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  • Writer's pictureA. E. Worth

Book 3: The Broken Doll

By A.E. Worth

Based on True Events

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are used fictionally or are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to real places or people are purely coincidental or fictionalized.

Copyright © 2021 A.E. Worth

All Rights Reserved

Chapter 1: The Bad Guy

“We can head over to the house in a few minutes if you want,” the man said, showing large white teeth. “This isn’t the house. I used to live here, so I was just stopping by to say hi to my friends. Lucky for you.”

When he stood up, his size slightly intimidated me. He walked to the doorway, then turned to me, saying that I could come inside too. I reluctantly followed him into the kitchen where he introduced me to an older man with shoulder-length blonde hair and a bushy beard.

“This is my friend, Lou,” he said. “Lou, this is Angie. She’s going to work for me cleaning the boarding house.”

Lou turned around and gawked at me, giving the other man a long look.

“Jay, she doesn’t even look old enough to work,” Lou said, inspecting me.

I shifted my weight uncomfortably, not liking the tension in the air.

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing, man?”

“She’s old enough,” the man, apparently named Jay, said to his friend.

I glanced up at him, unsure of what was happening and wondering if I should leave.

“Can I talk to you for a minute in private?” Lou asked, giving me a pointed look.

I solemnly walked to the door that we had entered through and let myself back out onto the porch. That had been really weird and awkward, and I wanted to just leave, but my stomach reminded me that I had to earn some money. Jay came out a minute or two later, smiling at me reassuringly.

“We’re good,” he said, lighting a cigar. “Are you ready to go?”

“What was that all about?” I asked, nodding toward the house.

“Oh, it was nothing. Good old Lou. He’s just worried about me, that’s all. He doesn’t want me to get in any trouble for hiring you. I told him that you’re good people and not to worry.”

“Hmm,” I said, frowning.

I didn’t like being thought of as a bad guy. I guess it didn’t matter anyways. I needed the job, and I didn’t have any other options. We walked straight down the main road and through downtown, passing by a hospital and several other busy roads. He turned left when the road ended onto an even busier road, and we walked past a bus stop.

We made a right turn next, crossing over some railroad tracks, made another left, and then a right. He walked up to a good-sized house about halfway down the street and inserted his key in the lock to open the front door. I followed him inside, and he locked the door behind me.

The house was nice and quite spacious. Just past the entryway was the living room, with a large staircase on the left. A long couch and several comfortable-looking chairs faced a rather large tv on the other side of the room. The tv sat on a huge entertainment center, and there was a pretty glass coffee table in front of the couch, and an end table on the far side of it.

Pictures hung on the walls and curtains covered the windows. It wasn’t a ghetto looking or run-down house at all, and I was excited to be living and working there. The house already looked clean and well-maintained. This couldn’t get any better.

Upstairs there was a long hallway with a bathroom at one end and a door that led out to a balcony on the other end. Bedroom doors lined the hallway, four on each side. Jay said that he was currently the only person living there, but that if someone wanted to move in, I would have to clean the room first by dusting and vacuuming it, cleaning the windows, etc.

He said the rest of the house was fairly easy since a bunch of people didn’t live there making a mess daily. I would have to keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, dust, wash windows, sweep, mop, and vacuum. It all sounded perfectly reasonable.

He unlocked the door to his bedroom, the closest one to the bathroom on the left-hand side. He told me to come in, so I sat down in the chair next to his bed. He opened the door to his closet, which was a makeshift assembly of thin, wooden paneling in the corner of the room, and pulled out a bottle of clear alcohol. He poured himself a drink and sat down on his bed, facing me.

“Tell me your story,” he said, taking a sip. His dark eyes burned into me and I shrugged casually asking him what he wanted to know. “I want to know how you ended up here,” he said simply. “I know you aren’t going to your grandma’s house with your backpack of stuff, or you wouldn’t have taken this job.”

