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Those Hands

By S. A. Barton

Copyright 2012 S. A. Barton

Smashwords Edition

Find other stories by S.A. Barton on his Smashwords profile.

I never saw the face of my rapist. I was playing alone in a patch of woods behind my suburban home; my action figures were engaged in deadly battle for the very fate of the universe, and so I heard nothing until I was shoved forward into the snow. My face ground into the icy crystals, they melted up my nose and sent a shock of pain through my front teeth. A massive weight on my back pinned me. Knobby, pale teenage hands pulled my stocking cap down roughly over my face, the ragged edges of bitten nails dragging my cheeks. I have never forgotten those hands, or the cold shock of winter wind on my buttocks, or the short and painful violation that followed. He never said a word, but suddenly the weight was gone, and the crunch of boots in snow retreated behind me, leaving me alone. I did not turn to look, or try to get to my feet until I could hear them no longer. Only I and the violation remained, alone. I never said a word either, not then, not ever. I just didn't know I was supposed to until it was-- I thought-- too late. I was eight.

My parents mistook my sudden interest in spending long hours in the library for the cause of my withdrawal from social life, but it was the other way around. My peers were not safe to be around. Too many of them had older brothers, knew kids who had older brothers, or were bigger than I was. Libraries always had adults in them. Adults were safe; adults had never attacked me. It was not rational; some of those adults had teenage sons. Some of those adults might be sinister themselves. But perhaps more important than logic, a library was not a hidden place in the woods and I was not alone with any of those adults or the children they sometimes brought with them.

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