Fish Hook

“Nooo! We have to stay inside, daddy is playing with mummy.” Cool fear chilled Esther and she shivered briefly before moving back inside and pulling shut the door. “We can have maconi cheese!” Aria skipped over to stand below the cupboard that she knew contained the microwave food. Esther tried to focus on being normal for Aria.

“Macaroni” she corrected her sister, moving across the kitchen and reaching above Aria to take out the pasta. She set the food to heat and clenched her jaw, turned over her options in her mind. When she turned around, however, her sister was watching her, chewing at her thumb, her soft skin puckering slightly at the brow.

“Why don’t you like it when mummy and daddy play?” she asked; she sounded quiet and frightened of the response she might receive. Esther tipped the macaroni cheese from the packet onto a plate and put it on the table.

“I don’t mind it” she lied. “OK come on then, sit down and eat, or it’ll go cold.” Esther pulled out the chair and helped her get settled. “Water?” she asked. Aria nodded, lifting her food to her mouth. As she began to chew she appeared to forget about whatever didn’t feel good; she licked the sticky warm cheese from her fork and started to eat more quickly, hungry. Esther went to the sink and ran the water, looked out from the window across to the dark garage, its door closed. Why wouldn’t they put the light on? But she knew why. She’d seen them when they played.

She’d been playing herself; playing catch with the neighbour’s son. The ball had bounced away and rolled in front of the garage door. She knew to be quiet when they were there. Her father had told her they weren’t to be disturbed. She’d walked as silently as she could in her trainers. The son – Tom was his name - watched her curiously. He must have wondered what she was doing, why she didn’t just run and grab the ball. She and Aria weren’t allowed to tell anybody that their parents played in the garage. And then her breath caught and her face reddened, her skin prickling under her shirt, when she saw what she saw.

She knew she couldn’t make any noise. Her eyes welled and spilled as she concentrated on breathing slowly and quietly through her nose, her lips clamped shut. She stayed as still as she could and watched and listened; watched as her father pulled the rope tightly around her mother’s bare ankles; listened as his voice assaulted her, low and harsh, saying mean things, things she could only half make out. But Tom was waiting. And he called out to her. It was all she could do to lift herself from the gravel and tiptoe forwards, nearly tripping in the attempt to make no sound. Any distance would do, and she got some. Enough so that when her father lifted the door a meagre few inches, looked out from underneath, he couldn’t have known that she’d seen, that she’d heard.





About me

This is me: home-writer, book-reader, dog-lover and occasional poet. I make this website to share my and my friends texts with You, dear Reader. Please: read carefully, don't be scary, upgrade your mood and be king and leave your comment. :)