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12 September 2005 @ 10:54 pm
William needs little cuddles!  
It was dark. Darker than he remembered it being in his room. But his father had been away for nearly a week, visiting relatives, and whenever his father was away, he slept in his mother's bed. It was so much more comfortable than his own little bed, with the pillows that poked him in the eye, and the springs that stabbed his little back when he turned over in the wrong place. Besides, even if her bed had things that poked and stabbed and were otherwise unpleasant, it wouldn't matter, because it also had her. But now his father was back, and so he had to sleep alone, again. His room felt so much farther away than just down the hall from hers...

William shivered and brought the covers up to his cold little nose. He couldn't keep his eyes closed. He'd been frightened out of his fatigue and was now forced to stare in wide-eyed terror into nothingness. Except it wasn't complete nothingness, but semi-nothingness with dark somethings lurking in the shadows. That's what scared him so much. His room was small, so whatever was in it wouldn't have far to go before it reached his bed. He and his mother had checked under it, and in the closet, before she'd tucked him in with a hug and a kiss that were much too short for his liking...but still. He couldn't help but wonder if, as soon as she'd gone, with all of her light and warmth, the monsters had returned. His father thought he was too old to believe in silly things like monsters and being afraid of the dark, and at nine years old, many parents would probably agree. But not many parents were like Charlotte, and that, according to William, was what was wrong with the world.

+++

I couldn't take it, anymore. I had to get out of there. But I was too terrified to move. Every time I told myself that I could do it, I suddenly couldn't move, at all. I couldn't even blink.

"All right, legs! Move it!" I commanded, but they stayed frozen to the spot.

I whimpered most pathetically and covered my head with the blankets. Before long, face was hot and sweaty from my breathing in the small, airless space, yet my nose remained cold. And my hands. And feet. I rubbed them together, but they still felt like ice.

"Mother..." I whispered, hoping that maybe the sound of that word spoken aloud would serve as a threat to whatever lay waiting in the shadows of my room. But I wasn't convinced, and I still couldn't move. I began to panick. I cried, with my head under the blanket, wishing for the sun and the warmth and my mother.
 
 
 
Katukatu on September 13th, 2005 04:04 am (UTC)
I was in the hallway, on my way back from the outhouse, when I heard a small noise and my adopted name issue from my son's door. My heart gave a pang, and as I approached the wooden separator, I heard the telltale sounds of tears. If Gregory was listening, it meant a beating for the both of us, but I was not going to spare myself and let my nine year old son weep in his dark bedroom, alone.

I pulled the door open, and stepped into the dimly lit room. "William, sweetheart, are you all right?" His head appeared above the covers, looking flushed and infinitely grateful to see me. The tears on his cheeks caught the moonlight as it streamed past him, and I rushed forward to his side. "Oh, darling...Darling, what's the matter?"

His head was cradled underneath my chin, and I pulled his quickly growing form up into my lap and wrapped my arms around him. Smothering the top of his head with kisses, and gently rubbing his frigid hands in my own, I waited for him to get up enough courage to reply.
William Blakenobodys_friend on September 13th, 2005 04:17 am (UTC)
I was about ready to give up hope. I felt like I was going to die, silly as that sounds. But when you're a child, the smallest things make such a big difference...

"William, sweetheart, are you all right?"

I gasped in surprise when I heard her voice, but didn't move for a second, for I wasn't sure if I'd heard what I'd thought, or if perhaps I was just imagining it. Or maybe a monster was imitating her voice to trick me! But I had to know.

I hesitantly poked my head above the covers, surprised at the temperature difference and happy to be able to breathe again. And, sure enough, she was there, in the doorway the dim light from the other room outlining her soft curves. Suddenly, she rushed up to me, as though she'd just realised the urgency of the situation.

"Oh, darling...Darling, what's the matter?"

