She counted each one of them, thirteen in total.
He stopped when her head hit the ground.
He had literally knocked the life right out of her.
When she came to later that night all was still and dark.
She thought this was probably a better option than sleeping with him. She would avoid this at all costs.
She lay on the cold, stone floor, her head throbbing and her face stinging.
If she thought the wrath of her father was something to behold, then Beircheart’s was on another level.
How she thought she could outrun this beast of a man actually made her smile. She took solace in the fact that Eamon would laugh at her tenacity and be so proud of her for giving it a go.
She would have to reassess – think of another plan of escape because there was no way in hell she was staying here.
Minutes turned to hours, hours to days, days to weeks and weeks to months, her life becoming less and less her own as the minutes passed, her desperation compounded by her loneliness.
Her day consisted of arising at dawn: cleaning, tending to the farm, cooking, mending, daily beatings and sexual experiences that had scarred her for life.
She doubted she could ever bare children after the brutal penetrations that took part each and every night. There was nothing Inanna could do as his strength was so much greater than hers. If she was thin and weak before there was literally nothing of her now.
She tried to take her mind elsewhere when these torrid events were happening. She tried to picture gentle and loving Eamon holding her in his arms. There was not a singular bone in Eamon’s body that could ever hurt anyone.
The only brightness to her otherwise bleak and soulless existence was her morning exchanges with the old farmer from next door, Micheál.
Every morning as she made her way down to the freezing river to wash away the remnants of last night’s beatings and rapes, beautiful farmer Micheál would come by at exactly the same time each and every day of the week.
He would tip his tartan cap and say in a loud and happy voice, “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya Inanna”
She was grateful there was someone nearby who knew she existed.
She wondered if he spoke loudly enough to let Beircheart know he was keeping an eye on things. There was nothing he could do to stop the nightly abuse but at least he knew Inanna was there. That she was still alive.
Inanna constantly wondered what Beircheart’s upbringing must have been like for him to be so aggressive and his attitude towards women so repulsive.
Not only was there physical abuse but verbal abuse too and this had eventually taken its toll on Inanna’s carefree spirit as well.
He got his way.
Inanna was now compliant.
She was quiet and reserved, she showed absolutely not a single sign of the once radiant, bright, tenacious woman she once was.