I am a young girl. I am eight years old. I play with dolls. With their clothes. With my imagination. I lose myself.
Mother calls from downstairs. She is in our kitchen, preparing the food she and I will eat alone tonight. The house is quiet. Her voice climbs the stairs to me and despite my games, I know I must answer her, because that it how I was taught.
In my obedience I put down the toys, running downstairs to her voice.
As I run to her I ponder upon the reasons for her calling me, because dinner does not seem to be ready yet. It is far too soon and yet the delicious smells rising from the little kitchen are so enticing that I am drawn to them without thought. I hope it is chicken again tonight. How I love cooked chicken. Again her voice from the ajar kitchen door ahead. She calls me - unseen - within
I skip happily around the last few steps and onto the light grey carpet leading to the narrow hall that takes me to the kitchen and my mother, her chicken and the promise of a lovely meal together.
But I am stopped.
A hand emerges quickly from the cupboard under the stairs and pulls me in without gentleness.
Inside I look into the face of my terrified mother. She shakes in fear.
‘Don’t go there. I heard that voice too….’