I decided that I should be mostly honest with him since he was doing so much to help me. I hesitated at first, because I didn’t want him to throw me out if he thought he was going to get in trouble for harboring a runaway. I gave him a version of the truth that I thought would alarm him a little less.

I took a deep breath and told him that my parents more or less abandoned me, so I had been allowed to go live with my grandma, but her house was condemnable and she was neglectful, so I decided to leave and fend for myself.

He listened with interest, his dark eyes baring into me as I spoke. I told him that my grandma had been fine with me leaving and said that she wouldn’t call the police, but that I couldn’t be sure if I was wanted and risk getting a real job, and I didn’t have anywhere else to go.

“I’ll leave right now if you want me to,” I told him, “but I really don’t want to.”

He sipped his drink thoughtfully while he listened, and when I finished, I stared at him expectantly.

“So, no one’s out looking for you right now?” he asked doubtfully.

He had a small smile on his face though, and I wondered if it was from the alcohol. He offered me a drink, but I declined, saying I didn’t like the way alcohol tasted at all.

I shrugged. “I doubt it. No one really cares.”

“And nobody knows you’re here?” he asked.

“How could they?” I asked him back.

He shrugged and finished his drink.

“You can stay,” he announced, setting down the glass.

“Thank you so much,” I told him, relief flooding over me.

“Are you hungry?” he asked, standing up.

I nodded, and he said he would see what he could find downstairs. He came back several minutes later with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of apple juice. I fought the urge to devour the sandwich instantly, not wanting to look like a starving pig, but it was gone quickly enough, and I felt like I had barely eaten anything.

My stomach rumbled, and I wanted to ask if there was anything else, but I was too shy. I drank the glass of juice and that helped relieve the hunger a little bit more. Jay took the dishes downstairs, and I used the bathroom.

I went back into his room and asked him which room I could sleep in. I felt drowsy and emotionally exhausted.

“You can sleep in here,” he said, gesturing at his bed.

It was plenty big enough for both of us, but I looked at him with wide eyes.

“I thought you said I could have my own room,” I said quietly. “I don’t care if there isn’t any furniture or a bed. I can sleep on the floor.”

Jay shook his head. “I can’t give you the cleaning job,” he said, “but you can stay here, and I have another idea on how to make money.”

“Oh,” I said, trying not to let my disappointment show.

I knew it had been too good to be true. I should have lied to him about my story. Maybe he would have given me the job if I said I was eighteen. It was too late for that now, but he was still offering to let me stay there, in his room.

I supposed that it was still my best option. I could leave, but then what would I do, continue walking the streets until someone else picked me up, or I starved to death or got killed? I sighed and thanked him for letting me stay, asking quietly what I would have to do in return.

“Don’t worry about that tonight,” he said, smiling. “You’ve been through enough and you should get some rest.”

He nodded toward the bed, and I reluctantly walked toward it.

“Hold up,” he said, squinting at me. “You can’t wear those dirty clothes in my bed. Take them off, and I’ll put them in the wash for you. Matter of fact, you’re going to have to take a shower first.” He scrunched up his face. “You smell like a baby buffalo.”

I never smelled a baby buffalo before, but I didn’t doubt that I smelled like sweat, raccoons, and dogs, at the least. I did a lot of running, slept in grandma’s hot, dirty and disgusting garage, and then been in her musty, old house. I had a sweater with me, but no other clothes, as everything that wasn’t replaceable had been left behind in the woods near the group home.

I went into the bathroom, closed the door, and locked it behind me. My hands shook as I got undressed, and my head spun. There was a bar of soap in the shower and some shampoo, and it felt amazing standing under the hot water, feeling it wash away the dirt and relieve my aching muscles.

I felt much better afterwards, and Jay took my clothes to wash them, leaving me with only the towel wrapped around myself. I slipped into the bed and covered myself up, and he turned on the tiny tv in the room.

I awoke later that night to him touching me. I didn’t try to resist and laid there with my eyes closed while he did what he wanted to do. It didn’t take long and wasn’t strenuous, and he didn’t say anything about the blood. I went into the bathroom afterwards, and he followed me in, not seeming to need or value privacy.

