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Elsa sat uncharacteristically quiet, sandwiched in between the six guys, in the half moon shaped booth. Smiling and nodding not knowing much about the rig pigging business. Perhaps she would learn something. She wished she had brought her glasses as she peered around the dimly lit room squinty-eyed. So far so good. The barmaid had been serving her and didn't even ask her for ID. She wasn't really surprised though, as she had been able to get off sales since she moved into town at 16.
Dave grabbed her hand under the table and smiled at her. She was so lucky to have him. Without him she might still be living with Muffin and her mother. Muffin was on her way to a career in porn with the drug dealers she had been hanging out with and poor Patti, she was like a nice call-girl past her prime. But Patti had believed in her when no one else would. If not for her she may still be sleeping in the doorway of that pub downtown. So much had happened since April when she arrived, garbage bag full of clothes in tow. Her whole life in one green plastic bag. But anything was better than home. The constant beatings, the yelling and fighting. She thought of poor Cindy still stuck there. But at least mother liked her better she may have half a chance at things being better.

She looked around the room, hoping to get a glimpse of Angie. She had said that they might come down. Although Angie looked a lot younger than she did and was worried that she wouldn't get in. Elsa smiled over at Dave.
"How are you doing" he asked.
"I'm good honey," Elsa said.
"Are you bored yet? Cause I know that you don't really have anyone to talk to here" Dave asked curiously.
"I'll be fine, don't you worry about me. I'm having fun." Elsa said smiling at him.
"You guys need another round?" the bar maid asked.
"Yah bring us another," said Billy smiling at Elsa with a wink.
Billy was one of Dave's best friends. He had always been nice to her even though some of his other friends weren't.

A couple of guys that Peter knew stopped by just then.
"Hey you guys wanna go outside and smoke a joint?" queried the shorter one.
"Nah not right now," said Peter "maybe later."
The taller one nodded knowingly and they headed for the door.

At first she wasn't sure but after the drinks arrived she knew she could smell it.

"Dave," she said shaking his knee under the table "can you smell that?"

"Smell what?" Dave asked confused.
"That smell, do you smell it?" she said firmly now. "It's pipe tobacco. Amphora. Can you smell it?"

"No, I don't smell anything" he said.

"Well I can smell it. It's kind of a sweet smell," she said worried now. "Oh my God. It's my Dad. He's here," Elsa said as her blind eyes darted around the room. Squeezed in between the guys she couldn't see anything.

"Dave, look around the room. It's my Dad. He's here. Look around for me. I know it's him. I'd know that pipe tobacco anywhere," Elsa said as she began to shake.

"He's not here. He doesn't even know where to find you. Remember we told Angie and Jamie not to tell anyone where you were," he said trying to reassure her.

"No I know he's here. I can feel it. Please look around for me. I didn't bring my damn glasses and I can't see a thing," Elsa said worriedly.

Dave looked around the room kind of standing up a bit from the booth seat.
"What does he look like?" Dave asked.

"He's got dark hair, moustache, and he'll be holding a pipe in his right hand," said Elsa.

"I don't see anyone like that."

"Keep looking," Elsa urged him now frantically "He's come to take me home. Please I know he's here."

Dave continued to look around the room. Elsa sat there trying to be casual but all she could do was curse herself for not bringing her glasses. She had to know where he was and if he had seen her. He already thought she was a whore what could he possibly be thinking now. Here she is in between six guys at a bar where she is not old enough to be. What was he doing here? What could he want? How did he find her?

All these questions were racing through her mind when the bar maid Amy came over.

"Hey Elsa, there's some guy over there that says he wants to talk to you outside. He says he's you're Dad and you're only 16? Is that true?" Amy questioned her somewhat confused.

Elsa didn't know what to do. Panic set in. She jumped up from the booth and ran to the bathroom.
She stood there, both hands grabbing the porcelain of the sink. Too scared to cry. She looked at her frantic expression in the mirror and tried to stand up tall as her hands shook wildly. Heaving in and out as though she had just run a marathon she tried to think.
"Ok, just calm down" she told herself. "Think dammit think." What the hell is he doing here? How did he find me? It doesn't matter, he's here now. What the hell does he want. She had told them both that she was never going to go home when she left. What do I do now she asked the little voice inside her head.

It seemed like an eternity as she stood there. Frozen. Unable to move. Her whole body was vibrating now. She wasn't sure if she'd be able to stand up much longer. But she was jarred from her state of panic when the door burst open. A girl she didn't recognize came in.

"Are you Elsa?" she asked "some guy named Dave told me to come in here and see if you were alright."

"I'm fine" Elsa stammered out shaking still.
"Tell him I'll be right out."

She couldn't run away from him forever she had to go out there. After all it wasn't fair to Dave. She had only told him about half of the horrible things he had done to her at home. He must be worried.
She bravely stepped back out from the bathroom and made a bee line for the table.

