Shamrock, a short story by Linda Allen

He pulled me off the floor and threw across the room onto the vanity. The vanity crumbled and the mirror shattered. I cried out in pain. He laughed a creepy, deep, hollowing laugh. I grabbed a shard of mirror as he lunged at me yet again. “AAAHHHH!!!” I shouted as I plunged the mirror shard into his upper thigh, just above the knee. The revolver dropped to the floor and slid to the corner, by what I assumed to be the closet door. He yelled out in pain and I pulled the mirror shard out of his leg and continued to repeatedly stab him. I propped myself up against the closet door. The shard of mirror was now in the guy’s abdomen and he was covered in stab wounds and blood. My hand was cut and bloody and was bleeding copiously. And yet still he tried to dive at me. The revolver was inches away from both of us. We both went for it.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

Have you ever had your entire life flash before your eyes? Well, I have, and I suppose this is one of those times. You could say I have had more than my fair share of these moments, but I suppose I should back up and start from the beginning. My name is Remmi Pennington. I am seventeen years old, and in my young life I have had more than my fair share of hard times too. My parents Remmington Pennington III and Kalista Deucain Pennington, were told they were having a baby boy, and to the surprise of everyone, doctor and nurses included, I was a girl. I was named Remmilynn Kate Pennington. See, I was a disappointment and mistake from the very beginning of my life. Kalista wanted and needed a boy in order to inherit the Deucain fortune, and clearly that was never happening for her. Kalista hated babies, kids, and most human beings in general. She had her tubes tied before she was made aware I was a girl. Twenty-six hours of labor, an emergency C-section, and tubal tie surgery later Kalista was told the horrible news “It’s a girl” and her dreams of her family fortune went down the drain. Now from the time I was born a girl, I was unwanted and despised by Kalista. When I was three months old, Kalista left me at home for six hours so she could go shopping. When my father got home he was horrified, he fed, cleaned, and spent time with me. My father lectured Kalista for hours and days. From then on I was beaten on a daily basis by Kalista for little to no reason at all, simply for breathing and being alive, I suppose. When I was seven years old, she tried to drown me in the bathtub.

“Kalista, what the Sam Hill are you doing?!” my father shouted as he walked by the bathroom.

My father grabbed Kalista’s arms from behind and pulled her away from the tub. Now, the entire bathroom floor was wet, due to the fighting and kicking I was doing while she was drowning me. So, the slight force with which my father pulled Kalista off made her slide across the bathroom floor and hit her head on the toilet. My father pulled me out from under the water, and even though this only took seconds, it seemed like forever, or that is what my father says, I don’t remember it at all. My father called 911 and was told to performed CPR, as Kalista yelled in the background.

“Let the little brat die! DIE! DIE! DIE! LITTLE BRAT! DIE! DIE! DIE!”

To my father’s delight and Kalista’s dismay, the CPR worked, just as the police and ambulance sirens were heard at the end of the lane. They rushed me to the hospital and Kalista was handcuffed and loaded into the back of a squad car and driven to jail, after the EMTs cleaned and temporarily bandaged her head wound, once at the hospital she received stitches. Kalista was institutionalized after the “near fatal drowning accident,” as her high priced Deucain lawyer said.

When I was fourteen, Kalista was released from the institution and allowed to return home. She was NEVER to be left alone with me, so my father hired an Au pair of sorts. My best friend Seamus O’Henry, the Irish boy that lived just down the lane, walked me home from the bus stop as he always did. Seamus was sixteen and all the girls at school were in love with him. He was an amazing boy, smart, very well read, kind, generous, caring, athletic, and the red hair and the Irish accent –well, that was just a bonus, a perk so to speak. Anyway, back to what I was telling: Seamus and I were in the front garden looking for four-leaf clovers, or shamrocks as Seamus called them. Kalista opened the screen door and stepped out onto the porch.

“Remmilynn, I need your help with something please. Good day, Seamus,” Kalista said in a very strange friendly voice and a smile. She opened the screen door again, and waited for me to enter.

