HER MOTHER'S MADNESS. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Introspective Bookmark and Share


James Dean died that year and Mother was in the loony bin as Father termed it but he wouldn’t take you or Joey to see her because he said There’s no point kids she sits staring at walls and talking to herself or gets abusive and comes out with the most choicest of words which I wouldn’t want you to hear and besides it’s too far for you to go on a weekend and you’d only get upset especially you Lizzie you’d be in tears before they shut the darn door of the ward and all those other drooling fools there and that was it you didn’t get to see her not a peek just what he said she did or said or didn’t say or do but you wanted so much to see her and have her touch your cheek and be home again and tuck you up in bed and tell you the stories that she used to do all sat up on the end of the bed reading from some book she had or making up stories right out of her head and you remember the time she sneaked you and Joey up some supper when Father said no you’d been bad and that you had to go to bed without any supper and be careful Christ didn’t send you to Hell and damnation but Mother brought the supper anyway and listened out in case Father came up but he never did he was too busy drinking or playing cards with the Smiths from across the fields who stank of booze and sweat and laughed too loud and swore and smoke cheap cigarettes and so Mother’d sit on the end of the bed watching you eat and having that bright eyed look about her and that small smile she had when she thought you were happy but then she became odd and out of it and talked to people who weren’t there or went for long walks and got lost and the cops had to bring her back again and again and once she sat in the bath fully clothed saying she didn’t want Christ seeing her in nude or James Dean to touch her up with his ghostly fingers and so Father took her to see some quack who examined her and talked to her as best he could until she tried to gouge out his eyes with his pen and Father had to retrain her and hold her down on the floor until some auxiliaries from down the hospital hall came bounding in and suited her up in a jacket that tied at the back and you never saw her again after that morning with her getting into Father’s car with her dark eyes staring and two of her fingers giving an up you sign to the passing neighbours who stood open mouthed and tut-tutted and you and Joey watching the car go off and over the horizon like a crazy ship going out to sea with one lone captain and a wild eyed woman as his only crew and she looking back waving her two finger in the air at Joey and you.

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