Karen sits on the beach and watches as the waves come in and crash and then out again. A light cold breeze blows by her expose skin, sending goose pimples up and down her body. Even tho, her face was exposed to the chilly November air and the rest of her body wasn’t, didn’t mean anything. She still felt the chill as it made her warm body cooler. Little tendrils of her unwashed brown hair, were sticking out from the navy blue knit hat she was wearing. Most of her shoulder length hair was held in place by the knit hat. It also kept her head warm. She had no idea any more of what she was supposed to do. She had no purpose, direction and no one she could turn to for advice. She was happy that she was no longer a prisoner or sex slave to anyone any more. Under the three layers of clothing she had on, were reminders on her skin of the abuse and torture she had survived to be free.
She had been six years old when she was kidnapped. Two men had broken into her parents’ home in the middle of the night and were in the process of robbing the place; when her father had come down to see who was making all the noise. They had subdued her father and tied him up. Then they came upstairs and found her and her older brother cowering with their mother. He was thirteen at the time and tried to fight them. He had found their father’s gun and was going to use it to protect her and their mother. Just as one of the guys opened the door to the closet they were hiding in, her bother pulled the trigger on the gun, hitting the guy standing in front of them. He had hit the guy in the leg and the guy struck back. He took the gun from her brother and then used it to beat her brother with it.
Her mother had tried to grab the gun, but her mother was slapped hard. Her brother tried attacking the robber again and with biting the attacker on the leg. The attacker took the gun and shot her brother with it. He had fired two times at her brother. He then had grabbed her by her hair and her mother by hers and dragged both downstairs to where her father was tied up. They made him watched as they molested her and raped her mother. Her mother had gotten even with one guy by biting his thing off. The other guy used the gun and shot her mother and then killed her father right in front of her. The other guy killed the one her mother had wounded and tied her up and took her out to the car they came in.
The next two years he made her do all sorts of sexual things in front of the camera. Whenever she didn’t do what was told of her, he would lock her in a cage in a dark room and leave her there for days, without food or water. She never knew if it was day or night outside the room. He just left her in the dark in the cage. He sold her to another guy that used her for his own pleasure every single day. He also made her do things around the house as well. He kept her on a dog leash that only allowed her to go to the bathroom and the bed she was sharing with her owner. He made her sleep with him every night. He kept her till she turned eleven years old. He traded her to a Mexican guy for a younger girl. He was getting tired of her. The Mexican guy sold her along with several other girls to a guy who ran a prostitution business out of a massage pallor. The clients that would ask for her used her in every way possible and then some. She was whipped, branded, beaten, had hot wax pour on her and had huge foreign objects shoved up inside of her. One time they used electricity on her privates and breast and torture her that way.
One client kept her for two whole weeks and secured her to a huge wooden X frame and whipped her with every type of whip possible. He never let her down and the only thing he gave her was a strange tasting milkshake every other day. One client allowed her to get high with him. He had injected a needle into her body filled with a blood red substance. Once it was injected into her arm. She felt like she was floating on air. It was like she was watching her body from the outside of herself floating nearby as more needles with tubes running in them were inserted in every pressure point on her body, including one going straight into her heart. It was like her body was receiving blood or whatever it was from his body into her own body. She remembered passing out and waking up later in the middle of the night in a dumpster with the dead guy lying on top of her. She was totally nude, and it was raining. She felt feverish and sick to her stomach.
She had climbed out of the dumpster and stumbled around looking for someone to help her. She spotted some people in the distance near a fire in a barrel and headed towards them. She didn’t know who these people were or how she got here. All she did know, was she wasn’t feeling good and needed help. She collapses and didn’t feel as she was picked up and carried away by a homeless woman. Every once in a while, she would wake-up feeling extremely sick and a strange woman would speak to her, before she passed out again. Days seemed to past, before she started to feel better. The woman who had found and tended to her was named Doris. She had been taking care of her the whole entire time she had been sick. She found out from Doris, that she had been sick for two whole weeks.