I had a bad feeling, but ignored it in a naïve fourteen year old way. I told Seamus bye and went inside to see what Kalista needed help with. As I walked in the house, Kalista shut the screen door, the front door, and locked them both. I turned to ask what Kalista needed and WHAM! Kalista hit me in the face, just below the eye on the cheek bone, with a red umbrella. My cheek was bleeding, and the force and pain Kalista inflected knocked me to the foyer floor. I put my hand on my cheek and crawled backward toward the stairs, Kalista was swinging and hitting me with the umbrella again and again. I was shouting for the Au pair, to no avail. I continued to crawl backward up the stairs. All the while Kalista was hitting me repeatedly with the umbrella, while saying:

“You dirty little whore. He won’t want you now. You dirty little whore. Dirty little whore! Dirty little whore!”

As I finally reached the landing between the first and second floors, I backed myself against the wall and with all the might I had I kicked Kalista. She fell backwards down the stairs and onto the foyer floor with a loud THUD. As I started to stand, the front door burst open with one fell swoop, pieces of wood from the door frame flying and landing on the foyer floor like pieces of wooden snow. Seamus and Mr. O’Henry came running in, Seamus’ heart-stopping smile aimed in my direction.

“Seamus, son, get Little Miss Remmi out of here.” Click, click went Mr. O’Henry’s Irish shotgun as he cocked it and aimed it at Kalista. “Don’t you move, lassie, or I will shoot you with no hesitation whatsoever.” Mr. O’Henry’s thick Irish accent is really strong when he is mad, and his entire body’s skin turns red with anger and his shamrock colored green eye, the same eyes he and Seamus share, turn somewhat darker green with rage.

Seamus ran up the stairs to me and proceeded to help me to my feet, to no avail. I could not stand. He picked me up with such ease that I was taken aback, he and carried me down the stairs onto the front porch swing, just as the police and ambulance pulled up in front of the house. Mrs. O’Henry came running across the yard, her red curly hair bouncing and blowing as she did so.

“Mr. Pennington is on his way home,” she said to the officers and EMTs as she reached the porch. “But if Miss Remmi needs to go the hospital, I will inform him posthaste.”

I spent six seemingly very long days, in the hospital. I had a broken cheek, fractured ankle, fractured wrist, several broken ribs, and not to mention bruised legs that made it hurt to walk. Seamus came by every day after school and every other chance he got. He brought lunch from his favorite Irish kitchen, his mother’s restaurant, for us several times. Some days he would stay late into the night, just watching me sleep, my cute Irish knight in shining armor, sometimes past midnight. Dad and Mrs. O’Henry would have to force him to go home and sleep in his own bed. When the weekend came, no one could force him to leave. I was released on a Sunday morning, so Seamus was allowed to miss church for the first time in his sixteen-year life, and neither he nor I has ever missed a Sunday since.

Kalista was sent to prison that time, for one year, with mandatory counseling. When the year was up she was released, but not allowed near me, and had to wear an ankle monitor for three months; but by then she had developed a new addiction, well several really, meth, heroin, and unbeknownst to my father or I, cocaine. Kalista moved in with her meth dealer boyfriend, to a rat-and-roach-infested meth apartment. Kalista and my father were in the process of a divorce, but Kalista’s lawyers were dragging it on, she wanted more alimony.

Over the next few years, Seamus and I spent every day together. When my father got sick with cancer, Seamus and the O’Henrys helped us both in so many ways. I sat in my bedroom’s window seat in my black dress and heels, as he O’Henrys deal with the people downstairs. I had to go upstairs. Well Seamus had to half carry me upstairs, after bursting into tears for what seems like the millionth time in three days. As I sit there writing, I rubbed the 14K white gold necklace, with a green shamrock charm, Seamus had made for me and given me on my seventeenth birthday four days before. I looked around my bedroom and notice my half packed suitcase on top of the hope chest at the foot of my bed and remember I am supposed to spend the summer in Ireland with Seamus and the entire O’Henry clan. My father made me promise that whatever might come, I would go and spend my summer in Ireland. The trip was a fortnight away and, since I promised my father that whatever came I would go, I am going.

