This story contains content that may emotionally damaging and inappropriate for young ages. I'm asking for responsible readers, of a mature age, who can remember that this is a work of FICTION.

You make the decision to read this, don't blame me if you find it upsetting.

Thirty Three Minutes contains: Mentions of rape, home invasion, murder/torture, violent crime, sexual content.

I am in no way making political statements, glorifying violence, or anything of the sort.

I liked living outside of town. It was quiet at night. Mom would moan and rant about the thirty minute drive back to Phoenix for school, shopping, and work, but every night when she'd turn off the TV and usher us to bed she'd kind of sigh in contentment.

It was incredibly peaceful.

I sat up peering into the blackness of my room. For a moment I was confused, why had I woken up?

A pressure on my bladder made me tighten my thighs, I glanced at the clock. 3:17. Great. I'd been waking up at around 3 every night for a week. It seemed my body had become used to peeing at this time.

I groaned, wanting to go back to sleep, and rolled out of bed. I fumbled on my nightstand for my phone and unplugged it, then shone it onto the floor so I wouldn't trip. One concussion thanks to trying to navigate in the dark was enough. I opened my door, cringing when the sharp click of my push lock disengaged. If I didn't lock my door Ben and Bree would come in and mess with my things, again.

I crept up the hall mindful of the places the floor creaked. Mom took sleeping pills because of her insomnia so she was as good as dead, but Phil was a light sleeper and he had to go to work early tomorrow.

I entered the bathroom and flipped on the light, stunned for a moment by the sheer brightness of the light against the harsh white tiles of the bathroom.

I shut the door and twisted the lock in place. Having your stepdad accidentally walk in on you once was enough to make you automatically repeat the action of engaging the lock. Even if it's three in the morning and everyone's asleep.

My eyes were half closed as I sat on the toilet, I really needed to stop drinking water right before bed. A loud thump made sit upright, my eyes fully awake.

Probably Ben or Bree falling out of bed again.

I pulled my panties and sleep shorts back up then paused as I was about to flush.

Another noise.

This one was impossible not to recognize. The creak of the screen door.

Mom had been ragging on Phil to fix it for almost two years, but Phil steadfastly avoided it, whether by working, or playing off being tired, or saying he'd forgotten.

It was an irritating screech that grated on the silence of the night.

Immediately my heart began to pound and I subconsciously held my breath.

It's Mom. It's Phil. It's Bree. It's Ben.

I kept telling myself over and over that it was just someone from my family. That they had a reason to be opening the door at 3 in the morning.

I didn't dare move, instead I listened earnestly, picking up the tiniest sounds and analyzing them.

The whisper of feet across the carpet.

And then:

"Someone's awake."

Someone's awake.

Two words. Innocuous enough.

Except when it's 3 in the morning and the words are from the mouth of a total stranger right outside the door.

A stranger in my house.

"Just wait 'til they come out then we'll start the fun."

Where the first stranger had been female. The second was male.

There were two strangers in my house. They know I'm awake. They're waiting for me to come out. Then they'll start the fun.

I want to cry.

I'm literally paralyzed with fear.

What fun?

Oh God, what do I do?

I look around frantically for a weapon and actually contemplate running out plunger at hand. Then I see my phone on the counter where I'd set it when I entered.

Thank God I'd brought it with me.

My feet shuffle forward and I grab the phone, my hand unlocks it quickly, I press the call icon. The dial pad illuminates the screen and I want to cry. I slowly dial 9-1-1.

"Something's wrong it's taking too long. It's too quiet." The woman hisses.

I press call, then viciously attack the sound button and turn it down. I can barely hear the sound of the call going through then, blissfully:

"9-1-1 Emergency how can I help you?" I want to cry out, I want to scream, but my mouth refuses to open.

The minute they hear me they'll know, and then I'll find out what the fun is.

I turn on the sink and mime washing my hands.

"Are you there? Can you speak."

I whisper no as quietly as possible.

"Are you in danger?"

"Yes." I whisper softly.

"Stay on the line, we'll trace the call sweetie."

I turn off the sink.
What do I do now? I have no possible reason for staying in here so long.

"It's the older girl. She's the only one not in bed." My blood runs cold at the woman's statement.

