Two V posts today. This is the one I was going to publish but backed off. And kicked myself back in. Ouch.
My voice is a souffle – it tends to collapse at the very idea of exposure.
Which is why I’ve begun blogging – to step deliberately outside my comfort zone. But baby steps, here and there. Mostly there’s an empty room between me and the world. Has several doors, a few complicated hatches, and an exhausting array of excuses in the event of a breach. Oh, and tricks. Here is one, now….
May I borrow you for a moment? I’ll give you back, I promise.
You are eight years old when you move in to the Black Widow’s Mansion. Only it’s not hers anymore. The house was taken from her after the war because her husband was a Nazi. Even at eight, you know what a Nazi is, because your parents visited Dachau and brought back a book full of photographs, which you discover on a table when you are seven years old.
At first, you worry that she’ll come back, the Black Widow, even when they tell you that won’t happen. She’d have to make it past the gates and the guardhouses and every one else in the house. And don’t forget Bessie, the guard dog.
Still, you’re not convinced, especially after dark, when every one else is asleep. Even Bessie won’t help, since she’s in a cage, and the most she can do is bark as the Black Widow climbs the magnolia tree in the front yard and onto the second floor veranda, and there is your window, right there…
But time passes.
Now you are nine. You just had a birthday and you have money and you want to go back to the circus. The one that your father took you to for your birthday and want to see again because it was like magic, that circus. The way it hadn’t been and then it was, a giant tent, and inside you find people flying through the air, elephants dancing, monkeys on white horses, strange smells and shimmering lights.
But no one will take you. They have already been. No need to go again.
You decide to be brave for once, and go on your own. Despite the fact that none of you are ever to go out alone. But you are so often by yourself, climbing the fruit trees, sitting for hours, watching the world go by, sometimes wandering the fields around the compound, but always in sight of the house. Beyond that though, you have never been, except with your sister and your brother, to walk to and from the bus stop for school, or to explore the forests and the parks nearby.
But you are nine now. Grown up in a small way, so there you go, money in your pocket, slipping out through the small wooden door that the gardener has shown you, the one half-hidden by ivy and stone, that leads to the great wide world.
To Be Continued ….