I asked him what I should do about my situation, not wanting to get blood in his bed while I slept. The towel was soiled, so he got me a different one to lie on.

The next day, he had already gone to the store and came back by the time I woke up. I must have been exhausted, because I didn’t hear a single thing until he got back. I awoke somewhat disorientated and alarmed, not used to the look or the smell of the place. Jay held a plastic shopping bag full of items which included feminine products for me, red hair dye, and a pink shirt that he said he picked up at the Goodwill down the road.

I was surprised by the hair dye, but he said I needed to change my appearance if I was going to stay there or go outside. He said that we were too close to my grandma’s house and that if she had called the police, I would stick out like a sore thumb. I didn’t think of that, but he did.

They would be looking for a little blonde girl, not a redhead. I reluctantly agreed, and Jay helped me completely saturate all of my hair with it. The instructions said to rinse it out, wash my hair, and to continue rinsing until the water ran clear. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed, but the water still had a slight reddish tinge to it, so I gave up and called it good enough.

The mirror was pretty fogged up when I got out of the shower, but my hair looked really dark. I fought down a panicked feeling, telling myself that it had been necessary. I successfully got away, but I still had to worry about getting caught. I was going to have to find a way to survive until I was old enough to get a job and do something with my life.

I towel dried my hair and was pleased to see that my clothes were clean and dry, waiting for me on the small counter near the bathroom sink. I put them on and rejoined Jay in his room, a little glumly.

“It looks good,” he said, giving me a once over.

A smile spread across his face, and he looked happy. That made one of us.

“So, here’s what’s going to happen,” he said, gesturing for me to sit in the chair.

He paced back and forth in front of me as he spoke, like a teacher giving a lecture at school.

“When it gets dark out later, we’re going to go for a walk. I’m going to follow behind you, so it doesn’t look like we’re together, but I’ll be there to keep you safe. When a man asks you to get in the car with him, you’re going to do it, and you’re going to make a lot of money.”

I stared at Jay. My mouth hung open, and I was unable to put my thoughts immediately into words. He kept talking, going on about how not many women can be successful in that field because they don’t have what it takes, but he said that I did.

“Men will be falling all over themselves to have a chance with you. Just look at you,” he said fondly.

My face felt warm. He said if I didn’t do it, and went back out on the streets by myself, either I would get caught and locked up, kidnapped and sold into sex slavery, or end up doing this anyways, but without someone like him to protect me.

I knew he was right, but I was still nervous and unconvinced. He asked me how many times I had had sex for free, and I shrugged. I didn’t want to be a prostitute.

“No one’s going to take care of you for free,” he urged. “You have to earn your weight. Aren’t you hungry?”

It took a lot of convincing, but I hesitantly agreed to go for the walk with him. I was hungry, had not even a single dollar to my name, and had no other means to survive. I could have run away, but to what end? It would be a similar story somewhere else, or worse, if I didn’t end up dead. I could turn myself in, and go back to another place where I can barely sleep for fear of getting hit or touched in my sleep.

He took me to a specific house first, where he spoke with an old man that he knew. He introduced me to the old man as Alexis, which was the name we agreed upon so no one would know my real name. He went inside the house, leaving me alone with the old man to talk.

The old man asked where I was from and what my goals were, and I told him I was hoping to make enough money to get back to my family in California. He asked me other questions, and I answered them awkwardly. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to try to flirt with the old man, but I definitely did not want to. I found him repulsive but tried my best not to show it.

The old man went in the house and spoke with Jay, and Jay came out shaking his head. I was relieved to not have to do anything with the wrinkly old guy but also concerned about the fact that he didn’t want to do it with me. He said I was just a kid. Jay seemed to think that I hadn’t tried hard enough, and I became frustrated, since I didn’t want to try at all.

