Sleep Through the Static

I knew that she wasn't going to come back, not until she was ready. I frightened her, even if I did not understand why. The very thought of me scared my Momma, and I could not change that. It scared my Father, too – for what scared her in turn scared him. Raven black hair cascaded down my shoulders. It stuck to my wet cheeks and that would upset my Momma as well. I did not want to upset her – she was all that mattered to me. I had to make sure that my Momma loved me.

What if she did not come back? She did not love me, but I wanted her to come back.

My arms were wrapped around my knees. In the silence I was alone. My heart beat quickly against my chest, the blood pounded in my ears. I had never felt so alone in my life before – at least when she made Father hurt me after one of my come true dreams, I wasn't alone. Being alone was worse than being in pain.

There was a face.

Scared, my eyes flashed back to the future. That face had not been in this room. I knew almost instantly that it was one of those dreams – the ones that Momma did not love me because of. Again I began to cry – not because I was scared of the face that I had seen, but because of what it meant.

It meant that Momma would hate me even more.

I did not understand why Momma did not love me; only that she did not.

The face was handsome, and older than me. It belonged to someone who was too old to be a playmate for me. It saddened me that my come true dream visitor did not belong to someone I could call my own.

I shook in my seat. My arms wrapped tighter around my legs.

The face had eyes that were a devil's color.

It did not scare me. Though I knew that he was not there before me, I reached my hand forward as if too touch this face. My Momma would describe this color as the devil's color; she would tell me that it was the color of blood and things that were bad for my becoming. I knew this as certainly as I knew my name was Mary Alice Brandon. This was another dream that had decided to no longer live when I was asleep.

When I had been asleep, they were easier to hide.

I did not think they were the color of the devil. I thought they were the color of the roses in Momma's garden. They were a color – how could someone see them as bad? How could my Momma not understand that? There was that same color in this room, in the color of the dress that my sister wore. There were colors darker and lighter and rich. How could she see darkness in them?

His eyes were the color of crimson and he reached out his hand towards something… the hand was scarred and so was the face … so much time had passed and his hands were pale … the scars were lovely, like the dresses that Momma wanted me to wear.

I cried because I knew I could not ever meet him. I wanted to see this face in truth, to reach out and touch the scars lovely like a dandelion and show my Momma that nothing was bad about my dreams. I wanted her to know that she could love me again. She didn't have to be afraid.

I can't love you, she said with a voice hollow and devoid of love. Her eyes were the same. You are a witch, said her voice, and she was no longer lovely.

And as I waited, the hours passed and I cried, waiting and hoping for my Momma's return, all the while knowing that it had no point.

She did not – she could not – love me.

Even at five, I understood this better than she did.


Author's Note:

I'm sorry that this chapter is short – and I'm sorry that it's been so long since I've updated. I really hope that you'll review – I'm unsure of whether or not there are people who'd like to read this. I'm hoping, of course, that there are. If there are people interested, I'll be updating much more quickly than I did before. Life got in the way, I apologize.