Warning: The story that resides behind the following <lj-cut> might disturb you. It has a fairly graphic and/or detailed description of rape and murder, told from Anilla's point of view. So, if you think you might be offended by it, please don't read it. Thanks.
This story takes place when Anilla was 14 years old, which is two years before she arrived in Catsden. It occurs before she met Tobias or the Great Mother, and she is just starting to learn more about her ability to talk with animals. It is written from her point of view, as she saw it two years ago.
"Hi there, little one. Don't be afraid, I'm not going to hurt you."
I walked up to the squirrel that was sitting on a low branch. He was chewing on a nut when I saw him, and once he saw me he stopped to examine me. I could tell that he was trying to decide if I was a threat or not. I opened my hand to reveal for him the big acorn that I had found. I smiled as I saw him struggle with his instincts. I was almost close enough to touch him now, and I just held out the acorn. After a bit of staring, he dropped the little nut he was holding and jumped into my hand for the bigger, tastier one. I giggled. He just sat in my hand chewing on the nut.
"There you go. See, I'm not so bad, am I?" I smiled at the little squirrel that was perched in the palm of my hand.
The squirrel chittered back happily. I could have laughed, I was so happy. Usually the squirrels would run away from me; they were one of the hardest woodland creatures to pacify. Very slowly, I lifted my finger and rested it on the top of his head. He didn't seem to notice as he was still busy chewing on the nut. I scratched his head, and he stopped eating for a moment to chitter happily again. I really laughed at this point; I couldn't believe that this was actually happening.
After the squirrel finished his meal, he turned around in my hand a few times. He then curled up in a ball and fell fast asleep. I smiled as I watched the sleeping animal. I very carefully placed him back on the branch, and he snuggled against the branch quite contently. I smiled again.
I looked up at the sky; it was getting dark. I had been so set on trying to find a squirrel that would not be afraid of me that I hadn't noticed how late it was. I knew that I had to head home now because it wasn't safe to walk through Elftown at night. I walked through the forest, which I knew very well, and towards home.
By the time I arrived at the edge of the forest, it was completely dark out. The moon was in the sky, but it only emitted a very small sliver of light. The stars were out too, and as I walked through the grassy area between the forest and Elftown, I looked up at them. They were very pretty.
As I arrived at the edge of Shendar City, I decided that I better stop looking at the stars. By now it had to be almost midnight. I walked quickly through the streets of Elftown. My home was about in the middle of Elftown, so I had to walk along a few streets to get there. I saw a few half-elves walking around (most of which were drunk), but the streets seemed very eerily empty. A full-grown half-elf male watched me as I walked by.
"Whatcha doin' out so late, missy?"
I knew I shouldn't answer, and I walked a little faster to get away from him.
"Aww, c'mon. You should answer yer elders."
I walked faster, and turned onto a side street. It wasn't nearly as well lit as the main street, but I wanted to get out of view of the male that was talking to me. I stopped for a moment, and I realized that I was panting. I hadn't been running, but I was scared. I listened, but I didn't hear the male nor any sign of him following me. I calmed down a little.
"Come on, Anilla, you're almost home," I said out loud to myself.
I continued along the side street, afraid to go back onto the main street where the people were. It was going in the general direction that I wanted to go, at least. I wished that there were lanterns on this street, but the only light came from the bigger streets around it.
As I continued to walk, I started to hear footsteps behind me. I didn't know what to do. Was it better to turn around to see who it was, or to just pretend not to notice? I decided to turn onto another side street to try to lose the person. No luck; I could hear their footsteps turning the corner behind me. I decided to glance behind me very quickly. I saw a man, a human man, walking towards me. He was big, definitely an adult. I walked faster. Why was there a human in Elftown? They were very rare, and if they were around it was usually during the day. They usually just passed through to ridicule whatever half-elves they could find along the way. So why was this one here, and why was he following me?
I turned a few more streets, trying to do my best to lose him. I wasn't sure what direction I was headed anymore, but I didn't care; I just had to lose him. But every time I turned onto a street, I could hear him turn the corner behind me. I was walking really quickly at this point, but he had to be matching my speed. I was starting to panic.
I turned onto yet another unlit side street, and then I broke into a run. I ran as fast as I could in any direction that would lead me away from this man. I could hear him running behind me, and I tried to run faster. I could hear his footsteps getting closer behind me.
