Trigger Warning: Chapter 1 contains violence, sexual assault, and bad language. Bullying and Suicide are Crying Out Silent's main themes, depicting how two teens came to consider taking such drastic measures to stop their pain. Crying Out Silent is the prequel to Ash and L's book Ashes to Ashes. Ash is Dante Rata's older brother, while L is Dante's guitarist. L is an intersex character, who is a partial hermaphrodite. This chapter will also introduce you to Anthony "Ant" Torres, who will be the main character in Stepped On, which is the second story in the A Broken Lives Short Story series. That story also has Murderer and Nike in it, detailing what happened when they went into Ant's place to get Kara back, not knowing she wasn't there.
So, let's get down to actually reading the chapter!
Crying Out Silent
Copyright 2018 © Marita A. Hansen
Editor: John Hudspith
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the author, nor circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. For subsidiary rights inquiries email: email@example.com
All characters, names, places, and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, or real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
UK English is used due to the New Zealand setting.
All other variations are also due to where the book is set, as well as the characters’ cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. This is why some characters use different speech patterns from others, such as in the use of cos versus ’cause or wuz versus was. In the case of cos and wuz, the dialogue is used to represent a Māori accent. Though, please note that not all Māori speak the same way, plus many of my characters are of mixed heritage, such as Ash Rata. Ash is half Croatian, almost half Māori, and the rest Romanian. But due to where he grew up in South Auckland, he speaks more like his father than his mother.
I hope this explains the way in which dialogue is presented in Crying Out Silent.
The boy was sitting on the other side of my new homeroom, staring at me like he wanted to play dot-to-dot with the freckles on my face. It reminded me of the bullies from my last school, which I had to leave due to being picked on relentlessly. And he was big like them, even looked a bit like the ringleader with his number one haircut and rough features. He was the type of guy who’d be at home on the rugby field or in a WWF ring. I tried not to look back, knowing it could get me hurt, but I couldn’t help it, because his stare was like a magnet, drawing my gaze to him.
“Anthony Torres!” the teacher called out.
The boy’s gaze snapped to the teacher. “It’s Ant, and you know it!”
The teacher visibly tensed. “Watch your tone! I won’t put up with it this year.”
A smile split Ant’s face, which made the teacher shake his head. The man didn’t look much older than Ant. Even from across the room I could see the stubble on Ant’s face, not something that was common with Fifth Form students. I wondered whether he’d been held back a year or—with the way he looked—five, because there was no way he could be fifteen or sixteen.
He looked back at me and lifted his chin up in what appeared to be a friendly hello. The dreadlocked kid sitting behind him glanced my way, probably wondering who Ant was looking at. He frowned when his gaze landed on me. He said something to Ant, which wiped the smile off Ant’s face. Looking angry, Ant snapped something back, then his gaze returned to me. He scowled for a second, then a mean grin split his features. He pushed his tongue against his cheek and moved his fist in front of his mouth, doing the cock-sucking gesture. My face heated, my complexion no doubt resembling raspberries splattered across snow. I was pale-skinned and had orange hair, which I’d inherited from my Welsh ancestry. My family had moved to New Zealand five years prior—when I was ten.
Both Ant and his friend laughed, the third boy in their group looking like he wanted to be in on the joke.
“Ant and Joel, please be quiet,” the young teacher said, glancing up from his desk. I couldn’t remember his name since he hadn’t bothered to write it on the whiteboard. Though, he didn’t look like someone who got called Mr. often due to having as many, if not more, zits than the teenagers he was paid to teach.
Ant grinned back at the teacher, while Joel, who I assumed was the dreadlocked kid, sniggered. The teacher sighed then looked back down at his list, continuing to call out students’ names.
The door banged opened, pulling my attention away from the man. A tall boy walked into the room, looking out of breath, as though he’d run a mile. His wavy black hair was a mess, but to my eyes it looked perfect. If it wasn’t for his scruffy uniform, he could’ve walked out of a fashion catalogue, the guy model-beautiful.
“Ash,” the teacher said, sounding exasperated, “it’s not a good way to start the year by being late on your first day. I hope this isn’t going to be a repeat of last year.”
