“Let the rain drops fall on filthy earth
Let the pitiful people here submerge
Let the cries of lonely eyes
Seek to satisfy.”
“Let momma come back from the death
Let my sister rest her sorrowful head
Let my father burn in reality
Let me be.”
Airal listened to the sound of wild wind as he continued deriding her through the bedroom door. Downstairs her mother’s whimpering was as loud as thunder itself and her siblings, she suspected, were beside mother sobbing uncontrollably. He had gotten all of them, each one except for her. Airal knew not to trust him, since the day she was born being around him didn’t feel right. He stops taunting her bedroom door. It’s quiet outside and for a minute she fears for the worse. The kitchen drawer confirms her suspicion as it slams shut. Through the door her mother’s whimpers turn into shrieks begging for the children to be spared and the children can be heard running around rapidly while her mother takes her last breath and dies in the most gruesome way possible.
One by one, one by one, one by one. Airal can hear her siblings last cries before meeting their maker. One by one, one by one, one by one. She makes sure that her tears are silent ones hoping the man forgot about her existence. She started looking around for ways to kill or save herself. A lamp, a bed and bed frame, her dresser, her nightstand, her closet , wire hangers, and a TV. The wire hangers seemed a good way out but Airal realized that an eight year old girl didn’t have the strength needed to bend the wire. If he had forgotten about her she didn’t want him to remember so maybe breaking the lamp wasn’t a good idea. “How about the ways to save myself?” She murmured under her breath. Airal looked towards the mattress and whined silently. If only I had the strength to both move and bend it.
Then she remembered.
It was her brother she heard next and hopefully last. The agonizing sound sputtered from his lips, and then she realized if she could hear that, the man was awfully close. Airal could hear the heavy footsteps as they passed her room and soon became inaudible. There was no time to waste as she efficiently moved to her closet, staying soundless. She could make a rope out of clothes! The idea was brilliant but she had to thank her mother when all this was over for letting her watch all those terrible action films. Oh right, her mother is dead. From the floorboards the rancid odor of decay shot up like a plastic bag at the bottom of the ocean, softly but swiftly. Airal tried her best not to throw up and blow her cover.
Once the rope was completed she tied the strongest end to her bedpost and threw it over the side. She looked over the edge. It was high and she knew that if she fell it wouldn’t end pretty. Airal took a deep breath and slung a leg over her windowsill. The wind hit her back suddenly causing her to jolt but not lose her balance. “Slowly slowly.” She repeated to herself. Her foot caught refuge on a shirt and the other on her favorite summer dress. It was the one she wore to his piano recital, she remembers the cheering and slow melody she played as a classmate sang in unison. No time. She reminded herself and continued down. Airal could hear footsteps approaching her sanctuary. The grew louder and louder with each heartbeat produced. This time he didn’t play with her feelings, instead something big and most likely sharp hit the door. Over and over again, she couldn’t see anything for she was to far down but could hear the chips of wood hit her bedroom floor. She scrambled down as fast as possible on her rope to freedom. Relieve splashed over Airal like a wave of cool water as her feet touched the grass. No time to stop, no time now. She ran towards the street, the street to her neighbors house.
The road was wet from the night before and the air was filled with a wooden musky scent that calmed her down. It brought back short memories of when mother took them to the lumber jacks for new wood, the man they visited lived in a cabin said he built it himself. The trees overhead made her feel small and scared as they hovered with their elegant branches and delicate needles the color of a deep entrancing evergreen.
Their trunks stood tall and proud but only to be cut down. She wondered how old each pine was, thirty years or perhaps seventy? One of the pines though caught Airal’s interest as she sat beside it and talked slowly to herself or whoever was listening. “You know I’m sorry the lumber jack is going to cut you all down sooner or later. I don’t think it’s fair because I mean, humans don’t want to get cut with chainsaws right? And it would really hurt if we did and it hurts you to right?” She waited a while, waited for someone to reply. “Well, I know I’m right. I always am. But do you have babies? I know you’re a tree and all but tress can have babies right?” No response, and she only puffed out her chest in arrogance. “You know what? You don’t have to answer me but I’m gonna keep talking and talking until you do. Now where was I? Oh right babies, I know trees have children too. Because without children you couldn’t have more trees unless someone planted you all and then they water you every single day.” The tree only continued to stand upright ignoring her completely. And she held her glare…staring at the tree, refusing to give up. She stared.
Her mother called for her.
As she took in a deep breath and rubbed at the tears letting lose. Airal could not stand such memories anymore, she’d just wish they would disappear forever and the thought of that made her sad.
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