"I think she knows Vicky, no reason to be coy."

I flinch and cry out when something scratches against the door.

"Come out, come out, come out." The man taunts. I stare at the door then realize with horror that the little twist lock is turning. I rush forward and twist it back into place.

"I've called the police." I cry out hoping to scare them off. Oh God how long will it take for them to arrive?

"You hear that Vicky? She's trying to ruin our fun. Let's see if Old Lady cope proved anything we've got a comfortable thirty three minutes." I want to cry. Shelly Cope is our next door neighbor, three nights ago her house was broken into in the middle of the night. Shelly woke up when she heard a window break and called the police.

They must have done it, to see how long it would take help to come.

They were planning ahead for the real target- my family.

I grip the twist lock in place.

"Go get the little brats." The man hisses to 'Vicky', then back to me. "You'll come out sooner or later." I imagine his face is pressed right against the door because his voice sounds so close.

"I'll make you."

I hear crying. The crying of Ben and Bree my younger siblings.

"Shut it. Keep quiet or I'll kill Mommy." The woman hisses. I hear the signature hiccup of Bree's stifled sob.

"You got the timer baby?" The man asks. The woman laughs low in response.

"Yeah, we've got thirty two minutes."

The man chuckles.

"Let's get rid of the boy first, you know it's the girls I like to hear scream." I'm choking on my sobs, struggling to breath.

"It was little Bella that drew me to this family." The man taunts. I can still hear my siblings muffled crying. I want to scream, why are the police taking so long?

"God I just love the innocent ones Vicky, they're screams are so delightful, and they always scream." I lean against the door and struggle not to wretch against the force of my sobs.

"Beautiful Bella come out and play." Something warm spreads around my feet. I look down and scream. The man chuckles darkly.

The white tile is pooling with blood.

"I slit your brother's throat Bella." The man says jovially. Bree is screaming fiercely now.

I hear Phil

"What's going on?"

Oh thank God, adults, parents, they'll make it better.

There's a noise, one I've heard before thanks to target practice with Dad.

The cocking of a gun.

"Get your wife and walk forward slowly." The woman directs.

No! No, no, no.

How long will this thirty three minutes last?

"Bree's next Bella, you should come out and face me." I can't even move.

I step away from the blood cringing as my stained feet make stains. I lean away from the door, but keep a firm hold on the lock.

I feel him test it.

He tsks outloud.

"Bella. Bella, Bella." He says his voice dripping with disappointment.

"That's right, now tie her up, really tight no funny business." The woman is giving directions to Phil. I can only imagine what it must look like out there. The woman holding a gun, grinning with psychotic glee. The man against the door, a body at his feet, a bloody knife in hand. Bree, screaming, crying, begging for help. Phil, afraid, alarmed, tying up my Mother as she sobs and begs to let her babies go.

"Bree sweetie come here." The man demands. I pound against the door and scream

"NO! You leave them alone!" The man laughs, and then Bree's screams pierce the air.

My body wracks with sobs, My nerves are frayed, I'm shaking, screaming, choking.

Phil and Mom cry out too. I can vaguely hear a sound. A wet thumping.

He's stabbing her over and over. Bree's screams silence.

But they're still echoing in my head. I will never forget them.

"Daddy dearest, come tell Bella to come out."

"Please leave them alone. I'll do anything." I beg through the door. They both laugh together.

"What do you want?" I scream in outrage. This only makes them laugh harder.

"It's always the same questions." The woman purrs with mirth.

"Who are you? Why are you doing this? What do you want?" The man finishes sardonically.

I flinch away from a loud thump at the door.

Mom calls out Phil's name.

"Bella." It's Phil, his face pressed up against the door.

"Bella, stay in there. Don-" He's cut off with a spluttering coughing slur and more blood pools at my feet. I scream out again. Mom does too.

"Nu-uh-uh, that's not what I told you to say to her." The man teases. I hear the thump of Phil's body falling to the floor.

Three of my family are dead, and it's all my fault.

"Mommy let's put on a show for Bella. What's the time Vick?" I feel like throwing up.

"Twelve minutes." The woman answers. The man laughs.

"Plenty of time."

Mom screams, and I hear her struggling right outside the hall.

