Copyright © 2012 by Lauren Dawes
First Edition, 2012
Printed by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
The right of Lauren Dawes to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her under the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Cover image © 2012 Dreamstime stock images.
Wolf © 2013 by ITSDura: itsdura.deviantart.com
Cover design by Lauren Dawes
James Vincent’s earliest memory of his mother was ripply, distorted—like looking through warped glass. He could see her standing above him, looking at him—not with love in her eyes like a mother should—but rather with malice. Her viperous anger towards him was as palpable as the hand on his chest holding his small body down. His arms and legs were flailing around aimlessly, looking for purchase, but finding none.
He was suddenly able to breathe again. When the water cleared from his eyes, he found his father’s arms wrapped around his mother’s torso, holding her back. They were screaming at each other, but he couldn’t make out the words. His father’s strong arms were suddenly around him, lifting him out of the cold water and holding him close to his warm chest.
He was sat on the bed with blankets around him, watching his father pack a big suitcase for himself and a small one for James filled with his toys. James didn’t understand what was happening at the time, but he understood his mother’s look of smug triumph when his father carried him out the door that same night.
When James was ten, his father died in a car accident leaving him no choice but to go back to his mother. By that time though, his mother was no longer the secretary for a failing tire store, but a hooker turning tricks to make ends meet.
The shame of selling her body broke his mother. Her desperation to cleanse her soul and her body came in the form of a whiskey bottle. After she doused the fire of regret from her body, she took to beating James; cracking multiple ribs at a time, opening up new cuts that spilled crimson tears down his cheeks, or breaking his fingers during her many alcohol-fuelled rages.
When James was twelve, his mother dragged him to the seediest bar in the next town over to sell her body to anyone willing. She’d brought James along with her because he’d started running away from her whenever she left the house. The evening was slow. She’d only managed a few blow jobs in the bathroom, but she had earned enough cash for a cheap bottle of whiskey. When she’d finished that bottle, she needed another. Desperation drove her to sell James to a childless waiter for another hit.
A few days later, the police found James wandering the streets, looking through garbage bins for scraps of food. He was returned to his mother, not telling them the real reason he was out on the streets. His mother punished him for “running away” from her in the only way that she knew. This was the first time that she sexually abused him; tying him to the bed, forcing him into arousal then telling him he was a disgusting boy for enjoying it.
For years, the vicious cycle was perpetuated by liquor and self-loathing until he was old enough to fight her off and defend himself. At the age of seventeen, James came home to find his mother passed out on the couch in front of the TV with a pool of vomit on the floor next to her. She’d spent the entire day drinking again. He went to his bedroom wishing he could have unseen what he’d seen, but he couldn’t. There was always that pull to still help her when she drank herself into a stupor.
When he went back through to the kitchen, he heard gagging coming from the living room. He stood in the doorway and watched his mother choke on her own vomit; her eyes bulging and desperate—her air supply running out quickly. The low, desperate noises she was making down in the back of her throat called to him. Against everything that roared through his body to just leave her there, he stepped into the room. Her wide eyes darted to him, begging him to help her. James felt himself being torn in two; like the very fabric he’d been cut from was ripping in half violently. With a shudder, he refocused on his mother. He took a step forward; one part of him wanting to help her—she was his mother after all. But then there was another part of him—this darker, hidden part that wanted her to suffer every cruelty she had ever inflicted on him.
His mother died on their sofa, surrounded in cooling vomit––her son watching on with a cruel smile twisted on his lips....