A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson.
This may sound like a confession but it’s not. I have a child living with me that nobody knows about.
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. That’s as much for her sake as it is for mine.
I used to visit her little room all the time. I wanted to be with her. That felt like the most natural thing. Visits have now become a rarity.
But don’t worry, she has everything in her room she could possibly want to meet her physical needs. She has no emotional or psychological needs. 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 in the day I would encourage her to do colouring with me or play with the toys. But that never came to much. I would end up doing most of the colouring. I wouldn’t say she was indifferent or distant. But I always got the impression that deep down she wanted to be alone. At the time that made me feel really sad. 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 rare 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 on her face. She wasn’t used to life at this level. She became hysterical and began to run screaming and crying. At the same time, my anxiety went through the roof.
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 back 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.