Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations : Parts of a dismembered whole

Black cat in shadow

Image : Pixabay

He struggles to remember when he first saw the darkness in his daughter Emily. Perhaps it’s the effects of the medication, but the past arrives in clumps, like clay torn from a sculpture, parts of a dismembered whole …

 

 … An afternoon in summer, sunlight gilding the garden gate. A young girl – Emily’s best friend, Charlotte – stands in a forest of scarlet hollyhocks, lace trimmed vest just visible through her torn pinafore, tears washing the cut on her cheek …

… Tying posters to lampposts as the drizzle gathers on his lashes. MISSING: Trixie … Fluff … Tuppence … Sox … A series of fuzzy pink noses, ginger stripes, black and white patches. A look from the neighbour that’s as misted as the day. Another? is all she says before softly closing her front door …

… Emily shares an abusive text from a friend – foul words, hard to forget. His arms wrap tightly around her fragile frame. If he can hug long enough – well enough – perhaps love will find a way inside her. An almost overwhelming urge to squeeze too hard, to make something happen, but nothing helps. Defeated he leaves her room, crosses to the airing cupboard, unearths a half-drunk bottle from beneath the faded pilowcases …

… The news report. Her school’s front gates. Familiar flaking paint above the rolling headline, yellow on red. The death toll rising …

 

As his eyes flicker closed he knows the truth. The three of them have always walked hand in hand – he and Emily …

And the darkness.

 


Written for Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations prompt –DARKNESS. So, yes, it’s painted in the blackest hues.