Chapter 30 - Ryth: Happy Halloween

New adventures, normal adjustments, Nevada assembly, or any of the other fancy nicknames don’t matter. NA will always stand for Narcotics Anonymous, even if we aren’t anonymous. I never thought I would attend one of these meetings again. Actually, I did. I just didn’t think I would attend of my own free will. It isn’t something that I particularly enjoy. Sob stories, a round of applause, repeating the twelve steps like a religious text and so on. Yet here I am, with something to share today.

After speaking with Tituba, I felt compelled to come here. I told plenty of stories in my life, and I’ve told stories here in this room. I’ve never actually told my story, of who I am, how I came to be. I just hid it for myself, unsure of what to do with it. Afraid that if someone saw the real me, how twisted I was that they wouldn’t like me. But now, I don’t have that option. It feels like death is standing over me, waiting for me to collapse.

“And now I’ve been clean for 37 days. But I have a long way to go,” a woman holds her hand over her heart as people clap.

“Wow, that was wonderful, and congratulations on your sobriety,” Michael brings the group back. “It’s important to remember that sobriety comes one step at a time. It isn’t a race, but a marathon.” He pauses and looks around, avoiding eye contact with me, but confused by me reappearing. “Is there anyone else who would like to speak today,” he asks.

I raise my hand and he continues to look past me, afraid of what I might say. When nobody else raises their hand, he stares at the clock, wondering if we can leave early. I’ve never shared in this group before, I can’t blame him for having some fear of what I may say. I’m dysfunctional, even by Narcotics Anonymous standards. When I’m not high, I can be emotional, and backing me into a corner can be bad. Even now, I feel myself sweating and my body heating up as he ignores.

“I’d like to speak,” I just stand up instead of waiting.

“Wow, you’ve never spoken before Rythe, and you already finished the program. Are you sure,” Michael is nervous. “You look like you recently had some issues as well,” alluding the bandages on my wrist. “Maybe another time.”

“No, I need to do this now. I might not have another chance.”

“Alright, the floor is yours. Tell us your story. Remember people, this is a no judgement zone. We are only here to support.”

“I’d like to start when I was young. I was thirteen years old, there was another boy in the apartment complex. I can’t even remember his name now. We would play every day, best friends forever. One day we were talking about how our friend had kissed a girl. We laughed, and both agreed it was gross. I didn’t have any intentions of kissing girls, and neither did he. He said he didn’t think girls were cute, neither did I. But he thought I was cute, and I thought he was cute. We did what kids do when they’re young and first experiencing love. We held hands, and some days we would hug.”

“So, you’ve been using drugs since thirteen, wow,” Michael interrupts.

“No, I haven’t gotten there yet. Well, one day we moved up to kissing. Not even making out. I was pretty sure I was gay at that point, he was too. His name, Dume, that’s what it was. Well, one day, my mother caught Dume and I kissing. She spit on me, called me a faggot, and then tried to scrub me clean in the bath. Even tried to drown me a few times but I fought back, and she couldn’t kill her child.”

“That’s terrible,” The PCP addicted Orc says.

“It gets worse. See my uncle lived with us as well. My mother handed me over to him. His solution was to beat me. Over and over and over and over again. Vicious beatings, back hands, punches kicks. Sometimes he would he just beat me with whatever he could find,” I brush my hair to the side to show the scar next to my ear, “that’s from a lame he hit me with. The bulb broke and left a scar.”

“They took me to a priest,” I begin again. “We weren’t even catholic. Look at me, I’m a Dark Elf. We all were. We’re not even Catholics, our people didn’t even have genders before we were taken as property. We had sex with whoever we wanted. But here she was taken in by some pope and priest. They tried prayer, holy water, and none it worked. I was just the fucking faggot devil in her eyes. That’s what my mother saw me as. And she couldn’t change it.”

I pause my story to regain my composure. I take some deep breaths as others in the group assure me this is a safe space, a place where I can continue. Hearing myself say these words, tell this story, is bringing up all these emotions again. I’m feeling them all for the first time, and it takes every coping mechanism I have to continue. But I need to continue.

“After religion failed, my uncle had another plan. In addition to the beatings, he’d bring a woman in. One day, I was cleaning the house, and my uncle comes in with a woman. I don’t know her name, she was a prostitute. The thrall of a vampire who had been whoring her out at one of their brothels. That’s all I knew. My uncle told me, I would have sex with her. I said no. So he beat me as she laughed and told me it was for the best.”

“You really don’t need to go on” Michael assures me.

