Recommended for readers aged 16+ only. Contains references some may find distressing (domestic violence, abuse, self-harm) Scroll down to read.















There once was a little girl, who saw her family in a thousand glorious colours - complicated and messy but beautiful in chaos. Her memories were filled with pictures in brilliant pigment: rich golds spilling from laughing mouths, spinning around the kitchen as her family sat around the wooden dining table as sunlight streamed through the big sash windows; muted dove greys and soft blues for watching movies and reading books on rainy days with a cup of tea in hand. There were spritely, spirited greens and earthy tones of brown for the wild roamings in the countryside, for berry picking and carrot plucking. An innocent off-white, a Farrow & Ball cream, depicted the evenings spent playing chess in front of the fire, or a game of Cheat or Snap with a yellowed deck of cards. Her mother was a navy blue and pink woman, with a natural gift for homemaking. She was a friendly blush with rosey cheeks who was content in a simple life. The three older sisters, though each wildly individual, rose and fell in tandem together like black and white musical notes, bringing alive brilliant sound from a monochrome page. The farmhouse was filled with music, debate and silly film references. However, the girl chose to forget the angry scarlet which encircled her little nuclear family in a suffocating embrace, polluting their lives like rot. Often red words would foam in her father’s mouth, bleeding from his gums. They would burst forth as a blunt force, whereupon there would be a crash, smash or whimper. Sometimes all three. The house was often needing a new mug here, a new computer there, a replacement for an antique horse whip. No one was safe; none were beyond the reach of his wrath. Then silence. Always such oppressive, haunting silence followed to fill the absence of shouting or weeping. No bruises on her face had her mother, but her ears were never the same, she flinched frequently, and her mind filled full with an overload of pain and grief for her horrid existence. She chose even to forget the blackness which crept around the old house in the shadows; under her bed and through the gap beneath her bedroom door. It oozed from her sisters in the form of self inflicted wounds and thrown up food and hysterical screams. In her mother it was quiet tears or monotonous movement, as though no act brought her joy, nothing gave her back her spirit. Not even her small daughter, forgotten upstairs. In time, the rich pigment faded to black and grey like a sad watercolour dripping its paints onto the floor. The veneer of happiness rubbed away and the truth was left. The family fell apart; they withdrew to lick their wounds and didn’t recognise each other without a facade. When the little girl looked at her mother and sisters, she saw in their eyes a reflection of her pain and rage and sadness.That was all they had in common now.
by Anonymous

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