Changing Faces - Part Six


Warning: This story from here on in contains violence, depression, an eating disorder, child abuse of several different kinds, and various other graphic things. If such content unnerves you, turn back now. It's probably rated R. As always, Mystique is Marvel's, not mine. I make no money.

Colette lay stretched out on the bed, pale and sickly. Her face looked sucken in, and black circles shown out from under her eyes.

(If I can purge...I must get the bad things out....)

Raven peeked in the room, silent as always. Mere had not come down for dinner or breakfast, and chased her off with screams when she had tried to rouse her.

(If I can get it out...I'll be saved....)

Annette was gone; departed two days ago for school. Mere had started crying when she left, and refused to leave her room. Eloise had scoffed and said, "The woman's lost it now--mad as a hatter." with a bitter sniff.

Colette half-heartedly tried to wipe off her mouth. It was covered in bile and vomit, and even traces of blood.

(Purge it...purge it all....)

Raven watched dispassionately as Colette suddenly tensed up and bolted for the waste-can she kept by the bed. Raven couldn't help but flinch as she heard her mother wretching into the can, purging her supper from her body.

This time, when she sat up, Colette had three long streaks of blood running from her lips to her chest. Raven wasn't sure if it was an internal injury or if Colette had bitten her lip.

Mere slumped upon the bed, bleeding on the sheets. Once upon a time, she would've been disgusted with herself if she turned to her old ways, but that was a long time ago. Who cared if she slowly killed herself now?

Oh yes, Colette knew all about killing herself. Her mother had overdosed on opium when Colette was thirteen, leaving her in the care of her aunt and uncle. Not like Aunt Chantal was all that much healthier than her mother; the woman had been an opium addict all the years Colette knew her. Her uncle had been a relentless drunkard and gambler; she couldn't count the times he'd come home in the midst of the night, screaming and yelling to the heavens about some trifle. Whenever he was drunk or mad he'd smack her about--and that was about all the time. And the things he did to her while he was drugged up on opium....

Colette wrentched again, narrowly making it to the waste-can. She had been like this through most of her young years; up to and during the time Paul had married her. She recovered some when she'd had Annette, but Paul's death and Raven's birth had opened those old, festering wounds, all but ready to bleed again...

Raven slid to her knees and cautiously crept across the floor, being careful to make as little noise as possible. Mere was sick-very, very sick....

Colette stared at her reflection in the mirror. Hair haggard and tangled, face streaked with tears, vomit, and blood. She looked like some sort of diseased person...

Colette collapsed back into the sheets in a fit of self-loathing. She was pitiful! Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful. She looked like something that had been drug in by the hounds, something sick and despisable--

Raven crouched by the bedside, afraid to move, but more afraid not to. Colette began moaning, and in a rage, tore at her own throat with her fingernails, ripping and scratching the skin, causing welts to appear.

Raven suddenly felt harsh, rough hands snatch her off the floor by her hair, dragging her up to the bed, smashing her agaisnt the bedframe out of pure spite and a need to hurt something smaller than she.

Raven cried out, but found herself silenced by her mothers deep-throated, horrific screams; screams so loud and rough they were almost torn from her body, sound so painful her throat could only make a few like them.

"I hate you I hate you I hate you!!" Colette screamed, ripping and tearing at the four-year-old like some wild beast, getting so angry she began pounding upon the girls head with her fists.

Raven gritted her teeth and tried to shield herself from the worst of the beating. This was horrendous--illogical, hatred filled, self loathing festering to the point were hurting yourself isn't enough.

Colette flung Raven off the bed, smashing her into the floor. Raven moaned as she curled up in a ball, arms locked around herself. The pain--her skin hurt, her hair hurt, she felt like she was burning it was so painful--even her teeth hurt. Worse yet was the emotional pain that brought tears even to her determined eyes.

Colette shreiked, then flung herself back into the bedclothes. It wasn't enough--hurting herself wasn't enough, hurting Raven wasn't enough--

"Why why..?" Raven sniffled, dragging herself towards the door, trying to get away from the mad-woman laying on the bed.

"WHY?!?" Colette screamed, flinging a pillow at her, "Have you looked in a mirror lately, FREAK?!" (That's it--hurt yourself and someone else even more and it'll be enough--) "You're a MONSTER!!" Raven cried out and stumbled to her feet.

"WHY?!" here Colette almost stopped. What was she doing? Hurting her child because she couldn't stand herself? It wasn't Raven's fault-(But it hurts so bad-if I hurt enough, it'll be enough, I know it will...)

"WHY?! Because I hate you!" Here Colette flung a candlabra at the retreating, sobbing girl, who never heard the last part of her sentance, "Because I hate myself."

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