Hide And Seek

Caroline Peyron October 10, 2022
Fable
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She cries silent little girl tears into the drapes.

Knock. He is coming.

Knock. He is coming.

He will find her. He finds her each time.

Knock. They are the black leather shoes he likes to watch her shine.

Knock. With the iron-hard toes.

She knows there was a before. Before this man, before the shoes. She just does not remember who she once was. She knows she has a mother, or had, for a while. She knows there is more. More than bloody floors to scrub, more than ebon shoes to shine, wax candles to light, bleeding lips to quell, black eyes to mend.

Knock.

How far could her little legs take her anyways?

Knock.

Where would she go?

Knock.

“Have you forgotten, dear?”

He teases her. He tells her not to hide, but he seems to relish finding her each time. She rises and sniffles, and steps out from the folds of the motherly curtain, the heavy purple, its guardian grasp. He stands in the doorway, across the room. The little girl watches the floorboards as she walks towards him. He turns and holds too-tightly the back of her neck. Together they wind deeper and deeper into the manor. No, she has not forgotten him. No, she has not forgotten the punishment. No, she has not forgotten her duties. No, she has not forgotten that she is nothing without him. No, she has not forgotten that she must be grateful. No, she has not forgotten his shoes, and their black leather, and how their weight feels when the shoes step on hers. No, she has not forgotten the iron toes, and the colors they can paint her little girl skin. She will shine them and place them at his bedside. She is grateful. She is nothing without him.

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