This is the story of a rape and snuff victim who survived.
Tabitha Jackie Moore’s eyes stared fearfully at the policewoman who had escorted her as the paramedics transported her to the hospital for rape tests and treatment for shock and dehydration. The woman didn’t seem particularly sympathetic, and Tabby Jack, as she often insisted on being called, desperately needed someone to comfort her!
She’d been catatonic from screaming and crying for hours when the SWAT unit had charged into her home and rescued her from the three home invaders who had brutally murdered her father and mother. It came out as they were interrogated they had particularly enjoyed raping the pretty thirteen-year old as her mother was forced to watch. Both she and her mother had been strangled and raped repeatedly. A concerned neighbor with acute hearing had thankfully detected Tabby’s shrill screams of terror and reported them. Unfortunately, her mother had died from the horrible treatment before the police arrived
That’s where I come into the story. I’m Jack Wilson. The police had found the papers in my best friend’s desk assigning me power of attorney over the couple’s concerns and called me. I’d been shocked and enraged to hear of the murders, and dropped everything and somehow managed to avoid being arrested for speeding as I rushed to my Goddaughter’s side!
The hospital room door opened and a nurse showed me in. The policewoman had to physically restrain Tabby from leaping from the bed and running to me! “Tabitha,” the woman spoke,”be careful, you’ll rip out your I.V.” I quickly walked to the other side of the hospital bed and picked Tabby up, she clung tightly to me and sobbed.
Tears of rage, loss, and sorrow for her streamed down my own face and fell on her gown as I held the young teen, all that remained of my two best friends. The nurse told me, “We’ve put her on enough sedatives to knock out a horse, but she’s refused to give in to it. She must have incredible willpower!”
“She’s been in survival mode. She’ll rest with me here, she trusts me to protect her,” I told the nurse. Rest she did for the next two days, as I sat in a chair and held her in my arms. I spent most of those long hours adoring her beautiful face and stroking her long auburn hair as she so loved for me to do. One of the cutest tricks she’d learned as a toddler was to climb into my lap, meow, and beg me, “Pet the Tabby, Jack!” Thinking of the torture she’d gone through and the bruises on her slender neck made my eyes stream bitter tears. I so wished I’d been beside her dad in his final fight for their lives as I’d been with him in so many fights!
I only put her back in her bed when I went to the restroom or showered, and when the doctors and nurses examined her or bathed her. The nurses were very kind in bringing meals to me. They knew the whole story now, and I suppose they knew I couldn’t bear to leave her side to go to the cafeteria. The murders had made the front pages of the papers and the news channels all over the country, “Police Officer and Wife brutally slain!” The doctors and nurses seemed to accept my presence as part of her therapy treatment.
I left her room only once in those first two days to go to my truck for the fresh clothes and my shaving kit I had there. I made one of the nurses promise to stay by her side while I rushed to and from the truck. Tabby was just waking up when I walked back into the room and she desperately reached for me. I put my bag down, cradled her in my arms, and sat back down in my chair beside her bed. She kissed my cheek, hugged me, and went back to sleep, feeling safe in my arms.
On the third day they reduced her sedation. I talked reassuringly to her as she awoke. I asked her if she had any relatives or other friends she was close to she wanted to see, or might want to visit or stay with, and she told me there was only me. She cried for a long while then as I held her close. She needed this time to grieve her terrible losses, as did I.
Her father, Bob Moore, had been my best friend since boot camp years ago. We’d helped liberate Kuwait in the same unit and did one H.A.L.O. (High Altitude Low Open) night jump behind the lines on a mission into Iraq. We were closer than most brothers. After I’d been blown damned near to hell by a land mine another troop had been killed by stepping on, he had his wife visit me in the hospital stateside until he got home and could take over most of the bedside vigils. He had picked up on his civilian job as a police officer when he returned, and often visited me in uniform before or after a shift.
They’d insisted I move in with them when I was discharged from the military hospital, so I’d have a home to go to, then each had assisted me to and from my rehabilitation appointments until I could drive again. When the baby came along the proud couple had done me the great honor of naming me her Godfather, and giving her the middle name Jackie.
