Fast asleep in her bed, nine year old Sandy slept peacefully until she was awakened by the creaking floor boards outside her door. He turned the handle and entered her room. Fear gripped her little body as she knew what was to come. Sandy’s mother, Mavis was oblivious to the fear and torment her new husband, Harold brought upon her daughter night after night.
Mavis saw the changes in Sandy; withdrawing, wetting the bed, shying away from men. But Mavis hoped it was only a phase Sandy was going through and would outgrow it.
At the age of sixteen, Sandy had endured her stepfather’s nightly visits for five long dreadful years. On the outside she seemed to be your average shy sixteen year old teenager but those nightly visits had taken her sanity to the darkest place threatening to push her mind into a state of pyschosis. Riddled with shame and disgrace wishing she had the courage to talk to someone but who would believe her! Nothing out there could help her, she was trapped in the madness…….
On the night of Sandy’s 16th Birthday, Harold entered her room but something was not quite right, as he walked further into the room a dark presence made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. From the darkness, Harold felt a scorching heat inching towards him. As the heat grew closer he felt the hairs on his arm been singed. Paralysed by fear Harold could not move. The heat intensified and wrapped around him like a blanket, he screamed from the pain as his body began to burn. Never in his life had he felt such excruciating pain. He now knew what it felt like to burn alive. The putrid smell of burning flesh assaulted his nostrils making him want to gag. After what seemed like an eternity of torturous pain, he welcomed death but death never came……
Sandy looked through the window drinking her coffee watching her husband playing with their four year old son in the backyard. Mark and her were married six years ago, two years later they had their beautiful son, Keith. Sandy smiled thinking what a blessed life she had, Mark was her perfect soul mate, he completed her. He had accepted her for who she was and stood by patiently while she healed from her past.
Sandy went to join them in the backyard for a while before she left to take her mother to the ‘HOSPITAL’. Mavis insisted that everyone call it a Hospital but everyone knew it was a Mental Asylum. Ten years ago on the night of Sandy’s sixteenth Birthday Harold was admitted to the Mental Asylum. After many sessions and different medication the doctors had lost all hope that Harold would someday escape from the maize of delusion he was trapped in.
When Mavis and Sandy walked into Harold’s room, he was sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. The look in his eyes was that of anguish and despair. As he looked towards Sandy, the look was replaced with remorse and sorrow. When Mavis asked him how he was doing, he gave her the same answer he had given her for these past 10 years…. ‘Mavis, when the night comes I am tormented by the darkness, the claws rip at my flesh and the heat burns me alive. Mavis had given up trying to convince him otherwise so all she did was wipe the tears from his face while he sobbed.
When their visit was over, Sandy and her mother walked into the sunlight towards her car. Driving away Sandy could not help wonder, what would eventually happen to the condition of a person’s mind if they believed they where experiencing hell with no hope of escape. Eternity was forever….