CHOP CHOP - JOHN RACHEL
Dawa crawled onto her sleeping mat. She hurt. She hurt badly. He had been rough before. An epileptic grunting pig. But this time it took him forever. And he thrust so hard it felt like she was going to split in half.
Gregor was Russian. Around 40 years old. Puffy from too much vodka for too many years. But under the flaccid layer of gelatinized skin was enormous bulk. A gigantic chunk of meat and bones which made him more of a barrel than a bottle.
He ran the dungarees section of the Hinge Fabric Works apparel factory at Changkat Jering. And he used his position of authority to alleviate the sexual cravings exacerbated by being around so many young girls.
Dawa was put into rotation, one of over forty adolescent female workers, almost from the day she arrived. Gregor obviously liked to jump right in and sample the new goods to see which ones he preferred. And he had a real fixation on the youngest ones, assuming correctly that the chances of nailing a virgin were inversely proportional to age. Dawa was only twelve and was certainly a virgin.
The first time he entered her, the pain caused her to pass out. She apparently was carried back to the dorm and left to sleep it off. When she came to, the sharp throbbing in her loins was excruciating. She went into the bathroom and found the inside of her thighs caked with blood and her vaginal area swollen and suffused with red and purple bruises. It took over a week for her to return to normal.
Apparently, Gregor liked what he saw. Dawa was often brought in out of turn, and subjected to three or four times the number of rapes as any of the other girls. Rape it was, completely against her will, though she was too petrified at the prospect of even more brutal treatment, to show any sign that she objected or to try to put up any resistance.
Gregor was rough to the point of being violent. When he came close to climaxing, he lost any semblance of control, became a thrashing animal, unaware of the incredible pain Dawa was enduring and certainly incapable of any mercy whatever her suffering. Still Dawa did her best to hide her agony, merely turning her head to the side and biting her lower lip.
But inside she was screaming. Twelve years old. In spite of the frequency of Gregor’s assaults, her little body could not stretch nearly enough. She never completely healed and the deep-flesh throbbing and cramping never completely subsided.
Gregor had taken her again last night. Now she hurt so badly she couldn’t fall asleep. She was completely exhausted and unable to stop sobbing till the sun came up and she was again herded along to her workstation.
As she sat at the fabric cutting table, she came to a decision. She had to escape. Maybe they would catch her and kill her. But that would be better than this.
For the rest of the day, Dawa experienced a calm she had not felt ever before. She did her work mechanically but efficiently, and there was nothing about her behavior or demeanor which would tip off even the most intent observer about her newly planned escape. Inside she already felt she had been liberated. The beckoning of new possibilities away from this drudgery and physical torment filled her with a hopeful excitement.
After lights out that evening, she lay on her sleeping mat as usual, faking unconsciousness. But behind her closed eyelids, she could see the path she would take through the other sleeping children, to the doorway of the dorm, out the rear entrance of the building, and toward the sliding fence gate where traffic in and out of the factory grounds was monitored by a single guard.
She wasn’t quite sure how she would get past this point but was sure that if she were patient and cautious, she would be able somehow to slip by.
When she could only hear the soft rhythmic breathing of sleep from those right around her, and no one else in the room seemed be stirring, out she went. Ever so quietly, she tip-toed the path she saw in her mind’s eye and could almost discern in the faint scattered light that came from under the door at the end of the room. Out the door. No one in sight. Crouching low but taking brisk steps, she headed straight for the entrance gate.
Much to her astonishment, when she got near the gate no one was there in the guard booth. She was surprised but grateful to whatever set of circumstances blessed her escape with one less obstacle.
Staying close to the fence and low to the ground just to be safe, she quietly swung open the pedestrian gate and slipped through.
Before her now was a long service road, between two deep ditches and bordered by heavily wooded land. Cutting through the forest was not an option. In the dark, she would make very slow progress and probably get lost. So she ducked into the right side ditch, walking and sometimes crawling. Fortunately, there had been very little rain for the past several weeks and the ditch was dry and afforded easy passage.
For the entire two kilometer length, there was no sign of anyone else. No vehicle lights, no sounds that would indicate she was being followed. As she moved down the service road, her confidence grew that she was in the clear. Once she reached the T in the road, she could make her way onto one of the adjacent farms and find a place to hide until daybreak.