I had been given a full disability retirement from the military, due to various permanent problems, both physical and mental. I bought my own place so Bob and his wife would have their privacy again and a nursery room for the baby, but we’d visited at least weekly ever since. I was invited to every poker game, fishing trip, vacation, birthday, and anniversary party.
Tabby Jack had become my best buddy too, to the point of her insisting I was the only person she would allow to babysit her whenever it was needed. Have I mentioned she was a strong willed child? She would beg her mom and dad to let her spend nights or weekends playing at my house. We played ball, went swimming, camped out (usually in my yard) and went fishing. I always insisted she put the icky bait on my hook and hers, but it never seemed to work out that way. She had been the darling daughter I would never have, and now it appeared she was mine to finish raising for the worst possible reasons.
She told me she was hungry and I buzzed for a nurse to see if she was allowed anything to eat yet. I spoon-fed her some broth for her first meal of her hospital stay. They’d been feeding her intravenuously. She didn’t say much as I fed her. Tabby seemed to enjoy the warm broth, and the familiar closeness of my feeding it to her as I’d often done when she was younger. It did my own low spirits a world of good being able to give the sweet child some nourishment. Her doctors sent a psychiatrist in to examine her. He introduced himself to us as Dr. Stevens and shook my hand. He extended his hand toward Tabby. She shrieked and threw her arms around my neck, clinging tightly to me and shivering from fear as I comforted her!
The doctor shook his head in sympathy, then pulled up a chair. I could tell from the resigned look on his face, her recovery would take a long, long time. Dr. Stevens spoke calmly and gently to Tabby, but she refused to respond to him. “Will she talk to you, Mr. Wilson?” He asked. “Call me Jack, Doctor,” I told him, “Yes, she’ll talk to me, won’t you, Tabby Jack?”
“Yes,” came her barely audible reply. “You need to talk to the doctor, Sweetheart,” I told her in a soothing voice, “he’s here to help you learn to deal with this tragedy.” She whispered and sobbed, “I’m too scared to, Jack! Please don’t let him hurt me!” Tears were running from my own eyes again and mixed with hers as I kissed her tears away. I promised her, “Nobody is ever going to hurt you again, Tabby Jack, I won’t let them!”
Dr. Stevens stood up and spoke to me. “I’ll refer her case to one of my women colleagues, Jack, she’ll be in either later today or early tomorrow. Perhaps that will help. You both have my sincere sympathy. I’ll send in her medical doctor. He needs to speak with you, too.”
Dr. Williams came in then, and Tabby’s reaction to him was very much the same as her reaction to Dr. Stevens had been. She was terrified of him! Dr. Williams had examined her several times while she was heavily sedated, but she didn’t want to be in the same room with him now! I told her, “Sweetheart, let me put you on your bed, then I’ll talk to the doctor.” She made it plain in no uncertain terms; she didn’t like that idea either!
“This is all very irregular, Mr. Wilson,” the doctor said, “but to me my patient’s welfare comes first, and it seems you’re the only person, or at least the only man, who doesn’t frighten her. The police officers left a copy of your power of attorney signed by her parents and notarized, so we can consider you her legal guardian. I spoke to Dr. Stevens and any further medical treatment I tried to give her at this point would likely only increase her mental trauma. She suffered no permanent physical damage, she is not and won’t be pregnant, and the court ordered tests on the suspects are in, they had nothing infectious. I’ve put her on a solid diet, and prescribed something for anxiety to help ease her pain. As soon as she’s had a solid bowel movement you will be free to take her home and begin her rehabilitation.”
I was relieved my worries about her being pregnant, or contracting a serious disease were over. Now I had to deal with a heart broken orphaned child who’d watched her father killed, her mother raped and snuffed, while she was raped and strangled herself. She was also deathly and justifiably terrified of at least half the human race! I knew I was buying into a hell of a fight. I vowed to myself I’d care for my namesake. “Thank you, Doctor. I’ll be at her side for the rest of my days or as long as she needs me, whichever comes first.”
