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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short story compelling the mind to enter that of a young disturbed child… His being asphyxiated in his guilt, and his heart trapped like a mockingbird in its desolate cage of brass…

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Mockingbird

Submitted: March 04, 2007

Reads: 349

Comments: 2

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Submitted: March 04, 2007




My dreams are haunted.  My thoughts invaded with guilt.  The fear painfully reminds me that I’m barely living. I’m kept excruciatingly perturbed in a pit of torment, despair and complete isolation. Could you escape from that? What If your fear solely derived from your own corrupt imagination? I loiter, with a mind matured for my years, yet trapped in the body of an young child; my soul lost in a sea of insanity, my being asphyxiated in my guilt, and my heart trapped like a mockingbird in its desolate cage of brass… It was yet another bleak Sunday, rain drops pounded on the window pane, desperate to get in, as if they ignorantly believed that the house in which I resided would offer more comfort than the cold harsh streets of London.  I sat at the kitchen table absorbing details of what existed around me; the dirty dishes in the sink which awaited me, the decomposing wallpaper which had slowly disintegrated due to the copious cigarette smoke which occupied my parent’s lungs.  My attention then turned to the clock above the sink which ticked away; seconds passing, hours flying by. I sat and watched the small hand move articulately about the face, I had wasted many of my days staring at this clock; watching time. Wishing it would be my last.  My two year old brother sat in his high chair in front of me, bearing his small pearly teeth and broadening his cherub-like smile, his eyes were filled with hope and complete innocence.  He was yet uncorrupted from the menace God had bestowed on our lives, ignorant of what happened behind closed doors and even oblivious to the bitter callous reality of the future which beheld him.Next to this bundle of joy, sat my father.  A man who had been worn away by time and pain, his shoulders hunched forward, and his eyes had sunk into the pockets of his skull.  There sat a man with little hopes and dreams, I had no real connection with my father, at times he would courteously pat my head, perhaps even bestow me with a spurious smile, but I had given up on expecting anything from him.  Perched next to my father, sat her.  She was propped onto the edge of her seat like a vulture, scrutinising its prey with its small beady eyes.  Her presence and her constant smell of whiskey occupied our small kitchen and even overpowered the hideous pong of the dinner which she had effortlessly put together that evening.  Although the dinner she had prepared held no resemblance to food, the pit of my stomach let out a grumbling roar.  My mouth watered as I imagined devouring even a crumb of the food my little brother so willingly dribbled onto his podgy chin. The flavour of the cracker which I ate yesterday morning had not lasted my satisfaction as I had hoped it would.  There I sat watching my so-called family around me eating their dinner, aware of the hunger I endured, but not caring enough to offer me their left overs. Of course I questioned their motives. But I am only a child, struggling to hold onto the innocence which God gave me, and succumbing to the malicious cruelty which society has allowed me to endure. But on this one instance I no longer wished to bite my tongue.  My desperation built a courage which I had so rarely encountered.  I held on tightly to the rosary beads which my fingers were intertwined beneath the table; my source of courage.
 "Mother, err... Do you think...? That…” I began stuttering as she lifted her gaze from her plate.“Spit it out boy” she spoke with venom in her tone.“Perhaps you could spare me some … Err… Food?” My eyes widened in hope she would offer an ounce of compassion.She looked at me as if I were Gods joke; her laughter silenced the kitchen as my father watched her pleadingly.“You’re a bad boy. What makes you think you deserve to eat? God created such a blessing, and he hates you boy, God hates you. You don’t deserve to eat”. She returned to her food with a vicious smile to her lips and lit a cigarette. I looked down at my rosary beads and pondered why God had let me down yet again. Do you really hate me God? Do you? I waited for a response as tears fell down my grubby cheeks and left a salty taste on my parched lips. But of course my cry for help was not responded. I was not excused from the kitchen, but left with an empty plate; stomach and heart.  My mother cleared the cutlery and emptied the left overs into a bag which she took with her on her exit from the room. She had learnt my tricks to eat from the garbage bin and had once even poured bleach onto the food as if to teach me a lesson. Just after I had collapsed, incapable to breathe and was on the brink of unconsciousness, I remember her face hovering above me smirking at my pain, enjoying the suffering she had caused me. My body shivered at the memory and I began watching the raindrops which persisted their entry on the window pane.  I longed to be free from this house, from this kitchen, from her.  But as I held no choice in my freedom, her commands were followed and I started the dishes which she had left me. BANG. CRASH. A loud thud had suddenly hit the window; a small pigeon had pounded its now lifeless body onto the glass.  This strange and sudden noise had caused me to jump and smash a plate onto the floor and my little brother to start wailing an excruciating cry as if danger approached him.  When the initial bafflement deteriated my heart began pounding in my ear and I frantically tried to silence my brother so that the attention of my mother was not drawn. But all efforts had failed and my stomach tensed as I heard her drunken footsteps coming towards the kitchen.  She was oblivious to the desperate cries of my brother but paid more attention to the precious crockery which I had just accidentally smashed. “You devil child! I ask you to do one thing! Just one! And you have to go screw it up, like you’ve screwed up my life, if I could have my way God would have taken you by now!”I tried to glance at my shoes, but my self-consciousness wouldn’t let me.  My eyes were fixated on my mothers hand as it drew closer to me.“But…I…I…”Slap! Her brawny hand hit my face.  I winced in pain as a lonely tear fell down my grubby cheek.“Did I tell you to speak? No! You speak when you’re spoken to! You look at me when I tell you to, you move when I tell you to!”I nodded. Her fist flew to my face.“I didn’t tell you to move!”


