“What is it?” Viola said as Warren showed her a cardboard box he had inside his room, on yet another day spent lingering in each other’s company upon the periphery of the day. He beckoned her to come and take a look at it, inside the box was a worm, and Viola couldn’t help but smile at how Warren had even put soil inside it, he was so adorable. He told her how he saw it struggling on the pathway next to his house and decided he could take care of it, as his family didn’t allow him a pet.
“We can be its parents” he told her, with bright sparkling eyes and a prideful toe to his face he watched he dropped several leaves into the cardboard box. They played with the worm for a while and eventually ended up both sitting on Warren’s bed.
“You know what parents do right” Viola said looking at him, Warren looked at her, wide eyed in confusion, Viola saw her chance, leaned her head into his ad kissed him. It was gently and soft, her lips briefly met his, and for that brie second it felt like her blood had been replaced by electricity. Viola withdrew and smiled, but the smile quickly faded as she saw the expression on Warren’s face. He looked mortified, he stood up and ran out of the room, across the landing and into the bathroom, Viola waited for him to return, she waited for a half hour before she stood up and left his house.
Warren avoided Viola at school and in the neighbourhoods; he didn’t want to talk to her at all after the incident. Viola, in every effort to adhere to routine, told nobody of her sudden schism with her dear Warren, and spent the time she would’ve been with him elsewhere, mostly the library. She didn’t even tell Laila what happened, after all she barely told herself, even amidst her new predilection of lying face flat in her pillow and humming quietly as she pushed the memories of that day away, she still didn’t admit it to herself.
Viola decided to skip the book club meeting one fateful day and just sneak home after school, her father and Laila were told she was going to be in the club that day but she didn’t care; she just wanted to avoid the awkwardness and discomfort of bumping into Warren and needed to lie on her bed. Viola knew where her father hid the third spare key for the house ad had no issues locating the tile on the side of the house which it lay under, she would’ve knocked but she was sure nobody was home as her father and Laila mentioned taking advantage of her extra stay in school and going to a late lunch together. Viola opened the front door but paused when she heard the television blaring, her heart suddenly beating her quietly closed the door behind her and tiptoed into the kitchen, clearly somebody was home, but she didn’t feel like talking so just wanted to sneak into her room.
The sound of heavy footsteps approaching made Laila take a dive into the kitchen and hide out of the pathway of the living room, her father thundered into the living room from upstairs and Laila scuttling her feet trailing behind him.
“Where are you going? You’re not leaving because I am the one who will be leaving!” she barked at him, Viola winced at the sound of Laila’s voice, she never heard her so angry and vicious,
“I can do whatever the fuck I want Laila you don’t own me” her father snarled back, he walked to the front door and was reaching for the door when Viola saw something hit him in the back, Laila had thrown a coaster at his back and he stopped in his tracks. Viola heard Laila breathing heavily from somewhere in the living room and she could see her father’s face clouding in anger.
“You’re not going anywhere” Laila’s voice quavered, Viola crouched lower in her position in the kitchen, but was compelled to continue watching. Laila walked to her father until they were both standing at the door, they looked at each other for what felt like an era and Viola made sure not to dare breath. Mr Mercy suddenly grabbed Laila by the neck, put his face next to hers and whispered “What are you going to do to stop me”, he spun Laila around until her back was against the door and kissed her. Viola at this point closed her eyes and looked away, she now felt queasy and dirty to be at a place like this at such a time, but she couldn’t move now. She closed her eyes but she could hear them kissing furiously, Viola’s eyes burned and she snapped them open to see Laila’s legs astride her fit her on his waist and he holding her as hey passionately continued kissing. He picked Laila up and took her into the living room, placed her back against the top of the sofa and she fastened her mouth onto his neck as she put her hands down his trousers. Viola turned back and shit her eyes again, but her ears betrayed the cause and she could hear her father’s belt clang and drop to the floor, their combined breathing creating a prurient cacophony all over the house.
“hit me” Viola heard Laila command her father, there was a brief pause until Laila head a slight slap, the sound, odd and invasive, pierced the air, obstinate in it’s vile corruption.
“again” Laila whispered, and this time Viola opened her eyes to see her father raise his hand to hit Laila in the face, and she lift her hand and hit him back. The moved onto the sofa now but Viola could still see much of what was going on from her refuge in the kitchen. She didn’t want to look but she found herself frozen in shock as these two most constant people in her lives transformed before her in a bath of lechery and perversion, she didn’t recognise the two people tearing at each other and smacking each other as they tore each other’s clothes off and tasted every morsel of each other.
