We all have something in our past we are reluctant of coming public. I wish it was something embarrassing that I could simply get embarrassed with and get it over with. Unfortunately, I liked being special and being the only possible child for another very special person, I just loathed publicity.
“I thought you told them you’re searching your father?” Mykola innocence didn’t save him this time.
Saul-Erik asked something. He was loosing his patience, asking this what felt like sixth time, but I wasn’t paying him much attention. I was busy beheading Mykola with my eyes.
Drops were forming over my hair, I could feel my hair greasing up. Or was it sweat? My throat was dry and my muscles suddenly ached from all the running yesterday.
Suddenly I felt Saul’s fingers close around my elbow and it was jerked from under me, forcing me to look at him.
“You are Huntsman’s daughter?”
I still didn’t see his eyes, only the gritting teeth and tense jaw muscles.
Oh great, I was near finding my beloved daddy and now this!
“Are you Huntsman’ daughter?”
He shook me violently, pressing me off my chair and forcing to look up. I didn’t like what I saw – his entire face had turned into grimace and for the first time in my entire life I actually felt the threat, the need to get away and hide as if being caught up by a grisly bear.
“Don’t you dear faint on me!” his yelling brushed over my hair and I felt the heat from his slap mix with pain. “Answer me!”
“Yes! I am Huntsman’s daughter!” I screamed, pulling myself away from his arm, but it didn’t happen. He was out of this world and everything I had imagined him do, this was worse. I never imagined him hit me. Get angry, turn away, but no hitting.
Suddenly he let me go and I fell away from his reach. I immediately thrust myself further away and hit against the wall. This wasn’t far enough, but it was furthest from anybody else in the living room.
His slap worked its way to my brain and the light throbbing from the red mark changed into headache. I wanted to cry.
This was why I didn’t want to tell them before I could reach my goal. Before I could finish the terror my father brought and make them understand I wasn’t the same. I am not my father, I don’t kill for pleasure!
I had to get Mykola away from here. If he says I have already taken a life, they would never believe I was different.
With that I gasped and I wanted to beg. In my entire life I had never had to beg, but tonight I was willing to do it, beg for Saul’s forgiveness and make them see that I wasn’t same with my father!
But if I even made a sound, he would have simply tossed me out on the street and I knew it. It didn’t matter right now that I had helped Rasmus or Malek or Harry. They were sitting there behind their round table and gagged by Mykola just as much as Saul was.
It was better to leave myself, I decided and dragged myself up from the corner, eyeing my chance as Saul had left in the bedroom.
I froze on the second step, Mykola standing on my way.
“That’s what happens if you hold back information, darling!” he whispered and grinned.
“Like you were much better!”
I only felt the wind as Saul pushed himself between us and pressed me back to the corner. “You knew and said nothing to me! That is hardly honesty!”
“Saul –“ I started, but he responded without looking at me.
“Get out. I will have no-one related with that monster in my house!”
I didn’t even know why I had said it, but I used the moment and ran back to my house, out of their way and hid myself under my own rusty bed. I should have run further, but I reacted by hiding myself under my bed like I did whenever they showed my father on TV. Back then I waited friends to call and mock me for it, realizing I was his daughter. Tonight I was hiding for my life and that only because I was his daughter.
Six hours later I didn’t hear anything from their house anymore, but I didn’t come out either. The floor was cold and the wall molted, reeking of wetted wallpaper and old newspapers that I saw under it.
Suddenly I heard footsteps on the stairs. They were heavy, wearing big boots and I knew it was Rasmus, because no one else had such boots around here. The kind that clings every time the chains brush against the buckles.
I pressed myself further away. I knew I should have pulled the blanket lower to hide myself better from being seen from the door, but it was too late. He had already reached the door and the door handle creaked.
The door opened and he looked in.
I held my breath. My shoulder was in the light and I instinctively pulled it in the shadow.
He was about to close the door, when he probably heard my movement, because he reached his head out one more time and eyed lower.
He held his breath for a moment and I knew he had seen me, but instead of coming straight after me, he simply sighed and closed the door and left.
I panicked. I wanted to leave, but I could still hear him on the stairs, so instead I crawled up against the most darkest place I could manage and I begged God to forgive me the killing in Sandlewoods, for trusting Mykola and for any misleading action I had ever taken, as long as he would keep me from their revenge. Moment later I cursed him for letting me be born, because this faith, I assumed, had to be punishment for doing something very bad in my youth. Or my mom doing something wrong, but there was only one thing my daddy was and that was our punishment.
I saw daylight sneaking in from the curtains. No one came, but I was sure they were just outside, waiting me to walk to them, spreading this news to everybody. My dad had killed nine of them – there couldn’t be a family out there, who wasn’t related to them one way or the other.
They could just torch the house? I was allergic to the mold, I was reminded by it when the tears mixed with the dust and it burned my cheeks, but why bother with cream if all they had to do is fire my house up?
I hit my fist against the wooden base, then again and again.
Right then I heard the door open again and it was enough to make my heart jump. I pushed myself back against the molted wall and held my breath.
I didn’t know the man, who entered, but he didn’t seem angry. Instead he seemed relaxed, looking around, getting acquainted with my papers on the nightstand.
Something cluck in his jacket pocket. He sat down on the bed and I heard it come out of his pocket right before he put it on the floor and tossed it to me.
“Here,” the low voice said, “Saul said he’s sorry.”
I looked at the bottle that had hit my elbow.
It was the one unmarked blue plastic water bottles Saul used to carry with him. The one that no one else was allowed to touch. The ones that had painkillers added to the water
He waited and I waited. I still didn’t say a word, didn’t even breath properly.
After ten minutes he had enough and he rose. “Anyway, Saul wants to see you when you get over this childish hiding game. Bye!”
I was out from under the bed and up before I understood he tricked me.
“See? That wasn’t that hard now, was it? Oooh!”
What ooh, I frowned.
“Perhaps shower first, then Saul.” He suggested chuckling and nodded towards the bed. “Unfortunately you need to climb after the bottle yourself,” he looked at me again, “but you already know the way I guess?”
He burst laughing and went, leaving me standing there like fish – gutted, molded and dehydrated.
But while I was there, contemplating my own death, I realized that it wasn’t gonna be that easy with my neighbors. Especially if Saul had the mentality to first cure his victims and then torture them again.