Darkness Before the Dawn
Every time she screams at me I jump, scared, scared because I know what's coming. It's hard for me to take breaths, I cry so much. I didn't mean it. It slipped.
Ma crosses to where my high chair is and stands in the milk mess I made and gives me a slap across the face and scares me even more. It hurts, it really hurts.
Ma is big and strong. She opens the kitchen back door to the dark hall way and picks up the high chair with me in it and slams it against the wall in the dark hallway. My head hits the back of the high chair and I cry again, boogers coming from my nose and I can taste it on my lips. She leaves me there and slams the kitchen door.
I hear her screams even though the door is closed.
"I'm sick and tired of cleaning up your shit all the time." Can't you do anything right? What the hell was wrong with me having a second god damn kid. Don't you dare let me hear you crying out there or I'll give you something to cry about you little shit!"
I hear her tell Frankie to get the broom and watch out for the glass. I try and cry soft so Ma won't hear me. Frankie never seems to get yelled at.
Ma opens the kitchen door quickly and I jump. But she doesn't even look at me.
She walks past me and gets the bucket and mop, goes back into the kitchen and slams the door. So much loud noise, so much yelling, when Ma isn't happy.
Ma finishes washing the floor but doesn't come out into the hallway again to put the bucket and mop back.
It's so dark out here. The hallway is long and scary. Right next to my highchair is the door to the cellar. Frankie says the boogie man is down there and comes out at night. I've been down there in the day with the twins upstairs and it is really scary. There's a big machine down there that makes noise at night. Frankie says it's for heat and water, but at night he says it comes alive.
I try to look up, down, and all around for light. I think I see some light under the kitchen door. I hold up my hand to where the line of light is and I think I can see the top of my fingers. Scary looking fingers. I wiggle them to try and see them better, but I can't see all of them.
BAROOOOOMMMMMM! I jump at the sound of the big machine in the cellar. It's louder than I remember. I start to cry again, just a little. I'm afraid the big machine has arms and legs and can move at night up the stairs. Great big green arms to choke me, great big legs to kick me.
My crying has made me have hiccups. It's tight in this high chair. I put my own arms on the arms of the high chair and can feel the cold wood. I move my legs and one of my socks fall off. It's cold out here. I am falling down in the chair and can't pick myself up. It's like I'm stuck.
The big machine hasn't walked up the stairs yet to get me. I make sure my eyes are wide open, but I can't tell. I keep looking at the door to the cellar. It's all dark now. There's no light coming from the bottom of the kitchen door. Frankie and Ma must have gone to bed.
I try and stay awake in case the big machine opens the door, but then it's quiet again. Maybe the green machine sleeps too?
It's all dark and quiet. I wonder if I'm even here. I can't tell.
I can't see anything and no one can see me.
Maybe I've gone away some where.......