We decided to try walking instead, so the type of guys that wanted me could seek me out. I walked down the street at a moderate pace, not too slowly to look obvious and not too quickly that people didn’t notice me. Almost immediately, a car with three guys in it pulled over, and they asked me to get inside. I climbed in the backseat, and they continued to drive down the road.

They took me to a house with a bunch of people in it, and the guy in the backseat with me took me down to the basement. There was a bedroom set up down there, and he pushed me down onto the bed roughly. It scared me, and I blurted out that I was on my period. He got mad and told me to suck it then, pulling out his penis

It was easily as big as my forearm, and I just stared in shock. He was already hard, and I knew that my mouth couldn’t open that far, even if I wanted to, which I didn’t. The guy grew frustrated with my lack of cooperation and stomped up the stairs.

I didn’t know what to do and started to cry. I heard footsteps on the stairs and thought the guy was coming back to kill me, but it was a different man, not one that had been in the car. He was a little bit older than the others, maybe in his thirties, and he said that he would take me home.

I thanked him profusely, and he had me wait there while he went back upstairs. I was scared that he forgot about me, but he came back several minutes later, and told me to come with him. I followed him up the stairs and out the back door quickly, not looking at anyone on my way out. I got the distinct impression that he wasn’t supposed to be helping me escape.

The man drove down the street, and I directed him to go toward the hospital, since I knew the way from there. He said that his name was Mayhem, obviously some kind of nickname, and he literally talked my ear off for the whole ride. I barely said a word other than to tell him where to turn. I had him drop me off by the railroad tracks, and I quickly ran to the house, banging on the door.

Jay answered it, and he looked angry and worried. “What the hell happened to you?” he asked, ushering me into the house. “You were right ahead of me, then I turn the corner, and you’re nowhere to be found.”

“I tried to do what you told me to do,” I told him, tears streaming down my face. I told him everything that had happened, and he shook his head.

“You didn’t listen to me at all!” he said. “Older white men are the ones that pay. Black guys don’t pay. Don’t ever get in the car with black guys. Never. Do you hear me?”

I looked at him, swallowing uncertainly, unwilling to point out the color of his skin. “That old guy you took me to was black,” I told him. “So, how was I supposed to know?”

He explained it to me more. The man he took me to was known by Jay to pay for sex. Apparently, he just didn’t like skinny, white, flat, teenaged girls. He said to beware of younger black guys, though, because they wanted to do it but wouldn’t pay.

He said I didn’t have to go back out that night and that we would start over fresh the next evening. He called it a learning experience and said that he hoped that he hadn’t been wrong about me. I felt bad about disappointing him, hoping that I would be able to make enough money to earn my rent there.

The next day, we walked to the house that I first met him at. He said he would sit on the porch watching while I walked around. A man beckoned to me from a house down the street, but he didn’t speak English. I walked further down the street, and a large van pulled up beside me.

I spoke with the man driving. No one occupied the passenger seat, so I got in the van. There were two more men in the back, which immediately made me wary and uncomfortable. The van rolled down the street, doing the speed limit, and I sat there with my arms folded while the two men flirted with me and tried to convince me to do things.

“I’m not doing anything unless you pay up front,” I said stubbornly, just like Jay told me to say.

One of the men, the only one I could be considered even mildly attractive, pulled a hundred dollar bill out of his wallet. He wore a cowboy hat and sunglasses.

“If I let you hold this, will it help convince you that we will pay?” he asked with a thick accent, smiling.

I took the bill and put it in my pocket, rolling my eyes. The guy sitting beside him pulled out his privates, and I almost threw up from the smell that accompanied his gesture. It straight up smelled like rotten fish guts.

“Ugh,” I said, covering my mouth and closing my eyes as I turned away from him in disgust. “I’m not doing it. That’s disgusting.”

“Okay, then give me back my money,” said the second man, the one in the cowboy hat.

I turned to him calmly and reached into my pocket frowning.

“Oh, no, it’s gone,” I said, turning my pockets inside out. I hadn’t really put it in there, just acted like I did, then tucked it in my bra. “I must have dropped it on the floor.”

