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The Fallen Warrior

By Nihithasri Anepally

*Trigger Warning: Abuse, Eating Disorders, Rape, Suicide*

Part 1: Trapped in the Gates

Hours of pain came to a halt with a newborn's cry. The nurse quickly wrapped the baby girl and gently handed the baby to the mother. In a split second, applause was heard from the team of medical staff who assisted with the delivery.

One of the nurses exclaimed, “She looks like she fell right out of heaven! Such a sweet angel.” The others nodded in agreement, glad that the operation went without significant health problems in both the mother and child.

The mother, recovering from the unfathomable pain, looked directly into the nurse’s eyes and stared. The stare grew dark, as if her words were unbelievable.

“Fallen from heaven, eh?” The mother said, finally examining the girl cradled in her arms. “Let’s see what a sweet angel you are…Valkyrie”, the mother said as she maliciously stared at her daughter.

The once shining light in the newborn’s eyes was snatched immediately by the evil within her mother. She again burst into tears as the sun disappeared underneath multiple layers of raining, dark gray clouds.

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋


She jolted awake. A cold shiver went down the girl’s spine. Her hands started shaking uncontrollably as the violent memories flooded her mind. She started walking to the restroom since she started feeling sick.

This is her daily night routine. Every night, her mother’s evil spirit would walk into her room and remind Valkyrie of her mother’s words and actions.

Ever since she was young, Valkyrie’s mother saw her daughter as a disgrace. A burden that she was cursed to carry. The devil always determined every little thing Valkyrie had said or done in her mother’s mind; there was no angel to be found in the woman’s soulless eyes. Everything Valkyrie said was wrong. Everything Valkyrie did to please her mother was disgraceful. So, as every mother does, they show their kids a form of love language in order to teach them a lesson.

Needless to say, Valkyrie’s mother’s love language was quite unique.

She stops by the huge mirror next to the sink as she walks into the restroom. She looks at herself in distaste, just like her mother does.

Valkyrie was just skin and bones. Well, bruised skin and bones. Her eyes and cheekbones were flushed with a deep red and purple color which complimented her dark eye circles from the lack of sleep due to her mother’s affection. Her collarbones stick out awkwardly from her pale skin. In her eyes, she was equivalent to a dead body.

Suddenly, Valkyrie was engulfed in a state of fatigue as she ran frantically to the toilet seat and plunged her face into it as she threw up blood. This wasn’t new to her. In fact, it has been incorporated into her nightly routine ever since she entered middle school.

Her mother had always called her fat and as plain as a pikestaff. As a solution, she would beat her for eating a simple meal in the house. Nevertheless, her comments never stopped.

She couldn’t go and work out at the gym; she was too young. Besides, her mother never let her out of those silver, metal gates in front of their house. So, this was her only option. And Valkyrie was strangely happy with it.

Every trip to the restroom was a delight to her. It meant more chances of losing weight. More chances of looking prettier. More chances of being appreciated by her mother.

After a while, she sat next to the toilet, exhausted. She reached out to a drawer and pulled it open, revealing one of her favorite things.

At school, her teachers emphasized the importance of self-love. But, the only type of love she was exposed to was her mom’s, which is exactly what she did. In Valkyrie’s eyes, there is nothing better than relieving yourself of the pain you caused your birth giver. With this in mind, she picked up her razor blade and started sculpting her arm with beautiful designs in the form of cuts.

After spending hours in the bathroom, it was morning. She came out of the bathroom and sat on her bed, looking out the window. She longingly stared at the blue skies as she wanted to know what it was like to be there.

Her thoughts started to roam around. What was it like to be like the other kids who seemed so happy? What was it like to have normal, loving parents? What was it like to be pretty? What was it like to be free?

She felt trapped within the eerie metal gates surrounding her house, just like how her soul was trapped within the gates of heaven the minute she was born.

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋

Part 2: Icarus Gone Right

A lot of time has passed, but not much has changed. Her daily night routine remained stationary as it has been for most of her life. The only difference is the setting—no more metal gates. Instead, there’s a white picket fence.

