The young teen heard the sounds she had been dreading: the shuffling footsteps, the creaking door, the drunken breathing; she knew what was coming. In the half-light, she could see him approaching as he had done on too many other nights. She closed her eyes and willed herself away from the coming intrusion, away from this house where she was trapped in the one place in the whole world she should have been safe – her own bedroom.

Later, after he had left the room, Carly could still hear his conniving words. Words that didn’t seem to make sense when connected to the vile acts he forced on her. “I love you; you’re so sweet; you’re beautiful.” All phrases that were supposed to express real feelings and happy thoughts. What crap! What a liar. She eased her eyes open and stared upwards, toward the ceiling. She should be crying, but there were no more tears. Crying was done, replaced by hate and thoughts of retribution. One day she would even the score. Oh, how she would get even.

Why didn’t she notify the proper authorities? She thought of doing that but doubted anyone would believe her, especially her mother. She also didn’t think any punishments meted out by the courts were sufficient to make up for the crimes committed against her. The punishment she had in mind would be worth the few years of pain she was willing to endure until she could serve justice her way. She would wait until she was old enough to drive a car. That would give her freedom and escape. If she could suffer through this agonizing nightmare until then, she knew she could control the rest of her life on her terms. She would tough it out.

One thing she was learning from this terrible ordeal was the power of control. One day, she would have control over her destiny, control over other people and control over the evil person who would get everything he deserved and then some. One day.

Carly’s father died when she was a very young child. This untimely loss hit Carly’s mother extremely hard, and she eventually succumbed to the mind-numbing lure of the bottle. Drunk or near drunk most of the time, she didn’t want to hear or didn’t really care what her new husband, a fellow drunk she had met in a bar, was doing to her beautiful daughter. Too young to understand what her mother was going through, Carly tried many times to describe the dreadful deeds her stepfather was forcing her to endure, but her mother always dismissed these pleas as unfounded cries for attention or outright lies.

Crushed by the constant rejections, Carly withdrew completely into a beautiful fantasy land where she was safe from all the pain. She dreamed of traveling to faraway places; shimmering lakes, soaring mountains, pristine beaches and sunshine, lots of sunshine. Warm sun on her shoulders gave Carly a lift, even on her most depressing days, so it was ever constant in her make believe journeys. Whenever she felt the need, and it was often, Carly willed herself away to her sun-filled happy place, always feeling better when she returned to her real world. And deep inside, she clung to the knowledge that her dreams would one day come true. This thought gave her strength to patiently wait for the day she would be free. Free to control her life, free to pursue her dreams and free to avenge the wicked acts of an evil tyrant. Revenge, as they say, will be sweet.

Through sheer willpower Carly managed to make it through the next couple of years and finish high school with a very good grade average. Shortly after graduation she left home to start a new life.

Carly found it difficult to settle down as the need for revenge haunts her while beautiful fantasy land dreams pull her in a more tranquil direction. The damage done during her important formative years is too great and soon the vengeful thoughts dominate Carly’s every move, leading the beautiful, intelligent young lady on an unbelievable heartbreaking journey.