Four vignettes

I wrote this for Deliberate Donkey, a brilliant and moving blog on domestic violence.

Deliberate Donkey

Leaves blur in the sunlight, waving him on. The boy runs, away from the sound of his mother’s voice which he can still hear, carried on the wind, shouting: “Run. Go. Run.”

So he runs. Up the road, egged on by the cheerleading leaves and the wind, the blue sky and the sun which shines hard against his back – a slap of heat propelling him forward.

He runs – away from his mother’s voice, away from his cowering sister, away from his father who paces the length of the house, clutching the rifle he’d bought for a father-son deer shoot. This father who cried after accidentally running over a pigeon while driving, now sitting in the front room with a rifle across his lap, waiting for his life in this home to end and a new one to begin.

The boy runs because all he can say is “Leave…

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“And then he smashed it over my head”

I was talking to someone I know. I can’t tell you who exactly, so I’ll just say she’s a friend. She was telling us (my mum and me) about her new job, how she’d been given a verbal warning for the equivalent of brushing her hair briefly at her desk.

She was in shock when she got back home. Her husband, she said, told her it was probably time to just pack it in. Her children told her to apologise to the directors, since there was nothing else she could say to justify her actions (not that her actions were particularly inappropriate). She took the latter option. The directors were sympathetic. She was a temp. They made her permanent. Continue reading