© Mike Finn 2010
It’s the fourth day and I’ve grown used to his scent in my nostrils; man-sweat masked with Bulgari and threaded with fear.
I have no clothes except the shorts I was wearing when he took me. My breasts move freely beneath his unwashed yesterday’s shirt. I would rather be naked than confined within used shirts that seem like cast-off skins and which mark me as his to use and control.
We travel from motel to motel in his old Ford truck; eating in Diners, like father and daughter, silent with nothing left to say. There is nothing left. He has taken it all. Not just my innocence but my will to carry on being me. I am dissolving as the days pass.
Why don’t I run? Why don’t I scream? Because I know it is pointless. He is strong and I am weak. He has shown me that, writing my weakness in bruises where they won’t show. A private message from him to me. I am getting what the weak deserve.
He doesn’t look evil. He has a kind face, soft hands and a calm voice. It is his soul that is twisted into monstrous forms. Sitting next to him in the cab of his truck, listening to soft rock and sipping the coke which is all he buys me, my soul cringes. I sit as far away from him as I can. He makes no move to touch me. Not here. Not now. Not until dark. By day, only his thoughts brand me.
He calls me Linda. Soon I will call myself Linda. Except, by then, I will no longer be me. I assume Linda is dead and I am dying. My blonde hair is black now. Linda’s hair. Shorn short. Like my happiness. By his too-strong hands. In the mirror, in the mornings, when I have shorts but no shirt, I see Linda’s face forming beneath that black hair.
Once a day he feeds me. Once a day he fucks me. Once a day he makes me feel the leash he holds me by.
The sex isn’t the worst. It doesn’t take long and he doesn’t hit me anymore. I call him Daddy. He calls me Linda. We fuck. He’s happy.
The worst is that I cannot bring myself to die.
The last motel room had bleach in the bathroom. I opened the bottle ready to drink. No more Linda for Daddy then. I did not drink. It wasn’t the painful death I feared but being caught and saved and nursed to health by Daddy. I need something quicker.
It is dusk now. He will find a new motel soon. Once the door closes he will make Linda strip. He will clean her and dry her and fuck her.
The night is dark. I am naked apart from his sweat which stains my skin like a luminous tattoo that only I can see twisting across my skin.
It is the fifth day. His shirt is rough. My nipples are sore from his attention. I have decided not to eat. I have decided not to think. My eyes twist towards him, watching him pump gas. He is smiling, being polite. I am in the locked truck, sweating into his shirt. He will bring a Coke, Linda will thank him
Linda chats to him as he drives. She calls him Daddy. She lets her hand rest on his thigh. He looks at her and smiles. Meanwhile, I plan.
Linda doesn’t wait to be washed. Naked she climbs on Daddy’s knee and kisses him, twisting her tongue in his mouth like a knife.
Not once. Not twice. Three times Linda makes Daddy happy. Daddy sleeps, sated and smiling. I search his pockets for the truck key that will bring me my freedom.
So much blood. I am covered with it. His final attempt to mark me as his own. I pull the keys from the gash in his throat and smile. Blood washes off, twisting down the drain and out of my life.
A fresh shirt from his bag. For the first time, I smell only of soap and me.
The trucker stops and opens his door. His eyes pass quickly over my face but linger on the free movement of my breasts as I climb aboard.
“Where you headed, baby?”
His lips twist and turn but his eyes stay on my shirt.
“Away from here,” I say.
He smiles and pats my thigh. I let him keep his hand on me until he pulls into traffic. When he has both hands on the wheel I undo two buttons on my shirt I twist in the seat, half facing him, letting the shirt gape.
“Can I call you Daddy?”
He stares at me, licks his lips and says, “Sure.”
I curl up against him in the cab. We drive in silence until the darkness starts to form.
“Can we get a motel, Daddy? I need to go to bed.”
He sounds excited. Eager. I know he is already hard. I know the twisted route his thoughts are taking.
As the motel room door closes, I take off my shirt and turn to face him. I undo his buttons and realize that he is so large his shirt will drown me.
“Jesus,” he gasps, as I suck his nipple, “I don’t even know your name.”
“My name is Linda, Daddy,” I say tugging at his jeans.
His belly is as soft and large as his cock is small and hard. I twist on top of him, letting his fat fingers close around my breasts. His skin glistens with sweat. The hair on his chest mats. His face is flushed with effort. When, at last, the moment comes, his face distorts as if he is in pain.
I curl up against his chest, softly repeating “Thank you, Daddy,” until he slips into sleep.
Silently I pull away and search for his shirt. I fold it and put it somewhere where it won’t be splashed, then Linda digs out the keys from my shorts. He doesn’t wake when I straddle his chest. Only when I push down with all my weight does he twist beneath me. He tries to hurt me but he is too late. I make sure that he will never hurt anyone again.
I head back out on the road towards the lights of a filling station. Cash from his wallet is in my pocket. I could take a bus. I could buy a shirt.
Headlights. Another truck. I stick out my thumb. Linda smiles.