“After he beat me, I was tied to the radiator and forced to watch the two of them have sex. When he was finished, I was told it was my turn to go next. I didn’t want to. He pulled my pants and underwear off as I was still tied to the radiator. I remember him smiling, laughing at my penis. Calling it small as the prostitute held it in her hands. That was my first sexual encounter. She masturbated me until my penis felt like sandpaper and I finally ejaculated. I wish I could tell you it got better after that but it didn’t. If this is too much, you should leave now.”

I watch as a wood elf leaves the room and doesn’t look back. Nobody else budges. I’m not sure if they’re interested in the story or they really want to hear about my past. I’ve seen some of these people regularly over the years, and never told this story. Even if a few seem uncomfortable, the curiosity of my past may have gotten the better of them.

“That happened, maybe three more times. After that, he’d beat me, strip me naked and tie me to my bed. I tried to fight it, but a penis isn’t just emotion, or lust behind it. It’s physical, and I could never fight the erections. I tried so many different tricks but it didn’t matter. Well, once I was tied to the bed, she hopped on top and went to town. I don’t know if she got enjoyment from it. Seemed like she did, seemed like my uncle got enjoyment from watching. I’d finish, and sure, it felt great, but I felt so much sadness and hatred every time. Eventually, they stopped tying me up. My grades were slipping, I was acting out in school and I couldn’t control my emotions. I hated it so much. But I just stopped fighting the sex, I couldn’t win even if I was getting older.”

“Rape,” the human woman from earlier interrupted. “You didn’t have sex, you were raped. Like you said, you can’t control what your dick does when touched. They raped you. You didn’t want that.”

“I know, but I don’t know if they deserved what happened next. You see, I went to some really dark places during all of this. If you weren’t aware, Dark Elves have this natural affinity for fire magic. It just appears. Now, at my age, it should have already happened. I imagine the rapes, and beatings probably stunted me in the magic department, not just the social department. Well, one day, as she’s sitting on me, she’s forcing me to feel her breast. I wasn’t even thinking about it, but flames shot from hands, burned holes clean through her, she dropped dead right there on top of me. I couldn’t stop the flames. My uncle should have been fine, Dark Elves need some really hot heat to be burned. But he was burned, and the flames wouldn’t stop until he was on the ground no longer screaming. He didn’t die, but I thought he did, and maybe it was a self-defense mechanism.”

“Is this when the drugs start,” Michael asks.

“Hush, sharing our pain is an important part of overcoming it,” The Orc stops Michael.

“After that, my mom kicked me out at sixteen. I was just another homeless gay kid at that point, and for some reason, I think I was happy. Just because I wasn’t being beaten or raped every day. But, I didn’t know shit. I fell in with a High Elf named Beduck, he seemed nice enough. He was rich, and I mean big money. This is the first time I did drugs Michael,” I stare at him. “Beduck drugged me slipped something in my drink, and he raped me. Not like the prostitute, but I woke up and could barely walk. But I was stupid, I believed him when he said that I wanted it, and came on to him. It got worse, eventually we moved to the point where he would watch me inject heroin. I was hooked, and that’s when we would have sex. I think he liked watching me do drugs more than anything else. The fucking premature ejaculator. Then one day, I fucking overdosed. Do you know what he did? He raped me, while I was on the verge of death. Dressed me in some old clothes, and left me by the river. I’m pretty sure he thought I would die, and so did I but I couldn’t even speak enough to call for help. But I lived, I lived through all of that shit.”

“So that’s how you got hooked,” Michael asks increasingly upset.

“Will you shut the fuck up,” The Orc asks, more demands of Michael.

“I kicked heroin, I did that all by myself. I’m fucking strong, no matter what. I overcame all of that shit. I finished high school from a homeless shelter, with no family. My guidance counselor told me I should set my sights on general labor but fuck him too, because I went to college. That’s where I took fairy dust for the first time. I was taking it for medicinal reasons. I really was only taking it in small doses once or twice a week. I wasn’t even getting high. But I became dependent on it because it was the best high, the cleanest high I could get. I needed that high, because I couldn’t deal with all the dark shit in my past. I am a Dark Elf, a faggot, a rape victim, an addict and every day I’m reminded by the world that each of those things me I’m trash and I’ll never be anything but trash. That’s why I get high, but I’ve been clean for a whole two days.”

“I need you to hear this story, because if I die, I need to know someone remembers me. I need to know people even thought about me. I’ve been pushed away by every person I called friend or family. When I die there will be nothing left of me but some newspaper articles. When I die, I need people to know that I am someone,” I take my seat and take a deep breath.

“Are you going to kill yourself? Is that why your wrists are bandaged,” Michael asks what’s been on his mind.

“No, I don’t plan to kill myself. This is completely unrelated. Today feels like a normal day for me, a good day even. But, every now and then in the corner of my I feel like the Angel of Death is there. Waiting for me with a smile, waiting to meet an old friend.”

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