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16+ Violence Mature Content

Worst Than Fire | Part 2

by Inferno

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence and mature content.

*Please read Part 1 first, if you'd like to know what's happening.

You had a nightmare. 

You were burning, flames tearing away at your flesh. It felt like a million needles were sinking their nasty teeth into every uncovered part of your skin, slowly ripping you apart. You would've been bleeding like crazy, if the fire didn't slurp each drop up when one dared to show it's crimson face. At the same time, you were drowning, water sealing your throat shut and flooding your lungs. Your chest heaved, screaming for air. You panted in short, rapid breaths, but they weren't breaths. Every inhale was like swallowing a squirming, live, slug. 

BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. Your heart beat quickens, pounding loudly on the doors of your ears like the footfalls of a giant. Your vision blurs, black dots shrouding it. Then your heart stops. Your body goes limp.

Your eyes rip open as you shoot upward. Your arms instinctively fly to your neck, clawing at your throat. You gasp, and smoke-filled air enters your mouth. You're awake. Even though the air is a thick gray fog, you are thankful for it. Your bed is comfortable. That's odd. You are used to waking up on that hard woven stretcher that sits silently in your room. Waiting for you to lay on it so that it can give you the most uncomfortable, shoulder crampy, restless sleep ever. You are freezing, quivering from the cold. Not so odd. You are well acquainted to that feeling. But it is a different sort of cold. It's a wet cold, like you had just took a swim in the Arctic Sea. Then you inspect your surroundings. This is NOT your room, that's for sure.

The sounds of the waves whispering to each other gives the atmosphere an out-of-place peaceful vibe. The graceful breeze blows blankets of sand over you. A beach. Now how did I get on a beach? You ask yourself. Your brain burns as you try to remember what had occurred the previous night, like a fire sparks every time you make an effort. You jolt. A fire. Something about a fire. 

You try to stand up, but a powerful force of tiredness washes over you. You collapse, like your limbs just turned into noodles. You grunt, exasperated. 

"Woah, woah." A worried, sweet voice spills into your ears, "Don't hurt yourself." You turn around, facing your back toward the beach. There's a woman standing there, her eyes filled with concern. You flinch, a memory flashing before you. You realize the dream wasn't a dream... It had actually happened. You shiver, a breeze sending a chill down your back. 

"Oh, dear. You must be freezing." On another day, you would point out that it is quite obvious. You are shaking your skin off. But this woman. She looks like she deserves more concern than you. 

Her beautiful features are smeared with splatters of burnt flesh. She might've been wearing business clothes once, but it is now just a dusty gray, soot covering her whole body. Her navy pencil skirt is ripped off at the end. Her tan blazer is seared black on the back part. 

The woman crouches down and drapes a small, tattered cloth around you. You wrap it tighter on your shoulders. The cloth is small, though. Barely large enough to cover your shoulders. You cuddle in it for a moment, soaking up it's scarce warmth. Then you get a sudden revelation. You gasp, throwing the rag off of you. 

"What's wrong. Are you okay?" The lady questions you. You are frozen, too paralyzed to respond. You know that cloth. You know where it came from. No. You know WHO it came from.

"My mom." You breath, gathering your composure. "Where is my mom?"  The woman blinks.

"I'm Lydia. You're going to be okay." She is sitting beside you now, so close that you could smell her diluted perfume. You are surprised that the smell survived the things she went through.

"Where is my mom?" Your voice comes louder and sterner this time, like the tone you use to reprimand your mom. 

"I'm sorry, Addison... your mom, she..." Lydia trailed off. Your heart goes konk! in your chest. Everything blurs into black and white. No. She couldn't be gone. Sure, she was abusive, but still. You couldn't loose both of them. You couldn't. You reminisced to the good times, the times when dad was alive.

"Oh! Aaron! You're such a goof!" Melanie (your mom) was laughing, a melodic sound that could thaw any cold air. She was beautiful, then. Her brown, curly hair, circling in perfect ringlets. They bounced on her shoulders every time she gave you a hug. Her green eyes were a cheery emerald now, twinkling with excitement. 

