Hunters – Taken From Chapter Four – Memories (Abigail)
That night, I dreamt of before.
My mother had been always sad. That’s how I remembered her. I didn't have one memory or a photo of my mum happy. My memories start from the age of four, people say it’s not possible, but I have them and my mum has been always sick. I remember sitting on the stairs and the doctors talking to my father. I wasn't sure at the time what they were discussing, but later I learned it was because my mother wasn't getting better.
Dad had to work, there was no two ways about it so mom took care of us. The first day, my dad was worried when he left me and my brother, who was only three at the time, in my mother’s hands. That first day, I was five. I stayed in my room and kept my brother with me, playing a tea party with Mr. Bear and Diana, my rag doll. Hunger was one reason for leaving the room. I would pass the sitting room door where my mother sat, staring out the window. Her brown eyes darted to me, freezing me to the spot. I was afraid to move, but I didn’t know why. I just felt afraid of her. I would make a peanut butter sandwich for myself and some Ready brek for Sam; I had seen dad make it before so I was careful. It took me a while as I pulled the chair around the kitchen, reaching the presses and the microwave. I turned to go back upstairs, but my mother blocked the door. I stood still, hoping she wouldn't see me.
She was always so quiet, but on this day, she spoke, “If your dad thinks that I don’t mind you and Sam, he will send you away and you’ll never see us again.”
She knelt down, taking the food from my hands and placing it on the floor. Her face softened and she hugged me. I didn't hug her back. She cried, saying she was sorry for everything. She pulled back and handed me my food and returned to her seat in the sitting room. I raced up to Sam. His food was cold, but he ate it. He was quiet for a child, well, I realized later on that three year olds are not always as good. We would play up there for the rest of the day until Dad got home from work. I would race into his arms and hug him tightly, knowing everything would be okay.
“Did you have fun with your mum, today?” Dad asked.
I thought of what mommy had said to me; I didn't want to go away from Daddy or Sam. So I nodded, smiled and went back to playing with Mr. Bear. This became our routine for the next month.
Memories flashed through my mind, snippets of talking to Sam, playing games, saying goodbye as Dad left for work and greeting him when he got home. My mother’s empty eyes, and then the memories stopped, slowing down to another one.
“Sam, I’m going to the toilet, you stay here with Mr. Bear.”
Sam nodded and continued to pour tea for us all. I closed the bedroom door behind me so he would stay in. He was too small to reach the handle. I raced down to the bathroom. The door was open. My mother was lying on the white tile floor. The tiles were red. She looked so white and the knife Daddy always told us not to touch lay in her hand. I noticed that her arm was cut real badly. I didn't run to her or cry as I was too afraid of what stood in the corner of the bathroom.
A dark figure, like a big man, with a cloak over him stared down at my mum. He scared me. My breath came out in small puffs of cold air. I could see the water that dripped from the tap was frozen solid, held in midair. I looked back at the man, frost was starting to grow on his cloak. He wasn't the bad man that was always around Mommy. He was different, but still he felt wrong.
I ran back to Sam and closed the door, pulling him into the corner of the room. It was getting so cold that our breaths were visible in front of us. Sam started to cry, but I pulled him beside me while crossing my legs so I wouldn't pee, but it was so cold and it took Daddy a long time to get home and I didn't want to go into the bathroom where mommy and the man were.
I could hear my daddy’s scream before he burst into the room, gathering me and Sam in his arms. He was crying. I had never seen daddy cry before.
“I’m sorry, Daddy. I wet myself,” I said.
My dress was ruined. I loved this dress. It made me feel like a princess.
“Did you go into the bathroom?” Dad asked, his voice sounded scared, maybe he’d seen the bad man, but then I remembered all the times he said that it wasn't real, and that I shouldn’t make up stories, so I didn't say anything about the man. I didn't want daddy to lock me in my room again.
“Mommy’s hurt and she was near the toilet I couldn't go”
He held me tightly and, at the moment, I thought everything would be okay, but I was so wrong.
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