Ash grimaced. “I had to take my bro to school. The li’l shithead totally made me late.”
“Watch your language.”
“I didn’t say anything wrong.”
“No I didn’t.”
The teacher exhaled loudly, like it pained him to be here. “Just take a seat.”
Mumbling something under his breath, Ash weaved his way between the desks, grinning at a pretty blonde girl with pink streaks in her hair. He blew her a kiss, causing the girl to giggle, then climbed over the dreadlocked boy’s desk to get to the one by the window.
“Ash! Do not climb over desks,” the teacher snapped.
“Sorry,” Ash said sarcastically.
His mates started sniggering, Ant the only exception. I blinked, realising he was still staring at me, no, he wasn’t staring, he was glaring. He looked like he wanted to punch me, something I’d seen on too many bullies’ faces. I dropped my gaze to my desk, which was where I should’ve kept it in the first place.
As soon as the bell rang, I jumped up and grabbed my bag, heading for the door as fast as I could, but two girls at the front of the class stopped to talk to each other, blocking my way. Apologising, I pushed between them, then had to stop again as a massive girl stepped in front of me. She peered over my head, calling out for her friends to hurry up.
“Hey, new kid!” Ant yelled out.
I looked in his direction. He was heading my way, the dreadlocked boy behind him grinning.
“Ant, come here,” the teacher said.
Ant ignored him, pushing a student aside. He was so tall it made me feel even smaller. I was considerably shorter, only five-foot-four, while Ant had to be at least six foot, if not more.
“Anthony!” the teacher barked, his face going bright red from being ignored.
Ant stopped and turned to the teacher. “What?!”
Resting his hands on the desk, the teacher pushed to his feet, his expression furious. “If you keep this attitude up, you’ll be seeing the inside of the principal’s office more than my classroom.”
“Sorry, ma’am. I’ll be a good boy, just for you.”
The teacher’s jaw clenched, giving the impression he was going to give Ant a blasting.
The massive girl finally moved out of my way. Seeing my opportunity to escape, I took off out of the room, rushing down the corridor, slipping between the crowds of students coming out of their homerooms. I headed into the boys’ restroom and planted myself in one of the stalls, using the door as a barrier to the outside world. I was used to seeing the back of toilet doors. It was always the first place I went to when I thought I was going to be bullied, and right now, I had more than a gut feeling that Wera High was going to be no different from my last school.
Since everyone in my class had English next, I decided to skip the lesson, because there was no way I was risking going near Ant. Ignoring the crude drawings on the toilet door, I hung my bag on the hook and put the toilet lid down to sit on. I grabbed my novel out of my bag and started reading it. Over the next hour or so, students came in and out of the restroom sporadically. I lifted my feet occasionally, willing the minutes to tick by faster, while hoping I wouldn’t get in trouble for skipping class.
The bell for the end of English rang, which resulted in more people using the toilets, until it finally quietened down. I sat silently, continuing to read my book, totally wrapped up in the story. It was Carrie by Stephen King. I’d only just started it a couple of days ago, but I liked it a lot, and sort of sympathised with the main character, because she was picked on like I had been… no, was being.
Everything went quiet for a while, then the door opened. A male laugh filled the room, followed by a female voice shushing him. A bang on my door made me lift my feet off the floor. On the other side, I heard a noise, which suggested someone was looking underneath my door. I sucked in a breath, praying they didn’t see me. A few seconds later, the door next to mine closed, the lock clicking in place. I exhaled soundlessly, relieved that I hadn’t been caught.
The girl started giggling, which stopped abruptly. “Shouldn’t you wear a condom?” she said.
“Why? It’s not like I’m fucking your pussy,” the boy answered gruffly, sounding like Ant.
“But I thought you were.”
“Then, what do you want?”
“I wanna fuck your arse.”
“You said yes before.”
“Only cos I thought we were having normal sex.”
“Well, too bad, you agreed.”
A bang followed, the girl yelping in response. “Don’t, Ant!” she cried.
