He sits on the patio,feet on the table,with a cigar between his darkened lips. He’s nothing like an ordinary man. His lopsided smile gets you thinking, thunderous voice shatters glass, soul piercing stare that leaves you frozen.
With arms behind my back and quivering lips, I speak. His bloodshot eyes meets mine and my legs turn to jelly. “No,you can’t go out to play with Annie.” No buts,no pleading. My stuffed teddy bear welcomes me back to my room and it looks like he’s saying ” I told you so”. I wish he would come to life and clean my tears.
Now,I can hear plates falling off the shelves,angry thuddering footsteps and low gutteral sounds. Sigh. He’s probably beating mum again. Great uncle chases like a predator and mum runs like an injured prey.
“Oh Teddy, should we run away,far away, just you and I?” Mr Teddy’s eyes twinkle in the moonlight.
Hot tears wells up in my eyes as I climb down my window.
And in the cold night,a scared five year old clutches her teddy bear and drags her weary feet on the ground. The moon looks down and weeps. It brightens even the more. The stars twinkle and insects quiet down. As she walks through the catacombs,the geckos come out to peek at her imaculate face. Salty tears fall on the old,grey tumulus. Using Mr Teddy as pillows,she lays down on the sands and dreams of Papa.
Opening my eyes, I expect to to see white transparent figure of Papa, instead,great uncle’s face is few inches away from mine. He breathes onion breath into my nostrils.
Mum is smiling peacefully in her sleep. I smile because she is okay. At least that’s what I think.
Great uncle takes my hand and leads me to the bath tub. He washes the dirt off my body. I wear clean clothes and eat cereals.
Great uncle ties me up like he always does. As the belt lands on my small,tender bottom, I scream. I kick the air and wriggle. I scream for mother but she won’t wake up. She just keeps smiling in her sleep.
The door blasts open and two big men with big,black guns walk in. They shout something which I can’t hear over the sound of my cracked voice. I’ve never seen a gun as big as that. Three women wearing white coats and mouth guards carry mum and put her on a long bed. She’s still smiling. It seems she’s fallen into a very deep sleep,an interesting sleep.
I can’t find Teddy anywhere and this big man is holding tightly onto my arm. Great Uncle puts on his disgusting smirk as the other big man takes him out of the house. I am very confused but they all smile and tell me that I’m going to a better place.