It was a funny old house house, emphasis on the old. I recall either overhearing, or witnessing myself, the first day we moved in. I think it was my father’s wife who opened the door and hundreds of rats and mice ran out.
I find myself hoping now, that my father’s wife’s mother cleaned before we actually moved in…
As I said it was old. One night dad woke me and began to pull me off the top bunk. I shared the bunk bed with my brother I think. When I opened my eyes, a roof beam had dislodged, probably from a rotted joist, and the end of it landed on the pillow next to my head. One of my siblings swallowed a spiders egg sack and was endlessly dosed with Castor Oil.
Castor Oil seemed to be the thing that cured everything. It was like the snake juice of the sixties and I bet that made you shit too.
It was at this house that I had a two, or three-year-old sister. Apparently, and this cannot be verified, it doesn’t sound like me at all, but apparently I would “look after” my sister when she went outside. It was during these occasions my character was seriously maligned. My sister was… clumsy.
Each afternoon she’d fall over, scream and my father’s wife would run from the house as I was picking her up off the ground, brushing the dirt from her pretty new dress. This is the reversal, it’s where my helpful hands became weapons.
My father’s wife insists she was watching one afternoon, through a window, and it was my idle hands which pushed her to the ground, and, ‘Your help is no-longer required, thank you!’ I’m sure my father’s wife whipped me with some inventive tool at the ready, a belt, wooden spoon, or a nice thin green bendy stick lying on the ground near us, maybe.
Nah! Welts were her specialty. You’d think my baby sitting duties would’ve been cancelled, right? Wrong! I would’ve been told, ‘I’m watching you,’ by my father’s wife and probably copped a wack across my arse as we walked out the backdoor, as a reminder of, ‘there’s more where that came from.’