TITLE: AN IRONIC SACRIFICE
GENRE: URBAN FANTASY
"Oh God please, make them stop!" Jayden thrust her fingertips against her temples as if she could tear the horrid visions out of her skull. But it was futile. Long after the police officer left, the imprint of him invading his daughter's room every night and the sound of her terrified whimpers was irrevocably burned into her memory. Eventually the vividity and hideous repetition would fade. But for the rest of her life, along with her worst visions, this one would flash abruptly behind her eyes like a bad commercial, leaving behind a chill in her soul and a bitter taste in her mouth.
Again came the temptation to end it all, to stride over to the dam that churned the waters of the Spokane River and jump. Oblivious to curious onlookers, Jayden sank to her knees on the cracked sidewalk.
The visions were getting stronger. The officer's hand barely grazed hers when she handed him her I.D. (he didn't think she was old enough for the paper wrapped bottle she carried) and she was pelted with vile images. It had been agony for her to keep a straight face as he questioned her. She wanted to hit him- no. She wanted to tear his balls off and make him suffer a thousandfold for what he did to that innocent child.
But there was nothing that she could do. He was a man of law and authority while she was just a crazy homeless twenty-two year old woman. Once he confirmed her age and finished harassing her, he left, free to rape and molest again; and Jayden Leigh was trapped with terrible visions of suffering that she could do nothing to prevent or free herself from.
"Are you all right, miss?" A gentle hand touched her shoulder.
Jayden looked up into the compassionate blue eyes of an elderly woman. "Yeah." She croaked, licking dry lips. "It's just a...migraine." She fell back on the same excuse for these situations though she was tempted to scream aloud the horrible transgressions she had witnessed.
The woman nodded, brushing a snowy lock from her forehead. "Don't you fret, dearie. I've just the thing for that!" she declared, reaching into her gargantuan red leather purse. Jayden began to protest but the matron cackled, "Ah-ha! Here you are, dear. Keep the bottle. My doctor gives me plenty of pills as it is."
The woman smiled bemusedly at the bottle of Excedrin. If only a little pill would cure her problem.
"And take this too. It looks like you've fallen on hard times."
"Oh no, Ma'am, I couldn't." She tried to return the twenty-dollar bill but the woman had already walked off and was getting into her Buick. Her eyes brimmed with tears at the woman's kindness. She pocketed the pills and money, picked up her bottle of cheap Chardonnay and resumed walking to her car, where she lived. She could always jump into the dam tomorrow. After all, it wouldn't do to waste the wine.