A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson.
This may sound like a confession but it’s not. I have a child that lives with me, but nobody knows about her.
This may sound like a form of abuse, but it really isn’t. She lives down three flights of stairs deep in our underground cellar.
This may sound like neglect, but that’s not the case. I rarely see her now. That’s for her sake just as much as it is for mine.
I used to visit her little room all the time. I wanted to be with her. It was natural for me to be with her.
But don’t worry, she has everything in her room to meet her physical needs. But she has no emotional or psychological needs as far as I can tell. That probably explains why she spends most of her time in the dark. Above all; above everything else; she needs to be kept calm.
Back then, I would encourage her to do some colouring with me or play with the toys. But that never came to much. I would end up doing most of the colouring myself. I wouldn’t say she was indifferent or distant. But I always got the distinct impression that she wanted to be left alone. Now that made me feel really sad. Because in my heart of hearts I never wanted to be parted.
Two years ago I made a terrible mistake. I forgot to lock the door at the end of one of my routine visits. The next thing I knew, I saw her figure framed in my living room doorway. She was obviously trying to get to me.
I could see the terror spread across her face. She became hysterical and began to run screaming and crying around the ground floor of my house. My anxiety went through the roof and exploded out into the galaxy.
I chased after her and somehow managed to bundle her up in a blanket. That was the only way I could stop her kicking and trying to escape. I eventually got her back down below and bundled her into her room. I didn’t stay with her. I just sat outside her door, listening, waiting for her to settle and stop crying.
Inner children cannot cope with the world above. Never make the same mistake I did. Always keep them securely locked and bolted in their subterranean rooms, and better still, throw away the keys.