“You really mean that, Jack?” Tabby stirred enough to ask me. I truthfully told her, “Yes, Darling, I do, and you know I’ve never lied to you. I adore you, you are the most important person in my life.” This seemed to reassure her and she drifted off to sleep again. I would never even hope to fill that enormous void in her life her loving mom and dad had left, but at least she still had her buddy Jack who had always been there for her.
I knew I would have to maintain a delicate balance between protecting Tabby and over protecting her, but I figured it was way too soon to worry about that. She was barely out of survival mode and needed all the reassurance and love I could give her.
Our next visitor was John Kelly, the President of Bob’s police union. He sat several feet away after he realized his presence frightened Tabby. “She doesn’t remember me,” he told me, “but her dad was my patrol partner for a number of years, including when she was born, and I remember him talking about you and the war.”
“Yes, thank you. He was a great guy, and the best friend I’ve ever had. I’m sure you know he was one hella good backup in a firefight. His wife was every bit my friend as he was.” Tabby whimpered at mention of her parents, but this needed to be said.
John pulled a check and a business card from his wallet. “Here’s a check from our union for $50,000 for Tabby’s immediate expenses made out to you and my card. I know Bob and his wife chose you to represent their family, and it’s obvious to everyone you have the child’s best interests at heart. There will be other funds raised soon for her education expenses and benefits from our retirement fund. Should you ever decide to look further into this case yourself, or if she needs something give me a call.”
My eyes must have shown this savvy veteran police officer I’d picked up on his hint about my intentions of looking into the murders because he winked at me before leaving. He knew I’d be calling him soon! Could this have been a contract killing instead of a random home invasion? I silently made a vow to my dear friend’s memories I’d know one way or another before I let the matter rest!
Tabby’s next meal was delivered, and I noticed the kind nurses had ordered one for me too. I asked her whether she could manage to feed herself this time, and she pouted for a moment, then broke down in deep wracking sobs. “I want to be a little girl again, Jack,” she cried, “being a grown up hurts too much!” If you don’t think her words hit me where it hurts, you’re mistaken. I held her to me for several minutes to calm us both, then told her, “l’ll feed the Tabby Jack, then, before her dinner gets cold.” The dear child rewarded me with a tentative smile I wouldn’t have traded for millions!
The cafeteria had sent up grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans. Tabby approved of and gladly ate everything I fed her until I offered her a couple of the green beans. Her full lips stayed tightly shut until I had a flashback to feeding her liver and spinach in her junior baby foods. I did the airplane thing with the fork. I made the engine noises, and zoomed the fork around. “The airplane’s coming in for a landing, right into baby Tabby’s mouth!” She laughed in delight, and I poked the beans in!
She hugged me as she chewed the beans.“Nobody but you would have remembered that, Jack, thank you!” Hell, I was so thankful I could still amuse her. Another few minutes of my feeding her and she told me she was stuffed. I was satisfied she’d eaten enough for the present. After the previous two days of IV feeding her stomach had probably begun to shrink. Tabby decided then, it was time for her to return the favor and feed me. She got more food on my face and shirt than in my mouth, but I sure wasn’t going to deny her a few moments of play!
I told her then, “Sweetheart, how about if I put you down to rest in your bed while I clean myself up?” That idea went over like a lead baloon! She cried, she wailed, she made gagging sounds and I thought she’d lose her dinner. “Jack, please hold me! They’ll kill me if you don’t protect me!” How could I argue with that? She had seen her protector, the strongest man she’d ever known, her dad, the man with the badge and gun, murdered in front of her. How could I ever convince this sweet child she was safe again?
My own paranoia I had been fighting for years kicked in. Did I really know there wasn’t somebody out there paid to finish the job those other three had started? Added to that, it had just ocurred to me she was the only live witness to some hideous crimes.
