Irene Waters designed #FFRodeo contest #4 to expose scars. The winners’ heartbreaking stories are posted here: https://carrotranch.com/2017/11/28/winner-of-flash-fiction-contest-4/

Follows is my entry.

Invisible Scars

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Some scars are invisible.

Three-day Labor Day weekends break Kayla. The change of the air rouses latent fears. The scent of blooming chrysanthemum and backyard barbeques inspires panic. She scratches skin grown feverish, leaving bloody tracks. Her head pounds with remembered shame, and she battles a torrent of emotion. Anger. Fear. Revulsion. Her eyes grow wide, not seeing the world of that day, plunged into reliving an abuse that left lasting and invisible scars.

A man Kayla trusted betrayed her. When visiting her father, he violated what should have been a loving relationship.

She fought disgrace and disclosed the act to her mother, to her doctor, to any teachers who would listen. CYF sent agents. She answered their questions, ignoring the mounting stomach sickness caused by reliving. She endured forensics exams, psychological consultations, and police interviews. In the end, CYF and the state dropped charges against her violator.

She railed. “This is wrong. Why isn’t he punished?” Her mother plead with the courts to help protect her daughter. They put small safe-guards in place. With a PTSD diagnosis, she entered a weekly therapeutic program.

The strangest little things trigger reactions to unresolved memories. These invisible scars demand acknowledgement.

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