Month: March 2018

Je Te Tuerai! – A Snippet

Albert,” the woman calls. “The sink is clogged.”

I follow the man into the kitchen. Scummy water lies stagnant in the sink.

The man fetches his toolbox from the laundry room.

“Qu’est que c’est?!” he demands when a long snake becomes stuck in the drain. “I’ll have to take it apart.”

He squeezes his broad shoulders under the sink. The other children have come in. We watch him work. We are silent.

“Hand me my big wrench,” his muffled voice calls.

Gerard hands him a big metal tool.

“C’est quoi…” he mutters. “Cereal!” The volume rises, “A whole box. Who poured a box of cereal down the drain?! Qui la fait?!”

He stands up banging his elbow.

“You stupid children?! Who did this?! Who was in the kitchen?!”

“Marie was washing dishes,” Claire says.

“You!”

The man grabs Marie by one wrist, his face is red.

“Gerard, get my strap!”

Gerard brings the hard leather strap that hangs above the washer.

“Crack!” The strap descends. “You did this, didn’t you?!”

“No! I didn’t do it!” Marie cries. “Please, daddy! Please daddy!” she pleads

“Je te tuerai!” he shouts. “Je te tuerai!”

He jerks her by the wrist. He reins blows on her back. Her white, uniform blouse becomes saturated with her red blood.

Snippet: Family Bible

The big, gold edged book rests on a crocheted lace doily atop the revolving bookstand in the dining room bay window. I reach for it.

“Don’t play with that,” the woman says in passing.

I follow her, “I want to read the big Bible.”

Wrinkles appear between her eyebrows. “That’s our family Bible. It’s very precious.”

“I’ll be careful.”

She sighs, “Are your hands clean?”

I lift them.

“Hmm.”

She scrubs them at the kitchen sink with a little brush until my skin is red. Then she places the Bible on the dining room table.

“You may stand on the chair and read for a little while.”

I remove my sneakers and climb up.

One hand braces me against the polished table, I turn the pages. One reads, “Births, Deaths, Marriages.” “François, 3 March 1975” is the last entry. “Ames. 6 November 1969” is written above François’ entry. My name does not appear.

Where am I?

Dark fear suffuses my legs and stomach. I know I must not ask them. I turn the pages and begin reading Genesis.

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