We were pulling up to a stop sign, and as soon as the two men in the backseat looked down at the floor, I grabbed the handle to the sliding door, flung it open, and jumped out of the still moving van. I hit the ground running. The men yelled in Spanish, and the driver stomped on the gas, so I cut through a couple of yards running as fast as I could and went in an adjacent direction to the one we had been travelling in before doubling back toward Lou’s house.

A motorcycle pulled up beside me as I ran, and the rider asked me if I needed a ride. I didn’t ask him any questions and jumped on the back, with no helmet, pointing in the direction I wanted to go in. He went fast, definitely speeding, and I felt confident that I had gotten away from the men in the van.

I asked the man to drop me off around the corner from Lou’s house, and I hurried up to it once he pulled off. Jay was still sitting on the porch, and I rushed up to him, frowning.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, standing up. “What happened this time?”

I handed him the hundred-dollar bill and he smiled, congratulating me.

“Your first hundred!” he said. “Good job, girl. We should celebrate.”

I didn’t really earn it, and I told him what happened.

He bellowed out a laugh. “You got a hundred dollars, and you didn’t have to do anything? That’s even better.”

He bought me a cheeseburger on the walk back, and I scarfed it down greedily. When we got back to the house, he pulled a cigar out of the top drawer of his dresser.

“I’ve been saving this for a special occasion,” he said, smiling at me. “I’m proud of you. You did good today, baby.”

I wasn’t sure that I did good, but he was, and I was glad that I finally had a successful transaction. Sort of.

I did a little bit better after that. An older white man picked me up on one of the main roads downtown and took me to his house. He paid me two hundred dollars to sit on top of him for less than a minute. He was chubby and unattractive, but he listened to good music in the car and seemed surprised that I knew the words.

He was very mild-tempered and meek, and I never felt like I was in any danger of him hurting me physically. He gave me his phone number and asked if I had one, so I gave him Jay’s phone number like he instructed me to do. The man said that he would like to see me again and would get a hold of me soon.

Jay was pleased and said that that it was exactly what I wanted to happen. Guys like that would become repeat customers, and I would soon build up a reliable list of clientele and not have to walk the streets looking for customers and putting myself in danger.

I was not happy, but I didn’t tell him that. I knew that I didn’t have a choice, except to run away again and do the same thing somewhere else or hope that someone would let me live with them in exchange for me giving myself to them. Like Jay said, no one would take care of me for free.

He said I was ready to go out by myself the next evening and that I should make a considerable amount since it was payday and the weekend. I left the house and went in the opposite direction of the railroad tracks. I didn’t know the neighborhood on the other side at all and figured that I should explore it.

A few blocks away, two younger men were walking down the street in the opposite direction and they stopped to talk to me and compliment my shirt. They said I was pretty and worth paying, adding that their friend lived right around the corner, and we could go to his house.

I hesitated, remembering what Jay told me, but these guys seemed different. They were friendly and seemed to really be interested in me, and they were both good-looking, younger guys that could have anyone they wanted.

I didn’t think it was fair that I could only do it with old, gross men according to Jay’s philosophy, and I didn’t see why I shouldn’t let a younger, attractive man pay me if he wanted to. They promised that it would be worth it, and that they would both pay me, and possibly their friend as well.

Jay would be ecstatic to make a triple payout and might even buy me a real meal, so I agreed and followed them to the house. It was on a street with many similar-looking, small houses, and instead of going to the front door, they went around to the back door and knocked.

A younger, attractive Native American man with long, dark hair answered and let us in. The two guys spoke with him, and he smiled, letting us into a vacant bedroom in his house. It was completely empty, without a single piece of furniture or anything. I said I needed to be paid upfront the way Jay told me to say it, and one of the men laughed, telling me not to worry and to take off my clothes.

Danger bells went off, too late, and for good reason. One of the guys held me down, pinning my arms to the floor while the other raped me. I cried and fought them but it only seemed to amuse them and make them be rougher. They were much stronger than me, both in good shape, and I didn’t understand why they were doing what they were doing.

