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A Bad Beginning With A New Start
This is a story about seven year old Joshua Turner. Growing up as a child, Josh was put to work all day and never called in for supper. Plus the fact that they lived in the hottest place in the world didn’t help much. Even when he would get heat strokes he wasn’t allowed a cool place to rest or any water. His father sat all day in the shade and looked out like a hawk over Josh. And his mother couldn’t do much either. See, this was a time where all men ruled and women and children couldn’t do much. So all day his father made them work and if stuff was already clean they had to do it again. If they didn’t work the ‘Daily Maximum’, as Papa called it, then they were whipped, swatted, or beaten with a stick.
“Boy have you got that barn clean yet?” yelled Papa one afternoon.
“Almost done Papa.” I yelled back. Man, Papa can be so hard. Ever since he started that drinking, he is only concerned about what me and Mamma do. Now he needs to concentrate on himself. As for me, I need to quit my nightmares. Ever since Jenny ran away, we have been a mad house. Ever since Papa found her and had us stone her to death, I have nightmares. But I kept telling myself, “Alea jacta est.”
“Boy are you done yet?” screamed Papa from his spot under the maple tree. He had finished his first drink and now had a bottle of whiskey in his hand.
“Yes, Papa.” He had broken me out of my day dream, so I left. I wish this was one of his good days, where he drank too much and got a hang over. Then after that he just slept all day. Me and Mamma wait patiently for those wonderful days that only seem to come once in a blue moon. I think I enjoy Papa even when we only get a few scraps for supper. It’s so funny to see him when he is drunk and tries to catch the wild dingo that eats all of our crops (which is about every day).
“Joshua Turner, get your scrawny butt out of bed right this second!” Was the first thing I heard the next morning. Then when I opened my eyes, Papa was standing over me with his red tomato face, and then I looked over and saw Mamma in one hand, and the stick in the other.
“Come on you no good son of mine. The police think you and your mamma is dead. They are coming over right now to make sure I’m not a killer.”
“Yes Papa.”, was all I could say. They new Jenny had run away, but they never found out we found her and killed her.
“Boy when those hounds get here, there will be no talk of what’s her name. We never found her and never did nothing ‘bout it. And we all need to be one happy family.”
“Yes Papa. But when wee done will we go back to our chores?” I asked. This question scared me because if we did I was going to pass out right this moment.
“No not today boy. We ain’t giving them what they want.” When Papa answered I heard a hint of solemnest in his voice.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
By the time the police left they were convinced that Jenny was still missing and we were perfectly fine. They also were told I was a very clumsy child, because I had too many bruises. Mamma and Papa had to prove they were happy together, so they gave each other a ‘peck on the cheek’ is what Mamma called it.
When we were sure they were no longer watching us, Papa sent me up to my old room, and it was in his house. I was so happy to be back in his house. The cellar was always so cold. When I was broken from my day dream, I found my room untouched. The only difference was that it wasn’t dusty. Papa must have had it be cleaned. I played with my old toys, until I heard arguing. It sounded like Mamma was screaming at Papa. I was scared for her life so I curled up in a ball on my old bed, and fell asleep.
The next morning I smelled eggs. I wasn’t sure how I knew what they smelled like, but I did. I raced down stairs and found Papa and Mamma cooking a big breakfast. I rushed over to Mamma and hugged her as hard as I could. She then reached down and picked me up. “What’s with you?” she asked in a surprised tone. “I heard you two screaming and I thought you were gone.” I replied, hoping Papa wouldn’t get mad.
“You have one crazy imagination. That was our old life. This is a new beginning for everyone. We are even adopting a new baby from the shelter. She will be your little sister, so expect you will treat her well?” Papa said.
I was so shocked I weakly replied, “Yes sir. What will be her name? Do we get to move back in with you? How old will she be?”
“Her name will be Danielle. Yes you will be moving back in. And she is three weeks old. She was left on the porch of the church last night.” Mamma replied this time.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The next week Danielle came home. We gave her Jenny’s old room and all of my old toys. My eighth birthday had just passed so I had all new toys and cloths.
Papa had started to go back to his old ways. Mamma told us, “Ad vitam paramus, we are preparing for life.” Though it never made sense to me, she seemed to forget about it. Then one day he went too far. He took Danielle out of her bed and just threw her. Mamma caught her just before she landed on her head. That last stunt reeled Mamma in just enough to see he hadn’t changed. He was just pretending to want us back for our money. Mamma had saved up about two hundred dollars. All Papa wanted was her money.
Right after that Mamma pulled me aside and told me to take the baby away as soon as night fall came. I was prepared for this moment ever since Papa invited us back. I had already packed my cloths, two blankets, some of Danni’s cloths, a few of her toys, four cans of food, one bottle, one plate, one cup, a jar of money, matches, and a picture of our family( when Jenny was alive and we were all happy). I carried it all in two of my biggest bags.
That night we made our escape. We slipped out into the night once Papa was fast asleep. The good thing was that Danni was used to me, so she didn’t cry. As we made our way out, we bumped into a shadowy figure. I stopped dead in my tracks. When I looked up it was only Mamma. A big sigh escaped through my mouth. I looked up in time to see a confused look on her face. “What is it Mamma?” I asked with a confused face.
“Oh, nothing. I was just waiting for you to come out. I wanted to give you this.” In her hand she held a pocket knife. “This is so you can hunt and survive.” I took the knife and placed it in my pocket. Then I looked at her again. “Here is a locket for Danielle. This way she will always know her mother and her savior.” She said smiling down on Danni. “You are her savior for taking her to safety. She will always know you and her new life. I trust you my son. I love you, ab imo pector, from the bottom of my heart. You will always be my son.”
“Mamma I don’t want to go now. I want to stay with you.
I want you to be with us.” I told her. At that moment I started to cry.
“No my son. You must go on with your journey. Save your sister from this same fate. If she did I would never forgive myself.”
So later that night, we left. We traveled for 30 days and 30 nights. Then we reached the town of Rolette. There I built us a home that would stand. There we stayed for eight years. After that I decided to send a letter to Mamma. When we got a letter back it was not pleasant.
We never sent for Mamma, or heard from her again.