Another Page: 12.19.03

Despite a strong lack of feedback, we press on. To Recap last week: a young man by the name of John is at a music festival. He is dirty and exhausted. During a set from one of his favorite bands, he witnesses a rape while crowd surfing. Unfortunately, the crowd moves him away before he can do anything. You can read that here

She laid there, staring at the sky. She could see the lighting flashing above her head, and somewhere in the distance she could hear a band. Rain slammed into her face and ran in rivulets to the ground. She was distantly aware that someone was inside her and she couldn’t move but she wasn’t here anymore.

How exactly she wound up in this situation, she wasn’t sure. She had been enjoying the band Violent Thunder one of the few metal bands she appreciated. They weren’t really her thing she preferred other, less loud bands but a few of the ballads they had written really spoke to her. She felt their words. She had come to the festival primarily to see them and during their set, she found herself on the ground. At first, she struggled to get back to her feet, but unseen arms pinned her. It all happened so quickly. At first she thought it was a mistake. But then, her head and shoulders were being held in an iron grip. Her legs flailed, trying to make contact with something close to her someone to get their attention. She tried to scream, but no one looked. Her own voice rung in her ears but no one else’s, until a wet, dirty cloth was shoved into her mouth.

She felt rough hands against the inside of her thighs, prying them apart. She felt fingers working at the button of her jeans, pulling it apart. The fingers deftly undid the button and she felt her pants being ripped down. Hands pried apart her legs as she finally realized what was happening.

Panic set in at first as she struggled, continuing the helpless flailing of her legs, trying to make contact with something anything. It was futile as her attacker was already in close. She strained to get a look at his face, hoping to plead with him to stop but she could see only shadow. As lightning lit the sky behind him, she could see every detail of his outline every inch of his silhouette. She felt the initial contact and then

She was somewhere else.

Not somewhere else, exactly she knew what was going on. She looked up at the sky and felt the raining pelting her face. She just felt strangely relaxed. She looked around at the crowd, wondering just how they didn’t see what was going on right next to them. How the people behind her didn’t know didn’t know. Didn’t anyone care?

But things just seemed less important. She was thinking about the last time she had been outside in a storm this bad. Her high school graduation last year. The event was supposed to have been outside, but they moved it inside because it rained. Just like it was raining today. She had been happy they moved it inside her hair would have exploded into a giant afro had they kept it outside in the humid day. Luckily it had rained.

She had enjoyed high school. She enjoyed the kind of popularity that only a pretty girl understands. She never really did anything to earn it like a lot of the boys did in younger grades. Boys had to be clowns or jocks to earn popularity. A girl was popular based on her genes. Her genes had given her fiery red hair and perky, breasts that had blossomed in middle school. She never had to work to be loved, it just came naturally.

She actually could remember the early days of puberty. When she would look into the mirror and stand sideways, seeing if the puberty fairy had visited her in the middle of the night. She never noticed changes from day to day, yet they came. Everything came. She had developed quickly once it started. Her mom once commenting that she could grow out of a bra in less than a day. She became different from the boys frighteningly quick. One day playing with them as one of their own, the next being distinctly different. She felt a slick warmth in her abdomen as she remembered the day she got her first period it had not been a pleasant day.

It had ended her days of playing outdoors with the boys. Suddenly she went from just another playmate to having cooties. Most of the boys shunned her, even though she never cared one stitch about playing with dolls. She always preferred the games of basketball and softball with the boys than a quiet game of house with her sister. Her sister was boring. She had never enjoyed playing with her sister. It was never any fun.

She was shaken from her memories quickly, as she felt the hands roughly holding her down relax. Her attacker had finished and was disengaging. She didn’t care. She didn’t start flailing again. What’s done was done she could see the silhouette signaling the pinners to come over to him or to switch spots. She wasn’t sure. She heard a couple of different words, “dead, killed, out.” She didn’t think she was dead she felt very much alive though a bit distracted. These guys were keeping her from her pleasant memories.

A flashing light somewhere got her attention. She had seen them throughout the day. The EMT’s carried them to let people know they were trying to get through. She wondered where they were going. The three men who had been pinning her such a short time ago looked up at the amber light. They turned and melted into the crowd becoming part of the host of bodies around.

She thought the ground was a dangerous place. With so many people, none of whom had obviously seen her or they would have done something, someone was bound to step on her. Maybe several someones. She arose, distantly aware that her pants were gone, but not concerned. She staggered into the crowd, away from the stage. Knowing she was trying to get somewhere, but not exactly sure of the location.

She did know she had to get away from the crowd. She shouldered past people, who barely noticed her in the crowd. The air was freezing on her damp, naked legs. The crowd stretched on in all directions forever.

She staggered until the crowd thinned. She didn’t know how far away the stage was because she refused to turn around. She saw the makeshift EMT station that had been set up toward the outside of the crowd. Three soaked stretchers sat outside, sucking in the rainwater and dripping it to the ground below. She looked at the station and walked toward it. That was it. She was hurt and naked. That’s where she would go.

Harvey Scottstein sat at the desk inside the EMT station. There were six radios around him, all tuned to a different channel. He was trying to listen to all the conversations at once. When the door banged open, he didn’t turn around at first. The door banged open a lot recently. He was listening intently to Channel 2, where six EMTs were searching the crowd for the victim of a rape.

“Excuse me,” said a strained, small voice behind him.

Harvey was not ready for what he saw when he turned around.

Friday’s Xbox Word: Live