“C’mon, Kelley, you promised, and if you don’t, I’ll tell everyone you did it anyway.”
“I don’t wanna— Ouch!”
Another bang happened.
“Okay, okay!” she cried. “I’ll do it, just don’t hurt me.”
A scuffling sound followed.
“No, Ant, put on a condom.” She yelped again. “Let go, that hurts.”
“Then stop bitching and turn around.”
“Put on a condom first.”
“I don’t have one.”
“Then it can wait.”
“No, it can’t, you got me hard, so turn the fuck around.”
The girl let out a cry.
“Shut the fuck up or someone will hear,” Ant snapped.
“Just stop pushing me.” She let out a shriek. “What are you doing?”
“You said not to hurt you, so I’m loosening you up.”
“That feels wrong, I don’t like it.”
“Just shut up, you’re pissing me off.”
A rustling followed, along with a zipper being pulled down. The girl squealed, which was abruptly cut short, sounding like Ant had clamped a hand over her mouth. The girl sniffled while Ant grunted and moaned. I wondered whether I should say something, but instead pressed my lips together, too scared to open my mouth, Ant terrifying me.
Not long after, Ant let out a gasp, then everything went quiet for several seconds, even the girl silent. Rustling clothes followed, then they left, disappearing with the bang of the main door.
I exhaled, relieved that they were gone, but still upset over what I'd heard. I wondered who the girl was, the name Kelley not meaning anythingto me. Was she from mine and Ant’s class? Or from another one? And if she was from my class, should I speak to her, making sure she was all right? Because what Ant did...
Was it rape?
Feeling sick over it, I opened the door and went for the sink, freezing at the sight of Ant. He was leaning against the wall by the urinals with his arms crossed over his broad chest, staring at me. I blinked, taken aback he was still here, too tongue-tied and scared to utter a word.
He pushed away from the wall and walked towards me, making me back up fast. “Enjoy the show?” he said.
My back hit the stall frame. “I didn’t see anything,” I spluttered out, finally finding my voice.
He stopped in front of me, giving me a stare down. “Not even a peek under the door?”
“No,” I replied, realising he must’ve known I was there all along.
“What you heard is none of your business.”
I nodded vigorously. “I won’t say a word, I promise.”
“You bet you won’t.” He reached out to touch my hair, which was long, almost reaching to the small of my back. “Are you a girl or a boy?”
“A boy,” I replied with my usual answer, even though it was only partially true.
“Then why do you have long hair?”
“I like heavy metal.”
He wrinkled his nose, as though my reply offended him. “Well, you should cut it, cos it makes you look like a girl—or gay. Are you gay?”
I shook my head, telling the truth. I didn’t care what was in someone’s pants. I was equally attracted to both females and males—as long as they were beautiful. Not pretty or hot. Beautiful. Otherwise they didn’t capture my attention. As a small kid, I used to cut out pictures of models from my mam’s old magazines, fascinated by how perfect they looked. Back then I’d thought they were angels, graced by God’s hand, but now I just liked to look at them.
“Well, I reckon you are gay,” Ant said.
He glanced down at my crotch, making me worry that I hadn’t done up my fly. Unlike his black pants, I was wearing the summer version of Wera High’s uniform, which was black shorts and a white button-down shirt, my red jumper in my bag.
His hazel gaze returned to my face. “At homeroom, you were staring at my mate like you wanted Ash to fuck ya.”
My eyes widened in horror. “No I wasn’t!”
“I’m not!” I said, feeling my cheeks heat up. I hadn’t even thought about sex, just had been enthralled by Ash’s beauty.
“Doesn’t matter anyway, cos you’re sweet outta luck with him. He’s straight.”
“I wasn’t looking at him like that, I swear.”
“Still lying, but I understand why you were lookin’. That prick’s a pretty bastard. Too bad he’s a pussy-muncher, totally into it, can’t get enough of slurping up those fishy juices...”
I gaped at him, his words shocking me.
He continued, “And Ash would pro’bly punch you if he knew you were eye-fucking him, so you’re lucky he didn’t notice.”
