Trespasser (Part XXIII)

Vanessa sat quietly in her room, staring across the table she used for tea parties, at the three guests she had invited over this morning.  Barb, who looked lovely in her pink flowing gown and perfectly applied makeup, smiled sweetly as she waited for the latest gossip to begin flowing.

Ted, the rougher of the three, leaned slightly to the left in his chair.  A true bear if there was one and covered in splotchy brown hair, which was falling out in places, he was the quickest to lose interest in such affairs.  However, she had known him since she was a little girl, and she trusted him with every fiber of her being.

Finally, there was the Professor.  She was sure that he had a name, but he looked so intelligent, with his enlarged head, that she had figured him to be the type of character who could easily build time machines, and flying cars, and such!  The Professor, however, wasn’t a person.  He was a small mouse, with brooding eyebrows and a long pink tail.  He had come with a taller, dumber, looking companion, but she had long since lost it.

“Thank you all for coming,” she began solemnly.  “I’ve gathered you here because something terrible has happened.”

There was a collective gasp, or, at least that’s what she had heard, but in truth; Barb only continued to grin, with that vacuous expression of hers.  Ted only leaned a little further out of his chair, and the Professor only glared at her from atop the pile of books he was perched upon.

She paused for the longest time, longer than she had originally intended, but it wasn’t something that she could help.  It had sounded good in her thoughts.  She would tell her closest friends first, and then her mommy.  This way, when she did it for real, it wouldn’t be so hard.

When it came time for her to utter the words, she couldn’t do it.  Instead, hot, bitter tears began to pour down her cheeks.  She began to cry, but not out of loss or sadness, but out of hurt and fear.  She had been hurt in a way that was hard for her to accept, or understand.  It made no sense to her, what he had done, and it was just as embarrassing for her to even think about, than to actually say!

Crossing her arms on the table, she buried her head, hiding her shame from those with whom she spent most of her time.  If she couldn’t face them, then who could she possibly ask for help?

Soft moans grew from the depths of her soul, rising through her lungs, and escaping with the anguish that filled her.  They were sounds that no child should ever create, sounds that would break that hearts of any who heard them.

Sometimes, when it’s hardest for one to tell their story, something happens that makes the way for it to come forth.  In this case, her cries reached the ears of someone who shouldn’t have been home this day.  His heart sank beneath their weight, threatening to suffocate him beneath the pure emotion that filled them, but instinct would not keep him still.

” ‘Nessa, honey, what’s wrong,” he cried frantically as he burst through her bedroom door.

“Oh Daddy,” she wailed, “I’m so sorry.”  She buried her head in his chest and bawled tears normally reserved for grieving mothers, or widows.  They were tears from the man who had just lost every last thing he owns, or they were tears of the infant who hasn’t eaten in days.

She cried until there was no breath left inside, trembling in the arms of the one person who had always done his best to protect her from harm.  And when she was done, she told him her story.

And, by the time it was finished, his eyes had narrowed, and his brow was as furrowed with the Professor’s.  Only, instead of thinking of the next greatest invention to build, he was thinking of ways to take someone apart.

 

Trespasser (Part XXII)

Another rainy day.  As the summer months waned, they came more frequently, bastions of the months to come.  For the first time in weeks, the smell of smoked food didn’t fill any of their windows.  The women weren’t busy making side dishes, nor were they baking pies, and the children weren’t playing outside.

The residents on this dead-end street had grown distant since Davie had taken his fall.  It wasn’t something that had happened immediately.  They came with casseroles and well wishes, and they spent their free time doing anything to help his wife out around their home, but eventually the fridge was filled.  Over the course of two weeks, all of Davies’ unfinished projects had been finished, and there was nothing new for anyone to say.

Bryer street grew stale, and where most its inhabitants were unhappy, one, in particular, thrived.  ‘Dandy’ Andy ‘From Down The Street’, wore the biggest of smiles. He walked with an extra bounce in his step, and he winked at everyone as if he knew their darkest secrets.

Oh, but if only they knew his.

If they knew his deep, dark secret, they would sing a different tune indeed!

