“Look at me with your ugly face when I talk to
you, gal!” Burchell Pigmore roared, his big, rough, calloused hand coming down
hard on the back of Bella’s head, sending her flying face down onto the
concrete floor of the veranda.
Screaming out in
agony, nineteen-year-old Bella rolled over into a fetal position, her scrawny
legs pulled towards her chest. “I’m sorry, Papa,” she mumbled, tasting blood in
“Sorry? You are
always sorry,” her father yelled before he pummeled Bella’s body with kicks
from his heavy duty, dirty work boots. “You are too ugly.” He kicked her in the
back. “Too lazy.” Another kick landed on her bottom. “You give me too much
talking.” A kick in her side. “You have the devil in you.” Two more kicks in
her back. “You are worthless, good for nothing trash.” A few more kicks to her
Her body was vibrating
with pain from the beating it was taking. Bella closed her eyes, transporting herself
to her hiding place deep in the crevice of her mind. She was floating through a
large, beautiful field filled with exotic flowers and tall, statuesque, scented
trees. The luscious green grass under her feet felt like cotton balls. The
bright yellow sun kissed her beautiful face, while the cool breeze tickled her body
all over. Bella smiled and raised her dainty hands into the air, happiness and
joy swimming through every pore in her body. I’m in paradise, Bella thought.
I don’t ever—
“Get your skinny
behind up,” Burchell shouted, bringing Bella back to reality. He reached down,
grabbed his daughter by her slender neck, his fingers squeezing tight with all
their might, and pulled her to her feet.
Bella squealed and
kicked wildly, but she was no match for her beast of a father. “Let me go,
Papa! Somebody help me! Jesus!” But Bella’s screams went unheard in the small
community as no one came to her aid.
think Jesus wants anything to do with your ugly behind?” Burchell’s fist rivaled
that of the great Muhammad Ali when it connected with the girl’s stomach.
Bella saw bright
colored lights dancing in front of her eyes as the ground began spinning
“I’ve enough of
you!” He landed another uppercut to her stomach that felt as if it went inside
and twisted up her intestines like a pretzel.
released the hold on her neck and Bella grabbed her stomach and bent over, tears
swimming down her face as she choked and coughed, sucking much needed air into
her burning lungs. Her head pounding, her stomach cramping, and her body
aching, Bella took a few baby steps as she stumbled away from her father.
grabbed a hold of her blouse bringing Bella as close as possible. With heavy blows
to her body he proceeded to beat her within an inch of her life.
As the young
girl’s eyes rolled to the back of her head, with blood surging down her face,
she slumped towards her father, losing the battle of consciousness.
With a smirk on
his face, Burchell stepped to the side and watched in satisfaction as Bella’s
body crumbled to the floor once again.
“That’s what you
get for not listening to me,” he said, spitting a wad of tobacco spittle on
Bella. “Worthless just like your whoring mother. May her soul rest in the pit
of hell.” Burchell turned and walked into the three-bedroom house, slamming the
door shut on the sight of his daughter’s unconscious body.
A few minutes
later, groaning in agony, Bella tried to open her eyes but they seemed to be
shut together. She gingerly rolled over onto her back, biting her lips to stop
the scream trapped in her throat. Her body was throbbing from head to toe.
Finally, Bella managed to get one eye half open and glanced around, confused. She realized she was lying on their veranda
and the memory of the beating she took earlier came flooding back. Bella wasn’t
sure how long she was passed out, but she resented the fact that she woke up.
“Why didn’t you
just let me die?” Bella mumbled through bloody, swollen lips, looking up into
the ceiling. “Lord, why do you continue to let me suffer like this?” Tears
seeped down the sides of her eyes onto the floor. “Mama, can you hear me? I
want to be with you, Mama,” Bella said as she talked to her deceased mother who
had passed away a year ago. “I want to die too.” But neither God nor her mother