It was dark inside the church. Dark as the hell inside her. It was a few years since “the THING” had happened to her. Mostly now, it was way back in her mind. But the darkness still remained.
She had gone to light candles. To pierce the darkness. Hers and her friend’s. Her friend had been attacked by her own dog, and now she was being monitored for rabies. She had spent the last two days on the phone with her friend, listening, trying to calm her. But all that there was to do now was light candles.
Kathy entered the church – a place which had become her home since “the THING” had happened. Well, she said it was her home, but in reality nowhere felt safe any more. “Hold Thou Thy Cross before my closing eyes” he had sung as he did “the THING”to her. Who could ever be safe again, after that? It was harvest time. “The time is ripe,” he had whispered in her ear as he grabbed her breast.
She had fought. Oh yes, she had fought. But what is a 7 stone woman against a 17 stone man?
“Can you remember the FIGHT?” asked her distant relative upon hearing about it. Her eyes gleamed as she waited for the answer. Kathy just mumbled something. Weren’t you MEANT to fight? And weren’t you MEANT to win? But SHE hadn’t. Naughty girl.
Oh but WAIT. Wasn’t the distant relative GLAD that she hadn’t won the fight. Because now, she could be entertained with the salacious story of something that some women only ever dream about.
Kathy had kept her grubby little secret all the time she had been in this, her new home. A place of candles, and incense, and prayers rising to heaven. Not like her old home with its guitars and jangling tunes. But the darkness still dwelt within her. An un-named darkness, even to her at times.
And so, here she was, in the darkened church, about to pierce the darkness with the dancing light of the candles. Suddenly, she sensed someone behind her. A man. A man she knew. He was angry. She should not have been there.
“I’ve been given a key,” she said. “By the priest. To come and pray.”
The man stiffened. Only HE should have access to the church. His self importance brushed her body. She felt it go right into her. Just like before. When “the THING” happened. Her personal space had been invaded once again. Blind, and wheelchair bound, she felt wave after wave of nausea overcoming her. And then the inner shaking.
She was being accused. She was a criminal. An interloper. An infiltrator. She should NOT be here.
The next morning came. Kathy started tearing at her breasts. She HAD to get them off. But they wouldn’t come. She was stuck with them. Just like she was stuck with this darkness of being a woman.
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