Sunday, 23 September 2012

Beneath the truth and tales - Chapter one.


Back when I was just three years old, I finally started to talk a bit. I was much later than my other siblings; they started toddling on the smooth living room carpet when they were a year and half years old while for me, I was just looking around at that age. Mum took care of me and paid more attention to more than the others, she showed affection of love towards me than my other siblings, which I knew, obviously, they envied. Dad barely was at home, he has a business trip every now and then, but when he’s really at home with us, the magical moments shared with him were unforgettable.
Ivy was nine back then, she had locks of dark curly hair up to her chest and eyes glimmering like the moonlight, she loved Dad like he was her best friend. And Jack, six at the time, freckle face and deep dimples, enjoyed the toys that Dad brought from his business trips. As for me, I was five, just a year younger than Jack. I was neither talkative nor asking much like my other siblings and Dad would always ask me what I would like, I’ll shrug my tiny shoulders and run back to Mum.
                Though, I admit Dad and I never talked that often, he’ll try, but I wouldn’t know how to answer back, but with his presence around, it felt like a complete package of a happy family. At times, when Ivy and Jack are sound in their beds, I’ll creep downstairs to watch Dad on the staircase. And there are times which I’d wished I was dreaming in my bed at that moment.
Mum would argue with Dad how he seldom comes back home. Dad would shout back how he’s doing all this work for our family, and who other would feed our mouths, which was true. Then Mum would break down crying and confesses how she just misses him. She’s worried that Ivy, Jack and I would grow up without a father there for us. And then, Dad would wrap his steady arms around her and promises something to her ear. Mum would start to stream more worried tears down her face. Dad gives her a delicate kiss on her forehead and continuously say ‘everything is going to be alright Darla, I promise you.’ Mum nods, she believed him; she was so sure that his promise will never be broken.
But, everybody knows, a promise must be broken.

*
When it was a day before my eighth birthday, Dad promised me to bring me to the local bookstore. I was fascinated in reading, especially the ones that are full of fantasy, pure magic and fairy tales. And, Dad knew how I’ve been dying to go there because there was a new release on one of Kayla Perellson books.
           As Dad’s toasted hand held tightly on mine on a chilly winter evening, he huffs out the frisky cold breath and somehow started to chuckle. He then looked down at me, and I looked right into his twinkly sky blue eyes which I never seen before in him.
“Eight, you’re turning old now aren’t you now Grace?” he said softly, but loud enough for me to hear.
“Yes, I’m a big girl now and I would like to read what big girl reads,” I said proudly to him. Dad continued to chuckle under his cold breath. I was confused. Why not? I’m old enough to read challenging books, thicker ones with small fonts in them, I think.
“Is there something odd about that?” We were just a few blocks away from Feather Dust Bookstore. Dad shook his head slightly, but still smiling to himself.
“No, no, nothing is wrong, but why would you ever want to read books that aren’t fit for you?”
“I’m an excellent reader now Dad, I think I’m capable to read whatever I please”
“Really?” he questioned me.
“Positive,”
“Well, Grace, what about if I buy you the book this time? Would you mind?” He asked me, as he gripped on my hands a little tighter.
What not? I gave a second thought, and still wonder what type of book he’ll choose for me.
“What kind? I don’t want childish ones,” I said back. Dad grew a laughter in delight.
“Grace, I promise you, you’ll going to love it.”

*
I wait anxiously outside of Feather Dust Bookstore, I watched Dad through the window shop, and Dad took a glimpse of me and smiled. He then walked up to a man, grey haired, long nose and a a pair of a fairly small ears. They shook hands, and then Dad started to say something to him, the man smiled looked at my direction and nodded in agreement. He then went to the back of the store and took something out. It was big, thick, like the types I would want. I was sure, my heart skipped a beat.
Dad paid at the counter, shook hands with him again and got out.
When he finally gotten out of the bookstore, he wouldn’t let me see it. He said he was saving it for later, but pinky promise to hand it out soon after.
On the day of my eighth birthday, Mum was busy cooking all sorts of my favourites, Ivy, now that she’s twelve, helped Mum in the kitchen. Jack was in the living room, finding the decorations and I was helping out to sort the dining table. I could smell the aroma of beef curry, Dad’s favourite and the toasted lemon chicken cooking away in the oven, my favourite.
Dad hadn’t arrived yet, it was already seven in the evening, he promised to come back from the office at six. He was running very late, but Mum said it was normal of him. He’s a busy man, he needs to feed us.
A while later, Mum took out the cake from the fridge and then place it on the table I set. It wasn’t a big cake, just good enough to celebrate today’s occasion. Then the other dishes filled the table. I was excited, I was eight now, and I was sure Dad was going to give me the book he promised yesterday tonight after dinner.
7.30, the clock showed to moving hands. Mum didn’t seem that bothered, Ivy was slacking away with her phone in her room, and Jack was playing with his action figures.
I was wearing my silky gown and brand new shoes Mum bought for me at her friends’ boutique at a discount offer.
It was lovely, right for the occasion. It has lace covering the chest and the silk would flow down swiftly at the start of the waist. I wait anxiously for Dad, why isn’t he here yet?
The clock continued to move another second to another. My eyes slowly drifts, I shook my head to snap myself out because I’m not going to sleep tonight when my birthday hasn’t started yet.
Then, Ivy came down. Her face was pale white, as if she just witnesses something horrifying.
“Mum?” she called in a weak tone.
Mum came out from the kitchen door with a towel in her hands.
“Jack, come here” Jack stopped with the toys and look up. “Hurry,” Ivy started to say again.
“What is it darling? Are you sick?” Mum felt her forehead, and then Ivy eyes looked across to mine.
“Grace, where is Dad?”
I was confused, yet startled. “Answer me!” she screams, my body quiver, Ivy started to collapse onto the floor. Mum started to panic.
“Ivy? Ivy? What on Earth is going on? Tell me, what do you mean ‘where is Dad’? Ivy?” Mum shook her weak body; Jack looked as if he was a lost boy.
Ivy then took out her phone, and face it towards us. I watched her face. Tears flow one by one. Her lips tremble. Her face as cold as ice.

'Dead, that's what he is. Try and find his body Grace, but you'll never find his head...' the text said.

I look at Ivy, "so, where is Dad; Grace?" her cold mouth lipped.

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