An Unkindly Sand Castle

by Ducko Nguyen

By: David Ducko Nguyen

Darlene was about to turn 18 in three weeks. It wasn't a farfetched thing to say that she hated her life. Ever since she can remember, her parents not only treated her like crap but went as far as to abuse her more times than she can count.

"Let's go to the beach!" Sheena exclaimed, "It will be perfect, we can play beach volleyball and swim""

"Sheena, you know I can't wear a bathing suit"" Darlene replied, "The bruises are back."

"Jesus. You're almost 18 " soon you won't have to deal with this sh8t."

Darlene never really understood why her parents treated her so bad; she always chopped it up to the fact that bad parenting causes bad parenting. This wasn't the case though; Darlene's grandma and grandpa were good people. They rarely visited Darlene because her mom and dad did not like having them around. But when grandma and grandpa did come, it was a completely different" everything was all sugar cookies and ginger snaps. It was as if mom and dad become different people when they are around.

"Darlene! What the hell are you doing here? We told you to be home by 5PM!" an angry male voice called from a distance, "get your ass in the car now!"

"Dad, its only 3PM. Sheena and I just ordered a pizza"" Darlene said a bit quietly out of sheer embarrassment in the food court of the mall, ""please."

Darlene cried as her dad dragged her out of the mall by her long dark hair. Sheena held back her anger as she clutched to a ketchup bottle.

It was a silent drive back to the home of Darlene and her cruel parents. She could see things getting darker as they approached the house. Their garden dead, mail box torn down and roof covered in foliage. An ironic scene since they live near the beach - it's as if there had always been a dark cloud that hovered over Darlene and her life.

"Oh yes, finally, she's here!" a creepy eerie voice echoed from the basement, "Bring her down here dear!"

"What's going on?" Darlene cried a bit frantically, "Why are we going to the basement?"

"Shut up and do as you're told!" Dad yelled at her without even giving her a glance.

She walked slowly towards the basement. It was dark. She slightly peeked her head into the basement " and was then shoved by her dad down the basement. She fell ever so gracefully, landing on her side and feeling like she broke her arm. She lay there hopeless, no point crying for help " help will not come.

"I think my arm is broken"" she muttered, ""please stop."

"It ends today! On her anniversary"" Mom still speaking with a creepy eerie voice, ""our suffering ends today."

"You're suffering?" Darlene cried, "You two made me feel like sh8t for my whole life and you think you were suffering?"

"Shut up!" Darlene's dad demanded as he kicked her in the gut, "You know nothing."

Darlene's mom then pulled out a butcher's knife and walked over to her. Mom flipped Darlene on her back and pinned Darlene to the ground with her knee on Darlene's chest.

"Mom! What are you doing?" Darlene screamed, "Don't do this! Don't do this""

Tears streamed down Darlene's face. Everything became silent. Her mom was still holding the knife high over her.

"Where's Dad?" Darlene looked around hoping that her dad came to his senses, "Dad???"

Out of the corner of her eye, all she could see was a shadow of a large object swinging by a rope " cold and silent.

"We didn't love you"" Mom whispered, "It was never about you. You couldn't replace her " your sister. After your sister died, we had you" we thought you could replace her, but it did not feel right. We always saw your sister in you and it made us mad. Why couldn't you be her?"

Those were the last words from her mom that Darlene remembered before her mom stabbed herself in the heart. Darlene would be stained by this day like the blood that stained her clothes.

Eight years later Darlene is going through labor and has her first child.

"I think I will name you, Renee."


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