Authors Note: The poem this story is based on was sent to me by a friend in Canada, though no-one is quite sure of it's true origins. It's just something I wrote because I was bored. Very angsty, and in all probability the worst thing I've written in ages, but, oh well, hopefully, I'll be able to write more easily now that I've written something.
My Name is Sarah
Marine Colonel Sarah 'Mac' Mackenzie, yawned, stretching her slim arms above her head. Closing arguments for the Hill case where tomorrow, and she hadn't a clue where to start. Tapping her pencil impatiently on her desk, she stared blankly at the piece of paper in front of her that, unfortunately, was blank also. A soft knock on the door brought her out of her reverie.
"Delivery for Colonel Mackenzie," a vaguely familiar voice said softly. Glancing up, she managed to smile at the delivery girl who looked to be on the verge of tears.
"That would be me, thanks, Miriam," she said tiredly. The girl started and took a step back.
"How did you know my name?" she asked, her ice blue eyes lit with fear.
"Your nametag," Mac replied gently, gesturing towards the bronze pin on the left hand side of the girls white blouse.
"Oh -um, here's your package," Miriam said, taking several quick steps forward to place a yellowing envelope on Macs desk. Mac looked, and raised an eyebrow. "I know that normally a package that size would be delivered by mail, but... I think it's kind of personal..." the tiny girl, stammered, falling over her words.
"Of course... Wait! Isn't there something for me to sign?" Mac called as Miriam turned on her heel.
"N-no, ma'am. Nothing," she gulped. For the first time, Mac really looked at the girl. A few strands of her deep Auburn hair that had been swept up in a ponytail had somehow escaped and were resting on her shoulders, and in her ears were simple gold studs, she noticed, but what really drew Macs attention were her eyes - they seemed so... familiar. "Goodbye, Sarah," she heard her murmur, before the petite girl turned and ran across the bullpen, deftly sidestepping Tiner as he came around the corner.
"Miss, I'm sorry...." he started to say, but before he could finish, she was gone, disappeared into the elevator. He thought. "But, I just came by the stairs because the elevator was out of order again... But she had to have, I mean, people don't just disappear into thin air- do they?" he mused as he wandered back across the bullpen, his arms full of papers.
"Tiner!" He heard the Admiral call.
"Coming sir," he called, quickly pressing a file that Commander Rabb wanted into Buds hands with a quick look. Budd smiled and headed over to the Commanders office, and the mysterious girl was pushed to the back of Tiners mind.
Back in her office, Mac warily eyed the envelope, trying to decide whether her instincts were telling her it was safe to open it or not. The girl seemed innocent enough, but then, she wouldn't know what was in the package. Eventually, her curiosity got the better of her and she carefully opened it, sliding out an old, yellowed piece of parchment.
"Parchment? Who on earth uses parchment these days?" she said aloud, almost hoping that if she spoke aloud she might feel better. Maybe it would somehow take away the growing feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach. Turning it over she started reading....
"My name is Sarah"
name is Sarah, I am but three.
My eyes are swollen, I cannot see,
I must be stupid, I must be bad,
What else could've made my daddy so mad?
I can't speak at all, I can't do a wrong
Or else I'm locked up all the day long.
I wish I were better, I wish I weren't ugly.
Then maybe my mummy would still want to hug me.
When I awake, I'm all alone,
The house is empty, my folks aren't home,
When Mummy does come, I'll try to be nice,
So maybe I'll get just one whipping tonight.
Shh, don't make a sound! I just heard a car!
My Daddy's back from Charlies bar.
I hear him curse, my name he calls,
I press myself against the wall.
I try to hide from his evil eyes,
I'm so afraid now that I'm starting to cry.
He finds me weeping and shouts ugly words,
he says it's my fault that he suffers at work.
He slaps me and hits me and yells at me more,
I finally get free and I run for the door.
He's already locked it and I start to bawl,
Then he takes me and throws me against the hard wall,
fall to the floor with my bones nearly broken
And he hits me again with more bad words spoken.
