Life can be hard, sometimes it will do what it can to break you down until you’re nothing left but a sobbing mess of s**t because you wanted to experience it. Guess I must have done something worse, cause life had it out for me.
“Dorothy get your sorry a*s up! Laze around and do nothing all day, must be nice huh?”
That welcoming was all too familiar. “Auntie Gem” was on another drinking binge. What day was it two or three? Who cares? Keeping count was pointless; like keeping count of the beatings from “Uncle Henry”. Like I could call these worthless beings family.
Dorothy jumps out of bed rising to her feet. Her back still bruised and raw, it aches her body to stand straight out of the stiff bed.
“Good morning Auntie Gem.”, it tasted like venom to slither the words from her mouth. It wasn’t a good morning, or anything for that matter.
Sneering her lip, Gem s***s out a last sip from a bottle and tosses it across the wooden floor, “Your uncle needs you to tend to your mutt. Damn thing is out running loose again. Ain’t our responsibility. Go find it, if it gets killed or hurt I could care less. Just don’t want anyone complaining bout’ it.”
“Yes Auntie Gem”, Dorothy complies. It took a lot to take in someone talking to you like you were a saved abortion, but her back begged her to stay quiet. Last weeks backtalk still lingered in her nerves.
Dorothy steps out in the same outfit she fell asleep in. A blue and white checkered dress. It reeked of body odor but her uncle had strange intentions. He liked to wash her clothes for her, he apparently had other objectives with her clothes as well as she found out one night. He wasn’t exactly “family material”. More like a friend making his way into the family to get close to a daughter.
She grabs a brush tugging out the knots of her tangled hair and puts her pigtails into blue ribbons. She lived in a shithole with her aunt and uncle out in nowhere. They treated her more like a burden to carry than a niece. She was fed twice a day, meals she had to share with Toto her dog.
More than a dog, but a best friend. Her only friend really. She steps out of the house soaking in the sun. It hung high in the sky pouring out it’s furnace of rage onto the dying land. Henry often cursed while digging holes into the barren land.
He couldn’t keep the farm alive, and because of that anger often filled his vessels where other emotions should be. They withered and died out long ago. Henry looks over at Dorothy coming out and yells, “Well look at that! The ‘princess’ has awoken. Go find that f*****g dog before it pisses someone off.”
Dorothy stays silent, she reflects on the belt whipping across her soft flesh and shudders at the thought. She knew better than to say anything.
“Toto! Come on boy where are you?!”, she had to find him. He was her only friend. She heads out towards the dead soil walking past Uncle Henry. He stopped digging and smiles at Dorothy, something in his smirk made her feel queasy. She doesn’t look for long before a recognizable figure comes riding down the dirt road on a bike.
A woman she was well familiar with, Miss Gulch. She was a lonely hag that was meaner than snake spit. Just thinking of her took some Hail Marys to repeat to wipe out the poison that warped your mind. She was one you loved to hate.
Miss Gulch comes riding down the road, wisps of dust fly behind her wheel as she scurried down it. Her grotesque wart seemed to pulsate on her nose. Dorothy’s dog Toto held on in the basket of the back.
“Toto!”, Dorothy yelled at Miss Gulch made her way to the falling shack some called a home. Her wrinkles pulled back past her missing teeth, she was happy about something.
Screeching to a halt she drops the bike after grabbing Toto by his fur holding him up like a infected rat, “This is yours I believe?”
She drops him to the ground from a distance high enough to make him cry out. “Toto!”, Dorothy yells as he tries to make his way limping towards her.
“Oh don’t feel sorry for that beast! He bit me! Should of strangled it, but thought I’d follow the higher road and inform the Sheriff. He’ll be here soon. Figure I’d let you say goodbye to the little s**t. I’m gonna enjoy watching him die. I own half this land, you just f****d up.”
Toto limps towards Dorothy, her eyes swelling with tears of anger she grabs onto him and looks up. She couldn’t let it happen. He was the only reason she got up in the morning. The only reason she went though the things she did, the abuse on different levels, just to see his face comforting her.
She looks up to Miss Gulch and grabs Toto before running away. She didn’t know where to go, how they would survive, but anything was better than this Hell she was forced to call home. Her uncle yelled at her to stop upon seeing her fade into the distance but was too late.
Dorothy was done with their beatings and starvation, done with the verbal and physical abuse, done with everything. She didn’t know where she was going, but anywhere was better than here. F**k Kansas, Uncle Henry, Auntie Gem and especially Miss Gulch she thought to herself.