Madhouse

in #freewritelast year

dark street IMG_20190305_004946099.jpg

She sits slumped in her chair by the fireside, a stream of incoherent mumblings issuing from her, as we kids concentrate our attention on the TV, increasing the volume incrementally as we try to drown her out.

The sound of my father’s key in the door means act one is about to begin. It’s a play we have seen performed many times; the only thing uncertain is the nail-biting finale.

He enters the room, already cursing and swearing under his breath as his eyes rest upon my mother’s drunken form. ‘Turn that damn thing down’ he commands, briefly turning his attention to us as he strides through the room to the kitchen, storm clouds gathering about him as he takes in the scene, no food in the oven, no pot boiling atop the stove. The swearing becomes louder as kitchen presses are torn open, plates rattle, the fridge door crashes against the wall and finally the sound and aroma of bacon frying in the pan. We exchange glances; perhaps tonight it’s the abridged version being played out.

He re-enters, fry-up in hand, we hold our breaths. One, two, three, and she’s off, whimpering, whinging, complaining, insulting, on and on she goes.

He stands, upends the table, faces her. We dive into our human shield positions in front of her; arms outstretched attempting to hold him back. “Just let me hit her once” he shouts “I’ll knock the effin bitch to kingdom come” “No da, no”, we scream in unison, but in one swift movement he brushes us aside, his fist shooting forward to make contact with her face and send her sprawling.

He exits to the kitchen.

Minutes later bundled up against the cold in scarves and gloves, each of us holding one of my mother’s hands, we step out into the darkness of the night.

Posted in response to @mariannewest's 5 minute freewrite
The prompt is Nailbiting
The image is my own

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oh my god. How did you ever write that? I don't think I could have done that.
Excellent writing, an inspired freewrite, the best kind.
Are they escaping? Has he thrown them all out? Did they kill him that he is letting them go out?
Or is this the long form, not the abridged version, and they've made this journey before, always coming back because they have nowhere else to go? Really great read. Deirdy is BACK.

Aw thanks sweetie. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Enjoy is not the quite word. Sat there horrified knowing what was coming, or thinking I did, and it just got ever more horrible. My own home was a tiny bit like that, the kids tensing up when Dad got home because you never knew which Dad would walk in. These kids knew which Dad, but not whether it would be the bad dad or the even worse Dad. Mom though, they could at least count on Mom not hurting them, they could count on her not protecting them and would instead have to protect her. And what is a fry-up? The pan, or the food?

A fry-up is bacon, egg, sausage and sometimes some black and white pudding, stuff you'd likely see in any (meat-eater's) fridge in Ireland.
Life with 2 drunks was unpredictable, you never knew when fists or furniture were going to fly. But give them their due, though they battered each other they rarely raised a hand to one of us.

What?! This is a true story? Explains why you could freewrite so vividly.
Where did you all go on the nights you left?

Sometimes she'd sneak us into some pub, a few times we went to a refuge, an odd time we'd go to her mother's place, but often we'd just wander the streets until she thought he'd be asleep and then we'd go back home.

Was there ever harmony, fun? It's unbearable so far .

Not that I remember, but surely there must have been some. Perhaps we tend only to be able to recall the bad times because they make more of an impression.

You hit me right in the gut with this one DW! All of my senses were heightened and I felt like I was right there, a character in that play that I so wished was an actual play and not real life. Perfectly written!

Thanks partner. I couldn't wish for a better reaction than that!

I don't know if you've ever been in a situation like this... it reads so real. But that is the challenge for a writer, to make it real. The fear of the children, their helplessness as the storm builds. You capture a scene, and a reality.

Thanks a lot for reading. It's autobiographical but a long time ago.

I had a feeling. Sorry, and glad that you have control over those memories. Our histories are not our destinies. We make our own futures :)

It's a sad story but it's certainly reality.

Thanks for reading.

Harrowing.

Thank you kindly. I try.

Really? Seems effortless.

I mean I try to make it seem effortless;)

This nearly brought tears to my eyes, many troubled home face a lot.

Am here to deliver the weekend freewrite prompt

Single swindle with this riddle,
mingle.
https://steemit.com/freewrite/@mariannewest/weekend-freewrite-11-9-2019-single-prompt-option
...
...
Double trouble, making it triple
Try the prompt, not simple
https://steemit.com/freewrite/@mariannewest/weekend-freewrite-11-9-2019-part-1-the-first-sentence

Do have a beautiful and nice weekend.

Nearly brought tears to your eyes? Oh dear, I must do better;)
Thanks for the delivery.

Well done, @deirdyweirdy.

Cheers Jayna. Thanks for taking the time to read.

I hope it’s not to late... I’m sending ❤️❤️❤️ & light to your younger self 🙏🏽

It's never too late for ❤️❤️❤️and light. thank you most kindly.

✨🙏🏽✨🙏🏽✨

Rule by force is the disease, who and how are symptoms.

Yes dear!;)
And so it was, is and ever shall be while we become increasingly polarised and fearful of each other and invite our oppressors to use ever more force to rule us. None rules where none obey but the trouble is the majority want to obey, and not only do they want to obey but they want to force you to obey too.
Perhaps the revolution is coming but I fear it will result only in worse tyranny.
Edit: And thanks a lot for the resteem!

Hi Hun! Hope you are doing well today and have your battery at full power. I am tops today and I will see somewhere in Freewrite Land. : )

Oh no, do you mean bottoms? Are we having our first fight?:):)
I'll wait and see where you start and I'll start the other end

Oh no is right! I screwed up! Sooooo sorry partner! I guess I had a senior moment. LOL!
So what do we do about next week? Who is on top and who is on bottom?

Hahahahah, no worries. It could happen to a bishop.
Ok, so you were tops this week, I'll be tops next week unless we forget, in the which case we'll just wing it......we're such pros!

Holy smokes deirdyweirdy! I hope this is fiction. It is so gripping I was breathless! By the way, what are kitchen presses?

Every word the truth sweetie. Would I lie to you?
We call cupboards presses in Ireland. It comes from the Irish word prios.

That is very sad to hear deirdyweirdy but I bet in some ways it prepared you to be tough and resourceful for this tough world.