The Battles We Choose Part 8: Broken Leash
Posted on Sun Apr 12th, 2015 @ 9:06pm by Unawakened Bethany Davies
Location: The Commune, North of Reno, Nevada
Timeline: Saturday, August 21st, 2010/Night
Previously: The Battles We Choose, Part 4: Domestic Dispute
The green-eyed brawler’s eyes narrowed and she suddenly tensed, not able to tell if the sound was in her head or real, so many years of torture to reinforce stopping at his command trying to lock her body down. That part of her that took over when she was in trouble, leapt up inside of her, and Bethany willed herself to keep going, forcing legs that suddenly felt like they were encased in cement to carry her forward. Every movement seemed painfully slow to the girl and she could have sworn that the distance between them and the edge of the Miller’s house was actually getting longer, rather than shorter.
“Bethany?” Margaret gave her daughter a look of stark cold fear, “Honey, run and don’t look back. I’ll talk him down.”
“No, Mama. Don’t you dare look back,” Bethany pleaded, pulling Margaret along as quickly as she could manage. “Run, Mama! Run!”
“The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged, but I can’t control it.
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can’t hold it.” ~Skillet - Monster~
Two roaring shots rang out just as Bethany was trying to pull her mother to cover behind the Miller’s house. The haze of fury that had been tinting her vision suddenly rushed to the edges of her eyesight and her breath caught in her throat when the round exploded from the front of her mother’s chest. Time and space seemed to compress as the other round passed through her stomach. The green-eyed brawler screamed and dove for Margaret, crushing her mother against her with her good arm as both of them dropped to the ground, trying to shield her from the force of the impact. She lowered Margaret's head ever so gently.
“No, Mama... nonononono...” Bethany all but whispered as tears rolled down her dusty, bloody face and she was suddenly unable to concentrate. She heard her father’s laughter break through the squealing that had started building in her head, but all that she could think about was the woman that had brought her into the world. The only person that had ever truly loved her.
Margaret took a short, pained breath and looked at her only child as she hurriedly tried to cover her wounds and she coughed, bringing up bright red blood. “Run Beth...” she choked out, fear dancing in her eyes as she raised a hand weakly to stop her daughter’s frantic attentions, “You have... to go now...”
“No! Not this time...” Bethany blurted back in a panicked, breathless cry, trying desperately to stop the bleeding, cursing Mark for the uselessness of her left arm, her one hand already soaked red from her efforts. “I can’t leave you here again, Mama!”
Suddenly, the mortally wounded woman’s grip around her daughter’s wrist was as strong as the grave that was calling to her and she hissed through clenched teeth, “Bethany Marie, you listen to your mama, girl. Run!”
That stiffened the girl’s spine and she gently stroked Margaret’s face with her gore-stained hand, lowering her forehead to touch hers, her tears falling on her rapidly paling, blood streaked face as Bethany forced herself to look into the eyes of her dying mother and begged, “I can’t do it, Mama. Not again... please don’t make me do this again. Come with me, Mama... please...”
“I can’t, baby girl. You know that,” the woman whispered, and gave a weak smile, “I love you, Beth... be free... I will be.”
“I love you, Mama... don’t leave me. Not yet, Mama... not yet,” the green-eyed girl pleaded helplessly, her body vibrating with grief.
~So many times you told me that I was weak~
--Jack Davies stood behind her, screaming in her five year old ear, a little black and white kitten from the barn, broken and bleeding, being forcibly held in her hands, while the fingers of his other hand were wrapped in her hair, forcing her to look at the wounded animal. “You are WEAK! Kill it!! Kill it now!!” --
Burning tears continued streaming down her face as she felt her mother’s hitching breaths beneath her and the scent of her hot blood seared the girl’s nostrils. She could tell that her father was gloating, posturing for his hellish flock, but she couldn’t tell what he was saying; the furious sound of her pounding heart and the blood forcing it’s way through already stressed veins was as deafening as any desert monsoon storm.
~That I was pathetic~
-- “Get up, you worthless, pathetic bitch!” Jack Davies spat at his nine year old daughter as she lay on the ground trying to catch her breath. It was a task that was growing more and more difficult with the swelling of her broken ribs, but she struggled to her feet, only to feel the butt of her father’s pistol glance off the side of her head.--
Bethany was growing more and more numb as the seconds dragged slowly by, failing miserably to control the flood of horrific memories that kept flashing through her mind. Her body was locked in a trembling tension, face to face with the one person that had kept her from becoming the beast that her father wanted her to be, as she bled out in the dust of the commune that had been her prison for so long.
~That I was too much of a coward to kill~
-- “Bethany, don’t stain your soul with your own father’s blood. He’s still a creation of the Father. Let him up,” Margaret said, as Jack lay on the floor bewildered and terrified, his eldest child forcing a shotgun down his throat and standing on his chest. She wanted him dead, with everything that was in her, but the sweet voice of her precious, battered mother stopped her. --
If he had really understood that the only thing that had been standing between him and death was the woman that was breathing her last in that moment, perhaps Jack Davies wouldn't have taken those shots. But because he hadn't grasped that simple concept, the loyal wife that he had cast aside and beaten down for so long, had only managed to delay the inevitable. One of them would be joining her in death that night, if not both of them.
