Story by Amanda Cox, AKA Mad Cow.
I huddled in the dark, pushing myself as far into the corner of the only safe place I could find.
I was trapped, in my house.
I’d managed to run from them when they checked to see that my only escape path was blocked, and head for the walk-in wardrobe. Carefully, silently, I opened the door, slithered inside and curled around myself, amongst the shoes, hidden behind the long evening dresses and suits.
They were coming for me. I could hear them, their feet, pounding on the floor boards that lined the hall as they ran up and down, searching for my whereabouts. Never stopping, I was sure, until they found me.
Tears of terror streamed down my face. I shoved my fist into my mouth, stifling a fearful sob, as the footsteps dulled when the hit the carpeted floor the other side of the door. It is a weak barrier and the only thing obscuring me from their view.
As noiselessly as possible, overcoming a petrifying dread, I wriggled from between my footwear to place my back firmly against the door to prevent their entry. It was all I had.
Though they knew I hadn’t left the house, couldn’t leave the house, they had stopped calling for me. I held my breath and waited for the jiggling of the doorhandle, the beating on the door, the yelling. I sighed in relief as, instead, the footsteps moved away and back down the hallway. Away from my safe place.
It was short lived. More steps, running this time, back and forth. I could hear quiet discussion as they huddled around the doorway, my escape route to the outside world. They had spread out in their search.
I didn’t know how long I would have to remain here, or how long before they would discover my location. All I knew was that I had to stay hidden until it was safe.
I was scared.
I couldn’t go out and fight them. Not again. I’d tried, and they’d taken all the fight out of me. I couldn’t think straight, couldn’t function. I was spent. They had weapons; weapons that could easily pierce your heart, send you mad and crush your sprit.
I was afraid that if they found me, found me right now, they would use these weapons and break me, push me to the point where I would literally snap.
I was terrified I would lose control, and that once I let go, I’d never get it back again.
I was scared and I couldn’t move.
I try to grasp my thoughts, gather some strength.I so desperately need to get my thoughts together so I can get out of this, safely, unbroken.
I try to breathe deeply, to calm myself. I’m frozen in fear. Hot tears run down my cheek and onto my neck. I pray they don’t melt my resolve. I lean back against the door, pressing hard and hope they don’t find me.
They are coming for me again and I still myself as they begin to call for me …
“Mum. MUM! Where are you? Mum?”
Amanda Cox is a writer, speaker, blogger, author, entrepreneur, founder of parent support website Real Mums, wife, mum to three boys, drinker of wine and mediocre housewife. Her personal blog may be found at www.diaryofamadcow.com.au or underneath the coffee table with last week’s Vegemite toast and the missing waffle iron …