"I'm sorry!" I scream, but it's much too late.
His face has been twisted into unimaginable hate.
The hurt and the pain, again and again,
Oh please God have Mercy! Oh please let it end!
He finally stops and he heads for the door,
Whilst I lay there motionless sprawled on the floor.
Underneath the poem, were 11 simple words, written in a childish scrawl.
"You made it, Sarah bear. I'm so proud of you - Miriam."
Suddenly, she saw in her mind a scene from her half forgotten childhood. Her counselor called it a kind of Amnesia - 'It happens when people go through a really traumatic time, sometimes,' she told her. But Mac could see this memory as clear as if it were happening right before her eyes.
"Sarah bear?" a timid voice asked, pushing open the door to the kitchen. "Sarah, wake up, please wake up!" there was a definite sob in the voice now, and with an enormous amount of will, Mac forced her eyes open.
"Mira, get me some ice, please," she rasped out, holding back tears as her sisters hand ran over a new bruise on her face. "Maybe it'll go down enough for me to go to school in the morning if I get some ice on it straight away," she explained through gritted teeth, when Miriam gasped. Nodding, she blinked back tears and went to the fridge, wrenching open the door and getting out an icepack. Coming back over, she sat on the floor, her ice blue eyes filling with tears as she gently pressed it to her sisters cheek.
"Why is it always you, Sarah? Why not me?" she whispered. "I'm older, I should be the one he hits, not you!"
"Miriam, you know why. You're so much like Mum... he loved her, despite how he hit her. I think he feels that he can make up for everything he did to her if he doesn't hurt you," Mac sighed, yet again fighting off the envy that invariably started to creep in when they talked about this. Miriam was older. Why shouldn't she have to hurt too?
"What do you want to be when you grow up, Sarah?" Mira asked, still holding the ice to her face. Sarah smiled grimly.
"Alive, Mira. I just want to be alive," she said, taking the ice from her sister and walking through to her room, where she collapsed onto her bed, pulling her knees up to her chest and falling immediately into a deep sleep.
Mac woke with a start, for a few minutes, not knowing what brought her back into unhappy reality. Suddenly, an earsplitting scream echoed through the house.
"MIRIAM!" Sarah yelled, leaping to her feet, trying with all her might to ignore the stinging pains all over her body and ran for the door. Pushing against it, she found it was blocked, probably by the bureau her father kept in the hall. "MIRA, NO!" she shrieked as another scream filtered through the walls, this time, she could here her father drunkenly yelling -
"You SLUT! Fuck you, Deanne!" Suddenly, Sarah realized what was happening. Her father, in his drunken haze, had mistaken Miriam for her mother. Sliding down her door, she pressed her palms to her ears, trying to block out the screams that were becoming less strong and less frequent.
"Sarah bear, follow your dreams," she heard her sisters voice echo through her head before she fell thankfully into the embrace of darkness.
"Miriam.... Oh God, Miriam!" Pushing back from the table, Sarah stumbled towards the door, the parchment still clasped in her hand. Throwing open the door, she ran for the window, her eyes desperately seeking some sign of the red head - finally, they rested on a park bench, where a teenage girl with flaming red hair sat, alone. Looking up, she blew Mac a kiss. Mac caught it, and, reflexively, put it in her pocket. Grinning, she got up and started walking away, her silhouette becoming less defined, less real, until it faded into non-existence.
"NO!" Mac yelped, causing more than one fellow officer to look in her direction in concern. Harms head snapped up, his eyes taking in the tearstains on her face and look of pure terror on her face. Striding across the room, he put his hand on her shaking shoulders and turned her so that she was facing him.
"Mac..." he whispered, as she buried her face into his jacket, sobbing unashamedly.
"Don't let go, Harm. Never let go," she asked through her sobs.
"Of course I won't," he whispered, pulling her closer. "Not ever."
Name is Sarah, I am but three.
Tonight my daddy murdered me.