid bitch!” my father raged. “And what did she learn? How to damn near poison me?” Then I heard the first slap of his belt on her flesh.

I knew better, but I had to do something. This was not my mother's fault. I ran to their door and knocked. “Dad?”

“What?” he yelled.

“I need to talk to you, Dad.”

He ripped the door open so hard the knob put a hole in the bedroom wall.

“Eavesdropping again, you little shit?” he screamed at me as he threw me on their bed next to Mom.

“No, Dad, I wasn't. But you were so loud I heard you in my room. I'm sorry my cake made you sick,” I whimpered. I knew he was going to beat the shit out of me.

“Who made the fucking icing?” my father roared.

“I did. I made everything. It wasn't Mom's fault,” I sobbed. “I'm so sorry, Dad.”

My father grabbed me by the throat with one hand and squeezed. My mother saw him, but the terror on her face told me she would do nothing. He grabbed her hair and yanked her up to sit next to me. “Which one of you worthless cunts decided to make THAT fucking icing?” he shouted.

His hand on my throat was just loose enough to give me the air to croak, “I thought you liked strawberry icing.”

“Not with fucking coconut in it!” he screamed. “I hate that shit! You think I let you knock off school and took you out to a nice dinner for your birthday so you could serve me that? I ougtha kill you, you stupid bitch!”

“Ralph, please, she didn't know. I let her pick a recipe out of my cookbooks,” my mother cried.

“You useless piece of shit! You know I hate coconut!” he spat in her face, yanking her head back and forth by the hair. “I should have known better than to think you could teach her anything worthwhile. You're a good-for-nothing cum-dumpster, that's all you are!” With that, he slammed our heads together. I blacked out.

When I woke up, my wrists and ankles were all tied together behind my back. My mother was trussed up the same way. We were lying on our sides, facing each other. Mom was naked. She was sweating and grimacing in pain, but most of her noise was muffled by her panties crammed in her mouth. Dad was lying behind her, fucking her in the ass.

When he finished, he pulled the panties out of her mouth, and then got up and walked over to the side of the bed where I was. He rolled me over onto my back. Immediately, I felt the muscles in the backs of my thighs start to cramp. “Never feed me coconut! When I let you out of here, you're going downstairs. You're cleaning the whole fucking kitchen and getting rid of anything there that has coconut in it before you go to bed. You hear me?”

“Yes, Dad.”

“And you know nothing at all about anything that goes on in this house. If I ever find out that you've talked to anyone, anyone at all, you'll get what your mother just got. In fact, I oughta make you clean off my cock, just for being here.”

I was paralyzed with fear, seeing my father's penis only inches from my face. It was wet, and there were traces of red and brown slime on it.

“Ralph, please, she's only fifteen,” Mom sobbed.

“Shut up, bitch. This is my house and my daughter. She eats the food and wears the clothes that I earn the money to buy. I make the fucking rules.” He reached across me and punched her in the stomach.

He untied me. “Take off your clothes.”

“Ralph, no!” my mother pleaded.

“I thought I told you to shut the fuck up!” Dad barked at Mom. He punched her again and crammed the panties back into her mouth. Turning to me, he said, “And I thought I told you to get naked.”

“Dad, please, I'm a virgin,” I sobbed. There was no point in physically resisting him. He was much too big and strong, and I knew he would only hurt me more.

“You'd better be a damn virgin! What is it with you women? You think I'm some kind of pervert? You think I'm going to rape you? Well, you're too young. Now get those clothes off. I want to see what kind of a woman you're growing up to be.”

Sobbing, I pulled my nightgown up over my head. I tried to cover my breasts with my hands.

“Panties too.”

I struggled to get my panties down while still covering my breasts with my hand and arm. Finally, my only garment dropped to the floor. I stood there, cowering, not daring to look at my father, trying to cover my nakedness with my hands.

“You stupid cunt. How dare you defy me?” he hollered, smacking the side of my head with his meaty open hand. “I said I wanted to see you. Put your fucking hands behind your back!”

I guess I didn't move fast enough. I barely registered him grabbing me before he flung me face first onto the bed.

“Don't you move. Don't you dare fucking move,” my father said. This time, his voice was stern and cold. When he sounded like that, I knew it was going to get bad.

My dad picked his belt up from the floor. “Do you remember the last time I had to give you the belt on your bare ass? It was a few years ago on your birthday. You were listening in on your mom and me, invading our privacy. Now you've done it again, plus you've been defiant. I guess you need to be taught a lesson again. One!”