As soon as I turned onto another side street, the man grabbed my left wrist. I tried to pull away, but his grip on me was too tight. I tried to scream, hoping that someone might hear me, but right as I was about to try, he stuffed some sort of dirty cloth into my mouth. I screamed into it.
He yanked hard on my wrist, causing me to fall onto the ground. I tried to struggle back onto my feet, but by now he was using his weight and strength to hold me down. I was on my back on the hard, dirty ground, and he pinned down both of my arms with his. I looked at him, scared to death. Was he going to kill me?
Before I knew it, he had somehow managed to get my skirt up around my waist. He twisted my arms above my head in such a way that he was able to hold them both with his left hand. No matter how much I struggled, I couldn't free myself; he was too strong for me. He used his free hand to touch my left breast. What was he going to do to me?
He then moved his hand from my breast and pulled down his pants. I could see it. I didn't want to see, but I couldn't bring myself to close my eyes. He used his hand to guide it. He pressed it against me, between my legs. The tears were streaming down my face, and I could barely breathe. I was choking on my own tears.
I could feel it. I could feel it go inside, and I could feel the pressure and the pain. I didn't know what to do or think. He was far inside of me. But then, he wasn't. He was pulling out. I was scared. After he pulled out almost all of the way, he moved back in. He pushed it back inside of me. I was crying. What was happening?
He kept doing it, over and over. Moving in, moving out. I couldn't move. He was staring directly into my eyes. He was doing this for what seemed liked forever. All of the thoughts swarming through my head...they were jumbled together, and I couldn't think straight. I needed to get out of there. I needed him to get off of me, to get out of me.
Suddenly, I felt his grip on my arms weaken. I didn't waste a moment; I broke my right arm free of his grasp and pulled my dagger out from under my clothes. I didn't think about what was happening or about what I was going to do. I just needed him out of me. I stabbed him hard in the side.
He yelled loudly, and he tried to pin my arm down again. But I wouldn't let him. I pulled the dagger out quickly and stabbed him again somewhere in the chest. I kept doing it, over and over. Moving in, moving out. I wanted him to die. No, no, what am I thinking? I don't want him to die. I just want him out of me.
I had weakened him enough so that I was able to roll him off of me. He came out of me. I was free. I was covered in his blood, and there was some of my own blood on my legs. He was on his back, lying on the ground, just as I was a moment earlier. I was on my knees, shaking in fear and anger. I pulled the cloth out of my mouth and threw it at him. I looked at my dagger; the whole blade was covered in his blood. I had put it all the way inside of him, just as he had done to me.
He was still moving, still alive. He was moaning loudly, his pants down around his knees and his blood spilling onto the street. He was wriggling in his own blood. I stood up slowly, trying out my legs, making sure they still worked and weren't completely numb. I watched him struggle to grab the threads of life, trying not to break them. I knew that Eraia must be there, coming for him. I knew that he didn't want to die, but I wanted him to die. My stomach was lurching, and I felt like I was going to be sick.
He was choking on his own blood, as I was choking on my own tears. I watched him suffer, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the sick pleasure of watching the man die. I was standing there over him, and my tears were falling onto his face and chest. He was still staring at me. His expression kept changing. One moment his eyes would be pleading with me, asking me to save him. The next moment he would almost look like he was enjoying it, like he was enjoying death. I just kept watching. I wanted to turn away, but I couldn't. I was so scared.
After a long time, he stopped struggling and just let Eraia take him. His eyes were still open, and they were still staring at me. His dead eyes, eyes that could no longer see, they were staring right into my soul. I was shaking. I couldn't just leave him here, out on the street. I quickly grabbed the cloth that he had stuffed into my mouth and used it to wipe the blood off of my dagger. After it was mostly clean, I put it back under my clothes. My legs hurt; I could barely stay up. The whole area between my legs was both aching and numb at the same time. I could feel the blood that was dripping down my leg very slowly. He had broke something inside of me, and I had broke him back.
I gathered up what was left of my strength and dragged him by the arms. I dragged him into a side alley, where I hoped no one would find him for a while. I stared at his eyes again. I couldn't look away. I finally took the cloth and covered his face with it. I was finally able to turn around and walk back onto the side street. I was in a daze. I just kept walking onto different streets, no longer alert to what was going on around me. I was covered in blood. I couldn't go home like this. I wasn't even sure where home is anymore.
I just kept walking, not thinking about where I was going. I couldn't see where I was going; all I could see were the man's eyes. I was still crying, but I didn't notice. I needed to wash myself off and get home. I couldn't stand up for too much longer. I couldn't think for too much longer.