“I promise I wasn’t eye— Doing anything like that.”
“Quit it, I already told ja I don’t believe ya.” He looked me up and down. “You’re so tiny, a total pocket fuck. How old are ya?”
“Fifteen,” I said, not knowing what a ‘pocket fuck’ was.
“You totally don’t look it. I thought maybe you’d been put up a class.” He grinned. “I betcha your dick is small too, that’s if you even have one.”
“I have one!”
His grin widened. “Prove it, then.”
I took a step to the side. “No way!”
“Is it cos you’re a lesbo, pretending to be a guy?”
“No! And I’m not going to show you my...” I cleared my throat, not wanting to say it.
“Stop being a pussy-shit. If you’re really a guy, I’ll see it when you piss at the urinals, so you might as well show me now. Unless you sit on the toilet for a piss, cos you’re a girl.”
“I’m not a girl.” A lie, but only a partial one.
I glanced at the door, praying someone would come in.
He smiled knowingly. “It’s class time, which means no one’s gonna save your girly arse, so show me or I’ll make you.” He took a step closer.
Scared he would actually do it, I quickly unzipped my shorts and pushed them down, along with my briefs, my dick too small to pull out. Not only that, it was trying to disappear inside my body, fear shrivelling it up, making it even smaller than it was. The doctor had said that the abnormality was due to me being intersex—or a partial hermaphrodite, since I didn’t have a vagina.
“What the fuck!” Ant said, looking shocked. “What happened to your dick and balls?”
“Nothing.” I quickly pulled my pants up and did the zipper, wishing I hadn’t relented.
“Yeah, nuthin’ is defo the word, cos you’ve got nuthin’ down there. Even a baby has a bigger dick than you, and I don’t even know if you can call those balls. It looks like you’ve superglued your pussy together.”
Tears started to well up in my eyes. I wanted to hit him for saying that, but knew I’d be the only one getting hurt. Then to my shock, he unzipped his pants and pulled out his own dick. My eyes went massive, but not because his dick was small—it was humungous!
“The head of my cock is bigger than your whole cock,” he said. “Hell, I could hardly see your cock it’s so minute. Have you had a sex change? Cos that thing looks like an oversized clit.”
“Well, if you’re lying, I’d ask for my money back, cos the cowboy doc did a shit job. Still, I’d hit that. You’re hot.” He reached for my shorts, unzipping them before I realised what he was doing.
I smacked his hand away. “Don’t touch me!”
His face turned vicious. “Don’t fuckin’ tell me what to do, you li’l bitch,” he spat.
He pushed me against the wall, but instead of hitting me, he smashed his lips against mine. I was in too much shock to do anything, his kiss blindsiding me. He bit my lip, making me squeal. As soon as I opened my mouth, he slipped his tongue inside. I tried to shove him away, but couldn’t get him to budge, his chest as solid as a brick wall.
He stopped kissing me and spun me around, pushing me into the toilet stall. I righted myself and went to leave, but he slammed me against the stall’s wall, knocking the wind out of me. Then he was yanking down my shorts, making me panic. I went to scream no, but instead jolted as a door banged. Ant instantly let go of me.
“You in ’ere, Ant?” someone called out.
Looking panicked, Ant quickly stuffed his hard cock into his pants, then threw a punch at me, hitting me in the eye. I cried out and slumped to the floor.
“That’ll teach you for wanking next to me, you faggot!” he yelled.
The dreadlocked kid from homeroom appeared in the stall’s doorway. I quickly covered my groin, unable to stop from sobbing uncontrollably, the pain in my eye, as well as the horror of what Ant had done to me, fuelling my tears.
Joel’s expression turned from surprised to disgusted. “Fuckin’ pervo fag,” he spat, making me shrink in humiliation.
Ant snapped, “Let’s go!”
They moved away...
...and that was when I saw him.
He was staring down at me with a sympathetic expression. For a second, I thought he was going to help me, but then he followed the others out, leaving me on the toilet floor, crying my heart out.
I stayed there for what felt like forever, in too much shock to do anything else. I didn’t understand why this had happened to me, couldn’t even start to comprehend any of it.