Doris had nursed her back to health and started teaching her how to read and write. She also taught her how to live on the streets. The places she should avoid and where to go and get food and free clothes at. Also, she taught her where she could find work every once in a while. Doris became like a mother to her. One day when Doris had left to get something for them to eat. She had been abused by some street punks and robbed. Doris had been beaten so badly, that she died from the wounds inflicted on her.
Karen decided that it was time for her to move on, so she had hitched a ride on a coal train leaving the area. She had originally left with a group of people that did this all the time. The first time was scary jumping onto an empty coal bin, but it got easier and less scary after she had done it two other times. She had left California and traveled to West Virginia and then hitched hike from West Virginia to Virginia Beach, Virginia. It took her two months of traveling and hitched hiking to get here. Some of the truckers that had given her lifts wanted sexual favors from her, so she gave it to them. It disgusted her, but what choice did she have. She rode with one team composed of a husband and wife team. They were nice to her and had given her a ride and brought her a meal at the truck stop they had dropped her off at. She made it to Virginia Beach, but she had no idea what she was going to do, now that she was here.
She didn’t know any one and she didn’t know the area. She had always wanted to see what a beach look like. She had never been allowed to go anywhere or was ever taken anywhere for that matter. That’s why she came down to the beach. She was amazed on how many hotels she had seen down here. They were different then California’s and right now not very active. If she hadn’t had on three layers of clothes, she would be cold, but the only time she felt the sting from the cold air, was when it blew across her exposed face.
This brings her back, to where she is now. She knew it would be getting dark soon and she would need to find some shelter for the night. She picks up her oversized purse off the sand and starts walking down Virginia Beach Blvd. She had no idea where she was going to end up, but she figures the walk would do her some good. She knew Virginia Beach Blvd went to downtown Norfolk. She takes a candy bar out of her purse she had stolen earlier today and eats it as she walks up the boulevard. She watches as the cars drive by her. Some of them had teenagers in them, some had families and others just had single drives. They were either driving and listening to music, or talking on their cell phones or texting. She would never understand why people felt that they needed to be on their cell phones twenty-four hours a day to just run their mouths.
She pulls her jacket closer to her neck as she walks. She looks up in the sky and notice how cloudy it was getting. She sighs to herself, because now she was going to get wet and there was nowhere around her right now that she could get out of the rain if it did start to come down. The rain starts to come down as drops at first and then the sky opens up and starts pouring. She continues to walk down the street. What choice did she have? When she gets to the corner of Virginia Beach and First Colonial, a tan car honks at her. She stops and looks at the driver; a weird looking African American woman was motioning her over to her car. Karen walks over and looks through the passenger window. As it begins to roll down.
“Where are you heading, sweetie?” Sasha had seen this poor girl walking in this down pour and felt sorry for her. Normally, he wouldn’t stop to pick-up a hitch hiker, but she would be soaked to the bone by the time she got anywhere. It was cold out as well.
“Somewhere I could get a bed for the night.” Karen had no idea where that would be.
Sasha was keeping his eye on the light.
“Look, I don’t normally stop and give people rides, but if you would like to get out of the rain. I’ll give you a lift to where ever you would like to go.”
Karen looked at the funny dress woman for a second. She had seen these types of women out in California. They were called drag queens and knew she had nothing to worry about from them.
“Thanks.” She climbs in.
Just as she gets in the car, the traffic light turns green. The car behind them honks its horn. Karen fastens the seat belt as Sasha starts driving.
“So, what brings you out here on a night like this?” Sasha was curious about this girl.
“I just got in town and I wanted to see what your beach was like. I’ve never seen one before.” Karen may have lived in California, but she was never allowed to go to the beach.
Sasha glances at the girl next to him “You’ve never seen a beach before?”
“Nope” She shook her head no.
