So, here we are… some eleven days hence…  This was a story that I would never tell. But, the emotional torment of the last eleven days, has dredged from the pits of hell, these remembrances that were better left in the land of unspoken things….It has been, by my recollection, nine lustrum…

MATTY’S STORY….. THE BEGINNING

         IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL AUTUMN DAY… the kind of day that is remembered in the chronicles of the mind… The sky was strikingly blue… impossibly clear, as though it was newborn- an unmolested virgin.
         Matty opened his eyes and squinted at the piercing band of white light that penetrated the small bedroom that he shared with his younger brother… He reached up to his face and, covering his half- opened eyes, yawned, and rolled over, onto his side…
           Across the tiny room, his 7 year old brother slept, his mouth slightly open, as if to speak some language that now evaded him… Matty grinned, and propped up his head on his bent arm, and watched the boy snore in little gasps and sighs… His eyes sparkled with delight as a thought crossed his mind, and, he sat up in his bed and slowly lowered his legs over the edge of the creaking mattress…
          The blond, 10 year old smiled and with all the stealth he possessed, slid to the floor, and crawled silently to the undercarriage of his brother’s maple bed… He laid on his back and slid under the bed, and stifled a giggle with his free hand. A low rumble emanated from his throat, and, grew in intensity, until it seemed that a mad dog or even a wolf had somehow gained access to the little bedroom… His sleeping brother stirred in the bed above him, and the snoring stopped…Matty growled again, and, for effect, pushed up on the steel bedsprings over his head…  A whimper suddenly came from above, followed by a tiny plea… “Matty…. Help me!! There’s a monster under my bed!!”
        Matty growled again, and the whimper became a choking, muffled cry…. “Matteeeeyyy!!”

        The blond boy couldn’t stand it anymore, and, with a laugh, slid from beneath the bed of his terrified little brother.
        He  pulled himself up, and, peered over the edge of the bunk and at his frightened brother, who now was smiling the smile of a very relieved little boy… “Matty!! Why did you do that?? I thought you were a monster!!”
        “Oh, come on, said Matty, I’ve told you so many times already…. there ARE no such things as monsters!! Not here, under your bed, or, anywhere!!”
         With that, he jumped up onto the blanket covered bed, and, grabbed one of the extra pillows and swatted playfully at his little brother…. They sparred and wrestled, as the sun rose above the towering trees in the back yard….

         Breakfast was done and the blond boy, ran out the kitchen door, and was airborne instantly, as he leapt down the stairs, barely touching them… He rounded the corner  past the back porch, and sprinted away, to the mystical and alluring shadows of the nearby marshlands…
        These were the favorite haunts of the wide- eyed boy. Every day in the swamps was filled with adventure, much like those experienced by the many generations of kids before him… Today, the young boy was determined to locate the nest of an elusive and dangerous creature that had made that end of the marsh his home… It was a giant snapping turtle, that Matty and his cousins had spotted a week prior, as they scouted the banks of the mysterious habitat…

