ELIZA’S GRAVE IV
After figurin’ dat I wuzn’t much hurt. I eased down de ladder which led up to my bed in de lof’. I tip-toed to de door dat stood ‘tween de back room and de front room.
De door wuz cracked open just enough dat I could see—by de dim glow of de kerosene lamp—de big, scary-lookin’ figger of Chaos England standin’ over a slump’d, human form wit stringy hair hung over a yellow and red face.
I could tell by de gold, silky strands—like corn silk—that showed thru de red, dat it wuz my Mama dat Chaos wuz standin’ over.
De golden-yellow skinned arms wuz held up over her head by leather straps tied ‘tween her wrists and de heavy ceilin’ beam above her. Dey wuz covered wit dirt and blood from de wrists, which wuz bein’ cut open by de leather straps cinch tight ‘round dem,.
She wuz naked from de waist up and de bright canvas of her back wuz criss-cross wit’ red, strokes from de strokes of Lucifer’s whip. De vile artist hisself, Chaos England, whispered mean soundin’ words into her ears ‘tween strokes.
His words wuz too soft for me to hear from where I stood—ceptin’ when he growl my Mama’s name, “Gaya!”
Den! De crack in de door got dark. Through de crack, I could hear Chaos’ heavy breathin’. I could smell de alcohol from his hot, stinky breath, comin’ through de crack. I even ‘magined dat I could feel it on my skin, where it cause de hairs on my arms to stand up, but it had to just be my ‘magination. After all, by den, I was way up in de loft and a good distance from dat crack.
All of a sudden de darkness was gone and a stream of light from de kerosene lamp, once again stream through de small openin’ in de door. De stiflin’ air dat had just seemt ‘bout to smother me, seemt to lift and I could breathe again. De odor of liquor was gone. He was gone—for now.
My Mama no longer whimpered. I dare not go to de door to see what was goin’ on ‘cause he might still be dere, waitin’ just on de other side; waitin’ to jump out and wrap his big arms ‘round my body and put his huge hands over my face, blockin’ my air and smotherin’ me once again.
I lay dere quiet, wonderin’ how it wuz dat my Mama could tolerate such beatin’s. I made a vow dat I would ask her tomorrow, when we wuz alone; if she wuz still livin’ tomorrow.