"Dave, we've got to go now" she said her fear showing in her trembling hands.
"No problem honey, where do you want to go?" he asked.
"Anywhere but here," she told him.

Dave got up from the booth and gave a quick wave to the guys. Amy the bar maid just stood there angrily.

"You better not be 16," she said as they walked away "I could lose my job you know."

Elsa looked over her shoulder at Amy trying to express her sorrow with her eyes as they hurriedly left. They stepped out into the cool autumn air and headed down the steps. She made the corner with Dave right beside her but as she took the next few steps she seen a running shoe fly silently, in slow motion, through the air past her face. It was Dave's.

"Dave," she queried as she turned in sync with the slow motion of the shoe "why are you throwing you're shoe at me?"

Everything seemed to slow down at that moment. By the time she had made the complete turn around she could see him there. Laying on the pavement in the parking lot.

"Elsa," he yelled, his left arm stretched out toward her "Elsa.."

His body seemed all distorted. His face was only inches from the pavement and his right arm was bent backward toward his hip. Why wasn't he getting up she thought?

"Dave, why are you throwing your shoes at me?" she questioned him again.

"Elsa, help me. Please." Dave said his voice cracking slightly. "I can't move, please Elsa."

Elsa took a couple of steps toward him. But just as she was only feet away she heard it. The engine roared. She looked to her left. All she could see was headlights. It roared again only louder this time. She peered in her blindness trying to make out the car, but she couldn't. Then the glint from the headlights of a car across the street made it apparent what make the car was. She could tell immediately from the outline of the front that it was a T-Bird. Just like her Dad's. She stood there frozen now. Knowing what her Dad was capable of. He revved the engine again, louder and louder several times. It was like some horrible nightmare from 'Christine' come true. Dave lay there helplessly screaming her name, begging her for help but she couldn't move. She looked back over at Dave. She had to save him but she was too scared. The engine revved one more time and then she heard the tires spinning. She ran to a nearby truck and jumped into the box. She had just climbed in when she saw the T-Bird careening toward Dave at top speed. Dave lay there screaming her name as he tried to get up. In slow motion, as if in a bad dream, he slowly pulled himself up hopping on one leg. He tried to jump out of the way but the V shaped signal light on the T-Bird caught him in the back of the knee and threw him up into the air and backwards onto the pavement. Laying there now motionless on his back Elsa began to scream.

"Help, help, somebody please help him."
She pounded the roof of the pickup truck until there were dents in it. She wanted so desperately to help him but she was afraid. She jumped out of the box of the truck now. Determined to help Dave she took a couple of steps toward him. He looked dead. He lay there not making a sound, about 10 feet away, then she saw him moving slightly.

"Dave," she yelled "Dave, are you alright?"

Dave turned his head toward her and reached out his left arm. His hand shaking.

"Oh my God, Dave!" she screamed.

As she started toward him she could hear the engine again. She froze. She thought that they had left. She looked to her right at the car. Again it's engine revved with the headlights on bright. She looked over at Dave and decided this time she would not be scared she would go and get him even if she got hit. She took one step toward him and then the car began another attempt. Her mind raced. He's gone nuts. He's going to kill him.

"Help me, please somebody help me," she screamed.

The car sped toward her and she stood there frozen, helpless, unable to move. Dave was still laying there. His arm outstretched for help. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, two guys grabbed him at the last moment and drug his body out of the way. The tires screached as the car came to a sudden stop. They held him up, one on each arm as the electric window of the car slowly opened about a couple of inches.

"You lousy piece of shit," said Elsa's father "who do you think you are."

"Step out of the car you asshole, I'll show you who's the real man," Dave said angrily. "Come on you coward."

"You couldn't fight me if you tried," Elsa's father said. "Look at you, all gimped up. Some boyfriend you are."

He spat out through the opening in the window. Dave tried to reach his fist up toward the window and punch it but he was still shaking.

"Yah, you jerk, come on and get out of the car. You think you're tough, hiding behind your steering wheel," said one of the guys holding Dave up. "Come on out and fight."

Elsa's dad punched the glass. The guys stepped back a ways.

"Get out of my way you little jerks or you'll be next," he said his voice sounded so devil-like, gutteral and loud.

Elsa took a few more steps toward the car. Her father noticed her moving closer and began in a sickly sweet soft voice now.

"Come on honey, it's alright now. He can't hurt you anymore. You can come home with me now. You're mothers' here and she wants you to come home. It's ok. These bad people can't hurt you anymore."

Elsa stood there shaking violently. The guys helped Dave over to a nearby car and helped him to his feet.

"No!" she screamed. "I'm not going home with you. Never!"

She could hear her mother screaming in the back seat at her to just do what he says.

"No! Never you hear me. I'm never coming home with you ever again," she yelled at him.

"Well then," he said in his devilish voice "I guess I'll just have to take you by force."