This child was dearer to me than my own life. One mistake on my part might see her murdered. I thought rationally for a moment. I should call Bob’s union president John Kelly and tell him Tabby needed to be with someone who could protect her. My mind reeled, John Kelly was rational and sane, just like Tabby’s dad Bob had been. There had been nothing either rational or sane about this tragedy. Bob had been killed by those crazy bastards, and left his wife and precious child to amuse the insane!
People all over the country knew where Tabby was. I decided at that moment to make a move. “Tabby, we’re leaving here now. You and I are going to take it on the lam and hide until we have a chance to sort things out.” Her eyes brightened up at that! She gave me her best Faye Dunaway look. I only recognized it because I’d seen it so many times before. Tabby loved all the old movies and we had sat and watched “Bonnie and Clyde” every time she came to my house since she was an infant because she loves it. Have I mentioned I spoil her? She put her hand on one little hip, and gave me her saucy look. “Let’s do it, Clyde!”
“Okay, Bonnie, I’ll get you unhooked from that IV.” I got a roll of tissue from the restroom and rolled up a couple of feet of it. “This may pinch a little, Bonnie,”I told her, “but you got some moxie.” I was looking into her eyes, and she didn’t even wince when I held the tissue to her arm and slid the IV needle out. I held pressure on her arm for a few minutes, then told her, “Try not to scratch the itch on that spot for a little while, Bonnie.”
I rummaged in my bag I’d brought from the truck and found an XXL tie dyed T-shirt I thought might be long enough to conceal her little bare butt. You know how those hospital gowns are, and the little darling had been carried to the hospital naked under a blanket with three sadistic rapists cum running out of her body. “Stick ‘em up!” I ordered her. The shirt slid down over her upraised arms and head, and yes, it reached well below her butt. “Okay, Bonnie, all you need is a cigar, a beret, and a Tommy Gun, and you’ll be perfectly disguised!” That brought a beautiful smile to my gun moll’s face!
We almost made it off the floor unseen. One nurse was just coming back from a room, and asked me, “Sir, has she been checked out?” I told her, “No, she hasn’t, but the doctor said the only thing stopping him from discharging her was a solid bowel movement, and we decided we could owe him one or mail it in and she could go home and sleep in her own bed at my house. I’ll buy her a stool softener if she needs it.” “Bonnie” giggled at that! The nurse consulted her chart, then said, “You’re right, sir, sign here, please.” I scribbled the name “Clyde Barrow” on the dotted line, stuck a copy in my jeans, and we continued our escape!
I was doing my best to find a side exit, but we must have gotten turned around, because the hospital exit we took had three television satellite transmission vans very close to it. The reporters came alive as we exited the hospital. I was holding Tabby’s hand, and I held her behind me. I will admit I was feeling very protective of her, very frustrated I had not been there to save her from the rape and torture she’d endured, and very pissed off!
I must have growled at the reporters, unless they added that to the tapes later. I put a big hand out and pointed it in the face of each reporter. I growled, “This baby girl has been hurt enough, and she’s with me now. I’m not a nice guy like my Brother was, stay out of her face!” They must have gotten the message I was upset, because they began retreating!
I picked Tabby up in my arms, and headed towards my truck. The little imp had only one comment to make. “King Kong carrying Faye Raye! Are we going to climb a skyscraper, Jack?” Tabby sure knows how to crack me up, as well as push my buttons! I laughed as I asked her, “I’m sorry, darling, did you have anything to say to the networks?” She said, “Maybe.” I put her down, turned around, and we walked back to the network vans, hand in hand.
She led me up to the reporters. Thankfully they were all women. “You will have to excuse Jack,” she told them,“ or not.” Her shoulders shrugged. “He is very protective of me. Both our worlds have been destroyed and our love for each other is all we have left. We appreciate everyone’s concern.” The tears started then and she turned around and reached up to me, and I picked her up. I carried her to our escape truck with her arms clenched tightly around my neck.
I put her in the truck seat and she cuddled up to me. I kissed her cheek, hugged her, and told her, “That was a very mature statement you made, Darling. Much more so than mine.” She laughed, and said, “That wasn’t me talking, Jack, that was Bonnie!”