When the last, rasping breath escaped her mother’s lips and the light faded from her face, Bethany nearly collapsed under the strain of her grief and guilt, and she felt like something was ripped away from her, deep inside. She kissed Margaret’s bloody cheek, closing her lifeless eyes, whimpering, “I love you, Mama... I’m so sorry... so sorry...”
As her angel’s voice faded in her head, the heartbroken young woman’s eyes narrowed and hardened and she felt herself slipping into the dark, calculating frame of mind that always preceded her plunges into madness. That time, instead of fighting the sinister impulses that rose up the back of her throat like an acrid bile, she welcomed them, savored them.
The leash that had held the monster back for so long suddenly snapped, and she rose to her feet, drawing another of her pistols. The sound that had started as a broken whimper grew into a rising crescendo, as all of the fury, pain, hatred and heart rending grief tore itself free in a primal scream that echoed up from the depths of the personal hell that the green-eyed brawler suddenly found herself in.
“YOU WERE WRONG PREACHER!”
The tactically trained teen turned and callously shot a Nexus soldier that tried to move up on her and though the shots weren't intended to be fatal, they also weren't far off the mark. Dropping the gun, Bethany began stalking towards her father.
When he paused in the middle of his triumphant gloating to turn towards his screaming daughter with a wary, confused look on his face, the maniac that Jack Davies had created through years of brutality, cried out in an incoherent, guttural fury as she pulled the .40 M&P pistol that Jon had given to her from behind her back and unblinkingly fired two shots. Both rounds struck the stunned preacher, one in the chest then one in the stomach, mimicking the pattern that he had put into his wife, the force of which knocked the unprepared man back and off of his feet.
While she was painted with laser sights, rounds whizzed by her and struck the ground around her rather than their intended target, as Iris continued to hold to her promise to keep them from being able to use light against her. Even so, two shots hit Bethany in the chest, shattering the plates of her body armor. She was driven backwards gasping, and with one arm dangling limply she was unable to catch herself before landing face first on the hard packed desert floor. She had already reached the point that she wasn't feeling pain though and wouldn't until the adrenaline wore off. If she managed to survive.
Gulping in a ragged breath of air, once again the green-eyed brawler dragged herself to her feet, just as she had through so many years of torture and abuse, and even as she stood, the form of her father began rising as well, a choking, howling, evil laughter escaping him.
“HOLD!” Jack Davies choked out. “Stupid, demon BITCH!” the living vision from her nightmares spat at her as he gained his knees. His sycophantic followers gained more confidence and gathered behind him, two trying to help him to his feet as he continued, “I trained you, you worthless cunt! Fed you, clothed you! Fuck! I should’ve drowned you at birth!”
The madman preacher shook off his followers angrily and drew in another breath, glaring at his biggest disappointment in life as he forced himself to his feet. “You've failed at everything! You're weak, just like I always said! The only way this ends is for you to kill me and you don't have the guts! You are WORTHLESS! Did you think I didn't know that you’d be back for your precious Mama? FUCKING PATHETIC! You couldn’t even pull off your own fucking mission! HA! I told you that half-witted bitch was a weakness! Best piece of bait I could have ever wished for, you dumbass! Where’s your boyfriend, you little fucking whore?! Did we get him too?”
"You always expect things to go so easy,” his eyes drew to cold slits. “Did you actually -think- it would be that-fucking-easy?! Did you?!" Jack roared back at his half-crazed offspring, then started bellowing a taunting laughter.
Once again, the twisted psychopath that had fathered Bethany had missed the subtle warning in the accuracy of her shots; the Preacher was going to face God for his sins a lot sooner than he thought. As her father continued to laugh, the girl’s eyes glittered dangerously. Her full, blood stained lips turned up in a manic grin and she nodded slightly as she raised her gun, sneering as she breathed, “Yes.”
As she spoke that last word, another night-shattering roar erupted and the maniacal laughter was cut off as Jack Davies’ head snapped back violently and his body slumped lifelessly to the ground. Yet even as she silenced that vile creature that had driven her into madness, the green-eyed brawler felt as though something had shattered in her heart. Something that stopped her from being able to calm her breathing and she clutched her gun to her chest, dropping heavily to her knees. She had betrayed her best friend, her mama was dead because of her, and Bethany had become the one thing that both of them had tried so desperately to save her from becoming:
She knelt there, gun still clutched in her hand, blindingly furious, heartbroken and defiant as most of her father’s blood and brain-speckled followers began moving away from her fearfully. They had all known that Bethany had the potential to be deadly and, with the preacher’s corpse as proof, they apparently needed no further prodding into saving their own asses and leaving her to the professionals.
That seething hatred and agony continued to swell in her chest as she stared down the Nexus soldiers that were approaching her with their weapons trained to kill. Her tactically driven mind rapidly planned out what it would take for her to get through the fight and she chuckled darkly, her gaze distant and smoldering with rage. She figured that she could take at least a few of them out before they cut her down.
The girl thought that perhaps it was fitting to fall there with her parents. She sure as hell wasn't going to let Nexus take her alive and, for the first time in her life, Bethany was too far gone to care if her targets met with an ugly and bloody demise at her hand.
Her body begged for collapse but she refused to show weakness before these men. She held on by sheer will, driven by one thought--Iris. Bethany continued to kneel on the ground, as much to keep from falling as to avoid tripping an itchy trigger finger. She waited, watching her enemies like a cornered, wounded animal driven to the point of madness, her left arm hanging at her side, useless for what she wanted to do.