"Do you know what I'm going to do to your Mother Bella?" The man says joyfully. "I'm going to do to her what I'm going to do to you when you come out. I'm going to fuck her."

I throw up.

"Come out Bella, and I won't do it. I'll put her out of her misery and then I'll take what I came for."

"No Bella! Stay inside until help comes!" Mom screams. I hear a slap and she cries out.

"Shut it Bitch!" The woman hisses.

I don't know how a person could possibly cry so hard, I'm barely breathing. My chest hurts, my head is swimming, I want to die.

I'm going to. When he's done with Mom he's going to get me too.

Mom's sobbing, and I can hear the rustle of clothing and the loud trill of a zipper. Then Mom is screaming, and he's grunting.

Oh my god. He's raping her.

I dry heave and collapse on the floor. Blood coats my hands and knees and I shake and scream, standing and wiping it off on my clothes violently. It smears but I'm still blood soaked.

"Mmm… try the door Vick." The pig growls as he rapes my Mother. I quickly pinch the lock, this time with my other hand because my right hand is sore from gripping it in place. The lock jiggles.

"Still holding it." The woman, Vicky says.

The man growls and the slaps of his skin on my Mom's get worse. She's crying out, screaming, telling me she loves me. To stay inside. To stay safe.

The man grunts loudly and then he's by the door again, breathing right near where my head is.

"Come out Bella, I'm done playing this game." He says in his fiercest darkest voice.

I quake.

"Vicky, the time?"

"Seven minutes." Seven minutes! I can do it, I can hold out for seven minutes.

"Come out Bella, or I'll break the door down." A gunshot rings out making me flinch. Then another, and another, and another, then it's quiet, and I know my Mom is dead.

They're all dead. Because of me.

I feel sick.

Slowly I unlock the door.

"That's a good girl." I open the door and then throw the meanest right hook I can. The kind Emmett taught me during our visits. The one we perfected until my knuckles were raw and purple.

"Dad and I won't always be there. Especially if you insist on living with Mom. You'll be thankful I taught you this. Though I hope you never have to use it."

The man cries out and stumbles back. I throw all my body weight at him and make him fall, he trips over my Mother's naked corpse, I try not to look.

The woman expects me, when I swing at her she grabs my arm in a painful hold. I kick her square in the stomach, she groans, I kick her again and she falls violently down the stairs.

My hair is pulled from behind making me cry out.

"You fiesty little bitch." He snarls.

"Throw her down the stairs, see how she likes it." Vicky demands, I'm happy to hear pain in her voice and I can see she's a crumpled heap on the floor. Her arm is twisted at a wrong angle, good.

My hair is released and sharp a sharp force on my back pitches me forward. My wrist snaps under the weight of trying to catch my fall. My head hits a stair painfully making stars explode behind my closed lids. I tumble, hitting elbows, knees, grinding painfully on my spine. Then I finally stop moving. I'm on my side at the bottom of the stairs. Vicky's sharp shoe digs painfully into my stomach as she kicks me.

All the air in my body releases with a painful woosh and my bruised body struggles to gasp for breath.

She kicks me again, making me dry heave. Then she jumps down on my leg, at the angle it was at on the bottom of the stair, the pressure makes it snap.

I scream out.

"That's enough Vicky, I want to have my fun with her."

The man kneels beside me, leaning in close to my face.

"I'm going to enjoy this Bella. No one has made me work for it so hard." He says.

I blink at him, then summon all the revulsion and anger in my body, and I spit in his face. His face twists into a fierce snarl and he lunges. He rolls us over so he's on top, his hands are around my throat. He squeezes it tightly. I gasp and choke for air.

"I'm going to take you with me, then I'm going to destroy your innocence, and I'm going to kill you." My eyes roll into the back of my head.

Kill me now! I want to scream.

But nothing comes out.

Flashes dance around me. Bright, red, blue. Beautiful, wonderful flashes.

Then there's yelling.

"Freeze, put your hands up!"

I smile weakly when the man is pulled off of me.

I made it. I lasted thirty three minutes.

Then, as consciousness fades I remember.

My family didn't.

The other night I sat up in a panic because I had a nightmare that went along these lines. I wrote it down to cope and then this story took on a life of it's own.

Tell me what you think!