The dilapidated house at the end of the street has been your home for long. The kids, screaming and laughing at you, run up and down the street, all day long.

‘Hickory, Dickory, Dock,

The mouse ran up the wall,

The clock struck Twelve,

And there goes my mother, to warn the kids not mess with me.’

She cautions before she leaves, ‘don’t venture out, prying eyes are out there.’

‘But I will be back before she knows that I am gone.’ Quick and quiet without a sound

Street lights, shadows and empty roads greet you as you sneak out of the gate. Dogs, sleeping under cars, get up and chase after you and you need to run; run and escape their fangs. But, not all of them misbehave, some sit and hear you out.

‘The Moon shines bright,

The Stars give a light,

The old dog wags her tail,

As I listen to her pup whine about the horrors of the day.

Am glad it is night.’

As night passes, the curtains roll and kids peek from the shadows.

What is with these brats, always curious about me?’

You pay no heed to them, my child, for the night is yours and they can’t see you.

Run, run and run to reach for the swings. Let go of your sorrows, to the wind blowing hard; for one’s devil is another’s child. The devil dogs from the earlier return. They aim for your legs but all they catch is the air, for none can touch you.

No, not after that day. That day, when a man took you to the house at the end of the street and did painful things. Your frail body could not take the pain and scarred soul refused to pass on. Then came your mother, wailing and beating her chest, ‘O my child, what devil did this to you.’ She sobbed until her heart gave in, releasing her soul to join yours. Years passed, your mother spends the days pacifying you and crying for the pain you are in. But, she never stopped waiting for the law to run its course and bring you semblance of justice.

But, when more people are outraged with others getting outraged than by what happened to you; when the mighty swing in to divert the attention of polarised ‘common’ man; justice is always around the corner on a never-ending straight road. Alas! Power and riches have never let anyone who has them be guilty.

As you remember the horror and howl in pain, the dogs join in to disturb the tranquillity of forgetful town.

But it’s no time to skulk; look at those lights flicker, as your mother sets out to find you. There, she comes. Run. With the wind in your hair, reach the home before the Sun comes catching. You can’t be hurt if you are invisible. The same clock and the same twelve, but it makes a difference of a night and a day.


Photo By: Unsplash

This is an entry for the event #twelve #Five00-10 at ArtoonsInn Writers Room.

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Event sponsored by The Archaic House

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