For Write On Edge’s Red Writing Hood Propmt: Forbidden or Taboo and Trifecta’s Week 35 challenge. This post is in sequel to Fate.

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Jason let his mother cradle him while he toyed with her hair. It was so comforting. He was gratified with the way she held him, for now; the bad feeling could wait. He wondered why she was crying though. Was God punishing her for being bad? Had He chosen Mr. McKenzie for punishing her as well?

He wished she would stop crying. He didn’t like the damp feeling. But he dare not say it. It was easier being quiet about everything these days. When you stay quiet, it gets over quickly! That was Rule no.3. Things would not have gone wrong if it were not for him being a noisy, troublesome kid. Daddy wouldn’t have left them. They wouldn’t have come to the new town, the new school and God wouldn’t have sent Mr. McKenzie to punish him.

His mother ran a hand over his hair to smoothen them and planted a kiss on his forehead. He closed his eyes, only to open them back, with a start. It didn’t hurt; in fact he liked the way her lips felt, soft and warm. It wasn’t like closing his eyes for Mr. McKenzie. That was Rule no.2. Close your eyes, Jason!

“Jason! Sweetheart? Won’t you tell Mommy what has been hurting you? Who is it? Look at me, love! Is it someone Mommy knows?”

Jason acted as if he couldn’t hear. He didn’t like that question and Mommy had been asking a lot of it, lately. He traced his finger along her collar-bone as if he were driving a car on a bridge.

“Jason!” Emma shook him to gain his attention. Jason’s hand slipped down her clavicle. Wham! The car had crashed. Daddy’s car! Daddy was there. Right there! He needed help! 

Emma shook Jason harder this time and screamed at him.

“Why don’t you tell me who it was, damn it! Don’t you see that Mommy is trying to help! Tell me who it was, Jason!” 

Emma continued to shake him roughly and repeated the question again and again. Until her scream transformed into plead and finally died as a whimper.

Jason didn’t like it. The sound reminded him of the first time. He jumped up, ran out of Emma’s grasp and hid beneath the table. The sound that had escaped from his mouth, when God had sent Mr. McKenzie to punish him for the first time. In the school’s store-room. Mr. McKenzie told him that it was the only way Daddy could come back. If Jason promised him to stick by the Rules, God would forgive him for being a bad boy. He had learnt Rule no.1 that day. It is forbidden to talk about God’s punishment!

©2012.Habiba Danyal


59 thoughts on “Forbidden.

  1. Thanks for linking up with Trifecta’s long challenge. I think this is a powerful piece, particularly because you tackled it from the child victim’s point of view. Watching the mother break as she tries to understand what her child has been through was quite moving. I also liked the description of her bone like driving a car on a bridge. Nice work.

  2. This is so painful habiba dear.
    you have potrayed the heart-wrenching feelings in a v.profound manner. The mother’s agony and helplessness and the child’s innocence can be felt to the core. Very well-written!

  3. Sexual abuse is horrible, and the justifications that adults give to little kids are just as bad as the crime itself. You’re portrayed this character very well, and I love the way his Mom is breaking. She’s sympathetic. She feels awful. Yet she’s shaking the kid, showing the depth of her own frustration and fear.

  4. Wow. It was kind of sad and disturbing. You succeeded in stirring all the emotions through your words so brilliantly. Well done 🙂

  5. Wow. What a powerful piece. I think your POV with the kid as the victim is incredibly accurate. Great job. I do think there’s a typo in this first sentence “Jason let her mother cradle him “. Shouldn’t it be HIS mother rather than HER mother or am I misreading something?

  6. Yeesh! Wow. His perspective on being touched by his mother was heartbreaking, and then her decent into violence both verbal and physical was stomach clenching. Tough scene to write.

  7. So disturbing! Only critique I’d give is that you switch from Mommy to Emma as the person who is holding/touching him. I was confused if there were two people or flashbacks.

    And I agree, I like how you wove the rules through the story.

    1. Another blogger felt that way, only problem was that I had to stick with the 450 word limit and this post is exactly 450! Was kind of tough.I’ll try making the transitions a little smooth next time.

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