WHERE THE SCREAMING BEGINS

I feel far removed from this life, and even this place. I am in a different world, on a different journey – and that’s where the screaming begins.

I am not sure when I left the life that I knew. I just know that one day everything was silent. I could no longer see people or faces. I was spinning around trying to make myself heard. But no one heard, and maybe there was no one there. I think I must have floated up into space, through a veil. Though I was not aware of its happening. I do remember pain – a lot of it. I remember fear, and not being able to breathe. I think I remember the life actually going out of me. But part of me wanted to live. To be heard. Yet no one did, and there was no one there. And that’s probably the moment when the screaming began. In my head, if it still exists, I am a bit confused. Where am I?

DAYS AT THE FARM

Some of you have read parts of my book that tell of my terrible childhood with my mother, but here is another side to it. I was fortunate enough to be able to go from time to time to my grandparents farm which was a place of the most wonderful safety and security. It was like a magical place to me. I would like to write more about this wonderful place but here is a little bit just for starters. I am not sure if I have posted the space before so please forgive me if I have.

The days are gone now, and so is the farmhouse. The people who gave life in that place are also gone. I alone am left. Only I carry the story of that place. Only I carry it’s goodness.

The day they tried to knock it down, it still stood there defiant.

“It’s unsafe,” they said. “It needs knocking down.”

Even my grandfather said that – Pop, we called him. He had been around the world, ending up on a cattle ranch in Argentina. On returning to England he had purchased the farm. He knew all that there was to know about cattle – beast, as he often called them. But they were more than best to him. He could be seen most evenings leaning on the gate to the field, stroking the heads of the beast as they came to him. Smoking his pipe and surveying the fields he was at peace.

A very taciturn man, he would sit by the fire in the range, that was lit every day in both summer and winter, with his beloved pipe. Occasionally he would press down the tobacco, and add more, tapping it as he did so. My grandmother and I would be sat in chairs at the side of him, my grandmother occasionally patting his leg in a gesture of affection. Every night, dead on nine o’ clock, the News and then the all- important weather forecast would be on the wireless, as it was called in those days. Occasionally my grandmother would poke the fire, and sparks would fly up the chimney. A kettle would be on the boil, ready for supper, which always consisted of cheese sandwiches that my grandmother made on the huge wooden table, always resplendent in a starched wire cloth. Then would come the filling of the hot water bottles ready for bed.

This was how it was, every single night. Never a variation. Candles would be lit, and the oil lamp put out.

As a child, this was a wondrous place to me. It felt so firm, so solid and secure. And so, on the day that the farmhouse was pulled down, it seemed in keeping that it refused to go. It took numerous attempts with the hugecwrecking ball, to get it to fall down. In fact the men thought they were not going to get it down.

This place had become, for me my only home. This was my only solid base, to which I returned as often as I could. I was at my happiest when I was there.

SHE LOOKED AT THE STARS

She looked at the stars with unseeing eyes
In the inky blackness of night
In her heart she knew that no one was there
Though the stars were twinkling above
Fear rose in her throat as she screamed out in pain
Take me oh darkness and let me be gone

No one answered her screams that dark night

Her body was broken and so was her mind
She’d struggled so long with the cards she’d been dealt
Now on her own she bore her deep pain
Her scream lying dead on the cold hard floor
In anguish she reached for the knife in the drawer
Trembling she felt its cold hard edge
How could she do this most terrible thing
Her eyes filled with tears she beat the floor

No one answered her screams that dark night

In the daylight she knew that the stars had all gone
She prayed for the void inside to be filled
But still her aloneness scrambled her brain
How could she fight this terrible fate
For want of a human soul she died
Now she’s buried alone in the graveyard

No one answered her screams that dark night