It was not a light slam of flesh and bone against a slanting wall of the derelict cabin.
Animal rage set its talons upon an unsuspecting, trusting child and sent her hurtling into the air and, upon impact with the splintery cedar paneling, edging downward, painfully downward by a stop-go motion that could hardly be described as sliding. Landed in a shocked but still breathing heap, she lay quiet until the beast left its lair. Once out the ill-hung door and into the labyrinthine wood that all but put the tiny speck of four rotting walls safely off the map, Mommy went to work. For the day. All day. The reprieve was, nonetheless, too brief.
Liz knew what awaited her and her little brother if their rundown home was not sufficiently spic and span upon Mommy's return from work. Richie somehow escaped the brunt of their mother's physical brutality, however, and floundered like a drowning puppy under the muddy torrent of his mother's loose and vulgar tongue. Whimpering, he ran over to his battered sister, running his little hand up and down the torn sleeve of her dotted swiss blouse as if the magic of his youthful innocence would heal the bruises beneath.
Elizabeth Vincent, nee Freitas, was staring out her bedroom window at the little stand of trees beyond the property line of her home on Hernandez Terrace. An evil, unwanted recollection of her beloved Richie had been triggered by some lurking, subconscious memory fiend. The trees, their compact density, something within an otherwise innocuous copse of oaks, grabbed inside the infinite and jumbled mix of memory and metaphor and shouted that Richie had died too young, that he shouldn't have died at all ... not like that....
"Mommy, Mommy," Andy called out to his preoccupied mother, whose aspect had gone from pensive to dark and ugly. Growing within was an already sprouted bad seed of irrationality and wanton mayhem awaiting a deadly harvest. She averted her look from the seemingly real but imagined looped rope dangling from a distant black oak limb, and glared red, angry, frenzied at her own little boy.
"Mommy, look what I made for you!" shouted Andy.
Someone asked from what book this story was drawn. I replied that it was autobiographical: it's my story. The pain of a violent childhood leaves its mark indelibly on the heart and soul of a kid, and all too often, sadly, its stain mars the inner child's entire life.
I deal with the above living nightmare, as well as with the pain of loneliness, unfulfilled dreams and shattered faith by writing and involvement in community work.
How about you? Maybe this story is mine and mine only.