Rough Holiday

by Jon Peters

Warning: This story contains graphic sexual violence

Christmas Morning.

5:19 a.m.

A shaft of blue light pierces the darkness of my bedroom. A flashlight. Or a camera. My brain too foggy to register what’s happening.

An angry whisper from my bedroom door. My limbs freeze beneath the cool bedsheets but I perspire from fear.

“Move and I’ll shoot you dead in the face.”

Now I see the barrel, the blue light attached on top. I make out a gloved hand and a shadow man.

I wet myself and feel shame. I ruminate on this, my mind floating away. I was watching a documentary on Elton John before bedtime. He has a golden bathtub.

I am no longer here.

“Lay on your stomach. Do it slowly. You scream and I shoot.”

I turn over. The sheet beneath me, soaked. Urine and sweat. My skin is clammy.

I am about to vomit. I resolve not to choke on it. I turn my head to the side and spew over the side of the pillow.

A hand yanks the pillow away from me. My head tumbles to the mattress. I’m falling away.

My hands are pulled behind me. I cry out and the back of my head gets clipped hard. I see stars.

I float farther now, and wonder what Miss Havisham had for breakfast before she died. I must have read that book twenty years ago.

My wrists are zipped up tight behind me. My red fluffy pajama pants are stripped off me.

“You pissed yourself.” Not a question. I sense glee in the statement. Not his first rodeo.

My underwear comes next.

“Be a good boy and I’ll let you live.” I don’t believe him. I don’t believe anything anymore.

Isn’t it Christmas? I’ve got presents under the tree. Who will open them when I’m gone?

I stare at this tiny speck of light on the wall. It illuminates the smallest pimple of white paint.

I name it Jason the White Pimple of Paint.

This makes me laugh. He stops to punch me in the eye. I feel the swelling immediately. My eye closes.

Goodbye, Jason.

I smell aftershave. It’s like salt on the wind.

Did he shower?

He’s panting like a dog. His breath is like beef jerky.

I vomit again, which pushes him out of me.

He lets me finish. Thoughtful guy. I laugh again.

The next punch lands on my kidney and I can’t breathe.

I feel warmth inside me. Does he have any diseases? I’ll need to get checked.

“You want some water?” The question begs more laughter but I defer to crying.

I feel cold metal against my temple.

“Should I let you live?”

I don’t know what to say. I just lay there. My brain floats away again. It’s almost time to feed my cat. She likes her breakfast early.

The sun shines through my thin blue curtains before I realize I can scream without dying, so I scream away.

It’s Christmas Day.