Scarred: A Damaged Souls Novel

By Twyla Turner


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8 mins

Prologue: "Haunted"

Davenport, Iowa- May 10th, 2012 1:05 a.m.

She heard the crunch of skin on bone before she felt it, the blow throwing her back against the living room wall. The pain finally catching up, exploded across her cheek and eye. Another strike of his fist connected with her chin and she felt her jaw crack. Her legs gave out from under her, but strong thick fingers wrapping around her neck, kept her from falling to the floor.
Through all the pain she remained quiet, silent tears running down her face. She knew if she fought back, if she screamed and sobbed, he’d only get off on it and hit her some more. If she was quiet he’d eventually tire of her, and bored, would go find someone else to torment.
At least that was what she thought, until his hands around her windpipe started to squeeze tighter, cutting off her air supply. Her body’s instinct to fight from lack of oxygen made her kick her feet out and her nails claw at his hands trying to get precious air. And with the strength of ten men in his anger, he lifted her off of her feet and threw her down on the couch and straddled her hips.
“Don’t ever ask me again where I’ve been or who I’m fucking! I can damn well fuck whoever I want and then come home and fuck you right after and you’ll fucking like it! Do you hear me, you cold bitch?!” He screamed in her face, in response to the earlier questions that started the current act of abuse.
Keeping a tight hold on her neck, he rose up off of her hips and pulled up her long nightshirt revealing her scarred thighs and panties. He grabbed hold of the cotton panties and tore them away in one swipe. He unbuckled his belt, pulled the zipper down on his jeans and pushed them down just enough to release his erection.
“You should be happy that anyone would even want to fuck your fat ass.” He breathed on her face, the smell of stale whiskey on his breath.
He spit on his hand stroking his hard length and pushed forcefully into her dry unready labia. A continuous stream of tears ran down her temples soaking her hair and couch beneath her. And even through the excruciating pain of her eye that had swelled shut and her jaw that she was sure was broken or dislocated, she could still feel every thrust rip and tear at the delicate flesh of her vagina.
He pumped into her a few more times, then grunted and collapsed on top of her. After a few moments, he rose up off of her and standing over her pulled his pants back up and fastened them.
“I think you’ve learned your lesson. Don’t question me again. I’m going back out. This place is a mess. Maybe you should spend more time cleaning than thinking about what I’m doing.” He said with righteous disgust before walking out the front door.
The moment the door shut a sob escaped her lips. Everything she’d been holding back came to the surface and her body was wracked with heartbreaking sobs. She gingerly stood up, but she took one step and fell to the floor as she felt a tear in her inner walls. With a shaking hand, she reached down to touch her abused labia that were slick with wetness. Bringing her hand back up, a wail ripped through her throat at the sight of blood covering her hand.
Trying to gain control of her raw emotions, she started to drag herself to the kitchen to where her cellphone was in her purse. Finally making it after several minutes of struggling, she pulled her purse down and searched through it till her fingers felt the phone. Her trembling fingers clumsily pulled up her best friend’s number.
“Bianca, help me.” She whispered into the phone, barely able to talk around her damaged jaw, before she finally passed out.