        Today, though, the thin blond boy felt confident that his mission would be successful, because he was alone, and it was unlikely that the creature would hear his approach, at least, not in time… He crept along the grassy, secluded path and turned down the narrow trail and out, onto a sort of peninsula, a secret strip of land that was hidden from view, because of the overhanging willows and the dense underbrush …
        Matty sneaked down the silent trail and stopped, suddenly, at the snap of a branch, somewhere behind him, on the trail that led to the peninsula… He turned, and peered through the impenetrable jungle, but, saw nothing… Shrugging his shoulders, the young boy in the blue dungarees focused his attention on the running water in front of him- a stream about 12 feet wide that meandered through the cattails and dense grasses of the swamp… It was near a ponding area to the side of the creek, that he and his cousin had spotted the basking monster, the week before…
        Behind him, suddenly, came the sound of another snapping branch… this time closer.  Matty spun around, just in time to see the descending hand of a large man, as his face was violently twisted to the right and he was lifted off the ground from behind…
        A scream stuck in his throat as he was dragged to the ground by an impossible force… A large, rough hand covered most of his face and the boy was rolled viciously onto his stomach… his t-shirt twisting around his neck, then, lifting up over his head, as his naked torso was exposed to the cutting grasses of the pungent smelling swamp…
        He was being lifted now, like a rag doll, by the waistband of his worn jeans, and the large hands were everywhere, tearing at his belly and the flesh of his exposed buttocks, probing in the most shameful ways, grabbing and stroking while the awful, shallow breathing of the creature behind him increased in ferocity, and he felt the weight now, crushing him, pushing the terror deep inside him and the last clean breaths of air off into the other world, and, he was floating and rolling but silent… No sound, except his own breath on the suffocating dirty grass under his broken face…  An awful pressure and then a frightening, tearing pain between his legs and deep inside him, tore the last remnants of real life away, and the boy stopped struggling and remembered  the surface of the water, and the comforting glow of the light, and the voice, and then he was gone…. Gone from the world of pain and horror and into the land of shattered dreams and remembrances, to a place where terror is buried and put away for another day, when sadness brings it into the light, in a surge as violent as it’s creator…
        The sound of a bullfrog filtered slowly through the consciousness of the stricken boy… He laid in the grass at an obscene angle, his pale white buttocks higher than his back and outstretched legs… He was more naked than he had ever been, and, as he slowly realized that, an overwhelming shame swept through him, and he clutched at the grass and tried to cover himself, but, it was useless… He lifted his face from the muddy bank of the creek and struggled to pick himself up off the flattened grass, but his arms betrayed him, and he collapsed again and listened to his breath caress the water of the little puddle under his face… He stayed like that as the sun rose high into the crystal blue autumn sky….
    
     He prayed for forgiveness… for all the things that he had done that had angered God, and made him dirty in his Creator’s eyes…

  
      Slowly his strength returned, and the boy crawled through the underbrush and retrieved his blue denim Levis… His underpants were nearby but torn, so the boy took the pants and painfully slipped his bruised legs into the soft cotton, and hoisted them up. He tried to zip them up, but the zipper was damaged , so he buttoned the top button, and searched for his sneakers… He found them where he had regained consciousness, and put them on the best he could… for some strange reason, both sneakers had knotted laces, that wouldn’t come untied, at least for the moment….

        The way home was now into the frightening woods and through the overgrown areas of the side yard, and down the outside hatchway and into the basement of the red Cape, where he found an old t -shirt –  a blessing for the stunned boy… He crept up the wooden basement stairs, and into the safety of his empty bedroom, where he stripped off the soiled jeans and slipped into his pale blue cotton PJs… The jeans were rolled up, and pushed to the far corner of the closet followed by the shaking little boy…  He stayed in that position until he heard the sounds of his little brother outside the closed door… The door creaked  open and Matty’s brother peered in at him and frowned… “What’s wrong, Matty?” the little boy whispered… There was no answer, so he asked again, in a more fearful tone… Matty looked up at him and started to cry… The 7 year old brother reached into the closet and sat down by his big brother… “It’s the monsters that scared you, isn’t it, Matty?”  Matty looked at his younger brother but didn’t know what to say. “It’s OK, Matty…. if we try, we can make them go away, remember?”
        Matty wiped the tears from his eyes and took a deep breath… He finally spoke, in a clear and strong voice… “There’s no such thing as monsters….”  He looked into his brother’s eyes and finished… “None that will ever get at you… I promise…”
       The two boys sat, side by side and held onto each other as the golden light of the afternoon sun faded around the corner of the tranquil little Cape, on that beautiful Autumn day….

There is a deep sadness in me now… I feel the weight of my life overwhelming me… I can’t find the redemption that I was looking for, because my faith has been eroded to a dangerous level where the horrors of the past now taunt the hope that I held for the future…
  
There is a palpable fear that the trauma of the last few weeks is not going to be resolved in a way that will allow me to ever trust in people again… I don’t expect you to understand, but, these feelings come from the child deep inside, that still believed in the goodness of people, even after he was hurt…

I pray that the lost boys will return, if only to explain, and make the fear go away…  Please, JJ….  Tell me what happened… I need to forgive you… luv, tman<3

Advertisements