As I lay in bed, around midnight, I was crying yet again in spite of Seamus holding me, the phone rang. I sat up in bed and answered the phone. It was Kalista, and she wanted the rest of her things brought to her apartment. I told her I would drop her things off in the a.m. before I had to go to work. Kalista reluctantly agreed and I hung up the phone angrily. I laid my head on Seamus’ bare chest and he wrapped his arms around me. I fell asleep.

The alarm woke us at 7:00 a.m. and Seamus and I made love in the shower, then got dressed for work. After I was dressed I went to gather Kalista’s things that I had boxed up years earlier. Two boxes and I would finally be rid of Kalista forever. I was enthusiastic to finally get her stuff out of my house. I called Kalista at 8:30 a.m. and told her I was on the way over. She said they were up, and that it was fine to bring them now, but to hurry up because she had “stuff” to do.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex, I took a deep breath before getting out of my car. I grabbed the boxes, locked my car doors, and walked up to Kalista’s fourth floor dump –I mean apartment. I knocked on the apartment door several time before it was opened by Kalista’s boyfriend. He opened the door in a brown towel wrapped around his lower waist. His jet black below the ear hair was slicked back and wet, his long Elvis sideburns perfectly groomed, not a hair out of place. This is who she left my father for –she seriously downgraded.

“Hey woman, the girl is here with your stuff!” he yelled as he backed away from the door, allowing me to enter, but offering no help with the boxes.

Kalista came out of what I assumed to be the bedroom, wearing a brown towel as well. Her blonde hair was wrapped up in a smaller brown towel.

“Put them on the table and get the hell out!” Kalista said with the same amount of disdain in her voice as was in our hearts.

I half tossed, half forcefully dropped the boxes on the kitchen table.

“Now now, ladies cannot we all just get along.” Kalista’s boyfriend said with a smile that was more sexual than friendly

I rolled my eyes, walked out of the apartment right to my car, and drove to work. She had some nerve; I should have punched her in the face. Who did she think she is to talk to me like that? What did I ever do to her to deserve all the physical, mental, verbal, and emotional abuse I received from her my entire life? I have no idea and frankly I would really like to know, but cannot stand to be around Kalista long enough to ask. Not to mention, I have to admit I am terrified of what the answer might actually be.

At 7:00 p.m. I received another call from Kalista saying she needed me to come back by there because she claimed there were some things missing and she wanted to tell me what they were. I told her I would stop by after work and dinner, and Seamus insisted on going. Seamus and I arrived at Kalista’s around 8:00 p.m. I asked Seamus to wait in the car and come in and get me if I was in there longer than fifteen minutes. The music, if you can call it that, was so loud I was unsure my knocks would be heard, but they were. Kalista answered the door after only two knocks and I followed her over to the living room. Three people were sitting there. Kalista’s boyfriend, a muscular shirtless black man who was covered in tattoos with profanity, nude girls, and other very undesirable things, another muscular shirtless white guy with tattoo similar in genre as the black man, they were all snuffing several lines of cocaine through blue looking straws.

“Look, Kalista, I have had a long few days, I am tired, and I just want to be done with you once and for all, so what do you think you are missing?” I said with anger and annoyance.

Just after the last syllable left my mouth, I was grabbed by the white guy who had just snorted two lines of cocaine, and dragged/carried to the bedroom.

“You are my payment for the coke, so top or bottom, sweetheart?” the guy said throwing me onto the bed, if you consider a mattress with dirty sheets a bed, locking the door, and undoing his belt.

God, I knew coming here was a horrible idea, but I had gone against my better judgment and came anyway. Why had I been stupid enough to fall for this ploy again? I got off the bed just as he was about to climb on top of me, I pushed the guy away from me as hard as I could, and went for the door. The music, the kind with profanity every other word, out in the living room was turned up to an ear bleeding volume. The guy grabbed my left arm as I reached for the door lock.

