Drip. Drip. Drip.
I am swinging my head from side to side from the soft melodic tunes of the graceful drips of dirty falling water. I swallow now, looking around from my place on the floor. Everything is white. White chairs neatly tucked under a white desk ageing from generations of abuse. Steadily gathering cobwebs from my refusal to use.
I was a mere child, playing in the streets with the ball I never let go of. Bright purple with a printed face of a bright yellow smile. Black eyes mocking me as I stare into them in awe.
“Look what I found mummy!” My bright childish tone ringing through the ears of the pale angel standing before the stove, her arms bare, bones sticking out in sharp clumps like protruding rocks on a hectic river. Brittle bloody knuckles clenched against the soft wooden handle of the pan. “What?” through clenched teeth she hissed.
“It’s a magic wand!” I yell, swinging around the mossy flaking green stick with sturdy chubby fingers. Her small blue eyes shine in anger; she turns, staring into my soul. Her arms swipe out like violent talons, the ringing in my ears absorbs me as I witness her first strike.
I shudder, cool lines of salty water trickle down my face, my soft blue eyes reflect in the growing pools of my saddened soul.
The door opens by the gust of hope and salvation. A bright smile on a pale lone face. I let my head drop, smiling bitterly to hide the darkness within. She stares at me vacantly, her attempts to change me failing every time. I am too far away, drifting. I keep my head down as she glides to my white desk.
Hiding in the corner of my room, sheets wrapped around me with no air to breathe. The musty smell of cigarette butts suffocates me. My breath comes out hard, my heart thuds like a marathon runner. Then, my body freezes. Low thuds of bare feet on steps keep me stiff on the spot. Creaks of worn floorboards fill the room as the noise shatters when the door hits the wall. “You little brat!” comes slurred speech. I whimper as I cradle my knees in fright. The footsteps come ever closer, the weight of them cause the floor to buzz. Sheets whip against my face as they are lifted free. I wail, the monster with the broken beer bottle appears. His fingers grip the bottle in a surging rage.
Fire circles my cheek as dirty glass claims its prey. Scarlet liquid pours down my face. “Stop crying little cow!” Pain fills my mind. Eyes widening to witness the final blow.
My fingers idly trace the brutal scar on my cheek, still raised from the vicious attack. I follow my vision to the crayon in my hand; soft paper with rounded edges lay in front. A figure engraved into the paper her face covered in blood. She is looking up with a torn face. A child stands before her with a piercing sharp weapon. Light dances from it menacingly. My face twitches as I smile. Warmth covers the pained memories as I think of my true salvation.
I stood in the mirror, fashioning my pigtails. In this slab of glass I saw a pale stranger. Her blonde hair, knotted, her eyes circled with purple streaks. Nothing lies within the glassy stare. Her lips twitch sending sharp pains reflecting in her eyes. Tears pool and gush over her thin red eye lids. I don’t recognize this child, she stares at me, she reaches out...
My palms stroke the cool glass, the hand of the stranger hidden beneath my own. I whimper, my breath becomes fast paced, my heart thuds, screams for an escape! And then suddenly... My hand finds the bruising on my face, the red lines of infected bloody scars.
“You worthless runt!” The tone of my father’s voice is thick with hatred. I turn my head, pigtails whip my ears furiously. His eyes burn with the fiery pits of Hell itself. He holds his favourite weapon, a razor previously used. The muscles in his arm stretch, revealing the dark veins. The smile of Satan.
“Mummy!” I yell, I run up to her room, short legs struggling on old oak steps. I lift myself higher and open the door with a short hard push. She sits there, dark, split hair wrapped around the warmth of the curling iron. Her eyes are vacant as she idly strokes her face. “Mummy, are we going out today?” I ask in a high longing voice. Her hands harden on the curling iron; she turns to me, her eyes blue and swollen. I gasp, my innocent eyes shedding tears for the first time. She rises, gritting her teeth. She grabs my arm with the power of a vice, I writhe around helplessly. I scream. I shout. Yet, the pain only increases in intensity until my screams are shrill with the burning heat of the curling iron against my naked flesh.