We got a pleasant surprise when we pulled up to the parking lot booth. I handed the man the ticket I’d grabbed on the way in three days before. He said, “I saw your disabled veteran tags, and I just saw you both on my television. You two have paid your way already.” He tore the ticket in two. Tabby and I both thanked him, he raised the barrier, and I drove out.
My next stop was a stash I’d made several years ago of some weapons and ammo. No, I won’t describe the location or the weapons, it suffices to say the stash was still intact and the weather hadn’t affected anything. I have mentioned I am paranoid, haven’t I? I felt much more at ease with the weapons in my possession. I also changed the plates on my truck there. I had been maintaining the registration on a title I’d bought from a junk dealer several years before, so they were perfectly legal, except for not belonging to this particular truck.
Tabby had remained mostly silent and still, except for being right at my side during my retrieval of the weapons. I asked her, “Sweetheart, do you need us to find a restroom for you? Are you hungry or thirsty?” She just snuggled a little closer to me. Okay, I figured I’d find us a place to stay for the night. When I got out at the motel Tabby was right behind me. I turned to her and pulled the collar of the shirt she was wearing up to cover the bruises on her neck. She snapped to what I was doing and held it up. I registered and paid with John Hancock’s driver’s license and credit card. I paid for double occupancy and asked fot two beds, though I didn’t expect Tabby would be that far away from me.
She wasn’t. I carried enough firearms into the room to start a small war and cautioned her, “Don’t touch the firearms, Love, your training on them begins tomorrow.” She had been raised around her dad’s weapons, but she’d been told strictly hands off. I’d asked Bob every few months for permission to train her to shoot. He’d always refused saying she was still a baby.
She was still a baby, but now she was a baby who had been repeatedly raped in every body orifice by three men and strangled within an inch of her life. She was my responsibility now and I’d teach her how to shoot and provide her with weapons to protect herself from the crazies. I kicked my shoes off, shucked my shirt and went under the covers. Tabby snuggled up to me and laid her head on my bare shoulder. “Sleep well, Sugars,” I told her, and kissed her forehead. I saw a wisp of a smile at the corners of her mouth, then we both nodded off.
I hadn’t realized how exhausted I’d been from sitting in that hospital chair holding Tabby for days until I woke up to see sunlight streaming into the window of the motel. I turned to her and saw she was awake and looking at me. I hugged her to me, kissed her forehead and asked her, “How are you feeling today, Miss Moore?”
She stretched, yawned, and told me, “I’m happy to be alive and in your arms, Jack, but I am hungry!” That sounded like something I could relate to after three days of hospital food. I went to my bag and took out some clothes. “Give me a few minutes to shower, Sweetheart, and we’ll find you something to eat, then buy you some clothes.” I headed for the shower, taking a pistol with me..
I was dropping my britches when Tabby came into the bathroom. “Fine guard you are, Clyde,” she told me, “Something could get me out there.” I stepped into the shower and was adjusting the water and anticipating her next argument when she stepped in beside me. I greeted her warmly, “Hello Miss Moore. Yes, I remember I used to wash your little butt, but you were three or four years old the last time.” I decided to show her I had will power, too. I lathered up a wash cloth and began scrubbing her from head to toe, front and back. I held tight to a mental picture of her the last time I had bathed her. I scrubbed the little darling all over, shampooed her, and rinsed her thoroughly. I kissed her cheek, and patted her pretty butt, then I moved her out of the shower, “Dry off, my Love,” I told her, “I’ll be out in a minute.”
I’m proud to say I maintained my dignity the entire time, but I knew she wouldn’t let me off the hook that easily! She demanded, “How did you do that, Jack?” I thought for a moment how to answer her, then I had it.
“This is the Soldier’s Creed:” I chanted,
“I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the
United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.”
Tabby Jack stomped out of the bathroom and slammed the door behind her!
This may be contued if there is any interest in the story.