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Murder By Proxy

Murders in a hospital loosely based on actual events

Murder By Proxy

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THIRTY YEARS AGO
The child sat alone quietly sobbing in the darkness, her tearstained face unseen. Huddled in the corner of the closet, she hugged her knees to her chest with both arms.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she whispered. “I didn’t mean to be a bad girl, honest.”
She could still hear the echoes of her father’s angry voice. “Why can’t you do anything right? Why are you so stupid?” He’d asked. She put her hands over her ears to block out his voice but the conversation kept repeating over and over in her mind. “I wish you’d never been born,” he’d told her coldly. “I never wanted children anyway…they’re too much trouble.”
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she’d told him.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” he had mimicked in a high voice. “When Mommy’s at work you have to stay in your room and be quiet,” he’d said sternly. “How many times do I have to tell you that? I don’t want you asking questions and making noise.”
She sniffled. She was never really sure what he wanted. He would tell her to stay in her room, but then would yell for her to get him a beer out of the refrigerator, and if she was too slow, she invariably got slapped.
She tried to muffle her crying but her sobs became louder as she grew more upset. A loud pounding on the closet door startled her and she drew back in fear.
“Shut-up in there. I can still hear you!” he yelled.
She put her hands over her mouth, smothering her sobs. If she didn’t stop making noise, he would punish her again. She could feel the burning sting the belt left on her back. He would do worse if he opened the door now. Feeling around in the dark amongst the shoes and clutter, she located her pillow and tattered blanket. If she could fall asleep, everything would be all right in the morning when Mommy came home. She snuggled into the softness of the pillow and hugged it to her chest. Wiping her face on the blanket, she began to relax. Pushing at the shoes, she made herself more room in the cramped space.
Why can’t I be a good girl, like Daddy wants? she wondered. Why am I so clumsy and noisy? Tomorrow I’ll try harder. She had almost dozed off, when she heard a loud thump and her father’s cursing.
The door to the closet jerked open and his black silhouette stood out against the bright overhead lights. “I just tripped over your damn blocks,” he screamed in a drunken slur. He reached in and jerked her roughly up by the arm.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbled sleepily.
He slapped her a stinging blow across the face. She whimpered. Her ears rang and she saw stars as he pulled her from the closet.
“Shut up! Get out here and pick up those blocks!” he ordered, flinging her down on the bedroom floor. Scrambling up, she grabbed clumsily at the blocks. There were only three of them, but in her anxiety she dropped one. She watched fearfully as it rolled across the floor.
“Clumsy girl!” he slurred scornfully, pushing at her with his foot. She tripped and bumped her head on the floor.
She picked up the errant block and stumbled awkwardly toward the closet. When he punched her from behind, her teeth clamped down on her tongue and she cried out in pain. Tasting salty blood, she hurried forward trying to reach the safety of the closet.
“Stop your bellyaching and get back in there!” he yelled.
Hurrying too fast, she tripped over the hem of her nightgown. As she fell, the blocks slipped from her fingers and bounced across the floor. She hit the floor hard and looked up in fear, her eyes pleading. “I’m sorry, Daddy,” she whispered.
“OK, you asked for it,” he said pulling off his belt.
She scrambled to her feet and stumbled toward the closet as he lashed out with the leather belt. She screamed as it slapped across her back and shoulders.
“Shut up!” he hollered raising the belt again.
With the next lash, she fell to her knees. Cramming her fist into her mouth she tried to muffle her cries as the blows continued. They came so hard and fast that she couldn’t get up to run to the closet. When the belt buckle struck her on the side of the head it knocked her over onto the floor. Blood trickled down her temple as she curled into a ball trying to make her self smaller, protecting her face. The blows continued relentlessly. He grabbed her roughly and ripped her nightgown. The belt now struck her bare back.
She was almost unconscious when the pain suddenly began to recede. A quiet, gentle voice inside her head said, “Don’t cry, darling. I’ll help you. You go to sleep. I’ll take the pain for you. I’m strong and it won’t hurt me as much…hush now.”
She didn’t understand what was happening, but she welcomed the release from her terror and the horrible pain. Everything seemed to fade away. Although her father’s voice continued screaming insults she could barely hear them. She knew the belt continued striking flesh but she felt nothing.
“Everything will be all right,” whispered the voice. “Go to sleep.”
Gratefully, she allowed herself to slip into the darkness of oblivion.

 



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