It felt like he was slashing me with a sword.

“Two!"

He had never beaten me this severely. As he counted, I wondered if I was going to pass out from the pain.

“Fifteen! Now roll over!”

Shaking with fear and pain, I managed to turn over, completely exposing my nakedness to him.

“I hope your memory gets a little better about the rules around here. When I tell you to do something, you do it. You don't question it. You don't hesitate. You don't talk outside this house. And you don't let anyone touch this” -- he smacked my left breast with the belt -- “or this” -- my right breast exploded in pain from the impact of the leather -- “or this.” The stinging tip of the belt slashed through my pubic hair and burned my vaginal opening. “Now get out of here and do your cleaning!”

* * * * *

On my eighteenth birthday, my father granted me the privilege of making a full course dinner for him, with home-made soup, a salad of vegetables I had picked that day from the garden I kept, fried chicken, which I had to clean and bread myself, hand-cut fried potatoes, and chocolate birthday cake with chocolate icing. Mom had my favorite Everly Brothers album on the stereo. After dinner, we went in the living room to watch TV.

When the show was over, Dad went out to his car. He came back in with two paper bags. He set one of them on the kitchen table, and then came back into the living room with the other. “You're all grown up, Becky. You're an adult woman now, so I bought you an adult gift. Open it.” He handed me the brown bag. Inside was a bottle of whiskey.

“You're going to have a birthday drink with your old man, baby girl. Normally, I don't allow drinking in my house, but this is a special occasion.” He took the bottle and walked back into the kitchen. I could hear him getting ice cubes out of the freezer. In a minute, he was back carrying two tumblers and a juice glass on a tray.

“A birthday drink for you, sweetheart,” he said to me, handing me a glass. “It's whiskey and soda. You'll like it. And here's a drink for you, Joan,” he said, turning to my mom.

“Oh Ralph, you know I don't like whiskey.”

“Well I do. That's why I'm taking mine straight. We're going to drink a toast to our daughter who has grown up to be a beautiful young woman. I suggest you drink, too. To Becky!” He raised his glass toward me and then took good swallow of his liquor. Mom, not wanting to anger my father, began sipping hers, and I took a taste, too. It burned a little going down.

Dad sat down on the sofa next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. “You do know I love you, don't you baby girl?”

“Yes, Dad.”

“And you know I just want you to grow up to be a good woman, right?”

“Yes, Dad.”

“Good, Becky, good. Finish your drink, honey. I'll make you another. You too, Joan, drink up.”

He came back with fresh drinks for Mom and me and the bottle for himself. “I bought you a special present. It's just from me. Go get that bag on the kitchen table.”

As I got up, I realized that I was feeling a little funny. I guessed I might have been getting a little drunk. I couldn't imagine why Dad seemed normal, at least for him, considering he was drinking straight from the bottle.

I brought the bag back into the living room and sat down on the couch next to my dad again.

“Well don't just sit there. Open your birthday gift,” my father said with a smile.

I opened the bag and pulled out a box that looked professionally wrapped. Inside was a long white gown. It was beautiful, floor-length, with spaghetti straps, a lace bodice, and a dangerous-looking slit up the side. This was a major departure from anything I ever owned, and suddenly, I knew I would be as good as naked wearing it.

“Ralph, I don't think that's an appropriate …” my mother began.

“Shut up, Joan. Drink your damn drink,” my father barked. “Becky, stand up and hold it up against you.”

I could feel my cheeks heating up with embarrassment. Even though I was fully dressed, simply holding the gown in front of me over my clothes made me feel nude, vulnerable, indecently exposed.

“Beautiful, baby girl, absolutely beautiful. You'll make a man very happy some day,” my father said. He was smiling. It was his cruel smile, the one he sometimes wore when he was thinking about doing something awful to my mother. But this time he was looking at me.

We finished our drinks and went upstairs. As they were getting ready for bed I heard my mother say, “I don't understand how I could get so drunk on two drinks, Ralph.”

“You're such a damn lightweight,” Dad grumbled. “Lie down and go to sleep.”

A few minutes later, I could hear Mom snoring.

I really wasn't sleepy. I read for a while. Even though the only sound in the house was the light, hypnotic sound of my mother deep in sleep, the silence wasn't comforting, and it certainly wasn't making me drowsy. Maybe some music would help. I stuck my favorite tape in my deck and put on my headphones. Maybe the lyrics would relax me.

“Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream...”

Dad opened my door. “Still awake, Becky?” he asked.

“Yes, Dad.”

