Apple Spice Pancakes

Months had passed.

You haven’t felt the sun in months, nor smelled the fresh pine breeze that would rush through the neighbourhood in the mornings.

You haven’t seen your friends, nor checked your mail.

Your clothes. Your belongings.

You were a prisoner in this house called Home, forced to be a plaything to a messed up man.

The initial capture was the worst of it. He had lured you into having tea at his house. You were excited to show him what a traditional High Tea would entail – scones and all.

That’s where you messed up.

You woke up, chained somewhere dark, sickness spewing from your mouth. Everything felt like it was spinning, all while simultaneously standing still.

You don’t know how much time passed between bouts of unconsciousness. Your eyes never adjusted to the utter darkness of the desolate room.

You did know, however, the first time seeing him in here. Wally Darling, the town’s favourite artist. The one known as the most . He held that same sweet, lazy smile. Those compassionate, sleepy eyes looked down at you like you were a hurt puppy. He spoon fed you home cooked meals as if you were an infant.

You hated him. You wanted to tear him to bits, rip him limb from limb for breaking your trust. For forcing you through this.

But that was your other mistake. You tried to fight this – You tried to escape.

Your first attempt was miserable. You waited for Eddie, the mailman, to make his morning rounds. Once you heard him slide some mail under the door, you screamed for help.

Wally had a righteous time trying to explain that.

The aftermath, however, leads you to having a sock shoved in your mouth, tape sealing it. You weren’t given food for days.

The hunger pains devoured your mind. You practically were chewing on the fabric of the sock, suckling any bit of nutrients it could give you.

When he came around to feed you, he was always sympathetic. Encouraging. Sweet.

“Look! If you’re a good little one, you can get yummy food!”

You were humiliated. You were his pet, and he showed no signs of stopping.

Your second attempt involved you purposefully dislocating your arm to get out of your confines. Self-inflicting pain wasn’t something that would come naturally to your mind. When you heard the disgusting pop emanating from your skin, a wave of nausea hit you. The pain was overwhelming.

You endured.

You shambled halfway through the house. You saw the big red door, the edges burning with outside light. You saw freedom.

Then the sentient Home lifted up its floorboards, subsequently tripping you. It made you fall directly onto your wounded arm, making you wail in abysmal pain.

Wally found you soon after.

As punishment, you weren’t allowed your clothes. Anything that resembled ‘you’ was stripped away as you were locked away again – this time, safeguarded by Home’s locks.

Days turned to weeks. Every time Wally popped into your chamber, he would bathe you, feed you, and tend to your wounds. He scolded gently every time.

“If you didn’t fight, this wouldn’t happen to you! Can’t you tell I love you?”

Your mind began to wear thin. Every day, his sweet words invade your mind, tricking you into safety.

“I’m doing this to protect you!”

“You don’t have to worry about food ever again!”

“Who needs to work when I give you shelter?”

He was right. You don’t ever need to work, pay bills, or other foolish adult tasks. He was keeping you here. Safe.

The more you accepted your situation, the more freedom he allowed you. It wasn’t long after that you didn’t need your wrists bound.

That’s when he would test his limits, to see if you were properly broken. To see if you were properly his .

He played dress up with you, forcing you into clothes that you would never wear and cakey makeup you’d hate on your skin. He would take some scissors, gliding the blades up to a strand of hair and snip !

The first time, you had a visceral reaction. He would always cradle you gently in his arms, swaying you. Soothing you.

“See? That wasn’t so bad!” he would pet your head sympathetically. “You look even better than before!”

The fifth time, you started to believe him.

Then he would make the most disgusting food. He forced you to eat it in front of him, sickness curling in your stomach as the sticky substance made its way through you. But then he’d praise you, offering your favourite dessert as reward.

He properly broke you. Anything that resembled the original you was gone. It was replaced with Wally’s favourite person. The one that is the most , the actual You .

He gave you freedom to leave your room, as long as he supervised.

Soon you were doing everything with him. He let you watch movies, bake, and paint. This was the easiest part of being his captive. You almost wished he started with the fun first. It would’ve made everything easier.

It got into a rhythm where it felt like the days were an endless sleepover. You, wide eyed and excited for the next thing he would teach you while following his every move. If you played nice, maybe you’d both go outside for some fun!

That’s when you got a silly idea. The morning rays illuminated Wally’s room, casting a vibrant halo over his dark navy hair. He looked almost angelic as he slept.

You got into the habit of sleeping next to him on his giant bed. He would cuddle you late into the night and hum sweet melodies you never heard before. It was your new favourite nightly activity.

You got up early so you could surprise him! Show him how much you appreciated his hard work of protecting you!

You wiggled your way out of the fluffy sheets, making sure to properly fix the oversized shirt he gave you to sleep in.

You’ve recently got into the habit of just stealing his clothes, anyways. They were comfy, after all!

You were careful to pad your way out of his room and to the kitchen, making sure not to make a sound.

Thankfully, this time Home wasn’t paying attention to your movements.

You pulled out an array of ingredients and got to work. You whisked together spices and flour, soon making a batter. You sliced apples into tiny bits, putting extra care into their presentation. You got the stove hot, dolloping butter into a pan. The batter sizzled as it made contact with the heat.

You weren’t able to hear the footsteps behind you, unfortunately.

Something tugged at your wrist, your flesh burning in pain as you were twisted around. You hissed at the sting as you were forced to look at the perpetrator.

Wally stood, dishevelled, eyes so wide that you could see the over encompassing whites. His nails dug into your scarred wrists, causing you to yelp.

Where do you think you’re going?” his tone was low, dangerous.

You couldn’t formulate a response. Your lips trembled as you felt your eyes sting with fearful tears. You felt like a child about to be punished. You whimpered pathetically as you used your free hand to point to the sizzling pancakes in the pan.

His eyes darted from you to the stove. A look of guilt flashed on his features, only to settle on that calm sweetness that was the usual Wally Darling.

“Ha ha. Oh, silly me,” his grip on you loosened, only to have his fingers gingerly rub out the pain. “I didn’t know you could cook!”

You sniffled, nodding. “I just wanted to show you my appreciation.”

He hushed you soothingly, his hand going up to wipe away any threatening tears. He would pepper delicate kisses against your aching wrists. “Thank you, my Darling. You’re the absolute most .”

Your tummy erupted into butterflies from the pet name. You loved being associated with his last name.

“Maybe,” he started, encasing you in a hug from behind as you went to flip the pancake, “I’ve been a bit too strict. We should go on a date soon. Outside.”

You couldn’t believe your ears! Your heart blossomed with joy at the prospect of seeing the outside world with him! You beamed back at him, “I would love that, Wally!”

That would happen on another day, however.

For now, you were making your captor apple spice pancakes.