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My Story of a Girl Named Winona


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//Realize this post is a bit unusual for me and a bit different for the site at large. Still I decided to post it. Unusual for me to do this. It's fairly long - 1100 words. The last time I wrote a story was 10 yrs ago or more. It's pretty obvious that it's about what it's about.





The 27 year old Winona enjoyed a comfortable life in the midwestern town of St. Louis. She'd enjoyed the occasional romantic relationship but more thoroughly enjoyed her work and her friends, though she had an average-type job and not dozens of friends. But her friendships with her girlfriends, Gwen, Steph and Kaitlin, stretched back to grammar school. They cherished each other.


Winona consistently showed a curiosity and a kindness. She never wanted to hurt even a fly. If you asked of Winona's flaws, perhaps we should substitute the word vulnerabilities for flaws, her friends would without pause say she lacked cynicism, she trusted too easily. She certainly felt let down a bit by others now and again.


One night, later than maybe Winona had realized, she ran out to grab some ice cream from the corner store. In the parking lot she noticed a black limousine and from it stepped three men, Jan, Nikola and Jaric. Handsome and well dressed, these men were exotic and she didn't mind when the three approached her. They chatted for a few minutes and Winona felt excited. Briefly.


As she drove home, Winona noticed she didn't quite remember what was said between her and the three men. By the time she reached her driveway Winona forgot of the encounter altogether. But she felt a bit differently, hard to say the way.


Over the next few months Gwen, Steph and Kaitlin noticed changes in Winona. Winona became unreliable and, more shockingly, started to tell impossible stories, stories the girls knew couldn't be true. Winona talked of hunting hawks on mountains in central Asia. Big bizarre lies. She told small lies as well. Lie she did, all the time. The lies added up.


Winona never knew of her dishonesty, she seemed unaware of it even. As time elapsed her oldest, trusted girlfriends distanced themselves from Winona and her endless lying.


One night, later than Winona probably realized, she again ran out to the corner store. She felt instant excitement to see the black limo once more. The memories of the first meeting returned. She felt inexplicable joy.


Without knowing why, she ran to the car and entered it. Inside rested Jan, Nikola and Jaric -- drinking aged scotch from crystal glasses, wearing the finest suits. The three men said they had an adventure planned and wanted Winona to come along. "You see, my darling, tonight we're gonna make your problems disappear and your dreams come true. Just like that!" said Jan.


Winona, though a trusting girl certainly, would never have, in the past, run off with three strange men, but Winona was different now and on this night she did.


The three men had two surprises, the second more fantastic than the first. They announced they were all three rich and, with Winona, all en route to their billion dollar yacht on the great river, right under the shadow of the famous St. Louis Arch. Winona felt excitement and dreamed of the amazing possibilities. Which of the men might she marry, she wondered in a drifting euphoria.


They arrived at a dock, and a shuttle was ready. In minutes Winona stepped onto the deck of the greatest yacht she'd ever seen whether in a book or film. She felt safe.


Then the three men shared their second surprise. It was a shocker. They told Winona they were physicians from the distant future with healing abilities that would seem magical to her. The new Winona simply took this information in. She didn't doubt it. Everyone wore a smile.


Then suddenly and without warning the men aggressively turned on the defenseless Winona, like feral beasts more than men. Winona instinctively shifted from awe to fear for her safety. Her fear was well founded. In an instant, Jan, Nikola and Jaric converged on her in a primal, carnal attack. And so it began.


It was a brutal, horrific attack.


Hour after hour these three men savagely assaulted Winona. She was helpless.


Finally, the men tired of Winona. She had already exhausted her energies to scream and plead hours before. She only tried to pray to God for it to stop. Eventually it stopped.


Winona was horrifically damaged from the assault. The men carried her to a table.


With a wave of their hands, somehow Jan, Nikola and Jaric caused the instantaneous healing of the deep wounds so freshly and maliciously inflicted. On the table she asked herself, "why?" But she was beset with fear and unable to speak.


These men, physicians from the future, dressed her and returned her to her home where her car awaited her.


In a moment the men were gone and Winona was alone. Still in shock, all she thought of was the whole horrific affair, the hours of torture. Minute by minute. No detail eluded her memory. The pain was too much. She wept.


Eventually she gathered herself and dialed the police. Her mind was so jarred she stumbled to locate words. But the police did come, and she told them the fantastic story of men from the future and an assault on the yacht. The officers at first thought her story a sick joke or the whim of a psychotic girl. However, she told of the events with such earnest terror that the officers found her extreme distress consistent with victims they'd interviewed in the past. Though obviously too fantastical for truth, they made a moment to look into her claim.


After the exam found no evidence of assault, the officers phoned sources on the scene. They found no one in all of St. Louis who had seen a massive yacht afloat on the Mississippi River that night. In fact, whatver man the officers asked laughed from instinct at the very stupidity of the question -- of course there was no private yacht under the Arch's shadow!


The police left telling Winona never to trouble them again with craziness such as this.


Winona called her friends. She told the story, finding words still elusive. Psychologically she was shattered glass, but she managed to tell the tale to first Gwen, then Steph, then Kaitlin. Her friends, each separately and each of the same, shook their heads in disbelief. And each turned her back. This lie was simply too great. It was for all the final straw. Winona was a friend no longer.


At this moment, to her horror, the reality set. The police did not believe her story. Her best friends did not believe her story. She herself recognized how unbelievable it was. Yet she also remembered the horrors of the attack. Every detail. It was all so horrifically true.


She also came to remember her recent uncharacteristic lying, that it felt like it wasn't her who had done it.


She lacked an explanation for how this thing could have happened. Unimaginable. She felt worthless, violated, exploited, beaten. Why did it happen? She had no idea. The pain she felt was a greater pain than she'd ever known, known possible.


She sat down to cry again. Hadn't there been enough crying already? She mouthed the words, "I need help." Then terror struck when she realized there was nobody left to tell. She had no tears left. She wondered if there was any help to be had at all.


With regret, she wished she'd never let the men approach her that first night. She remembered what Gwen, Steph and Kaitlin had told her again and again -- she was just too trusting.


She sat on the hard floor. Exhausted in a way that made thinking difficult, she had one final thought: Nobody will ever believe this happened to me.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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