He was dressed for bed in his usual sleeveless “wife-beater” undershirt and the boxer shorts he had no doubt worn that day.

“Did you try on your gown?”

“No.”

“Don't you like it?” There was a little edge to his voice, the tone that usually preceeded one of his rages.

“Oh yes, Dad. It's beautiful,” I said.

“Then you should try it on.”

“Now?”

“Yes, now.”

“It's kind of see-through,” I said.

“Becky, try it on. Now. I want to see how it looks on you.”

I knew there was no point in delaying this. It was my job to do what Dad wanted. I was embarrassed to show him my body, but I knew he was going to see it anyway. Resisting him would only make the beating more severe. “May I change in the bathroom?” I asked.

He sighed. A tiny bit of the anger seemed to fade from his eyes. “Just be quick about it.”

I grabbed the negligee from my bureau and ran out my bedroom door. Mom's snoring seemed loud, even when I had closed the bathroom door. Looking in the mirror as I pulled off my old nightie, I realized how much I looked like my mother in old photos she had shown me. She always filled a blouse well, and my breasts were pretty much like hers. My legs were nicer, I thought, and my hips were narrower that hers in the pictures, before she got pregnant with me. Still, I looked a lot like her. I knew she was pretty, and I knew that guys thought I was pretty, too.

Damn it! Why do I have to be weak like her, too? I started to cry.

“Becky! What the hell is taking so long?” Dad yelled as he knocked on the door.

Oh shit! He's going to beat the hell out of me. I could already imagine the bruising, cutting, burning impact of his belt on my ass. “I wanted to wash up first, Dad. I wanted to look as nice as I could in this pretty gown,” I said through the door, fighting to make my voice sound cheerful.

“All right. Just hurry up,” he said. He sounded a little calmer.

Quickly, I washed my face and brushed my hair. I pulled off my panties and put the gown on over my head. When it was clear of my face, I looked at my reflection in the mirror. The filmy white fabric flowed down over my nakedness, hardly concealing me at all. “Oh God, please make him like what he sees,” I prayed. “Please let him think I look good.”

I walked back into my room. Dad had turned out the overhead light. He was standing at my desk, the desk lamp turned to glare in my face. He was in the shadows behind it.

“You're beautiful, Becky,” he said. His voice sounded odd, different than I was used to hearing it. He didn't sound angry, but he didn't sound like he was smiling, either.

“Turn around.”

I did.

“Slower. Let me see you.”

I obeyed. I was terrified. I felt dirty, humiliated, worthless. I knew I was weak. As I turned slowly back to face him, I was horrified to realize that my fear had made my nipples come erect.

“Mmmm. Nice,” my father said quietly. “Now Becky, it's time for me to take over teaching you some things. You want to be a good wife some day, don't you?”

“Yes, Dad,” I whispered. I knew if I spoke aloud my voice would break.

“A wife's job is to serve her husband, right, Becky?”

“Yes.”

“Good girl. And what ways do you know to serve your man?”

“Cooking nice meals, keeping the house clean, washing and ironing, taking care of the yard and the garden, fixing the things around the house that I'm strong enough to do,” I said. The light hurt my eyes, and I was too scared to look at my father anyway. “I'm trying to be good at all those things.”

“You're doing OK,” Dad said. “But there are more things a good wife does for her husband.”

I said nothing as he turned the light down toward the desk. As my eyes adjusted, I saw his engorged penis poking through the opening in his shorts.

“A good wife knows how to give her man pleasure. Get over here.”

“No, Dad, please, no,” I whimpered. I finally understood what he wanted.

“NO?” he shouted. “Get the fuck over here, get on your knees, and suck my cock, you worthless whore. You need to know how to do this right.”

As soon as I was in front of him, he smacked me on the side of my head and grabbed a fistful of my hair, forcing me to my knees.

“First, I want you to fondle it and stroke it. Be gentle. It's sensitive.” He grabbed my hand and held it around his erection, stroking himself slowly with my fingers. “Now lick it.” He forced my head forward, so his penis banged into my lips. “Open you damn mouth and lick the head of my cock,” he commanded.

I had no choice. I used my tongue to stroke the end of his throbbing erection.

“That's good. That's very good. Now lick up and down the whole length of it, Becky,” he growled.

I complied. I had never done anything like this before. I knew what a blowjob was, of course, by that age, but I had never done it. I had never even kissed a boy. I was always afraid of what would happen if my father found out.

“Oh that feels good, baby girl. Mmmm. Wait!” He used my hair to yank my head back so he could look in my eyes. “Have you ever done this before? And don't you fucking lie to me!”