They could have easily gotten some girl to sleep with them for free or had someone that loved them and would sleep with them every day. I pleaded for them to stop, but they didn’t. By the time they switched spots, I was in agony from multiple painful spots on my body.

“Please don’t,” I pleased to the second man. “Please, let me go. You don’t have to do this.”

He covered my mouth with his hand. I closed my eyes and tried to block out the pain, but it was too much, and I screamed into his hand and bit him. He smacked me hard across the face, and I bit my tongue, managing to bring the screaming down to a whimper.

When they finished torturing me, they got dressed, and I curled up on the floor, convulsing. It felt like I was in a horror movie. I wondered if they were going to kill me to keep me quiet. I watched as they left the room, joking and smiling like they hadn’t done anything wrong.

As soon as they left the room, I rushed to get my clothes on. It hurt to move but I knew that I had to get out of there as fast as I could. The windows were barred, so I decided to try to make a run for it out the door and scream for help as soon as I got outside.

I grabbed the door handle, and it turned in my hand, forcing me backward. The door swung open, and the Native American man came in, holding a pistol. He looked at me sympathetically.

I looked at him in pure terror, inching away until my back hit the far wall. He threw a fifty-dollar bill down on the floor in front of my feet. I thought for a moment that he felt bad for what his friends did to me and was trying to somehow make up for it by making sure I didn’t leave empty-handed.

He slowly kept moving toward me, though, with a hungry look in his eyes. He spun me around with one arm to face the wall. and he turned me around to face the wall, and I closed my eyes, waiting for him to shoot me.

He pushed me forward to bend me over, lowered my pants, and forced himself into me while I sobbed uncontrollably. He wasn’t as rough as the other men and didn’t last as long, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t try to fight him. I knew that it would be useless and angering him could make him shoot me at any time.

The one thing I rationalized with myself is that it didn’t make sense for him to pay me if they were going to kill me, although in that moment, death seemed like a relief. I winced and cried out with every movement, praying for God or anyone to help me make it out of there alive.

The Native American man stayed in the room, watching me get dressed after, and pointed at the money still laying on the floor. He smiled when I cautiously picked it up, never taking my eyes off him or his gun, and put it in my pocket. He walked over to the bedroom door and opened it.

I tentatively went through the doorway, scared of seeing the two other guys, but they were nowhere in sight. The house seemed to be empty besides the two of us, and he led me to the door and let me go. I ran down the street frantically, looking around to make sure I didn’t see the two younger guys anywhere.

I flew like the wind back to Jay’s house, not slowing down until I collided with the door. The house was dark, and I knew it was really late, but I pounded on the back door, which is the way he had sent me out.

I didn’t hear anything, so I called out loudly, “Jay, please! Open the door!”

I continued to bang on it until he finally opened it. His dark expression gave away his anger. I had been gone for a long time.

“Where have you been for so long?” he asked angrily.

I walked past him into the house, and the light from the kitchen shone on me. He sucked in his breath.

“What happened out there?” he asked, in a gentler tone.

He sounded concerned. I threw the fifty-dollar bill at him, my shoulders shaking as I sobbed silently, and walked away. I couldn’t find the words. There weren’t any.

He picked up the money and followed me up the stairs and into the bathroom. I peeled off my shirt, wincing. His eyes widened, and his hand flew up to cover his gaping mouth.

“Who did this to you?”

I shook my head, panicked, scared of what he would do, but he made me tell him what happened. He wanted to know where the house was, but I didn’t know exactly how to tell him. I described it the best I could, but I hadn’t really honestly paid attention to what the house looked like. I remembered that it had a decent sized porch, but I honestly couldn’t even tell him what exact color the house was, or how many houses down from the corner it was.

All I wanted to do was curl into a ball and die, but Jay made me take him to the house. I shook uncontrollably and my heart raced as I led him back there. He walked with purpose and an angry look expression and looked like someone that you did not want to mess with.

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