Darkness descends. Trembling, alien fingers wipe my brow.
In the deathly-cold grassy exterior of the shack I have called home for every day of my short life, my body retains warmth by the blood that pours from its every crevice. Blood sluiced with his own, mingling atop the tinged skin of my murderer hands.
Time is useless and empty, devoid of any meaning to me.
It all passes by too slowly, like a dream effect… hours, minutes, seconds in this damp haven away from the crudeness of the reality awaiting me within these wooden walls. Away from the memory of his wide vacant eyes, the blood flowing from his temple, the glass shards that had showered upon the dirt floor as my alien hands brought the bottle down upon his head with a resounding smash.
Murmurings in the night, fingers probing, alien fingers tracing patterns upon my body, groping, touching, grabbing, snatching, tongue pressing against a resisting mouth – the nightly battle for dignity, for survival. A quick slap, a hard kick, a harsh scuffle, anything to keep me in my place.
Prayers have long ago been replaced by a murmured litany for the soul of a father I once considered a safe harbour, a lap to crawl into when I needed to cry, a problem solver, a provider, a saviour.
Remember not to scream at me when my eyes are lowered in pain, when my shoulders are too tired to shrug off your grating insults… remember not to lash out at me with your fist or your tongue when my heart and my body refuse to bear the weight of your words or the sting of your fingers that leaves a mild physical imprint and a deep emotional scar…
With such blurry vision and a similar distorted grasp on the fibre of my very existence, my murderer hands clutched at the nearest thing available, anything to reciprocate the hurt with which he had inflicted upon me.
Anything to take the pain away.
Now, engulfed in the aftermath, swallowed by the amassment of agony and tainted by the memories of past pains meshing into each other, I wait. We play the waiting game. He lies in there, waiting on me somehow, never mind that his body is twisted into an awkward angle, never mind the stillness in his eyes, the maroon puddles forming pillows around his head, the bluish colour coating his lips and the rims of his eyes.
He’s waiting on me.
Accidents happen. It was simply a reflex action, anything to keep him away from me, anything to avoid another beating, another rape, another degrading encounter, another bout of post-traumatic stress disorder tremors and terrors and tears. Alien fingers clutched around a green bottleneck, swinging away without a care or a thought emblazoned across my fevered mind.
My murderer eyes look down, soak up this image of me – a tall, gangly, misshapen, overgrown child – and a sordid smile flits across my face as the fiery dusk smelts into a darkness that settles in the depth of the hollowness within my chest.
Freedom calls, lifts me out of my paralyzing fear, brings me to a standing position.
Freedom calls, a highway, an escape, a new life I must strive to fit into before someone misses him and comes looking for him and finds him there, patiently waiting for me.
Alien fingers pull my tattered shirt tighter around my frail body, alien feet move me in the general direction of away.
Freedom, my sole friend in the world, calls out to me again, and I listen to her voice, turning my head to locate its origin.
From the Archives: circa 2000-2001