“Wow! This is the first time I’ve heard that before. Where are you from?” Sasha could smell that this poor girl needed a bath. She had the smell of grease and diesel fuel on her.
“California. I trained hopped and hitched hike my way out here. You wouldn’t know of a shelter or place I could go and get a meal and bed for the night, would you?” Karen was feeling hungry, even after eating that candy bar of hers.
Sasha looks at the poor thing next to him. She was wet and wearing layers of clothes on her body. The knit hat she had on looked to be kind of worn and her shoes had duct tape around them and were mismatched. The gloves she had on were fingerless and looked to be the cheap brown gloves you could buy.
“How old are you?” Sasha was thinking something about this girl didn’t seem right.
“Fourteen years old. I could pretend to be younger for you if that is what you want.” Karen was looking at Sasha. She had been with men that loved for her to act like an innocent school girl and such.
Sasha just laughs at her “your barking up the wrong tree sugar. You don’t have the right equipment between your legs for me. Besides, you are really too young to be doing that type of business.”
“It’s all I’m good at. It’s all I have ever done.” Karen sits back in the car seat and closes her eyes. It was all she knew. She didn’t know anything else, except how to steal. When Doris had died, she had to learn how to survive on her own.
“Are you a runaway or something?” Sasha wasn’t sure if he should help her now. He knew a church that would take her in for the night. It wasn’t too far from where he lived.
“Nope, you have to have something to run away from. I don’t, except finding some where new to live. Where I use to live, have too many bad memories for me.” She couldn’t deal with living with the homeless she knew. They were okay people, but they only tolerated her, because of Doris, now that she wasn’t around. They treated her differently.
Sasha looks at her for a few minutes.
“Look I have a spare bedroom at my place. You can crash there tonight. We can talk about everything else later.” Sasha spots an Arby’s still open and pulls in to the drive thru.
“Welcome to Arby’s, what would you like to order?” It was a young male voice coming from the box.
“I would like a number five please with a diet coke and medium size it.” Sasha turns to Karen “what would you like?”
Karen looks at the menu. She could barely make out the letters and prices. Everything was blurry to her. She squints her eyes, to try to see the writing better.
“That one pleases.” She points to a number six. “Can I get it medium sized as well, please?”
“Sure” Sasha notices how she had looked at the menu.
“Also, I want to add on a number six as well and make it a medium and add another medium size diet coke to the order.” Sasha pulls his purse from the backseat and takes his credit card out of it.
He drives around the building and pays for their order using his credit card. He gets extra Arby sauce for their order. He hands the food and drinks to Karen. She takes them and places them on her lap.
Sasha looks towards her “My place is just right around the corner from here. We can eat when we get there.”
“Okay” Karen watches as they turn right off of Virginia Beach Blvd and onto Newtown road. They go up Newtown for a few blocks, before they make a left turn on Baker road and then another left on Hampshire Lane. He pulls his car up into the drive way and then down four apartments.
“We’re here.” Sasha gets out of the car first and rushes to one of the down stairs apartments and unlocks the sliding glass doors and heads inside with Karen right behind him.
She steps aside to let him lock the sliding glass door. He turns the lights on and sits down on the sofa in the room. Karen takes a seat in a chair that matches the sofa. She sets her oversized purse on the floor next to her chair and looks towards Sasha.
Sasha was already digging into the Arby’s bag and pulling out their dinner. He hands her, her food to her and then takes his out. Karen watches as Sasha opens two of the sauce packets and pour their contents on his sandwich.
“Is it any good?” She had never had it before.
“Oh! Sweetie, it makes the meat in the sandwich takes better. Here let me put some on yours and you can see if you like it or not.” He picks up two packets and accepts her sandwich from her.
Karen watches as he pours the contents on her open sandwich and then hands it back to her. She takes a bite of it and loves the way it tastes.
“Your right, it tastes good.” She takes another bite of her sandwich.
