To Blame

January 18, 2011
By Anonymous

The radiator blared in my tired ears. They were tired of screaming. Tired of angry slapping. Tired of the sounds of home.

The slats of the rocking chair I was hiding behind cut the scene into six distinct pieces, each piece playing a large role in the overall picture. Pieces one through three were of Daddy with his hand extended. His hand was not extended in a friendly way, though. Its intention was not a handshake or a hug, but a cruel slap across Mommy’s face, on which five shades of blue already resided. The rest of the slats revealed a scene of Mommy, hunched over, lunging upward for a grasp on Daddy’s neck.

I crawled back into my corner, into darkness that seemed a semi-safe haven from the tension that hung in the open room. The radiator continued to steam and hum to my right, drowning out some of the violent welts in the air. I was boxed in by the cane-bottom chair, the two log walls that comprised the dust-laden crook that became my symbol for safety, and the meager gingham curtain that draped down from the small oil-paper window above me. I covered my face with the blue window treatment so I could block the visual effects of my young parents’ brawl. Forever grateful will I be to that curtain and radiator for cushioning the dangerous memories of the regular physical arguments that plagued my childhood, but the emotional scars will not and cannot be lessened.

I always would peer out of my corner window of our one-room cabin, looking at Pulpit Mountain looming above me, wishing I could climb up that mountain into my beautiful and lush forests, to escape. My little, worn-out dress would have never kept me warm, though, had I decided to run. I was too little, to puny to care for myself. It was Mommy and Daddy’s duty to keep me safe. Only Mommy and Daddy were to blame.

The author's comments:
This is a picture of what many children endure each day. Set in Appalachia in the mid-20th century, this piece just came into my mind as an idea. Please give me your unabashed opinion. :)

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