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Listen To My Cry Part 2
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Listen To My Cry Part 2
[995 words]
[December 2006]
After The Trailers (Short Stories) - [376 words]
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Listen To My Cry Part 2

The start

I’m a little bit nervous as my mum kneels down in front of me and buttons up my coat. My scalp is tingling where she has brushed it over-vigorously to tie it up into two long glossy plaits. She wipes a smudge of marmite from my face and smiles at me, tears pricking her eyes. I squirm away from her and drag my new satchel over my shoulder. It’s got a stingingly new plastic smell about it and my name is written inside in thick black marker which I trace with my finger while I wait for my mum to check my lunchbox for the millionth time that morning. A-O-L-A-N-I P-A-R-M-I-N-T-E-R I say to myself and grin in recognition that I can spell my own name. I inspect the end of my finger for pen residue and I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t any. I hitch up my socks and beg my mum to leave. Eventually she glances, tight mouthed at the clock and concedes. As we walk down the road towards school, my mum clutches my hand too tightly and I feel it getting clammy and sore. I wriggle to try and get free but she clamps it harder. In protest I shuffle my feet through the soggy late autumn leaves knowing it will mark my new shoes but she doesn’t notice my protest, her eyes are set on the road ahead. Now I can see the school gates over the road and hear the roar of children tumbling into the playground, shrieking with delight. My mum pulls me close to her and I look up at her. ‘It’s ok mummy, I’m not sure where Ben went but I’ll come back tonight. It looks like fun but home is more fun.’ I said squeezing her hand. She spun me round to face her and dropped to her knees on the pavement in front of me. ‘What did you say?’ her mouth trembling. I gulped, unsure as to what I had done wrong. ‘You said ‘I couldn’t bear losing Beth like I lost Ben’ so I just told you it would be ok.’ She glared at me, noticed the knees on her trousers darken as they soaked up the water from the road. ‘I didn’t say anything’ she nearly hissed, her face blanching. ‘But you did mummy, I heard you.’ I was confused, eyes torn between looking at my mother and glancing at the thinning stream of children heading into the school. ‘Did you hear me out loud?’ my mum asked, straining to put a smile on her face. It looked odd and alien. ‘Kind of’ I said, screwing my eyes tight to think how, in my 5 year-old vocabulary, to explain. ‘It came in my ears but it was blue.’ was the best I could come up with. Standing swiftly and without a word she grasped my arm tight and dragged me back towards home. I didn’t protest, the set of her jaw showed me that it would be the wrong thing to do. She looked like she did when she found I’d put a sparking marble filled with glittering colours into my pocket in a shop. She’d marched me back to the shop and made me apologise to the assistant through my wracking sobs, her face set all the time in this look. I caught one last glimpse of the school that could have been mine over my shoulder as she spun me round the corner on the way back to the house.

Sitting on the kitchen counter rubbing my twisted arm I could hear snippets of hushed conversation, fading in and out as my mum paced up and down the living room. Sometimes the conversation was normal but sometimes I saw flickers of blue with words so complicated I couldn’t understand them. I would shift forward on the counter and look at my mum when they were blue and see her tight-lipped holding the phone with crushing force. Sometimes I saw a flutter of an image. It was almost like it was just in my head with no way of getting there and the images were strange, not like dreams or my thoughts but like telly pictures, things I hadn’t seen before; people running away, people locked up in darkened rooms and disturbingly one of me locked in a darkened room with my mother walking away as the door closed. I sat back on the counter and snaked my hand into the sweet jar. If mum was busy I should take advantage of it. She pushed the door to her room closed a little more just as I had caught the end of a sentence about me going to aunty Jan’s for a while, until I could be assessed. I wanted to hear more and without thinking I closed my eyes and imagined being my mum. My body shook violently for a second and my eyes felt like they were rolling back in my head. A huge jolt of blue shot out from me and I felt like I was in it. I shot down the corridor and straight into my mum. I could think all her thoughts, see all the images flitting through her head. It hurt so much; the images all crowding in at once, most of them incomprehensible to me. I felt the blue drawing back and rushing back into me where I slid limply off the kitchen surface, sweets tumbling from by hand and scattering round the floor. My mum dashed down the corridor to me but I was only vaguely aware she was there. My head was throbbing and my brain seemed to be trying to understand everything at once. Thoughts of mind readers and ‘honing skills’ shot through my head rounded off with a vision of a huge old farm house with chalkboards covered with pictures of ‘mind clouds’ that made no sense to me tumbled into my head as the light winked to blackness.


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December 2006

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