Today’s story is a little more interesting, because it’s from the point of view of one of the main characters, rather than a bit character that I was just trying to develop a back story for. It was a bit difficult to start, since I didn’t really have a plan for it when I began,but it seemed to fly out as I continued. Because of this, it really helped me develop an understanding of her, so that I’ll be able to understand her better when I introduce her. Getting into her head was really interesting, because I discovered just how much pain an loneliness she was trying to hide behind her tough exterior. I hope you enjoy it! Well, as much as you can enjoy a story about self-injury and suicide.
As always, this story contains possible triggers for suicide, depression, and cutting. It also contains some strong language, coming from the mouth of an angry teenage girl.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl would was the best archer in the world. She could hit any type of target from any distance, even moving targets. And she was proud of herself for this, because being an excellent archer didn’t just come naturally. All her life, she had to practice and practice and learn just how to hold the bow steady, pull back the string, and let it snap forward just right. It was hard work, and her arms hurt at first, but she enjoyed it so much. It was the most important think in the world to her.
The little girl lived with her mother and father in a big house on a hill. Her parents were always running in and out of the house, going here and there and everywhere else, never paying attention to the little girl’s talent. They had bought her the bow and arrow, thinking that she would get bored and outgrow in quickly, and paid for the lessons to prevent her from accidentally hurting herself when she was using them. But, to them, it was just like buying her any other toy: they had the money for it, so they didn’t care what happened to it after their daughter didn’t want it anymore.
The little girl wanted so much to show her parents how much she loved archery, and how good she had gotten at it! But, no. They were too busy with work to do that. They couldn’t take the day off to just spend time as a family. They had to keep their business running, or meet with clients, or go to fancy dinners to maintain their professional contacts. They barely even looked at their daughter. They just left her with a stupid fucking maid who followed her around going “Oh! Miss Erika! I don’t think your parents would like you getting all dirty! Come inside and doing your math homework!” What the fuck would they care if I got my pants a little dirty? They could just buy me a new pair if I messed them up. And no, I won’t do my math homework! I hate math! Why the fuck would I need to know the cosine of a fucking circle?
As she got older, archery became more of a way to escape how angry it made her that her parents never talked to her. She would become lost in the repetitive motions of drawing back and releasing the arrows, one after the other. Eventually, however, even that wasn’t enough. The hours she spent out on the archery range just became a constant reminder of how she would rather spend those hours talking to her mom and dad. It was just so annoying! Couldn’t they spare just one hour a day to sit down and eat with her, and talk to her about her day? It made her so angry that she felt like she could punch someone!
One day, however, the problem seemed as if it had fixed itself. At least, it seemed that way for the time being. It was during one of her usual archery practices. She was thinking about a bunch of things as she shot, and accidentally got her finger too close to the arrow, and pulled it back too far. As she released, the tip of the arrow cut into her finger, causing her to miss the target as her hands flinched from the pain.
She hissed through her teeth as she carefully placed her bow on the ground and held her finger, waiting for it to stop hurting, stop bleeding. She stared at it as the droplets swelled on her fingertip and then dripped over the side. It wasn’t a horrible injury. It would only require a quick disinfection and a Band-Aid to fix.
As she turned to go inside and fix it up, she smiled slightly. For a short time, she realized, she hadn’t been worrying about her parents or how alone and angry she felt. All she could think about was the pain and watching the blood. She knew what she would do.
Over the following weeks, cuts and scratched appeared all over her arms. Whenever people would ask her about them, she would just shrug and say she hurt herself doing archery. Everyone knew she liked it, so they didn’t think too much of the fact that the formerly flawless archer was suddenly injuring herself every day. Then, she could do home and, while everything though she was out shooting, she would hole herself up in the shed and cut her arms with a little pocket knife she had found in her father’s desk drawer. The pain filled her with a sense of ecstasy. It was like a drug to her. Then, when it lost its edge, she would go out and shoot off a few arrows, her head still spinning.
A few weeks into it, the moment she had been waiting for finally came. Her father asked her to come speak with him and her mother in the dining room. On her way there, she skipped like a small child. Her parents finally set some time to speak with her, just them.
Everything fell to pieces, however, once she sat down.
“Erika, we don’t want you to use your bow anymore.” her mother said. “You’ve been hurting yourself a lot recently. We believe it’s too dangerous.”
“But Mama-“ she began, but her mother shook her head.
“No buts. Look at your arms; they’re covered in cuts! I’ve never seen you with so many injuries. We’re getting rid of the equipment, so you can focus on your schoolwork and find a hobby that is less dangerous.”
The little girl stood up in her chair, hands clenched. “Gee, I’ve never gotten hurt this much before, have I? I wonder why I suddenly suck so much? I mean, it can’t have anything to do with the fact that you don’t pay any fucking attention to me, or how good I am at it, unless I’m getting hurt by it. No, that’s impossible. Every girl loves to my totally fucking ignored by her parents, right?” She stormed out of the room before her parents could respond, just like they wouldn’t let her respond when they said they wanted to “talk to her.”
When she got home from school the next day, movers were loading up the targets and hay bales she used for targets and drove them away. Angry, she stomped up to her room and stared at the ceiling for a while, then took out the knife and made a nice, big, noticeable cut right over the top of her wrist. Maybe if the injuries didn’t stop, they would get the picture.
Without the archery to keep her calm, however, school became more and more difficult. All she could think about was how much she hated her parents, how much she wanted to do archery, and how she could make her cuts more obvious to someone, anyone. So, she hurt herself more often. In the school bathroom, changing for gym, on the bus on the way home. It was when she tried to burn herself during science class that the school called her parents, and they were forced to realize that their daughter wasn’t a fucking doll that they could create and then leave to fend for herself without interaction for the rest of her life.
They pulled her out of school, and took a few weeks off from their endless business lives to make sure she was “recovering” properly. This means they shut her up in her room with a tutor while they sat in their offices making phone calls all day to make sure people knew that they were all more important than the pair’s daughter, and they would never think forget about them while their daughter was trying to cut her hands off in an attempt to at least make eye contact with her parents once in a while.
During dinner, they asked her in bored voices if she was still hurting herself while they picked at their dinner. With a sneer, the little girl always held up her arms to them, making sure any new cuts were always in full view. They sighed and lectured her about why cutting herself the wrong, which she ignore. She tried to make conversation after they had winded themselves, but they always gave her short, useless answers before going off to make another phone call.
Seeing no point and no end to this useless attempt to attract her mother and father’s attention, the little girl gave up. She didn’t stop cutting herself, of course. Although she still wished her parents would talk to her more, the cuts had made an improvement in their relationship. But, it was beginning to become less of a distraction and more of a chore. So, she decided to up the ante a bit. Going out into the shed, she careful took a rope out and tied it around her neck, then got up in a ladder to tie the other end to the roof beam. Then, pleased with her work, the little girl began to tip the ladder over.
Let’s see what they think of their stupid business now. I’ll find my own happy fucking ending, even if it kills me…