He rolled the window down a few more inches.

"You can't take me anywhere now" she yelled "I'm 16 now and you have no control over me anymore."

"Well we'll see what the cops have to say about you're being in the bar and being a minor. Do you think they'll be so nice to your piece of shit boyfriend after they find out that he's aiding and abetting a minor?" he said.

"Fine, we'll see what they have to say about you running him down with the car. We'll see you there!" she said still vibrating.

She turned and ran over to Dave. The guys were still standing there trying to help him stand.

"We gotta go now Dave," Elsa said trying to help him walk. "My Dad's going to the cop shop and we're going to charge him with manslaughter."

"Ok" Dave said weakly.

"Can you walk?" she asked him.

"I'll be fine," he said trying to be strong.

"Do you want me to drive?" she asked. "I can if you want me to. You look pretty hurt. Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'll be fine honey don't you worry," he said reassuringly.

They arrived at the cop shop. Elsa was surprised that her Dad had beat them there. How did he know where it was? She helped Dave out of the truck and inside.

They sat waiting until a cop came out from behind the door and told them to come in. Elsa began by telling him the story of how she had run away from her horrible home environment and then told him about how her Dad had run Dave over with the car. The cop sat there and didn't say a word. When she was finally finished she waited for some kind of response. The cop looked at Dave and then over at her. He was a burly man in his early 40's. He set his pencil down on the desk and began slowly and methodically.

"You're Dad was just in here." he said looking at Elsa. " He told me everything. But it wasn't like your story. He told me how you are prone to exaggeration and how you frequently lie. If I had a daughter like you I'd give you a good spanking for being in the bar and hanging out with men. He seemed like a wonderful man and here you are putting him through hell by running away from home. He and your mother have been worried sick about you since you left and if it wasn't for the law I would be sending you home. Now as for the bar. You realize that I can charge you with aiding and abbeting a minor in the consumption of alcohol," he said looking at Dave. " Not to mention statutory rape".

Dave nodded. "You can charge me with that but don't blame her it wasn't her fault."

Elsa stared at Dave. "He didn't make me go you know," she said staring the cop in the eye. "I went on my own accord."

"You had better keep quiet young lady if you know what's good for you," said the cop. " As well I can charge the bar maid that served you with a $500.00 fine and I can also get the bar closed down for serving a minor. Now you wouldn't want that on your conscience would you?" he asked Elsa.

"Well no, I guess not," she replied. "But what about my Dad running him over with the car? That's manslaughter. He should go to jail for attempted murder with a deadly weapon."

The cop smiled errily at her. "I'm not sure that anything happened," he said. "Near as I can see Dave here is alright and I don't believe that anything like that really happened. Where's your witnesses?"

"Well, there were two guys that helped Dave that I told you about," she said angrily.

"Yah well where are they, what's their names?" he asked.

She looked at Dave for support. He shrugged his shoulders at her. "I don't know who they are," she said. "I don't know their names."

"Well," said the cop "I guess I could go and start the paperwork if you want to press charges but I'm going to have to put you in jail for being underage in a bar and I'm going to have to charge Dave here with aiding a minor and frankly your Dad is long gone by now I won't be pressing any charges against him."

"But that's not right," Dave said loudly. "Where is the justice?"

Elsa knew she was beat. Her Dad had lots of money and high priced lawyers and he could make anything he wanted to, stick.

"It's no use," she said smiling weakly at Dave as she grabbed his hand "my old man has lots of money, we have none. We'll never win."

The cop just sat there looking at them. He knew she was beat as well.
She gave him a firty look as she helped Dave out of the chair. They walked out into the star filled autumn night. She looked over at him with tears in her eyes now. Glad that he was okay but sad that he too had to become a victim like she had been for so many years. She drove them home and helped Dave into bed. His knee was the size of a cantelope by now and she wanted desperately to take him to the hospital but he insisted that he would be okay.

She lay there beside him after he dozed off wondering if she would ever be free of the psychotic misery that her Dad was capable of.


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The following comments are for "Daddy dearest"
by brandy

what is the punch line
I think I found this under "lonely posts." You have what could possibly be a great story, but you left something out. After reading this, I decided on two possibilities:
A. A teenage girl runs away, falling in with a rough crowd, and her father intervenes in whatever way he can.
B. A teenage girl has a legitimate reason for running away, and no one believes her.
As the writer of this story, you have (should have) an obligation to let me (the reader) know which scenario is correct, because it could be either one. I have to go with "A," since there is nothing to support her dad being exceptionally cruel to her. His reaction at the bar could be the action of any angry father, as the cop pointed out. The only way to make that work in a story, IMHO, is to end with something like an explanation, maybe, "she realized on her 30th birthday that her dad really loved her and was trying to protect her." Maybe I am being thick, but I need more clues than you provided. Still, you DO have the makings of an excellent story here.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: March 13, 2004 )

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