By: Marc McMahon
It scares me when it gets like that when my darkness comes with the noonday sun. Uninvited, unwanted, and unliked. My little brother kept telling me these days were coming. A day when the still, soft, whispers of the night would become my friend. A prophecy spoken to me by a child? Or merely a dreamy little brother with too large of an imagination and what some might consider an addiction to the Sci-Fi channel. Either way, I get a really bad feeling in my stomach sometimes when the strange things he tells me match up with recent dreams I have had. Ok, maybe it’s not a bad feeling the little creep gives me, but it is definitely weird that’s for sure.
I am not sure how I would describe it to you? It’s almost as if you know something tragic is about to happen but your not sure when. Oh, I know it’s like the feeling I used to get when I would take money out of my mom’s purse so me and my little brother could run down to the corner store and by licorice. Black, that’s my favorite. Or it was until I ran into the licorice love of my life. I will never forget the day we first met, me and my new grape seductress, my first kiss, blissful. Kissing a girl after I had sampled that first bite of the new flavor was now a distant memory. If I had had it my way back then I would have bought all the grape licorice in the store and eloped to Las Vegas to live with my licorice love forever. But back to reality.
It’s not just the weird feelings my brother gives me either. He has this look that almost pierces right through you. As if at the age of 7 he has that power, or ever will. But it does not change the fact he does it and mumbles these words that no one has yet been able to make any sense of. He only does this around me which makes him even creepier. My mother says that the words he mumbles sound like the baby talk he used to babble when my step-father would hold him when he was very young. It is just odd to think that my step-father had a massive heart attack while holding him one morning while everyone else was away from the house.
I overheard my mom telling my aunt one day that when she walked in that afternoon she found Gil laying on the kitchen floor with his lips swollen, blue, and not breathing. She checked his pulse, there was none. Baby, sitting contently on his step daddy’s chest happily drinking his bottle as if nothing ever happened. I don’t find it odd that the kid was too young to realize his father had just died, but in light of recent events and the similar sounds to his mumbled garble when he is with me, it often makes me wonder. So yes, I guess I am a little afraid of my brother if children under 9 are even capable of invoking fear. Who knows, maybe it is me that’s losing his tween childhood mind and needs a therapist, not my kid brother.
Speaking of therapists, my mom just informed me I would also be seeing the same kid shrink as my little brother and my first visit was a day after tomorrow. I threw the best temper-tantrum I think I ever have before in protest of the new news but to no avail. It did nothing to convince the jury in my mom’s mind that therapy was a bad idea, although she did pause a moment, hmm. Well, I obviously did not convince them beyond a reasonable doubt. I don’t want to go see a therapist but why am I telling you that, you don’t care, nobody does, well accept.
Time To See The Shrink
“Kenny the Doctor is ready to see you now,” the cute receptionist announced as she stood up from the desk and walked over to open the shrinks door for me. I think that’s one of the reasons you always see cute girls working in Doctors offices. Think about it. Young boys my age especially just automatically get up and follow a girl that pretty simply because she is talking to you, and no other thought than that can go through your mind. You cannot think of a word to say, a smile to show, you simply blush and with eyes wide open walk in your hypnotic state to wherever she leads. Whew, thank God Mom was there, that receptionist could have led me anywhere.
“Hello Kenny, welcome, I am Doctor Sullivan. How are you today?” Eyes still contently following the young secretary’s movements as she closes the door Kenny blinks two times, shakes his head, then turns around to the Doctor and says “I don’t want to be here lady — there’s nothing wrong with me, I want to go now!” Dr. Sullivan not as young and pretty as her secretary, which may be working against her here right now. Still is a very attractive 32-year-old clinician with her Ph.D. She is very physically fit an avid cyclist, triathlete, and one of only a handful of world-class female ice-wall climbers. She definitely has no problem attracting attention, and in today’s modern society that comes from men and women alike. Yet she is still single and on a very rare occasion goes on a date. Not much of a socialite, she will admit that herself.
She was just recently interviewed by Time Magazine. They were doing a piece on how she endured a tormented and tragic childhood, locked in a dog crate for days on end only to be let out to be at the mercy of her mother’s drunken and abusive husband. And then only to be assaulted sexually, physically, and emotionally. This all started for her at the age of five and was not finally stopped until almost eleven years later.
The article explained how at the end, how finally the neighbor lady convinced the police to investigate.
More importantly how she finally convinced the mom into admitting to the Police when they did come to the door that there was a problem inside giving them the permission they needed to enter the home. This way they could look around and go down into his pit where he keeps her, where the mom has only ever been one time, and that one time was right when this all started. What happened to the mother down in that basement that winter morning sixteen and a half years ago no one knows. What is obvious though is that whatever it was put enough fear into her to stay silent or else. That it gave him the permission he needed to take her daughter and raise her like a piece of meat in a cage. Only to be taken out to be tenderized by his violent and rage filled sexual actions and the bare knuckles of his fist!
Then how she ultimately after not saying a word to another person for almost a year and a half walked into her kitchen and told her mom that she and God loved her very much and that they were both very sorry she had to live through that. She then went on to get her GED and put herself through college ultimately winning a scholarship that would not only pay for her Grad School but cover all the prior costs she had incurred thus far including her student loans. With her finances taken care of and her miraculous apparent spiritual recovery from her abuse, she went on to not only graduate Grad School but first in her class.
