A/n: So, I guess I'm back. I suppose it's been... a long time. But it's my senior year and all these evil stories have been playing around in my head that I just can't seem to get rid of. I decided it was time to write one or two of them out since I haven't got much to do other than study for APs and decide which college I'm going to go to. I hope you all enjoy it.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I just made them speak dirty Spanish. ;)
El Ángel de Las Tinieblas
Chapter 1: El Salvador
I had lived this life for a long time. It had begun when I was ten. I was on the verge of turning eighteen in just six days.
It wasn't always like this though, and it was those better memories that I hung onto in the worst of it all. I remember staying up late with Mom, reading some of the books from her own childhood. They were written in Italian, since Mom was from Italy. Dad used to sit by and listen, too, both to Mom's voice as she read and mine as I copied her words.
Mom was beautiful, young, and fiery. Her Italian spirit was strong and her golden heart was fierce. She loved Dad and me with her entire soul, and would have sacrificed anything for us. We spent a lot of time together when I was young. She taught me how to cook and braid my hair, and how to sneak a cookie when Dad wasn't looking. More importantly, though, she taught me her love of languages. It started with Italian, but then she and I started learning Russian from our neighbor, Mom's best friend, Irina, and her daughter, Kate.
That love of languages stayed with me, even once Mom was gone and Dad stopped loving me.
Dad was a cop, like Kate's father and Irina's husband, Garrett. Dad used to be amazing at it, too. But with Mom, the light in Dad's eyes left, and suddenly living wasn't something he much enjoyed doing. He took that out on me, as though it were my fault. He blamed me for it.
For the longest time, I welcomed that. I was too sad to realize it was wrong, and that I should have run or hid, or stopped it. I took it, and then one day, I just realized it was bad. He wasn't supposed to do to me the things that he did. Of course, it was too late to stop him.
Dad had moved us out of our old house and into an apartment in some seedy neighborhood. He'd found a habit in alcohol and some other drugs that started sucking up all our money. He couldn't afford the payments our home required, and selling it paid off the debts he accrued from his vices and the medical bills as well. Of course, the money only lasted so long. Soon, Dad found a way to supplement his income, but it really wasn't enough.
So he found yet another way. One that cost me more than it did him.
I took care of the apartment, all the cooking and cleaning. I went to school, and stayed every person I crossed paths with. I could have said something, but I knew that no one would believe me. Dad was a cop. Cops never did things like this, at least, people liked to pretend they didn't. I was afraid I would be stuck here until I died. Dad made sure to tell me that there was no way I'd ever be free.
I froze when the door to the apartment slammed open. The metal doorknob smashed into the already dented wall. A shiver ran down my spine with each footstep as he approached.
"Honey, I'm home," his sickening voice called out. He was playing with me. He loved to do that. The more fearful I was, the more he enjoyed our 'quality father-daughter time'.
Please, let me get out of this alive, God. I beg you, please.
I prayed daily. I was sure only a miracle could save me, and I hoped He heard me eventually. I was not sure I could wait much longer, though.
"Where is my darling daughter, tonight? Hmmm? I don't see dinner on the table just yet, sweetheart. That's against the rules. I think it's time to play." His strong frame stood in the doorway, blocking what would be my only means of escape. Dinner was plated, sitting on the counter. I should have had time to set it out at the table, but sometimes Dad came home early, just because he knew it would mean he could punish me.
"Oh good, you are home." He smiled maliciously at me, a dark look in his eye. He knew, of course, that I would be home. I always was, unless I was at school. "Well, aren't you going to give Daddy a hug?" He held his arms wide and stared expectantly. He pulled this trick often. If I resisted, I would be punished. If I went willingly, I would be punished regardless. However, the willingness to approach him often made him less angry, and therefore my punishment less violent.
I shuffled toward him, passing his little test. His arms pulled me into his chest, and for just one moment I could pretend I was nine years old, and Dad still loved me, and Mom was still with us, and that all of us were happy. But then his hands moved and closed around my throat, and all warm feelings were forgotten as my lungs burned with the lack of oxygen almost immediately.
"You dared to disobey me, little girl. And now you'll pay the price." His words were growled and I could barely hear them. The blood was rushing in my ears as I gasped for breath and clawed at his hands until my nails broke on his fingers. He lifted me, and my toes could barely graze the ground. I felt like he was just seconds away from severing my head from my body, as clouds began to form within my mind.
So this is how it ends, God. Is this how you plan to save me?
Suddenly, my lungs filled with air, only for it all to rush out the second my back impacted the floor. I almost swore that the tile cracked beneath my head as it smacked the ground. I hardly had time to attempt to gather my wits before my father's hard shoe made contact with my hip. I couldn't even hope to scream out at the feeling as I gasped for breath.
My father was fortunate. The apartment was actually halfway underground. All the windows were impossible to see through, and there was nothing beneath us to make him concerned about anyone else realizing what was going on. Just dirt sat beneath the concrete foundation. I supposed that made me the unlucky one here.
As I waited for the next blow, three sharp knocks on the door stopped my assailant.
Are you saving me, God? Did those visitors come to stop him? Could they have heard what was happening?
Dad's hand wrapped itself in my hair and dragged my heaving body into the pantry, where I slept. He didn't hesitate to grab his more recent to the room, a steel chain. He wrapped it around my neck. The cold links actually soothed some of the pain left from his attack. Then he locked the padlock, leaving me chained to the wall.
"Do not move, or make a sound, or alert them to your presence," he ordered angrily. His pupils were dilated and wild. I was sure that if whoever stood at our door was not here to save me, tonight would mark my last on Earth. "Do you understand me? One little peep out of you, and you'll never see the light of day again."
The pantry door thrust a breeze at me when it closed harshly, and dad turned the deadbolt.
This is it, I thought to myself. The retreating footsteps were accompanied by the noise of more knocking and a muffled voice coming through both doors. I waited patiently, leaning back against the wall. The chain links made soft metal clinks with my movements, and my gasping breaths finally returned to me. Oxygen rushed into my lungs and the fog receded from my brain.
The sound of the front door unlocking and opening was suddenly deafening, as was the accented voice that filtered through the apartment.
"Hello, Charles," it greeted, flatly. The voice was male, the accented speech Spanish. That wasn't uncommon though, as we lived in Miami. I strained to hear more.
For the first time, I could hear fear in Dad's shaky voice. It made my heart leap with hope that maybe this person would finally save me. Maybe I would finally escape this Hell.
"Gentlemen. Please… Come in?"
Two sets of footsteps resounded throughout the apartment, followed by Dad shutting the door. There was a long pause that left my heart in my throat.
"Where's my money?" that same voice asked. My heart fell to my stomach. He wasn't here to help me. I was not being saved today. I wondered, briefly, if he was our new landlord, coming to collect our rent.
Dad attempted to stutter an answer, but was silenced in an instant with a strange sound. I heard a loud thump, as though he had fallen to the floor. The reality of it all startled me.
These men weren't the landlords. They had come to collect the money from Dad's illegal dealings.
I swallowed hard as my knees collapsed out from under me. My body collapsed to the ground, the metal chains incredibly loud as I went down and my head cracked on the door.
My vision began going black as my heart raced. So this was the end, then. I was sure of it. I would not last much longer. They would leave, soon, and Dad would finish me off. I would never be saved.
Sounds signified that someone drew closer, but everything was fading. The lock clicked, the door drew open, and light surrounded the head of a beautiful man like the halo on an angel.
My last thoughts were this.
Maybe I was wrong, and God did send me a miracle. What a beautiful angel-man.