“No, Dad, I swear.”

“You better not have. I want to teach you everything.” He was glaring at me with an expression I had never seen before. I was afraid he would kill me if I didn't do exactly what he told me to do.

“Open your mouth. Make sure I don't feel your teeth. Now suck.”

His penis was in my mouth. It was hot and swollen on my tongue.

“Good, baby girl, good. Now move your mouth down on it as far as you can. Use your tongue on it too,” he said, forcing more of his cock into my mouth. When he hit my throat, he kept pushing until I started to gag.

“You'll get better with practice.” He kept ramming my head on and off him.

Suddenly, he pulled me away from him and dragged me to my feet by my hair. Grabbing me, he forced my tongue into his mouth as he ground his erection against my belly. I could feel his moisture on my skin.

“Now I'm going to teach you to fuck,” he said.

“No, Dad, please, no, you'll hurt me.”

“Only the first time. You're a woman now. It's time for you to feel a man's cock in you.” He threw me on my bed and climbed on top of me. He ripped the bodice of my gown off my breasts and pawed at them. Then he yanked away the fabric covering my pelvis. “I'm going to take your cherry now, Becky,” he said as he began to force my legs apart.

“No, Dad! No, please, no!” I screamed as I felt him invade me.

Suddenly the door flew open. My mother stood there, a mix of terror and rage on her face. “What are you doing, Ralph? No!” she screamed.

My father plunged himself into me. I thought he had torn me in half. When I stopped screaming, I heard his shrieks of laughter. “Shut up and go to bed, Joan,” he yelled.

“You're raping my daughter! Stop!” Mom shrieked.

“Too late now!” my dad cackled. “Someone's gotta teach her how to fuck, and it sure as hell can't be you!”

“I'm going to stop you!” my mother screamed as she ran from the room.

I could feel a lot of moisture through the pain in my vagina. I knew my father hadn't ejaculated, since he was still pounding me. I was repulsed, not turned on, so I knew it wasn't the moisture I had been told a woman normally makes during sex. It had to be my blood. My virgin blood was lubricating my vagina, aiding my impossibly strong, lust-crazed, sick father in his incestuous rape of me on the night of my eighteenth birthday. All the insults, all the beatings I had suffered growing up were nothing compared to this act of degradation.

My mother's voice broke into my agonized thoughts. “Stop, Ralph,” she said, her voice cold. “I mean it.”

Dad and I both looked at Mom. She was standing there, shaking, her face streaming with tears. She had my father's pistol in her hand.

Dad stiffened for a moment, and then laughed nervously. “Put that thing away before someone gets hurt, Joan,” he said.

“Someone is going to get hurt if you don't get off her now.”

“You don't even know how to use that thing,” my father said, still shoving himself in and out of me.

“It can't be that hard,” Mom said, extending her arm until the gun barrel was touching my father's ear.

“Put the fucking gun down, Joan. Now,” my father said in a bad imitation of his authoritative tone.

“Get off my daughter,” Mom replied.

“Or what?”

“I'll shoot you.” Her finger was on the trigger. I imagined I could see her pulse in that finger as it gradually tightened its grip.

My father took a deep breath. He had stopped thrusting inside me. “You don't have the guts. Look at you. You're shaking like a leaf. You're too weak to even hold the thing right. Go back to bed, and let me finish what I've started.”

“No,” my mother said. The gun went off.

I came to my senses in the tub. I was nude. The shower head was spraying water on me, and Mom was kneeling on the bathroom floor, scrubbing my breasts. Pink water was running down the drain.

“Becky, can you hear me?”

“Mom, what did you do?”

“Oh my poor sweet child. I had no choice. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I didn't stand up to him so many times before. I'm so sorry I didn't take you and run away. I was too weak,” she cried.

“Did you kill him?”

“Yes, honey, I did.”

My father was dead. I guess I was supposed to cry, but I didn't. I looked at my mother and said, “Thank you. I couldn't stop him. He was so strong and he hurt me so bad.”

“I know, baby, I know. But it's over now. Things will be better now, you'll see.”

“What's going to happen, Mom?”

“You're going to go to the hospital. They'll check you out, make sure you're okay, and probably give you something to help you sleep. I called the ambulance and the police, but it will take them a few minutes to get here. I had to tell them what happened, but I couldn't let them see you the way you were, so I brought you in here to clean you up.”

I saw my new white nightgown on the floor, spattered with blood and what I guess were bits of my father's scalp.