“Kalista said you like it rough,” the guy said with a cocky grin, revealing his drug addict messed up teeth, and pulled me towards him. He tried to kiss me and I stomped on his foot with all my might. He yelled profanities which could rival the music at me in pain.

Again I went for the door and again he grabbed me, this time with more force. He shoved me into the dresser; I hit my back on the drawer pulls and fell to the floor face first in extreme pain. He removed his belt from the loops of his jeans with a loud whoop. I forced myself to stand up in spite of the pain as he removed a revolver from the nightstand drawer. I stumbled backwards towards the door, putting my back against the door, because if there is anything I have learned from my years of abuse, you never turn your back, never show fear, and never show pain. I was terrified and in extreme pain, but I was determined not to show fear or pain and let him think he was going to rape me without a fight. I put my right hand on the lock. He shook his head and the revolver at me in a “don’t even think about it” notion. I looked him dead in the eyes with no fear in my eyes whatsoever. He slowly walked towards me. My heart was pounding; he began unbuttoning his pants, whilst still pointing the revolver at me. I took a deep breath and let him get right up against me; when he went to kiss me, I kneed him in the groin as hard as possible. He knelt to the floor in pain, swearing loudly at me yet again. I kicked him in the stomach while smiling and grabbed the lock.

BANG!

He shot at me and the bullet grazed my right arm and imbedded itself in the door. He then plunged at me while yelling; I moved just in time to avoid being tackled to the floor. He hit the door face first, breaking his nose. He grabbed my leg and I fell to the floor. I turned over onto my back and he crawled on top of me and began to unbutton my jeans. Just as I was about to knee him in the groin again, he lifted me off the floor, I suppose anticipating what I was about to do, and threw me across the room onto the vanity. The vanity crumbled and the mirror shattered. I cried out in pain. He laughed a creepy, deep, hollowing, evil, laugh that echoed off the walls. I grabbed a shard of mirror as he lunged at me yet again. “AAAHHHH!!!” I shouted and threw the shard at him; it scratched his abdomen and landed on the floor. Then I grabbed a larger shard as I plunged the mirror shard into his upper thigh, just above the knee. The revolver dropped to the floor and slide to the corner of the room, by what I assumed to be the closet door. He yelled out in pain and I pulled the mirror shard out of his leg and continued to repeatedly stab him. I propped myself up against the closet door. The shard of mirror was now in the guy’s abdomen and he was covered with stab wounds and blood. My hand was cut and bloody and was bleeding copiously without end. And yet still he tried again to dive at me. The revolver was inches away from both of us. We both went for it.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

The guy fell backwards, three shots to the chest, as the bedroom door was kicked in. The music was turned off in the other room. The police made their way into the room; I was shaking with the revolver firmly planted in my hands. When I saw the police officers, I dropped the gun, and put my hands in the air as high as I possibly could. Seamus came running in the room literally pushing past several officers. He ran over to me and hugged me so tight I cried out in pain.

“I waited ten minutes, like you said, came up heard some commotion, and called the police. I was so scared oh, Remmi baby, I am sorry. I love you so much,” he said letting go and kissing me.

“I love you too, Seamus O’Henry.”

**************************************

Three days later.

 

 

O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

From glen to glen, and down the mountain side…

Now I sit here in the Emerald Isles of Ireland, listening to Seamus, my best friend, my Irish knight in shining armor, my true love, and his Irish kin singing O Danny Boy. All the while the wind is blowing through the beautiful moors, valleys, and lush green grass of the Isles as if singing along. I took a deep breath while holding my shamrock necklace; the air is so pure and clean I feel like I am breathing for the very first time.

This be the end of this tale, there be no more to tell ye. Ye want to know what happens next, well that be another tale which is not ready to be told. Ye will have to wait for ‘morrows yet to come. Hehe 😉

Remmi Pennington

 

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