Monday, June 27, 2011

Beauty From Pain: Chapter 1

This pattern increased over the years. As Kioko grew into a teenage girl, her father’s behavior worsened. He would come home drunk, high, or both. Sometimes he would bring an assortment of his friends with him, and let them all watch while he did unspeakable things to her. Kioko just let it happen, she never stood up for herself, never attempted to fight back. After all, she deserved it, didn’t she?
“Dammit,” a 17 year old Kioko cursed to herself. “Hai?” She called back.
“Get in here!” Her drunken father shouted at her. She sighed and obeyed, walking into the dining room where her father and an intimidating man stood waiting for her.
“Who’s this?” She asked quietly, her skin crawling at the look the man was giving her.
“This m-man,” her father slurred. “Is going to t-take you.”
“Take me where?” Kioko whispered in horror.
“Wherever the hell he wants!” Her father yelled.
“What are you saying?” Kioko asked, her voice cracking.
“I owe him money, for numerous things,” her father said. He pointed at her, swaying as he did. “And he said that if I gave him you, my debt would be erased.” Kioko turned, horrified, to look at the man. He smirked and stroked her cheek.
“She’s a pretty one, I can make quite a bit on her I bet.” Kioko gulped and the man grinned a yellow-toothed smile. Kioko flinched away from his touch and looked pleadingly at her father.
“Daddy,” she begged. “Please, please don’t let this man take me! I’m your daughter!” Her father looked at her in disgust.
“Daughter?” He spat. “You’re nothing but a whore.” Kioko’s eyes welled with tears as the man wrapped his filthy hand around her wrist and began pulling her out of the house.
“Please!” She shouted desperately, as her owner dragged her mercilessly out of her house, and into the pouring rain. “Daddy!” She called out, willing her father to change his mind.
“Shut up!” The man shouted and slapped her across the face. “You’re going to be a good little girl, and you’re going to do whatever and whoever I tell you to, got that bitch?” The man grabbed her face in his slimy hand and squeezed roughly.
A surge of panic welled up inside her chest, and she squeezed her eyes shut; trying to block out the crude images that raced through her mind. No, she thought, please no!  
For the first time in her life, Kioko started to struggle. She shook the man’s hands off her and tried to run away.
“Oh no you don’t!” The man growled as he caught up to her and wrapped his arms around her torso, trapping her arms under his. Kioko gave out a strangled sob and kicked backwards causing the man to grunt and fall to the ground, clutching himself in pain. “You bitch!” he screamed at her. Kioko ran blindly, not caring where she was going, as long as she was far away from him. She could hear his heavy steps as his clumsily ran after her, and doubled her pace. She scanned the streets quickly, looking for any escape, any possible way for her to get away from him.
There! She turned down an alleyway and nearly screamed in frustration. Dead end. She froze when she heard someone chuckling evilly. She turned around slowly and saw the man, her owner, approaching her.
“Did you honestly think you could get away from me?” he asked tauntingly.
A fist collided with her face before she could answer.
Kioko groaned as she awoke, a great pounding in her head. She sat up and started getting out of bed, when she was yanked back down. Confused, she looked at the chain around her wrist, that was connected to the headboard of the bed she was sitting in. She looked around quickly, her heart pounding. The room was filled with ten beds, five along either wall, a girl occupying each bed. Some were awake like her, but they were all laying quietly, watching.
“W-What is this place?” She whispered to the girl closest to her. She simply rolled over, turning her back to Kioko. The sound of loud, obnoxious voices filled the air and Kioko quickly lay back down, hoping that if she pretended to be asleep she would be left alone. She heard footsteps next to her and cracked an eye open. An unfamiliar man was facing the girl that’d ignored Kioko before, injecting something in her arm.
“Aye, Akeno?” The man called out.
“What?” A voice sounded from across the room.
“Are we supposed to start the new girl on the stuff yet?” Stuff? Kioko thought fearfully. What stuff?
“Nah, Kazuo wanted to talk to her first. Wake her up.” Kioko cried out as the man next to her grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled, hard.
“She’s awake,” the man snickered and unchained her from the bed. He pulled her against his body, his warm breath on her cheek. “I heard you were a runner,” he whispered, causing her to shiver against him. Suddenly she felt something cold and hard press against her neck and she gulped unsteadily. “If you run from me, you’ll get this in your back. Got that, sweetheart?” He placed an open mouthed kiss on her neck and began rubbing her arms.
“Jiro, cut it out.” The man called Akeno scolded. “Kazuo said no one was to touch her.”
“Yeah yeah,” Jiro grumbled and licked her neck once more before pushing her forward. Kioko’s eyes tried to memorize her surroundings as she was guided into a room, the door slammed shut behind her. In front of her, seated behind a desk, was the man who had taken her earlier.
“Have a seat,” he said calmly, gesturing to an empty chair next to her. She eyed him wearily, her muscles refusing to move. The man chuckled quietly. “Now, Kioko, is it? My name is Kazuo, I’m afraid we weren’t properly introduced before.” He paused for a second, as if waiting for her to say something. When she didn’t, he continued. “I know your father didn’t say anything to you about what I do, or what you’ll be doing in the near future.” Kazuo smiled a smile that made Kioko tremble.
“I run a business Kioko, a very successful business. And in order for my business to be successful, we have to have the full cooperation of everyone working here, which means you.” He looked at her for a moment, a terrifying glint in his eye. “You really are a pretty one, aren’t you?” He said quietly. He studied her for a few more moments before he pushed a button on the edge of his desk. The man from before, Jiro, entered the room and eyed Kioko hungrily.
“Yes, boss?” He asked, his eyes not leaving Kioko.
“Postpone the treatments for the new girl, she needs to be,” he paused and grinned. “Broken in,” Jiro grinned in response and winked at Kioko before exiting the room. Kazuo stood and walked around his desk, locking the door before turning to eye Kioko.
Her screams tore through the air, her cries for help left unanswered.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beauty From Pain: Prologue

