Coarse Silk: Volume Four of Billy Day’s Story

November 15, 2015 by in Blog

And he’s screaming in the night again, and I’m seven or eight, and the noise wells and fills our tiny flat, and I’ve no thoughts to what our neighbours must be thinking. It goes on and on and on. I’m frightened the ceiling might fall on top of me, his screams shifting an avalanche of plaster: white, heavy, choking and breath ending. Were the final memories in my life to be the crashing and splintering of plaster, with Dad’s pained voice, his mouth a volcano, threatening to engulf the living daylights from me? I pee myself again and place my head beneath the blankets. There until the morning, when I thought it was safe to emerge from my cavernous under world of damp safety, I lay hidden. Then Mum started on me: another slap and more tears. I can’t repeat what she’d say to me. I want to, but find it impossible. It would be no more possible than holding my hands up to a gale, capturing it in my palms, an’ pushing down my pockets for safe keeping. I don’t want to remember those times in any detail: I’ve lived it and that’s enough for me. It’s what it did to me – and my Dad – that’s important. It a worse pain than I’d ever faced in my adventures. Do you really want to know about the night time fears of Billy Day? Really? No, you don’t. Dad’s name isn’t Day – he was given that by the lovely couple who took him in: adopted if you like, from the kids’ home where he’d lived since a tot. Imagine that, eh? Now, his mother was really, truly awful. Hideous she was: if I believe what Dad told me, and why would I doubt him? But he wouldn’t talk about it for years and years. Not to anybody, anywhere.

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