THE BETWEEN THE LINES SERIES
(or what happened between the episodes)
For Disclaimers, see "Looking for Trouble"
1.22 – Every Day, Every Day
G: "I'm glad you saved Callisto."
X: "It was the right thing to do."
C: "The right thing to do-- that’s what they think."
Leather and metal, digging, cutting.
Won't budge, can't move.
I rattle the chains, stomping my restrained feet.
"I said it hurts!"
The pig-man slams a fist against the side of my face and as he drops his arm, I grasp it with my tethered hand, and twist it until his wrist breaks. I hear it snap. He shrieks. I laugh.
Pig-man must die.
Same four walls, every day, every day. Chair hard as rocks, and pig-man leering at me. Gray slop shoved in my face. Water dripping from the leak overhead.
Cold and wet in my face. Catching it on my parched tongue.
Drip, drip, drip, drip!
Creatures skittering in the corner. Squeaking and chittering.
I shiver until I don't feel it anymore.
They think they can break me. I laugh again at my thoughts. Pig man leaves the room as I continue to howl at him.
When will they learn? I know what they do to women in prison. They tried with me. Three are dead, and one a eunuch. Now. Manacle chains, squeeze and twist. Snip, snip. No more man.
They beat me senseless, but I woke up here, in this chair.
Leather and metal. Can't turn my head. Can't move my arms. Can't move my legs. Can't do anything but stare ahead, thinking.
They think I've lost my mind.
It's never been so clear.
Every day, the slop, and the taunting, and the silly, silly men, who think they have me in submission. I laugh again. A man enters the room and this time he uses the chobo, striking me about the arms, legs, and face. I don't feel it. I don't laugh and I don't glare. I stare at him until he
flinches, and blinks, and steps back.
"You're a crazy bitch." He spits at me and leaves the room. I laugh again as I hear the click of the lock.
All alone, locked inside, with nothing to do but plan.
What a gift.
She will pay.
She put me here. She could have let me die, but no. She had to do 'the right thing.' She's grown weak. The irritating blonde did that to her. The real Xena would have sliced me open with her chakram. Oh, wait. I had the chakram! I giggle. I don't know how that happened, but the look on her face when I caught it was worth all the planning. And it was my bait, at first. I knew she'd come after it.
The blonde sealed the deal. I watched them. Watched Gabrielle beat that tree. Watched the Palomino horse comfort her. Watched them all cozy by the fire. She sensed me, too. I saw her, looking around, eyes wary.
If she wanted to do the right thing, she would have turned herself in with me. Her crimes outscore mine twenty to one. Instead she's out there, free.
And my family is dead!
Her legend grows -- Xena saves a village. Xena frees Prometheus. Xena makes nice with the Amazons.
Xena, Xena Xena! I hear her name until I it makes me scream.
All that time I spent, studying her, following her. Plotting. And then she decides to become good. Let's see how good she is after I take away everything she ever loved.
Just like she did to me.
Her mother. Her horse. Her little girlfriend. She's going to watch me kill them all.
Especially the girlfriend.
Love, love love! They make me sick. Why should she have love while I have nothing?
She needs to hurt. She needs to feel as badly as I felt when I watched my family die at her bidding.
She needs to be all alone, like I was.
Poor little orphan, all alone. In the woods. And the bad men came. And they beat me. And they did disgusting things to me. And they sold me. And I lived in master's cellar. The rats. And the bugs. In the dark.
Cold, and damp, in the moldy straw. Smelling. Gnawing. Nibbling. Itching. And the spoiled food. My stomach, twisting, retching.
And the whip. On my knees, crawling across the floor. Splinters in my knees and hands. Always the dirt under my nails. Not allowed to speak. Not allowed to look up.
Not allowed to cry.
Scrub the floor, scrub the floor. Wash the clothes and till the field. Eat the crumbs under the table. Drink from the trough. Clean the barn. Feed the pigs. Do whatever master wanted. Go outside myself. Floating all around the room. Singing songs in my head. Dreaming of what I'd do to him. Dreaming of what I'd do to her.
I hate her.
I hated master.
I hated her more.
One day master left the hatchet in the cellar. And the sun went down. And he came to me.
Bye bye, master.
And I ran. In the dark. Blood on my hands and skirt. Blood in my eyes. Blood in my face. I could taste it. I could taste him. And I wretched for the last time. Falling, tumbling, into the water, cold as ice, washing him off me for the last time.
Water, dripping down my body, moon shining down, and I held up my clean hands. And I tasted the freedom. And I laughed.
And I stole a sword and a horse. And I learned. Sweating and working, pushing myself to the limits. Testing myself.
And I studied men -- how to fight them. How to get into their heads. And never let them into mine.
And I traced her footsteps, always years behind. To Chin, and the Norselands, and the northern Amazon territories. And I heard the stories.
The monster lived.
By the gods, she lived.
I don't want her to die. I want her to live.
Oh, how I want her to hurt.
She made the orphan. She did it to me.
All of it.
Everything I loved. Gone at her hands.
All my pain, at her hands.
My lost life, all her fault.
Soiling her precious, precarious, reputation was delicious. Seeing the terror in their eyes as they looked into the face of 'Xena,' drawing their last breath as I gutted them. It was enough.
Until I saw her with the blonde.
Sweet, innocent, Gabrielle.
Just like I was.
Why does she get the best of Xena, while I got the worst? Why does she get love?
Why does Xena?
What joke of the gods is that?
They both need to hurt. I want their pain. I want every last drop of it.
So I plan, and I watch, and I wait. I see the pig-man's dagger. Such a sloppy little man. He will slip. Or trip. And I will be waiting. Waiting, waiting, every day. Nothing more, nothing less.
My day will come.
Gabrielle will die slowly.
Xena will watch.
And I will watch her fall apart.
I won't have to kill her. She'll kill herself.
And I'll laugh.
And maybe I will feel again.
NEXT in the BTL Series - "What Matters Most" (post "Death Mask")