[Apologies, been busy with other creative projects, but I’m still writing, which is good! No idea where this plot is going yet, but it seems to be turning into a series of small stories so far.]
Time: who knows
Place: a cupboard
“You little ingrate! You brat! GET BACK HERE!” screeched the woman, her face reddening with rage. “I feed you, I clothe you, I give you an education… And this is the thanks I get?!”
The child darted out of reach, cowering in the corner of the cupboard as the adult ranted and raved. This was a safe place…this was a safe place.
Safe place. Safe…yeah.
What was Dorothy’s thing again? Close your eyes tight, think of a place, click your heels twice, and you’re there. Or something along those lines. But there were no magic ruby red slippers for this particular individual, just a tattered teddy clutched tightly to a tiny chest. If there was a God, they were surely away on holiday. Oh, there was no chance of a beating; the child knew that. Still, the screeching and screaming was enough to rattle the fragile innocent nature into a state of constant terror.
Blue eyes stared at the darkness that enveloped the small body, minuscule ears listening out for every sound, listening for silence, for safety. Not daring to breathe. It was almost certain that the adult – like sharks – could smell the stench of fear, and hear the speedy, terrified heartbeat that was going to break through a rib and out of the chest soon. A shiver galloped down the spine.
There’s no place like home…No place like… No place. Even as the young lips silently mouthed the words over and over, they began to fade into each, blurring swiftly into jumbles of letters until they danced around in the dark, moths around a flame.
It’s a closet. There’s no place to run. Only place to hide. The young mind tried to retrace the discussion, tried to work out what had gone wrong.
What did I say? What was wrong with…With me? Am I a mistake?
Tears threatened, the lower lip quivered. The knobbly knees bent skywards, while stick-man arms wrapped around them. It was an effort to occupy as little space as possible. Tears wouldn’t come though; pride wouldn’t let them through. How could parents – even if they were adoptive since birth – not love a being that tried to stay true to itself? A creature that wanted so much to be loved, it shared every ounce of itself unguarded and unbridled by Society’s constraints and conventions? Perhaps it was a dark jealousy that gave words to the anger, green envy of the young freedom and carelessness that spouted violence, external violence harnessed towards an inner betrayal – the betrayal they were asking the child to commit, as they had, following in the footsteps of their ancestors before them. Betrayal of the self, of the mind, of everything true.
I want to disappear.