“Harder, hit me harder” –smack- “call me a bitch” ... her father complied, “I’m your little whore, your dirty little fuck bitch”
“yes you are you’re a dirty whore bitch , I’m gonna teach you a lesson” –smack-
“teach me daddy, I’ ll put on a show for you daddy” Laila smacked him back, and he tore of the last of her accoutrement and dived in to redeem his prize. The moan of pleasure escaping Laila’s mouth mirrored the inward moan of despair that rattled Viola to the core; she crouched in her defiled refuge in the kitchen and closed her eyes so hard a tear rolled down her cheek.
Viola found herself engrossed in a particular tantalising novel on the park swings after an especially taxing day at the school, the day dreaming had reduced and now she found her best way to mimic that was to escape through other’s people’s fantasies, so she read and read. The park was awash with lively children that day and many of her school peers were there, she liked the feeling of contained inclusion she felt at the park, she could control how involved she was.
“Hi Viola” Warren placed himself in the swing next to her and smiled, Viola paused for a while but couldn’t help but smile back.
“how have you been” he asked her again
“I’ve been alright Warren” she told him
“I’ve missed you Viola” , he reached into his pocket and gave her a lemon lollipop, a sherbert and a particularly smooth and shiny button. They started talking and Viola found the afternoon passed with her barely breaking her smile.
That evening’s walk home was the most pleasant she has had to date Viola decided, all was correct in the world again she thought as she approached her house. She barely knocked on the door when it flung open and a teary eyed Laila stood there, watching Laila with a face as mournful and distressed as Viola had ever seen. Laila looked to the sky past Viola for a moment, and Viola noticed she had her coat in hand and a travelling back, Viola’s stomach dropped. Laila bent down and hugged Viola with such intensity and strength Viola never wanted her to let go. Laila ruffled Viola’s hair, stood up to compose herself and walked outside , straight down the path of the front lawn and carried on walking, Viola stood watching her, numb and unresponsive, she should’ve ran after her she thought, but her all to precocious mind blasted the word futile to her repeatedly.
Viola closed the front door behind her and entered the living room where her father sat, watching the television, a drink of water at his side in a glass, still in his suit and outdoor jacket he sat there watching the television, watching past Viola, watching past the world. Viola stood in front f him and felt her mind detach itself, her whole body still numb she stood in front of this man and said “father”. He didn’t respond.
“Dad” she said louder, this seemed to snap him awake a little as he blinked and looked at her, as if for the first time in ages he looked at her.
“What” he said, in a tone so robotic, so stoic that Viola found herself enraged even further
“Why is she gone, I want her back I want Laila back!!” She screamed at her father only to have him smirk a little, blink several times and turn his head back to the television, completely ignoring him.
“I don’t want to be bad daddy” she whimpered to him, “Im a good girl” her father’s eyes widened and he made as if to stand but he appeared to buckle at his own confusion.
“Hit me daddy” Viola whispered to him. “Hit me till I’m a good girl” ....”HIT ME”...she barked
“Stop it!! What the hell is wrong with you!!” he snarled, at last some life from him.
“It’s your fault I don’t have a mother” she flatly told him. “ITS YOUR FAULT SHE SCREAMED” and in what was the, most uncharacteristic move of her life to date, she picked up the glass of water and threw it all over her father. She didn’t wait for his reaction but ran from the room straight up the stairs into the bathroom. She locked it promptly and just as she thought those heavy footsteps followed her up the stairs, what was more unnerving was the fact that he didn’t say anything, he didn’t even call out to her, he just stopped his footsteps outside the bathroom and there was silence. Viola found herself clammy with fear, but also suddenly uncomfortable in a way she had never felt before. She felt compelled to relieve herself and sat on the toilet seat.
Viola screamed when she pulled her trousers down and found her underwear drenched in blood, she had never seen so much blood in that area before and coupled with what just happened with her father she just let herself loose and screamed until her screams turned to cries.
“Viola open the door now!!!” her father barked, he began to bang on the door and it felt like the whole house shook on its edges, everything was resisting them Viola thought, the house was angry, everything was wrong, and now she had irreparably injured herself somehow and she was dying, this is it, this is the end. Viola ripped some toilet tissue and dried her eyes with it, she took off her clothes and stood naked in the mirror upheld in the bathroom wall. Her father’s bangs on the door had stopped now and had quietened to knocks and half sincere pleas. Viola now catatonic in her grief was unaware of the sifting elements around her, her cries had awoken older than her father, older than the house, older than the town, and older than sorrow itself. The air around Viola grew hot and tight and she found herself struggling to breath for a short while, she heard a short burst in the air like the sound a electric fuse blowing, and suddenly Viola could no longer see or talk, her skin prickled with electricity, she tried to scream for help but the air suddenly took on the quality of a particularly heavy viscous material. The air itself opened with a sound not unlike the pull of a fastidious mollusc from a glass pane of which it had fastened to, in Viola’s bathroom and she fell in.
When Mr Mercy came across the locks he created for opening the bathroom from the outside, he found the bathroom itself completely empty once he managed to open it, only Viola’s soiled clothes remained on the floor.