Valkyrie has entered her sophomore year of community college. Like she longed for, she finally got out of those metal gates with a bit of help. She found someone who truly loved her-according to her, at least.

A year ago, the teenager met her boyfriend when they introduced themselves as roommates. After a few conversations and a few dates, the two hit it off quite quickly, with a smooth path ahead of them. But the thing is, Valkyrie did not see that she was standing right in the tower Icarus was imprisoned in.

Everything went great until the pair hit their one-year anniversary. Her boyfriend demanded more from her despite knowing the health issues Valkyrie faces. He treated her like she was his property, from her clothes to her diet to her friends. Every day, he gains more control over her life - whatever is left of her life. It’s like the evil spirit came back, reminding Valkyrie of how useless and worthless she is to both her mother but also to her boyfriend.

So, back to the restroom she goes, hoping to be appreciated by her boyfriend as he is the only one she has left. Nonetheless, her efforts go in vain.

This controlling manner soon turned into Valkyrie's mother’s demonstration of love. With that, she realized it was not as unique anymore. Maybe it was unique in the sense that she alone deserved it.

Sweet words of affection soon turned into bittersweet insults about her appearance, personality, health issues, everything. Everything about Valkyrie was a problem once more. Such terms led to rash beatings. Rash beatings turned into increasing demand for pleasure. Along with his needs, his manipulative ways took over Valkyrie. She was not immune to his tricks. He wholly blinded her as she kept chasing the feelings she once felt when they first met. So, she quietly obeyed.

His demand for pleasure became a prominent part of her night routine. Then, her little trips to the restroom to practice self-love. That’s how it was.

Every night she would lie there as she cried quietly, letting the love of her life do whatever he wanted to her. There is no soul within her now. Never was a soul. She was a walking dead body. And will always be. But, at least…at least she would have satisfied her partner’s demands, right?

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋

She stared at the awful sight in front of her. Her boyfriend with another woman…kissing. Well, this gave her a clear answer. She certainly did not satisfy him.

Now, without him, what did she have? Nothing. There was no one to satisfy anymore. She can’t please herself since her standards have been based on the principles of others all her life. She never had the chance to control her own life. She never had the moment to form her own opinions. She quietly listened to the evil spirits that possessed her. Now, she has nothing.

Her nightly trips to the restroom turned into nightly trips to the roof of Icarus’ tower, her college. Every night, she would stare down at the ground from that height. There was no ounce of emotion in her. Everything was numb to her, but she couldn’t care less.

As the school year was about to end, Valkyrie decided it was time. It was time to retrieve her soul from the gates of heaven.

When all the students went back to their dorm, she went to the tower's roof. Like Icarus, she made her own wings. However, Icarus fell to his doom as the sun melted the wax from his wings.

Unlike Icarus, Valkyrie flew through the gray clouds until she saw the sun she had been looking for all along. She passes the sun to see the golden gates of heaven. She looked back for a split second, where she saw her body slowly falling. Satisfied that she has reached the peak of self-love, she opened the gates to heaven, where she finally took her soul with her.

Her name, Valkyrie, undoubtedly played a significant role in her life. It means a mythical figure who takes away the soul of a fallen warrior. Valkyrie, a warrior who went through an immense amount of undeserved love, has finally fallen as she herself took her soul and presented it to the blue skies.

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋

Author’s Note:

Child abuse and rape are two of the most sensitive topics regarding toxic relationships. Such instances can cause so much trauma to an individual, as portrayed in this story. Many mental and physical health issues are caused by exposure to abuse and rape. These include depression, insomnia, eating disorders, etc. There can always be a happy ending where the individuals find themselves again, but their lives end tragically by their own hand most of the time.

It is essential to spread awareness and prevent as many abuse and rape cases as possible. It is essential to spread awareness, so survivors don’t have to keep quiet. We all have a voice, and it is imperative to use it and defend ourselves. We are all we got at the end of the day, so it is crucial to speak up against such traumatizing crises.

If these topics are something that hit close to home, know that you are not alone. No one ever is. We may feel like that, but there will always be at least one person in this world who is willing to stand by you and support you.

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