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By Norman Turrell


The beating was indiscriminate. Punches become kicks as I fall to the ground. I'm a ball, surrounded by the attackers. My mind floats away, side-stepping the pain. Consciousness fading to darkness.

Stinging, icy rain wakes me. One eye refuses to open and a broken arm hangs limp. Breathing pushes painfully against bruised ribs. I pull myself up carefully to a kneel. The uniform dawn light on concrete paving reminds me I am far from home. One prison to another.

Cradling the useless arm, I stagger from the secluded lane onto a street just waking with city traffic and travellers. Some stare, no one stops. All I can do is make my way slowly back to Jimmy's and ask for forgiveness. Forgive me for not being grateful for your abuse. He'll mend me, replace the ripped clothes, paint my face. I'll be back in the dollhouse, my torture filling his pockets.

Jimmy doesn't waste anytime putting me back together. Time is money. Freedom is dreams. I use them to escape the sweating nightmares. The clicking fan in dimly lit room is a breeze keeping me cool on a hot summers day. The bedsheet, green grass, tickling my palm as I brush my hand over it. I close my eyes.

'Yes baby. Yes.'

A pastel blue sky, blended with streaks of cloud. I've been reading. The book is open, paused on words of love. Tenderness. Not passion. Not lust. It doesn't work. A black silhouette of a crow circles in front of the Sun, coming down. I can't stop it. Flying at me, massive black wings, flapping madly, crushing me.

'No, get off me! Get Off!'

'You fucking bitch! You'll pay for that!'

I can't do this anymore, I want to be kicked to death this time. Pull the great black beak into my heart. Instinct makes me curl up... but the blows don't come. There's the sound of swearing, a scuffle. Then a hand, gentle on my head. I can see my blue skies again, the Sun so bright. Beautiful. I don't want to open my eyes, I just want to stay here. Forever looking at those words on the page. In the silence. In the sunshine. I'm being lifted. I am flying. I don't care what they do to me anymore. This is real, this is my reality. I'm going to stay here, soar through the air. I'm never going back, never. Never.

'She's so young.'

'The case notes are frightening. I can't imagine what she has been through, or maybe I don't want to.'

'She looks... happy.'

'We'll take good care of her.'



This page was added on 05/12/2011


Beautiful use of metaphors. A bit of a nail biting read the author being careful not to alarm the reader tastefully done nothing is revealed explicitly and it is well constructed to approach a warm refreshing end where I was left wondering who is taking care of her hoping she'll be safe it left me wanted to read more.

From Julie Lambert
03.05.2013 21:25:21
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