She could barely see anything in the dark pall of the night. But just as she reached the end of the road, there was a brief break in the clouds, and the gentle, faint light of a quarter moon lit up the countryside enough for her to see that the T in the road was just ahead. She crept quietly forward, came to the edge of the embankment where the ditch made a 90 degree turn, and ever so cautiously started onto the gravely surface of the dirt road. She saw some bushes opposite her, on the other side of which was a vast rice paddy. She figured she would cross the paddy and see if she could find either a man-made or natural shelter in the vicinity, to rest and cocoon herself for the night.
When she got to the center of the road, two headlights switched on and Dawa was caught blinded and exposed in their glare. She froze as two soldiers got out and roughly grabbed her arms and threw her into the cab of the military jeep.
“Kind of late for a young girl like you to be walking around, wouldn’t you say?”
Dawa was too frightened to cry. She stared straight ahead, resigning herself to whatever fate she might now have to endure. Everyone knew the reputation of the military in this country. Nevertheless, she still hoped that they wouldn’t take her back. Anything but that.
But, to her horror, they immediately drove back down the service road. When they got to the gate, Dawa could see in the vehicle’s headlight beams that there were two people standing, waiting for her. One was a young man, rifle in hand, dressed in a uniform. The other was the beast himself. Gregor.
The soldiers harshly yanked her from the vehicle, dragged her over to Gregor and threw her at his feet. She couldn’t look at him and just stared helplessly at the dirt, just inches from her face. She panted like a dog and trembled, her entire body in the grip of a cold sweat nausea.
“My little kitten. You have been wandering. Wandering away from home. But this is your lucky day. These fine soldiers found you and kept you from getting lost.”
Gregor handed the two soldiers three 100 RM notes each, which they quickly pocketed. They jumped in the jeep and drove away.
Dawa was roughly pulled to her feet by the guard and escorted back into the dorm building. But instead of going to the sleeping area, she was taken to the other end of the building and sequestered in a small supply closet full of chemical solvents, brushes, brooms and rags. She cowered in the corner as they closed and locked the door behind them. She curled up, trembling in a tight ball, using a huge floor mop as a headrest.
The night seemed interminable. Instead of sleeping, she gradually slipped into an unpleasant state where she was irritably semi-conscious and startled by the slightest noise. By the time the door was noisily unlocked, she was a wreck and flinched warily, then fitfully struggled as they reached in to pull her to her feet.
After they dragged her into the light, Dawa could see that the closet was one of many storage compartments in a long row, all of which opened on the long hallway of a raw industrial structure. Far overhead were I-beams and clusters of opaque square windows. Many of them were broken and there were shards of dirty glass on the cement floor. At the end of the hallway, against the cinderblock wall, was a thick workbench and a large wooden throne chair. This is where they took her. Two silent guards and the loquacious Gregor.
“So you think we just let you workers come and go. That we don’t have proper security here. You know, my kitten, it goes both ways. We can’t let just anyone walk in here and harm our precious workers. Little kittens like you. So what you didn’t notice were the very advanced IR motion detectors. Courtesy of our enlightened owners in Hong Kong. We knew the minute you tried to leave.”
Dawa suddenly realized she never stood a chance of escaping. She had in her desperation been fooling herself. What now? She was a portrait of fear. Just as nakedly, they made no attempt to hide the utter thrill they were feeling as they leered at their defenseless quarry.
“This is very bad for discipline, you know, little kitten. We can’t allow others to think that they can just pick up and leave. All of you have contracts to fulfill. So we will need, as we have had to do occasionally in the past, to make an example of you. Shall we say, a warning to the others.”
They pushed her into the chair, the guards grabbing her arms and pulling them back so there was no way she could get up. Gregor grabbed her left leg at the ankle. Dawa hadn’t noticed until he placed her foot on it, but there was an anvil right at the base of the chair. Gregor grabbed some rope and quickly lashed her foot to both the chair and the anvil. Dawa started to scream but there was no one around to hear.
“You tell your friends, little kitten, this is what happens when you try to escape.”
Gregor picked up a chisel and a hammer and, in one motion, amputated the second toe from Dawa’s left foot.
Surprisingly in that moment there was little pain. Dawa looked at the blood running out of her foot as if she were a disembodied observer. She floated out and away from it all, as she fainted and consciousness evaporated into the vapor of oblivion.
“That is what happens, little kitten.”
BIO: John Rachel has a B. A. in Philosophy, has traveled extensively, is a songwriter and music producer, and a left-of-left liberal. Prompted by the trauma of graduating high school and having to leave his beloved city of Detroit to attend university, the development his social skills and world view were arrested at about age 18. This affliction figures prominently in all of his creative work. He is author of two full-length novels, “From Thailand With Love” and “The Man Who Loved Too Much.” He is currently living in Japan.