I’ve come to love the silence.
As a victim of violence I never thought I would.
My last thoughts as a human child was running from my father. I had forgotten to finish raking the yard and he had come home early from the bar. I had no idea what he was going to do. All I knew was that I had to run.
I can’t run anymore, but run is what I did that day. I ran to save my life. I heard his yells… his screams… I was terrified and ran. I ran through the woods, praying for something. I didn’t even know what I was just praying for something… an out. A hiding place. A savior. Anything at all.
I could hear my father growing closer and fear grabbed me in its iron grip. I couldn’t see anything. I just ran.
Terror struck me just as the tree did. I had run full speed into a tree. I could feel the lower branches gripping me, hiding me. I prayed… begged off all that was holy that I was truly hidden as I had the crashes of my father running through the woods.
I can save you. But there’s a price.
There’s always a price, I told the voice in my head. I sobbed silently as I thought about my childhood so far. What other price could I pay?
Stay and be calm. I have you, little seedling.
I felt more branches push closer around me. The crashing of my father came closer and I could hardly breath in my fear.
They went past.
I could scarcely believe my fortune. I couldn’t think of what I would have to pay for this. I could never go home again. I refused to think of him again.
You are my seedling now.
My eyes grew wide as the import of my situation became clear. I could feel myself growing smaller, until myself was nearly not. I could feel my hardened body picked up and carried away. I didn’t know then where I would end up, but I knew that I would no longer be hurt or threatened by my father again.
I have come to love that silence.
Short fiction based on a planned novella story.