Twisted Up in You - Dawn Martens

Prologue

Cori

“Corinne Leanna Treyton, where the hell are you?” I hear my mom yell for me, her voice shrill. She’s always yelling at me about something.

“I’m coming, Mom,” I say, running out of my room to meet her in the living room. It’s best not to keep her waiting.

“I need you to babysit tonight. I have a date,” she tells me, giving me a dirty look. Her eyes are narrowed and her mouth tight.

I bite my tongue and nod.

She tilts her head to the side, appraising me. I wait for it, the onslaught of her telling me how ugly I am, how much of a burden I am to her. But I get nothing; she just sniffs and walks out the door. The room is stale with the scent of her cheap perfume.

Confused by her sudden departure, without any word as to when she will return, I peer out the window, watching her as she gets in a car I don’t recognize. It isn’t unusual for my mom to take off with different men, but it is usually one of three. Where is she going? Whose car is that? The tires squeal, and she is gone.

I move to the bedroom my sister, Melissa, is napping in and peer down at her over the crib. “Hi, Melly Belly. Wake up,” I whisper down to her. I tickle her tummy, causing her to laugh. She has the biggest smile; her face always lights up when I come into her room to play with her.

Melissa is way too big to be in the crib. She’s four now, but Mom doesn’t want to go and buy her a new bed. Said it would be a waste of money. But whenever Mom leaves me in charge, I pick her up out of the crib and let her sleep with me.

Little did we know, that at four and six years old, our mom had called social services, effectively landing us in foster care. She just left us, not caring what fate awaited us.

*~*

Years later

Sitting on the damp cold floor in the back bedroom, I’m huddled with Melissa, my little sister. I hate living here, hate it so much. No matter how many times I tell someone what goes on here, nothing happens. I don’t understand why. I even tried telling my counselor at school—still nothing. I feel like no one cares what they do to us, but I keep fighting and staying strong for Melissa. She depends on me. I protect her.

I can’t wait until I turn eighteen so I can leave this place, take Melissa with me, and never return. The things they do to us, what they did to me... I can’t take it much longer. I’m hoping that, at any moment, those Angels—Angels Warriors, the motorcycle club—will come save us. They help kids like us, get them out of bad homes and protect them.

My friend, Chelsea, finally agreed to call them for us, hoping they’d help. Hoping something, anyways. She said she would do her best.

I have to use the bathroom so bad, but they lock the door from the outside whenever we are in here, only letting us out once a day. I hate to say this, but half the time, I end up using the bathroom in the closet of this little room. I don’t have a choice. The smell in this room is disgusting.

It’s not long because I hear running feet. Melly tenses around me. “Why are they coming back? They were just here. I don’t want to watch you go through that again, Cori,” she says, sobbing.

I rub her back and let her know it will be okay.

The door flies open, and our foster parents look completely freaked out. “Get up. Now! We need to all pitch in and get this place cleaned up. We’re having visitors coming soon.”

They look completely panicked. Melissa and I quickly get off the dirty floor and follow them. As we walk by the bathroom, they stop us and push us inside. “Shower, quickly.”

Melissa and I waste no time in showering. She goes first, and I’m next, and as we come out of the bathroom and go down the hall, there is yelling. Lots of it.

“Corinne Treyton?” I hear an intimidating voice shouting my name.

I hold Melissa’s hand and walk slowly down the steps, coming face to face with the scariest looking man I’ve ever seen – tall, fully bearded, tattoos covering his arms and neck, and a leather vest that says Angels Warriors on it.