trigger warning

Two children are on a train with elderly aunts. There are not many people on the train. The children are a boy and a girl, about 7 and 5, or 8 and 6.

Two men come and take the children to another part of the train. The boy is excited to have the attention of the men but a bit worried, too. He doesn't know them. He is protective of his sister. The aunts protested.

One of the men leaves. The other man rapes the girl first, then the boy.

Later the other man comes and rapes both children.

Eventually the children are released back into the car with the aunts. The boy slaps both aunts. The little girl tries to too. The children go sit at the front end of the car, whispering. The girl will only speak to the boy. The aunts are both crying because they are helpless in this, there is no one to turn to, and they remember the things that happened to them in the past as well. The prairie outside the train is dry and dusty and has sagebrush. The train heads west.

I wake up.

When I woke, my brain used the phrase "sexually abused" at first. But that softens and distances it, doesn't it? Why do we use that phrase about children? They were raped.

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