Several hours later she woke up in the hospital, groggy from the anesthesia that had been given to her. Opening her one good eye she saw Bianca sitting next to her bed, her eyes filled with worry.
“Lexi! Oh thank God, you’re awake. How are you feeling?” Bianca asked grabbing Lexi’s hand gently.
Lexi tried to talk, but her jaw wouldn’t move. She brought her hand up to touch her swollen face, in confusion.
“They had to wire your jaw shut after they reset it because it was dislocated. And…and they had to sew up some tears on your vaginal walls. Lexi…they say that with all the damage and past scarring that you may never have kids. What the hell happened, Lexi? What did he do to you?” Bianca asked sadly, knowing that his beatings happened frequently, but never this bad.
Lexi just shook her head as more tears slipped down her face.
“You have to stand up to him! It’s never been this bad, and you have to put a stop to it. There are cops here to ask you questions.” Bianca said getting up to get the officers that were there waiting, shaking off Lexi’s hand that gripped hers, trying to stop her.
A moment later two police officers walked into the room. The pretty female cop smiled comfortingly at Lexi, taking the lead knowing that Lexi would probably feel more comfortable speaking with another woman.
“Ms. Bolden, I’m Officer Tina Patrick, I need to ask you a few question about what happened tonight.” She said as Lexi looked away.
“Lexi, you have to tell them. Stop protecting him and protect yourself, before he eventually kills you! Don’t let what happened to your mom, happen to you.” Bianca implored.
The memory of her mother’s bloodied and broken body, lying unmoving in front of her as a little girl, stirred something in Lexi and she nodded her head at Bianca.
“My boyfriend, Eric Benson hit and raped me.” Lexi said softly through her clenched jaw, only able to move her lips.
“Was this the first time that he’s hit you? Raped you?” Officer Patrick asked.
Lexi shook her head no in reply.
“How did it start? I know it’s hard, but I need you to describe what happened.” She pressed on.
Lexi slowly and painfully recounted the events of the night to the officers and Bianca, ending on a shaky breath.
“Thank you. I know that it was painful to relive something so terrible, but this will help put him behind bars and far away from you. But I do need to ask you one question, probably the most important question. Do you want to press charges? I know that most women in this situation don’t want to. I know you probably feel that you love him and don’t want to see him in jail. But if you don’t press charges, he’ll be out again and possibly finish the job the next time.” Officer Patrick persuaded.
Lexi hesitated a moment. She thought back to all of the times he’d hit her, to all of the abusive things he’d said to her. Those thoughts brought her back to distant memories of her mother being hit over and over again by her father. And of her father hitting her and calling her names, as well. The final vision that flashed before her was the closed casket at her mother’s funeral, but this time she was in it.
“Yes. Press charges.”


“How To Save a Life”

Kabul, Afghanistan- May 10th, 2012 10:35 a.m.

Lieutenant Sloan Stryker and his men had a few days off, so they took an armored truck into the city of Kabul. Some of the men wanted to buy gifts for their wives, girlfriends or mothers back home, but most just wanted a break away from the danger that presented itself at their daily post.
Tangi Valley, the valley of death was where they were assigned. One of the most dangerous shitholes in Afghanistan, most days they were just sitting ducks for the terrorist groups that wanted them dead. The valley was surrounded by sandy colored mountains that boasted numerous nooks and crannies in the jagged rock formations that extremist could hide behind and wreak havoc on them.
Though it was nice to get away to the somewhat safer city, Kabul was by no means a safe place for them. So in full gear, with guns slung over their backs not far out of reach, they walked the streets of the city, shopping, cracking jokes and just trying to feel normal, if only for a few moments.
“Hey Cooper, why don’t you get this hijab for your mom?” Vick said to the youngest in the group, referring to the piece of cloth that covers the mouths of Arab women.
Vick was Sloan’s longest and best friend in the Marine Corp. They had saved each other’s asses on numerous occasions. Vick was the happy one, always smiling the biggest smile and making wisecracks. And Sloan always teased him that he couldn’t smile that big at night, because it was like a nightlight to the enemy, since it was so white compared to his dark skin. And of course Vick would just joke back that Sloan was so white that he just glowed in the dark and that at least all he had to do was stop smiling and he’d disappear to the enemy.
“Why’s that Sergeant?” Cooper responded.
“Because I’ve seen pictures of her and she’s fine as hell! You gotta keep that MILF under wraps, before a guy like me comes over to hit that.” Vick joked, making the young scrawny corporal turn red with anger.
“Hey man, back off my mom! That shit ain’t funny.” Cooper shot back, knowing he’d never win a fight against the large black man, but willing to stand up for his mom anyway.
“I’m just messing with ya, Coop. Your mom’s not that fine…but your sister is! Hey, can I get her number. I could be your big black brother-in-law.” Vick just laughed hysterically.
Just then Sloan’s black German Sheppard Tank, a military trained dog that Sloan trained himself, whined and then growled low in his throat signaling a threat.
“Guy’s cool it. Something’s wrong.” Sloan said low, but the men were too busy laughing and didn’t hear him.
“Shut the fuck up, Vick.” Cooper said, and turned to ignore Vick when a bullet shot through his neck spraying blood everywhere.
The young corporal fell to the ground and struggled, trying to breathe, as one of the men crouched over him trying to stop the bleeding. But the young marine stopped moving completely after only a few seconds, his eyes going blank.
“Fuck!” Sloan shouted, knowing that he was responsible for the corporal and every man with him. “Let’s move out.” He called to his men in a loud whisper.
But before they could move anywhere that first single shot became a barrage of bullets aimed at them. The bullets whizzed by their heads as they dove to take cover behind cars, walls or anything else that could provide protection in the city. The citizens of Kabul scattered and disappeared. Grabbing their guns from behind them, they took aim up at the tops of some of the buildings surrounding them. With targets locked they shot at the enemy and several hit their mark perfectly and the Muslim extremists fell to the ground with a resounding thud.
Tank started to bark and pull on Sloan’s pant leg, signaling more danger to come. Sloan yelled to his other men to get back to the truck, but Vick was too busy taking out more terrorists one by one. An expert marksman.
“Vick! We have got to go!” Sloan yelled at his friend, trying to pull him back.
“Just let me get in a few more, man! There’s only a few left.” Vick shouted back.
Tank continued to bark like crazy at Sloan.
“It won’t matter when your ass is blown to bits by an IED, now get your ass moving! That’s an order, Sergeant!” Sloan shouted.
No sooner did they turn to run back to the truck, one of the very bombs that Sloan just mentioned exploded across the street. Shrapnel sliced across the left side of Sloan’s face and embedded itself into Vick’s leg. Vick fell to the ground holding his bleeding leg.
“Fuck!” Vick shouted out in pain.
“Come on! We can’t sit here. You’ve got to get up.” Sloan ignored the pain radiating across his face and the blood that kept dripping in his eye, blinding him.
Sloan put Vicks left arm around his shoulders and helped him get up. They had only hobbled a few feet away before another IED exploded behind and to the left side of them. The force of the explosion sent them sprawling across the street, knocking Sloan out cold.


