“No.” Josie spoke out loud.
It broke their concentration, but resumed after Vinnie made sure she was okay. Josie went deeper into a trance, as Vinnie felt her presence disappear. She was floating through space until landing in her backyard as a child. She loved playing in the yard. Her parents had a row of giant red roses that Josie would play around. She would pluck the biggest rose and put it behind her ear and play Princess. All the girls in the neighborhood wanted to play with her and be her.
The picture frames of her past sped up to sharp and bright images of violence, her dad being drunk hitting her mom, an older boy molesting her at the public swimming pool: Boys were pigs and men were evil was the message of the flashback.
Then, the memories softened, the light changed behind her eyelids as she was now with Daira. They played all night, playing fortress with the blankets and dress-up with their Barbies. The memories were so sweet Josie could taste the cookies her mom baked. But, the lightness of the sweet memories faded to black and stunk like abuse and degradation, and the leader of the darkness was her father.
“Go to bed now!” The flashback of dad became all too real, as Josie screamed back: “No, I won’t!”
Vinnie awoke startled from his hypnotic state by grabbing her hand.
“Are you okay?”
She didn’t answer, she had questions for her father and she knew it would be easy to jump back to where she left off.
The spiral behind her eyelids began again, as she focused on the center until her body landed back in the past.
“Go to bed!”
“Okay Daddy.” Josie had changer her answer this time and fate altered slightly towards the positive. But, her father had power and knew it and wouldn’t let Josie off with just, “Okay, Daddy.” He came into her room and sat on the bed. The whiskey on his breath burned her sensitive eyes.
“Your Uncle Sammy said you misbehaved the other day, do you remember that? Were you a bad girl?” He pulled her by the ankles down towards him, which covered her face with blankets.
“Go to hell you bastard!” Josie screamed out loud. Vinnie was shocked out of the trance again.
“Keep fighting him Josie.” Vinnie said, as Josie was panting, sweating and beginning to cry.
“Don’t let him control you.” He said, as she closed her eyes and tried to control her emotions and breathing.
She walked back to her father through a dark tunnel. His nose was bleeding and he was crying.
“I’m so sorry Josie.”
“I hate to see you cry dad.”
“I’m worthless to the family.”
“No you’re not dad.”
“Oh well, I tried.” He laughed, as the tunnel disappeared and he was watching football in the living room.
This transition of imagery sunk Josie’s heart. Her dad didn’t give a shit. “Oh well, I tried,” burned through her a thousand times stronger than her first boyfriend hanging up on her. Having her eyes closed made her defenseless, like not having an ego to defend her pride.
She was traveling forward now, and seeing many contorted faces of her dad. Like melting plastic with a flame, she saw his eyes, nose, and mouth melt downwards into an evil grin and drip away, until there was nothing left but frayed wires and broken glass.
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