20th August 2010

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20th August 2010

Dear Jemma,

I call you Jemma because that's the name I would have chosen if I were allowed the privilege of possessing a name. My parents call me "Girl". Today was a pretty normal day; it went like this.

I woke up screaming, tears pouring down my gaunt face, my sheets sodden. The nightmare had been worse than usual, but there was no point dwelling on it then- I had much bigger problems to worry about, like my sheets. If my parents saw them they would whack me for sure. I crept down the creaky stairs, grabbed a rusty key from the table and set off into the untamed garden. Trekking through the wilderness, dragging my soaking sheets behind me, I struggled frantically to wipe the tears from my face. Behind a large bush stood a bucket of water, a bar of soap and a washing line constructed from two strong sticks and a piece of rope. This was my homemade washing service. Due to lots of practice I was now as quiet as a feather. I hurriedly scrubbed down the sheets and dunked them in the foamy water before chucking it over the washing line. After this I crept over to the pond and swirled my hand around in it- trying to clear a space to wash my face. As I plunge my head into the murky depths, plants attach to my dripping hair. At least my face felt refreshed- even if it wasn't clean.  I knew it was dark and my parents were probably  snoring in bed but I still tiptoed back as soundlessly as I could, holding my breath and darting behind a tree at every creak or snap. Although I go through this ritual several times a week, I never feel comfortable doing it. The very second I'm inside, I scoot upstairs and lie sprawled on my sheet-less bed, breathing heavily. I shut my eyes so I would be unable to perceive my monster of a mother sneaking into my room. However hard I tried, I could still hear her. The latch clicked and my door burst open.


She stormed over to me and yanked my hair so hard it nearly ripped out. And then she noticed the weeds. She gasped.


With her free hand she smacked my cheek, causing it to burn scarlet and my head to jerk backwards. My chin wobbled and I willed myself not to cry. Still gripping my hair, she dragged me over to the staircase, ignoring my trips and stumbles. When we reached the staircase- I gulped, realizing what she was about to do. I looked up at her although I already knew what the answer would be.

"Mother, please!" 

Her eyes froze, her expression was as hard as stone...

The next thing I knew I was lying at the foot of the stairs, agony running through my veins. This was nothing, this was only my mother.

Tears gushed down my face; I cautiously tried to get up. Apart from a searing pain in my toe, I was no worse than normal. I had a feeling I'd sprained my ankle. I didn't complain, for I knew that complaining would be like setting off a bomb. I managed to limp into the grubby kitchen, relying heavily on tables and chairs to support me. Once inside, a roaring bellow filled my ears, and I resisted the urge to hobble as fast as I could back into the grimy corridor. Before I had the chance, my vision was obscured by a massive fist swinging towards me like a bulldozer. Excruciating pain shocked me senseless as I crumpled to the floor; my crushed nose gushed a scarlet waterfall. As my heartless parents stalked past, they both kicked me in the ribs. My mother's was a sharp stab whereas my father's was a blundering whack.

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