I had to admit, I was really rather ashamed to be crying so much over nothing at all, and to have her fawn over me as she always did, but I was more relieved than anything, and so happy to see her. She took me into her arms and kissed me, and I threw my arms around her, squeezing as tightly as I could. I hoped that if I held tight enough, maybe she'd never be able to go away, again.

"I was just scared," I informed her, quietly, my voice muffled by her bosom. "I was scared of the dark...and I missed you."

I wanted to ask to sleep with her, but I knew what the answer would be. I'd never really hated anyone before I met my father. I don't think I truly hated him then, but only because I didn't know how. He would teach me, before long.

I buried my face deeper into her and breathed in her warm sweetness. This was my happy place, my sanctuary. This was where I could always go if I was feeling troubled...well...almost always.

"Please don't go," I squeaked, and instantly wished that I hadn't.
Katukatu on September 13th, 2005 04:33 am (UTC)
"Oh, my darling...my sweet William, hush, now," I cooed at him, as he clung more insistently to my torso. My heart ached to cuddle him, to fall asleep with my only child in my arms. I hated every night I had to spend away from him, and cursed the man I called my husband, for forcing such nights upon me.

"Please don't go..." he whimpered, and I felt tears welling up behind my eyes. Dear God, I didn't want to...I just wanted to lay down in the sparse bed that Gregory had damned my son to, cuddle up beneath the cotton comforter that I'd made for him, myself, and fall to sleep with William nestled between my arms. Oh, how I loved him.

Was Gregory drunk enough not to noticed if I should stay...? But, no...I couldn't. In the morning, he would find us, and neither would escape his wrath unscathed. I could hear his slurred Irish accent, insisting that his mother had never coddled him, and therefore I should do the same to the boy that God had brought to me.

"Oh, William...you know that I wish that I could...I love you so much, my sweet boy..."
William Blakenobodys_friend on September 13th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
She comforted me and petted me like she always does, and I savoured every bit of it, for I knew that soon she would have to leave me again. Soon I would be cold and alone. But I would try not to cry. I would be a big boy, and try to go straight to sleep. The sooner I went to sleep, after all, the sooner I could see her in the morning, when she'd have a heaping plate of blueberry waffles.

"I love you, mommy," I said, my nine-year-old voice sounding at least five years too young. "It's all right...I'll be all right."

But even as I was speaking, I could feel my voice beginning to crack. I tried to take some deep breaths to get a grip on myself, but it didn't work. It never worked. As soon as I felt that I'd calmed down, the tears would prickle my eyes, and the lump would rise again in my throat. All I could do was cling to her and try to enjoy it while it lasted.
Katukatu on September 19th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
I readjusted my tight grip on my little boy, shifting him so that he was entirely on my lap, his knees up against his chest, and his arms wrapping around my neck. I kissed him all over his darling little face, and stroked his hair (it was growing rather long, much to his father's fury ("He looks enough like a girl as it is! Don't encourage it!"). I still remembered the day that Gregory dragged William into the backyard with a pair of my sewing scissors. Handful after uneven handful of hair parted from my crying son's head, and I didn't dare make any moves with sharp scissors so close to William's face.

My eyes were threatening to well up with tears, and to fight them, I kissed William again and whispered in his little ear how much I loved and adored him.
William Blakenobodys_friend on September 20th, 2005 07:09 am (UTC)
Wow, you really did mean everything XD
I sat cradled in my mother's lap as she rocked me gently back and forth. Eventually the calming rhythm combined with the soothing purr of her voice in my ear made the tears stop, but I still felt a little ball of emptiness in the pit of my stomach. Still, I tried to enjoy this love and warmth while it lasted, for even then I thought I heard my "father" stirring from the bed he so undeservingly shared with my mother. I clung to her nightblouse with a trembling hand and tried to convince myself that evrything would be all right. I would see her again and be able to spend all day with her, the next morning. Perhaps we could even bake cookies.

"I love you," I repeated for the millionth time and rubbed the last of my tears away on her soft bosom.