Someone entered the restroom, finally snapping me out of my stunned state. I quickly pulled my shorts up just as a kid stopped at the urinals across from the toilet stall. I pushed to my feet, capturing his attention. He looked over his shoulder, his eyebrows winging up as he caught sight of me.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
I shook my head and snatched up my bag, not sure I’d ever be right after what Ant had done. I was out the door before the kid could say another word, running home, only stopping briefly to use my inhaler. I let myself in, my mam and sister at work. And when my mother returned that night, asking what had happened to my eye, I lied, telling her a ball had hit me during P.E. She asked again, obviously not believing me due to my track record of being bullied. But I reassured her that it had been purely an accident, and that I’d tell her instantly if I was being bullied again. She relaxed a little after that, though still gave me worried glances over dinner. I knew what she was thinking—that someone had punched me. And I wanted to tell her she was right, but then I would have to tell her everything that came before it.
Which I could never do.
The next day I was too terrified to go to school, so I stayed home. It had been easy to do since my mam and sister left for work early. I sat down at my desk, detailing everything that had happened in my diary. I stopped at the part where Ant had pulled down my shorts. I closed my eyes, imagining what could’ve happened if his friends hadn’t walked in, but I couldn’t, or more like, I didn’t want to, because it was beyond terrifying.
I pushed up from my chair and turned to the full-length mirror on the wardrobe, wondering why Ant had gotten hard over me. I was nothing to look at: too skinny, too pale, with freckles and orange hair that could blind you. I turned my face from side to side, not seeing anything that could be remotely hot. All I saw was me, a person who was both male and female, stuck in a world that only allowed me to be one or the other. Since I was born without a vagina, my parents had brought me up as a boy, something I knew didn’t feel right, but I didn’t think changing to a girl was right either. I was neither, yet both.
The phone rang, jolting me out of my thoughts. I ran for it, picking it up before I realised my mistake.
A woman’s voice came over the line. “May I speak to your mother?”
“She’s at work,” I answered.
“Is this Llewellyn?”
“Yes,” I said softly.
“Well, this is Mrs. Smithe, the school secretary, and, Llewellyn, you’re supposed to be at school. Are you ill?”
“Then please tell your mother that I called, and if you take any sick days off she needs to phone in, and if you miss three days or more you have to bring in a doctor’s note.”
I agreed, then hung up. My heart started racing at the thought of having to go back—of facing Ant, his friends, and the whole school. I imagined getting shouldered into lockers, taunts of being a fag thrown at me, sneers and jeers. Then what the woman had said about a doctor’s note gave me an idea. I headed into the kitchen and grabbed a chair, dragging it over to the cupboard. I climbed onto it and started searching through the med kit in the top cupboard, hoping to find something that would make me sick. I pulled out a box of pills, which only said to take two at a time. I wondered whether it would make me sick if I took five. I stuffed the box into my pocket, planning on taking the pills just before my mam got home.
For the rest of the day, I watched TV or read more of Carrie, then, as planned, I took the pills just before six. A little while after taking them I started feeling light-headed, but not sick. Not what I wanted. I slumped onto the couch, realising I hadn’t put the pill packet away. I reached for it, but my hand flopped down.
A noise came from the front door. I looked up, everything blurring, only the sound of my sister’s voice alerting me to who it was.
“Are you okay, Louie?” she asked.
“Tired,” I mumbled.
“Louie, what’s wrong?”
She went quiet for a moment, then screamed, “Mam!” I closed my eyes, hearing our mother’s startled voice a few seconds later. A slap stung my face, followed by Mam shouting, “Open your eyes, baby. Open your eyes!”
But I couldn’t. My head was all fogged up, taking me to another place. My sister started babbling, saying our address to someone before I lost consciousness.
If you would like to continue reading Crying Out Silent, you can either connect with my Patreon page to read the parts as they are uploaded or wait until it's published as a novel on Amazon, which will be either late June or early July. This chapter is taken from Part 1 on Patreon. Don't read Part 2 until you've finished Part 1 (Chapters 1 to 4).