The whole time writing and speaking publicly to other survivors of unspeakable abuses and helping them heal and understand, and learn and grow. A truly remarkable woman and that is the main reason Kenny is mad standing in her office at this very moment. “I said I want to go, lady, you can’t keep me here I know my rights, I’m a minor and you’re not my parent. I want to go now,” he shouts. The good Doctor seeing that Kenny is visibly upset by the sweat beginning to bead on his forehead and those undeniable tween watery eyes of pure frustration because he is not getting his way and is scared replies softly. “Well actually Kenny, your mom figured you would respond like this and signed an order giving me permission to physically keep you in my presence if I feel it is in your best interests. With that being said it does not mean that I have to act on it, only if I think it will help you and today I do not believe that it would so if you will do one thing for me I can then put in your chart we had a successful short visit, ok Kenny?”
Kenny who about mid-rant hearing mainly only blah, blah, blah, did catch the mom signed an order part, and the one thing and we can part friends thing as he back to the Doctor was already reaching for the door. He stops stares at the floor and with a heavy sigh turns to the Doctor and says “What!” Doctor Sullivan extremely concerned at the amount of anger displayed by this young boy says “I just need you to tell me what day next week you would like to come back and meet with me again?”
“What are you, stupid lady? Bad enough my mom brought me to a kid shrink but she could have at least found a smart one. I’m not coming back lady you can’t make me, my mom can’t make me and my dad’s too drunk all the time to care so I’m not making a day to see you ok?” Heart nearly melting now for her new 12 year old very mature for his age new client she replies “I am sorry Kenny but no, that is not an option for you I am sorry your mom said in order for you to leave today we have to have an appt scheduled for next week. So I am willing to give you what you want so you can go home now but you have to do this for your mom before she will let you go.”
It’s Almost Done
The Doctor is extremely good at what she does, she has already had Kenny in her office for almost 10 minutes now. She knows from experience she is just a moment away from getting that little boy to burst open with emotion and find all the comfort and understanding he has always sought, yet thought to be unattainable, available in the good Doctor’s arms via a hug. Kenny is getting increasingly agitated as flashbacks of the reoccurring nightmare begin to flashback in his mind. “Fine, I’ll make the stupid appt. I don’t care, I’m not coming to it anyways, so there. You’re so stupid, I hate you, lady, I Hate You” he screams. Still shouting and now tears starting to come, the doctor steps back in a sign of understanding and compassion and to invite Kenny in to tell more. “Like you would even care, you wouldn’t understand you can’t and you’re just gonna tell me I’m crazy like the rest of my mom’s stupid Doctors think and I hate you all” he sobs. “Kenny, I don’t think you’re crazy sweetie, I think you are just a little boy who needs someone to understand what he thinks for once. Kenny, I think you are special and I want to help you feel better.”
“Shut up, Shut up, Shut up.” Kenny proclaims. At that time there is an unexpected poorly timed and very unwanted knock on Dr. Sullivan’s door. As she asks Kenny to please step behind her she reaches for the knob and opens. Standing there in all his testosterone-filled, chest puffed up uniform was the building security staff who heard the constant yelling and thought they might check to make sure all was well. However, Kenny, not real fond of authority and rightfully so begins to shout again. “I told you, you don’t care you are just like the rest I hate you. You don’t want to help you want them to take me.” Security guard concerned steps toward the Dr. as if to push into the office and subdue the out of control youth is met with fierce and unexpected opposition. Almost like she was the Lioness and Kenny was her cub.
The Dr.’s hand on the man’s chest says “excuse me, but me and my client are fine so if you will excuse us we have work to tend to.” Being the professional that she is and realizing that the security guard was merely following protocol put in place to keep Doctors safe says to the guard as he leaves “I appreciate your concern, but from now on when I have a minor in my office you call me before you knock on my door,” and then she closed hers.
Kenny seeing the Doctor stand strong in his defense for privacy and all things non-authority begins to see the Doctor in a new light. It’s not a very bright light mind you but it’s a glimmer and that is more than the boy thinks he has seen in a while so he concedes to the Doctor’s wishes and blurts out “Next Thursday I can come after school about four if that is ok?” With a big sigh, the Doctor nonchalantly looks at the wall clock on the wall above Kenny’s head and thinks to herself victory, twenty-seven minutes and a willing come back — whew! “That works for me Kenny, I will write it in my book.” “I hope you like dead people” “What do you mean by dead people Kenny, do you see them? Please feel free to sit down if you like Kenny. In that big comfy chair or you can even lay on the couch if you want, or we could sit over by the windows there.” “I know what you’re trying to do lady, I’m not the stupid one here remember?” Except for this time when he said it, she detected a little smirk develop, not for long, but she knows what she saw.
“No I’m not staying, you can’t trick me into staying and talking to you I told you no. Ok fine stupid you really want to know what I dream about, all the time and see sometimes even in school if I daydream? I see me younger and crying, in a diaper all alone walking on scorched grass, the sky is amber, masking the color of a flame in a slowly cooling fire. The trail I am on is cold, there are crosses as far in front and behind me as I can see. There is a haze or fog, or maybe smoke, yes smoke like something is burning, maybe its hell. Crosses on both sides of me, they straddle the path. Then from each cross dangles a rope and from each rope there hangs a beaten and bloody body. There is no sound other than my own cries and all I do is walk and cry and see dead bodies, everywhere. I will see you next Thursday lady.” This time she knows she saw a little smile as he said lady and almost slammed her door in a show that he was still in charge. He needs that illusion right now, it’s where he draws his strength and the good Doctor knows this as well and is just happy he will return door slamming and all. I guess that’s why she gets paid the big bucks as the phrase implies……………………….To Be Continued.
*This story was previously published for me in print and online by Scars Publications in Down In The Dirt Magazine.
About The Author: Marc is a 50-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”