Sloan woke up in a makeshift military hospital. A wet tongue lapped at the right side of his face. He opened his eyes to see Tank lying next to him with his middle wrapped in white gauze.
“Hey, Lieutenant Stryker. How are you feeling?” A pretty nurse said, as she checked his vitals.
“I’m fine.” He said, as he raised his hand to touch the bandage blocking his vision on the left side of his face.
“Good. You have some lacerations on your face and had quite a bit of shrapnel in your back and left arm and a pretty bad gash on the back of your head. You suffered some nerve damage because of it. You may lose feeling or have pain on your left side every now and again, but I guess on the bright side it bought you a ticket out of hell.” The nurse tried to cheer him up.
“What happened to Tank?” Sloan asked, scratching the dog behind the ears.
“He got hit with some shrapnel too. But nothing major, he’ll make a full recovery. He wouldn’t leave your side, you know.” The nurse said with a smile at the black dog. “When you got here he was lying with you on the stretcher and nearly bit off a few hands when anyone tried to separate you two. We finally had to sedate him just to get you both into surgery. When he came to, he whined…loudly, until we brought him back to you. And he’s been watching over you ever since.” Tank whined again, as she finished the story, as if he knew he was being talked about.
“And my men? How are they? How is Vick? I mean Sergeant Bailey.” Sloan asked the nurse.
“I’m so sorry Lieutenant, but he didn’t make it. The rest of the men, except for Corporal Cooper and Sergeant Bailey made it out. Some were badly wounded, but will make it. Were you close with the Sergeant?” The nurse asked softly.
“He is...was my best friend.” Sloan said as silent tears ran down the right side of his face and soaked the bandages on the left.
The nurse left to give him privacy to grieve. Not wanting to lay there any longer, Sloan slowly got up and walked over to a mirror that had been hung on one of the posts holding up the hospital tent.
He looked at his reflection. Gently he began to pull the gauze off of his face, revealing a jagged stitched up cut that started on his forehead above his left eye, cut down through his eyebrow luckily missing his eye and starting again at the top of his cheek down to his jawline. And another stitched cut went through the corner of his top lip to his bottom lip and down part of his chin.
Sloan wasn’t a vain man, but women had always found him attractive. They even sometimes said that he was too pretty. Well they won’t have to worry about a pretty face anymore. They probably won’t touch me with a ten foot pole now that I look like Frankenstein’s Monster.
He wished that it was him that had died and Vick had lived. At least Vick had family that loved him and would be devastated to find out that he had been killed. My family doesn’t give two shits about me.
A corporal walked up then to hand Sloan some papers.
“Your discharge papers, sir. You’re free to go home, Lieutenant.” He said, patting Sloan on the good side of his back happily.
Oh great…home. Just another form of hell.



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