Your dad patted your head, wearing his familiar grin.

"Of course I am!" He chuckled, "I thought you would know that by now." He had sleek black hair that swept back over his head, so he looked like one of those boy band stars. Your mom smiled. It warmed your little heart to see your parents getting along. They weren't always like that. You were so young, then. So oblivious.

Another memory materializes in your mind. A less pleasant one.

"Melanie, please." Aaron had his hands in front of him, a gesture of surrender.

"'Melanie, please?' 'Melanie PLEASE?" Your mom yells, "Don't 'Melanie, please' me, Aaron. I know what you are doing. Do you think I'm blind?! Do you think I don't notice your absence at night?" She was breathing hard with anger. Your dad's eyes widen.

"Please. I don't know what you are talking about." Even peeking from behind the door, you could tell he was lying. You didn't fully understand what was happening at the time, but you did know that wherever dad went at night... It didn't make mom happy.

"Don't do this to me! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?" Her voice boomed, cracking from sadness.

"Mel, I-" He got cut off.

"NO! NO! I can't do this anymore" 

You are whipped back to the present. Your breaths are shaky, wavering every second.

"She's... she's gone..." Your voice cracked, "Isn't she?" Lydia's eyes curve downward in a sad motion. She nods somberly. Tears sear your eyes, threatening to spill like a waterfall. You take a big inhale, burying your emotions with one whiff. 

"There's nothing we can do about that." You say, your voice a neutral stoic tone.

"Hon, are you sure-"

"I'm being foolish." You hold your hand up, "There are more important matters to tend to." You are determined not to show any more sadness. Pity isn't a tool. It's an anchor.

Lydia's eyebrow creased, "More important matters? Addi-" You interrupt her again, but with a just motive this time.

"How do you know my name?" You clip, your eyes bearing into her.

"What? Your name..." Her voice faded, "Oh. Right." She shook her head, muttering, as if scolding herself. Then followed some colorful language that would've burned your ears off if you did not hear it everyday from your mom.

"Well..." She breathed, "I used to-" She is cut off again. You are starting to feel bad for her. Then that feeling fades, because you hear an all too familiar voice.

"GET AWAY FROM HER!" A loud voice screeches. Your soul almost gets severed from your body. You close your eyes and place a hand over your heart. You look in the direction of the voice. You knew it. It is her. But how is that possible? She should be dead...

Your mom is marching toward you, seething rage kindling in your eyes. Seeing her expression, you should run, but you are to shocked. Why is she here? She isn't gone? Why did Lydia lie? Lydia stares daggers at your mom, she sneers back.

"Mom." You blink, "I thought-" She doesn't let you finish. She snatches you up by the arm, her grip like steel. You are forced to your feet.

"You know better than to come near my daughter, Lydia." Your mom says in a steely tone. Lydia narrows her eyes at her in disbelief.

"You daughter? Your daughter?" She scoffs. "I'm sorry, Mel, but your daughter here almost died." She juts her pointer finger out at her. "You were drowning her!"

"Drowning?" Melanie rolls her eyes, "I saved her!" What is going on isn't entirely lucid to you, but that statement set off a bubbling anger sizzling in your heart.

"Save me?" You yank your arm out of Melanie's grasp. "I thought you were dead. She told me you were dead!" You glare at Lydia. Your voice is ragged. 

"Addi, I didn't say she was dead."

"Oh. Sure, Lydia. That is so like you!" Your mom interjects.

"What is?" She growls.

"Lying. Breaking little girl's hearts!" You can't believe how hypocritical this conversation is getting. 

"That's mighty high, coming from you." You squint back tears. You're enraged. At both of them. Exasperation clouds your thoughts. You want to disappear. You want to escape this. The two ladies keep quarrelling like children, bickering over things that don't make sense to you. Their vexatious voices sound just like loud clamors, meaning nothing but annoyance. You push your hands against your ears. You can't stand it anymore. In a flash, you dart away, your feet slamming the sandy beach.

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— Francis Bacon