I began sobbing quietly, as I felt a warm drop of blood fall from my nose.  My brother’s weeps began ringing in my ear.  She grabbed a fistful of my hair and whacked my head against the kitchen counter.  My eyelids slowly shut and merciful blackness descended… The last two days had passed in a blur, the clock carried on ticking yet my mind had no recollection of thoughts or events which had taken place. Wednesday morning held no prosperity. I had woken suddenly under the kitchen table were I was kept after a night of franticly trying to regain warmth from the newspaper I had been given for a bed. I stood up and stretched my small arms. My feet frozen further by the cold slabs of the kitchen floor. My entire body ached from what I had been lying on.  My father had left for work with no word of goodbye as usual, and I could hear the faint buzzing of the most recent soap on TV which my mother was engrossed in, while lying on her sofa and swigging her vodka. My little brother was in his play cot, jumping up and down and making indescribable noises in hope of attention and love from his mother. Yet there was none.  My mother rarely spoke to me unless she had a chore or errand she wished me to do; I bore little significance in her eyes and was seen as a burden on the family.  I had an unsettling feeling in my stomach that day; my mood was darkening further as was the clouds above in the sky.  The atmosphere of the house seemed tranquil, the birds were not chirping, the wind was not blowing, and the slight murmur of those passer bys seemed non-existent, perhaps the serenity before a storm, or the silence in the eye of a tornado. Whatever future beheld me, I had certainty it was not to be pleasant.  I held tightly to my rosary beads that day, and even watched the clocks articulate movements, perhaps in hope to settle my anxiety.My father arrived home late that evening once again in a drunken state, his breath smelt of whiskey and his clothes were dishevelled as if suggesting a hasty dressing. He carried a leather suitcase in one hand and declared his permanent departure.  The storm had begun. Before I had time to blink, my parents were swinging inhumanly for each others eyes, slanders were passed between them and insults were yelled sure to cause shame to our family if any of the prying neighbours had heard.  My brother was shrilling, and innocent tears fell down his podgy cheeks. Of course he was too young to understand my parent’s drunken brawl yet he was not too young to suffer the abhorrence and revulsion which our parents bestowed upon us.  Time seemed to stand still as I watched my parents in complete desperation. The doorbell had rung and I could just about hear my neighbour Mrs Handley pounding on the front door, yelling that if the noise didn’t stop she was ringing the police.  But my parent’s fury seemed ignorant of any threats given and continued yelling insanities and throwing arbitrary furniture. My thoughts turned to my brother as I ran to him to silence his tears and pacify his fear.  But as I used my weak body to slowly rock him, my mother seized him by the arm and flung him into the side of the cot.  She then reached her claws into my neck and threw me to the floor. Even though my mother was of a small magnitude her blows and punts caused me agonizing pain.  She was yelling that it was my fault that her and my father
 argued, and that it was my fault she drank.  My head slammed onto the kitchen slabs several times, and I began to vomit.  But this didn’t stop her. She continued kicking me, and screaming in my ear.  I looked up to my father, hoping that the sight of his son bleeding and vomiting in a heap on the floor at the hands of his merciless mother would initiate him to take control; to be my hero.  But he stood there with pitiful eyes, picked up his suitcase and walked through the front door.  He had abandoned me.  The ache of my father turning away pained me more than any punishment my mother had done to me.  She continued slamming my childlike skull onto the kitchen floor while screaming insanities.  I slowly slipped into unconsciousness…  I am trapped.  My body asphyxiated to this bed.  Nails had been screwed into the side of my head and blood was dripping into the corners of my craggy mouth.  Why are my arms tied to this bed? My legs? I was in complete perplexity to my surroundings.  Voices occupied my mind, fear tormented my thoughts.  A cloudy atmosphere fogged the room which I was resided; large iron bars across the diminutive window blocked the sunlight from reaching my translucent skin.The room would not sit still; perhaps it was agitated as I felt.  A disorientating dizziness overcame me as I shook my head side to side. Everything was moving.  Everything was making noise. A large blinding light shone above me, scrutinising, watching me.I began gnawing at my tongue as suddenly the face of my mother came before me and a large shrill silenced the clamour… I awoke suddenly to the shrilling cry of my brother.  Had I been dreaming? Goosebumps were evoked to my skin at the thought of my terrorizing dream and a drop of sweat fell from my forehead.  After a few seconds to collect myself, it becomes apparent that my brother and I had been locked in the closet. A small line of light had entered the closet from the gap in the door, yet not sufficient for me to register the objects which accompanied us.  The odour which occupied the closet was repulsive, a mix of dry blood and vomit filled my nostrils as I realised the repulsive smell came from my own translucent skin.  I became panic stricken as the situation began to sink in.  Where was mother? Had she left us here? Although plenty of times I had wished my mother dead as she beat me the thought of her leaving my brother and I to fend for ourselves horrified me.  While I had become lost in my thoughts, I had failed to realise the silence of my brother.  I felt his heavy body in my arms but no movement came from his weak limbs.  His skin was cold to touch and no breath could I hear leaving from his cherub-like body.  I had not experienced the sight of death, yet somehow I knew my brother lived no more.  I held my lifeless sibling in my arms as tears fell from my eyes. An unbearable ache pulsated through my heart; Gods bitter hand had snatched my brother soul and left me with the carcass.  How cruel God was.I know longer looked for courage from the rosary beads, I no longer looked for courage from god, as I had none left. It was unknown how much time passed as I weeped silently clutching my brother’s corpse. I did not care for time. I did not care for what was to happen next.  Over the passing days his small body began to rot in my arms and the smell in the closet became unbearable.  I could feel my stomach failing due to my hunger, but I cared not for my next breath or for my beating heart. And one day, I simply let go…

