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Description : Fractured

My beautiful girl is almostpletely nude and lifeless. Her pants are around her ankles, and her panties are lying to the side, visibly torn. Her shirt and bra look like they’ve literally been cut from her body. There are marks, which resemble handprints all over her small body. Her face is noticeably swollen and streaked with either dirt or mascara. Her nostrils are rimmed in red and were bleeding at some point. Gashes on her stomach and thighs steadily drip blood. I hear a gasp from behind me and feel a hand on my shoulder. “Oh, Christ, Luc,” Sam says as he steps slowly forward. I am shaken from the trance I had fallen into when he drapes his jacket over her. I hear sirens wailing in the distance as I sit next to her.

I cup her head in my hand, saying, “Baby, it’s Luc. Can you hear me? Lia, please open your eyes, sweetheart. I’ve got you; I’m right here.”

Sam holds her wrist. “Luc, her pulse is slow, but it’s there.” I am stroking her hair, afraid to touch her anywhere else. I whisper repeatedly that I’m here, that I have her. I have no idea if she can hear me; she’s so still. Sam has to pull me away when the EMTs arrive. “Let them work on her. She needs them now.” He has Rose tucked against his side, trying to calm her down while they work on Lia.

As they are loading Lia onto the stretcher, she moans low in her throat and I leap forward. “Baby, can you hear me?”

Tears leak from the corners of her eyes as a cry like that of a wounded animal escapes from her throat. She struggles to move and seems to panic when she feels the straps from the gurney around her. I speak soothingly against her ear, trying to calm her before she hurts herself further. “Luc.” She gasps before collapsing back as if...