“Another convert” Sasha eats his sandwich and pours some more on his potatoes cakes.
Karen tries it on her cakes as well. She takes a bite and enjoys it as well.
Karen looks at Sasha and notices his American African features.
“Thank you for giving me a ride and for this meal.” It was rare that people did nice things for her, without a reason behind them or wanting something in return.
“You’re welcome. If you want to take a shower, the bathroom is down that hallway on the right. Do you have anything clean that you can wear?
Because, girlfriend I hate to be rude to you, but those clothes you are wearing have a stench of their own.” Sasha knew that was direct, but wanted to let her know.
“These are all I have. I have some clean underwear and socks in my purse.” Karen knew her new friend was right. Her clothes did smell. She hasn’t had a chance to wash them yet.
“Look, why don’t you grab a shower and give them to me and I’ll wash them for you. I have a night gown you can wear when you get out of the shower.” Sasha had a night gown that a friend of his had given him for one of his shows. It was going to be a little long on this girl, but it would be clean.
“Thank you.” Karen finishes her meal and takes her drink with her into the bathroom. She locks the door and starts to undress.
When she has all her clothes off, she looks at herself in the full-length mirror in the bathroom. She was way skinny, and her skin was as pale as vanilla ice cream. She had a few scars on her breast, where one of her owners had sunk his teeth into her repeatedly. There was a burn scar there as well from where a john put his cigarette out on her breast for fun. She had more scars on them from various things done to them. She had one nasty scar that cross all the way across her abdomen, where she had been cut by a hemp rope. The guy that did it pulled too hard on the rope and nearly cut her in half from it. The scars on her back and feet were the ones that bother her the most. She had whip scars and burn areas where hot wax had been poured on the back of her thighs and back. The bottom of her feet had been branded by each of her former owners. At the base of her neck on her back, the word SLUT had been branded on her. She was malnourished and had no body fat on her at all.
She starts the shower and uses the shampoo and conditioner in her purse, along with the scented bar of soap she carried along with her. She uses her last razor to shave all of her pubic hair on her body. Where ever there was hair, she removed it. It has become habit for her. She takes a quick shower and gets out and dries her hair. There was a knock at the door.
“Here’s the night gown.” Sasha waits for Karen to unlock the door and take the gown from him.
Karen walks over and opens the door slightly and takes the gown.
“You’re welcome.” Sasha turns and leaves her.
Karen looks at the night gown. It was peach color and looked well made. She slips it on and liked how it glided on her body.
She reaches into her purse and pulls out a clean pair of white cotton brief panties and slips them on under the night gown.
Se gathers her dirty clothes up and walks into the hallway carrying them.
“Where are your washer and dryer?” Karen was looking at Sasha with her hands full.
“Right here” Sasha opens a set of folding doors next to Karen.
“Everything you need is on the self.” He looks at her and notices she was very young looking and extremely skinny, now that she wasn’t wearing so many layers of clothes.
He couldn’t believe how much skin and bones she was. The poor thing was so skinny.
“You know; we never did introduce ourselves to each other. I’m Sasha Ann Langster” He gives her a friendly smile.
“I’m Karen Carpenter.” Karen separates her clothes so that they will wash right. She stuffs them down in the washer and adds the laundry detergent to them. She looks toward Sasha, because she doesn’t know how to operate his machine.
“Here let me help you.” He steps beside her and sets the machine and gets it going. He closes the folding doors.
“You can sleep in this room.” He shows her the bedroom that was right across from the washing machine.
“While you were in the shower, I went ahead and made the bed for you.” Sasha steps aside to let her by.
“Thank you.” Karen walks in and looks around the room. It was nice and clean. It had the same type of doors on one wall like the ones that hide the washer and dryer.
She goes over and lays down on the bed. This was the first time, since she has been free that she has laid on a clean mattress with clean linen. She slowly falls asleep, but doesn't let herself slip completely asleep.
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