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, as a car sped along down the road. Inside a man, Makihiko, was desperately trying to reach the hospital, the agonizing cries of his wife Haru rang through the car.
“Daddy?” The little girl in the back asked fearfully. “How much longer? Mommy’s hurting my hand.” Makihiko looked back to see his five year old daughter huddled against his wife in the backseat, their hands intertwined, both colored with pressure.
“Not much longer, Kioko” Makihiko promised. “We’re almost there.”
“It’s a girl!” The doctors cried excitedly. Haru slumped back against the sweat drenched sheets, exhausted from the five hours of labor she had just endured.
“Let me see her,” she panted. She looked up at her husband who was holding a small pink bundle in his arms. Ever so gently he handed the baby to his wife, kissing her forehead as he stepped aside to let mother bond with child. “She’s beautiful,” Haru cooed.
“What’s her name?” A nurse standing nearby asked. Haru looked up at her husband, and back down to her beautiful baby. “Emiko.”
Nobody noticed the little girl huddled in the corner.
“What do you mean ‘there’s no cure’?” Makihiko shouted at the doctor angrily. Haru was holding her baby close, tears dripping down her cheeks.
“I’m sorry sir,” said the doctor. “You’ll be lucky if she survives her first birthday.”
“She’s only 2 months old!” Haru wailed.
Four years later
“Kioko! Emiko! It’s time for dinner!” Haru shouted out of the kitchen window. She felt two arms wrap around her waist as her husband kissed her cheek.
“Smells great honey,” he said as he reached over and stuck a finger into the bowl of sauce.
“Oh no you don’t!” Haru laughed as she wacked her husband’s hand with a spoon. He jumped back and ran into the dining room licking his finger clean. “Maki!” She shouted in pretend anger. She could hear her husband’s laughter and couldn’t help but smile.
“Mommy?” A small voice whispered. She turned to see Kioko standing in the doorway, looking confused and sad.
“Kioko, I told you and your sister to come inside for dinner.” Haru scolded. “Where is she?”
“There’s something wrong with Emiko,” Kioko said, her voice quivering. Haru’s eyes widened and she hurried out of the house, into the backyard where her children had been playing. A small girl lay motionless and pale on the ground.
“Makihiko!” Haru screamed, tears already threatening to spill. She knelt down next to her daughter and held her close to her chest. She vaguely heard her husband shouting and Kioko crying, but all she could concentrate on was her heartbeat, and her daughter’s lack of one.
“Kioko!” Haru shouted. She heard her eleven year old daughter running through the house, looking for her.
“Y-Yes, mother?” Kioko whispered fearfully.
“What did I tell you about this room?” Her mother said through clenched teeth.
“You told me to clean it,” Kioko answered quietly.
“Then why isn’t it clean!” Haru shouted angrily.
“I-I,” Haru whirled around and slapped her daughter across the face, interrupting whatever answer she was about to give.
“I don’t want your excuses! I’m sick and tired of always having to tell you a thousand times to do something! You’re useless, worthless, a disgrace! It should’ve been you who died, not our precious Emiko! You could never replace her!” Haru’s blows continued to rain upon Kioko’s frail body, leaving her huddled on the floor. Even then, she wouldn’t stop. She continued to kick at Kioko, until a deep pain shot into her chest. She grunted and fell to the floor, convulsing. “K-K-” she tried calling out to her daughter, for help, for anything, but her movements ceased, her breathing stopped.
When Makihiko came home later that night, he found his wife’s body on the floor, and Kioko huddled in the corner, bleeding and whispering “I’m sorry.”
“Kioko!” Makihiko’s slurred voice called through the house. Kioko winced as she pictured her drunken father, stumbling in from another night at the bar.
“H-Hai!” She answered, wishing he was too drunk to hear.
“Come ‘ere” he called out. She took a deep breath and exited her room, walking into the dining room where her father sat at the table. He stood when she entered, and held his hand out to her. She squeezed her eyes shut, swallowing the bile in her throat, her entire body shaking at what was about to come. She extended her arm until her hand fell limply in his.
“Whore.” Her father sneered and slapped her across the face when he was finished. Kioko’s body was sore, her clothes torn, her eyes wet from unshed tears. Her father got up and left the room, taking a bottle of sake with him.
Kioko pulled herself up off the floor and attempted to stand up. The aching in her body barely let her crawl into the bathroom. She turned the water on hot and sat in the shower, nursing the wounds covering her body, crying silently. She was thirteen years old.