I suddenly found myself outside the forest again. I walked through the trees and towards a small pond that I knew was there. I found it and I pulled off my clothes. I sat down at the edge of the water and washed my clothes, and I could see the blood coming off of them. I was still crying.
After my clothes were as clean as they were going to get without soap, I walked into the water. It only came up to about my waist. I submerged myself and just stayed there for as long as I could hold my breath. I felt the water moving over me, cleansing me. It was cold, but I needed it to be cold in order to ease the throbbing pain I was feeling. I finally lifted my head above the water and breathed in the air deeply. My body was numb from a combination of the cold water and from what had just happened. I climbed out of the water and onto the grass next to the pond. I lay down on my back, looking up at the tops of the trees. The wind made me shiver, but I didn't care. I needed something, anything to keep my mind off of what I was thinking and feeling.
As the water evaporated off of my body, I felt the thoughts pouring back into my head. Why? What did I do to deserve this? Who was he? Is that what sex is supposed to feel like? Am I damaged forever? Was it okay for me to kill him? I did it in self-defense, he might have been planning to kill me once he was done with me. But how could I know that? Did he have a weapon on him? I never checked, but I don't want to know if he did or not. It's better if I don't know, in case he didn't have one. But he could have easily strangled me without a weapon anyway. But then why did I let him suffer? I watched him die and I enjoyed it. That's sick, Anilla. I should have just killed him quickly. But why should I have let him die easily if he had hurt me? He hurt me, and I hurt him back. He had to experience the pain that he had forced me to experience. But that's different, Anilla. Death is different than rape. He's never coming back, and I'm still alive. I'm still alive, and he's not. Why? Why did I live? Why did he let go of my arms? Did he want to give me the chance to kill him? Did he want to die? He doesn't have to live with the memory of what happened, and I do. I'm going to live with this for the rest of my life. It's going to haunt and torture me. Why? Why couldn't I have died with him?
I grabbed my dagger from the ground and looked at it. It still had a little blood on it. My hands were shaking. I pressed the flat side of it against my neck. It felt cool and deadly. I knew that I could very easily slit my throat and end it now. I turned it sideways, and pressed the sharp side against my bare skin. So easy. I could die and never have to think about this again. No one would find me for a long time. Silaqui and Talas would be worried and try to find me. They would know that it was useless after the first few days. They...I can't do this to them. I can't let them suffer like that. It's not their fault that this happened. They don't deserve to suffer just so I don't have to.
I pulled the dagger away from my throat and threw it onto the ground. My neck was bleeding a little. I was so close, so close to ending the pain. But no, I can't do it. I need to live, if only for my family. They need me.
I was crying again, or maybe I had never stopped. I wasn't sure. I forced myself to sit up. I looked at the sky; it was starting to get light. Maybe I should wait until the morning, when there are more people on the streets, before I go home. I crawled over to my clothes and put them back on. They were still damp, but it didn't matter. I took my dagger and washed the remaining blood on it off in the pond. I looked at it for a long time, and then I put it away. I needed to move around, to get my mind off of what had happened.
I stood up and walked around the forest. I have no idea how long I was walking for, but by the time I looked at the sky again, the sun had fully risen. I tried to think of what I would say to Silaqui and Talas when I got home. They were probably worried about me already. I couldn't tell them what happened. There's no way I could explain it. I wasn't sure what happened myself. I mean, I know, but...no, I don't. I'd rather not know.
I looked at the sky again, and closed my eyes. Nothing happened tonight, Anilla. Nothing. You just decided to stay out in the forest all night. There was a squirrel that was hurt and you needed to take care of it. What, my clothes? That's squirrel blood. It got on me. It didn't come out fully. What, the pain? There is no pain...the pain is gone. It will be gone.
I opened my eyes again. I turned towards home and walked. I walked out of the forest, across the field, and back into Elftown. I walked down the main street, which already was already full of people doing their morning chores and work. I walked straight to my home without stopping. I went inside and saw Silaqui and Talas sitting on one of the beds, nervous. As soon as they saw me they jumped up and hugged me, relieved to see that I was all right. I was all right. Nothing was wrong. Yes, it was a squirrel. It was hurt and I had to help it. I'm sorry that I worried you two. Yes, I'm fine. I'm not hurt.
That's right, Anilla. You're fine. That night never happened. There was no experience.