But that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, not if he had anything to say about it.  Because HIS, deep, dark secret, was being shared by someone else, someone who could still say something about it.  Not the old black man from down the street, however, he had seen to that!  That one wouldn’t be saying much of anything in the foreseeable future.  No, not that one, but a much younger flower.  One more to his liking.  One he had recently picked as his own.

He had thought of her as his flower from the moment that he laid eyes upon her. Oh, she had been planted by another, a gardener who had tended to her, fed and watered her, and pruned her so that she was always pretty, but he thought of it as her having been planted just for him.  She was HIS flower, and he would do with HER as HE pleased!

He had picked his flower, but he had yet to pollinate it with his special brand of pollen.  He had come close.  Oh, so close!  But then that old black man had interfered!

“HE’S IN MY HOUSE!”, he’d screamed over and over in his head, during AND after having dealt with him.

He worked it into a chant.  “hesinmyhousehesinmyhousehesinmyhouse”, repeating the words with manic fervor.  He had dealt with the old man, but he couldn’t get him out of his house.  Even after it was done, after the cops had completed their investigation and left, he just couldn’t get him out of his goddamn house!

“He’s.  In.  My.  House!”

His skin crawled at the thought of being violated.

“How dare he come into MY HOUSE!  Fucking THIEF!  VIOLATOR!  NIGGER!”

Just when he was ready to take his flower and bring her home, HE had-

“-fucked everything up!”

Andy was angry.  He was happy.  He was furious.  His emotions were all over the scale as he thought about the old man and how he’d had the nerve to trespass upon his private domain.

Andy was sad.  He was giddy.  He was nervous, because with the old man out-of-the-way, he was finally going to be able to get what he wanted.  What he won-ted. He giggled at his clever play of words, humming as he skipped up the steps to his front door.

Soon.

“He’s. In. My. House.”

“Shut up,” he said to nobody in particular.

Trespasser (Part XXI)

Something bad had happened recently happened to one of her daddy’s friends, but as it was most other times, it was about something her parents would not tell her. Like every other situation they didn’t want her to know the details, they said they would tell her when she was older.

She felt like they still treated her as if she was fragile, as if she couldn’t handle the woes of the real world, but what they seem to forget is that she had survived the sadness which came after Sammy’s passing.  He had been her friend when the other children her age would not, had offered her advice when she needed it, and protected her when her family wasn’t around.  He had been like a grandfather to her, but his final lesson to her had been about the harsh realities that come with growing older.

Her head was often in the clouds.  She enjoyed the worlds she immersed herself in, this much was true, but she was also intuitive enough to know when something was terribly wrong.

The morning when she first noticed her parents change in behaviour, strange cars began filling the driveway of the Robinson’s house.  Before long, they were parked out against the curbs and even so far as a couple of houses down the street!

In the few fleeting moments that she saw Mrs. Robinson, she was usually crying, and she was never without the company of one of her visitors.  It got so that she began to feel uncomfortable playing at the edge of her sidewalk, so she moved further down the street from where the activity was heaviest.  More specifically, she sat on the walkway leading up to the Burman’s home, the house of a nice older couple who only lived there in the summer.

It had been a couple of weeks since their lawn service had been through, but she didn’t mind, not one bit.  Not only could she create a jungle scenario for which her toys could play in, but it also gave her plenty of cover to remain unnoticed.  In addition to the overgrowth, the walkway was lined with small hedges, each also suffering from neglect.  With her back against them, and the tall grass before her, she was all but invisible to everyone.

All except for one.

“Hello Vanessa,” came a cheery voice from behind her.

“Oh!” she exclaimed.

“I’m sorry, did I startle you,” came the concerned response.

“No, I just didn’t see you there, is all.”

Andy stepped out from around one of the hedges, a warm smile on his face, and with his hands behind his back.

“You look very pretty today,” he said as he moved them towards her in offering.

“Thank you,” she said innocently.  “What is that,” she asked when she saw the small gift in his hand.

“Oh, just something you might like.  Something I made.  Just.  For.  You.”

She squealed, excited that he knew her favorite cookie was chocolate chip, and in seconds she was stuffing it in her mouth.

“That’s right,” he said with a wolfish look in his eyes.  “Eat it all up.”