*** * I fell into my chair with a sigh and allowed my muscles to rest.  Yet my mind could not.  Removing my “Nurse Handley” name tag, my thoughts returned to that boy.  That meagre, terrible boy. My week been rather pleasant, until a new patient had been brought in, kicking and screaming into our asylum yesterday. He had been checked in by his parents who were of the most distraught manner. They were respectable religious parents, the mother seemed the type to bake cupcakes for the local primary or spend her afternoons pruning the garden flowers.  The father seemed the respectable working man who would put his life at risk to support his loved ones.  The ordeal which they must have endured would have been horrific.  I scanned their file briefly and what my mind read horrified me.  The family had never suspected their child to suffer from schizophrenia as his disorder had only become apparent after the instability of an argument the parents had had.  The file stated that the father had to leave on a business engagement unexpectedly and had caused an argument between him and his wife, at this point of time the young child abruptly grabbed his two year old bother and strangled him with rosary beads.  Due to his syndrome he demonstrated disorganized thinking and experienced a hallucination where he believed the younger brother caused a threat to himself and his parents.  Of course the matter was fault of his insanity and not of his own decisions yet matters had to be taken care of.  Therefore this unfortunate child now resides in one of our asylum rooms, chained to his bed.  I felt enormous pity for the family but found it distressing to treat the child.  Yesterday as I entered his room cautiously, the eerie silence evoked a rising in my heartbeat, I watched despairingly as the child lay shaking his head continuously side to side and gnawing at his minute tongue…

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