“Let's get you out of the tub and get you dried off. We can't have the police coming in here with you undressed.”

My mother dried me and wrapped me in her big terry-cloth robe. As she was drying my hair, we could hear sirens in the distance. “It's over now, Becky. I'm sorry I didn't do more to protect you. I've always loved you, and I will always love you. Please tell me you know that.”

“I do, Mom. I love you, too.” The sirens were louder now.

“I want you to go down and let the police in, Becky. There's something I have to do,” Mom said. She held me in her arms and kissed me, and then left the bathroom, closing the door behind her.

I pulled my damp hair into a loose pony tail and tied Mom's robe around me. The sirens were right outside now. I had to find my mother. She had somehow found the courage, the strength to save me, and I wanted to thank her again before the police took her away.

Just as I opened the bathroom door, I heard the second shot coming from my room.

“This is the police!” came a voice through a bullhorn. “Put your weapon down! Come out with your hands up! The house is surrounded. Come out now through the front door. We will not hurt you if you put your weapon down.”

Somehow, I walked downstairs and opened the door. Spotlights blinded me as I was grabbed and pushed against the front wall of the house. “Where's the gun?” an officer barked at me.

“I think it's in my room, upstairs.”

A female officer hastily patted me down. She assured her fellow officers I was unarmed, and she hustled me into the back of an ambulance.

I knew it was my mother's body when they brought her out. I could see her one bedroom slipper sticking out from the end of the sheet that wasn't bloody. The police were talking to each other. “I don't think the daughter was involved. I'm pretty sure she was raped, but it looks like the mother was the one with the gun. Looks like she shot him and then put the gun in her own mouth,” the one said.

* * * * *

In the months after the killings, I came to a realization. My father wasn't a strong man. He was just a bastard. He used his size to make my mother and me subservient to him. My mother wasn't always a weak woman. She was strong when it counted, when she had to save me. But then her weakness caused her to kill herself.

Like I said, I'm strong. I've had to be. I had to survive that. Hell, I had to survive my whole damn childhood.

A lot has happened in the years since my parents' deaths. I've been married three times, and almost married another man. The first guy seemed pretty nice when I met him. I never told him how I lost my virginity, and I tried to be a good lover to him. When I found out he was cheating on me, he had an accident. Luckily, there was enough damage to his car that they never did figure out what had happened to the brakes.

I chose well after that. I wanted a man who could give me what I wanted, what I needed. The second husband was much older than me. I loved him too, at first. He was wealthy and successful. But after a while, I could feel us drifting apart. I knew I was losing his love. Part of it, I guess was his health. He developed heart problems. The medical examiner decided he must have had problems taking his medications properly, too.

For several years, I lived with a man. I wasn't sure I wanted to get married again, even though I loved him. That relationship ended rather suddenly when I found out he had gotten his secretary pregnant. I thought the police believed me when I showed them the loose carpet that my poor boyfriend must have tripped on at the top that long staircase.

My last husband was a lot like my father. He was big, strong, athletic, and powerful. He was just my type. I loved him with all my heart. I thought we could go through life being strong together. The problem was, he didn't respect MY strength. He wanted to make the decisions. He wanted to control me. I loved him, but I started to feel that he didn't love me enough.

Even though I was careful, I guess I must have made a mistake. They suspected arson. It was common knowledge that my husband had enemies, so I thought my decision to move away would make perfect sense. I wasn't fleeing the scene of the crime, or at least, not my crime.

I saw a report on the news last week about the exhumation of his body. This time, they found the wound in the back of his neck. I know my time is short now.

So, I guess this is about all I have to say. I'll search for some music to drown out the sirens that are coming closer. They sound so much like they did the night my parents died. Should I run? No, running is weak. I'm strong. Ah, here it is, my favorite song. I'll turn it up loud.

“I need you so that I could die ...”

Sirens are coming into the parking lot of the motel.

“I love you so and that is why ...”

Lots of sirens. I can hear feet pounding on the steps.

“Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream ...”

Now they're pounding on the door. I guess they don't know I took my husband's hunting rifle before I torched the house.

“Dream, dream, dream, dream ...”

“Rebecca Meyers, come out with your hands up!”

So they're using my maiden name. Interesting. But they're making too much noise for me to hear my song. “Come and get me!” I shout through the locked door. I can hear the sound of the ram smashing against it. Cheap thing. It breaks open on the second hit.

“Dream, dream ...”

My first rifle shot is to the chest of a tall blond cop.

I see his partner raise his weapon as I squeeze my trigger again.

“Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dr....”
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