I enter my wretched home, furniture engulfed in the stench of stale beer. My fingers grip around my rucksack with such force I feel the burn of the material penetrate my palms. I drop it; the words ‘love life’ printed in thick black letters face me in reading distance. What a lie. My vile, ignorant father is not home. He left me with the witch that birthed me.
I ascend the stairs with caution, the witch could be anywhere. I turn, mY ears pricking at the sound of a low moan. I see the bathroom door. It is cracked open by the mercy of the breeze. I let my fingers trace the handle with hidden hope. I lurch forward, opening the door with ease.
I see her.
The same vacant stare I’d seen for sixteen years, except she is different...
Her eyes vacant, blurred and misty with tears, her skin pale with the lack of blood pulsing through her cold veins. I don’t flinch. I stare at my mother’s bony thighs kicking from two feet off the ground. Her arms weakly grab at the rope.
A pen knife lies on the sink’s grimy side. That one object of violence now holds my mother’s life on its blade. I swallow, arm shakily reaching for the handle. Her gasp stops me, frozen. I close my eyes feeling the constant smacks, blades and burns. When I open my eyes, I see a mirage of my own blood dripping from that same blade. I drop my arm, my mother’s chest falters. Her last breath lingers in the air as water vapour.
I smile. It aches and pulls at my cheeks, but I smile.
I smile steadily now as I reach to put my new work of art up on the blindingly white walls. Only soft blue tack to use to hang it on the walls. A picture of a blade and the soft frail hands of the child that holds it. Blood of a red crayon drips from it, reality smears along the paper.
Dressed in black, I never change. My mother’s funeral passed two months before, but my clothes remain the same. I sit in my room, never leaving in fear of the demon that waits behind. He stalks below the stairs like a leopard waiting for his prey. I stir on my bed, refusing to make a sound. He will come though. And I will be struck, again. I close my eyes, the sting of tears linger behind my soft lids.
My heart skips a beat, the fear pumps through my veins causing every inch of my being to panic. Hard creaks penetrate the wooden steps. I slide from my position on the bed, frantic to find somewhere to hide. “I know you’re in there!” his voice is rough and slurred. I imagine his flaming eyes, his beer bottle screaming as he crushes it in his grip. I dive to the floor, the rich scent of cigarettes and my mother’s perfume hit my nose. For a moment, I see her eyes, her frightened stare. You did this! Rings in my ears like an angry fire alarm. I grip my head, spinning in confusion. Stopping. Staring.
My mind surges with rage. I hear the click of the handle, my father’s heavy grasp. With little time I advance to the door opening it in his face. His breath stenches of stale ale. The monster reaches out through him reaching for me.
I scream, pain taking over all senses as his fist comes ever closer. I duck, enraging the beast. Adrenaline pumps through me. No time to spare. My hands shake in front of me, I clench my trembling fists.
One push and he’s out.
Like a shot down animal he tumbles. I watch him with wide eyes as the great beast comes hurtling to a rest at the foot of the stairs. He lies there. Silent. No air enters his lungs, just the silence of the evening. I do not reach for a phone. I do not desire to call an ambulance. If there was any chance he survived I would not take it. I hold my head, I force myself to grieve but the ache of a smile hits me too great.
I sit here again; my eyes twinkle as I think back to the day darkness took over. I shiver; my plastic tray is filled with small carrots and cubes of meat. A plastic spoon lies on the table. I stand. I drag myself, using force to reach the table. I hunch over it, hints of a smile strike my face. I want out of the white prison that has held me so long. I take the spoon, small rough strikes to its structure fashions it to a small, sharp point.
The door opens. The pale complexion of the white clothed angel. She looks to my plate. I know her words before she speaks. “You have to eat Hope; you’ll never be able to leave if you refuse to eat.”
Hope. Such an ironic name. I lost the guidance of hope long ago.
I smile to her, turning, the plastic burns my palm. Her eyes are dark pits of mercy. Mercy.
Drip Drip Drip
Scarlet lines stained into the white wood.
Nothing could ever wash them away.
I swing my head back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I look to the clock, no tears strike my eyes.
No salvation sweeps into the room. Nothing can save me now.