The Relapse

To be read in Laura Brown’s voice (powerful tone and broken English), after having just woken up, talking to Mother over tea about her nightmare.


They pulled me back again last night, Mama

I was tugging and fighting

But there was nothing I could do, Mama

When I screamed

No sound came out

When I closed my eyes

I could still see them right there in front of me

When I tried to shake loose, Mama

They tightened them ropes.

Tear after salty tear, Mama

I said I was sorry

I hadn’t done nothing wrong Mama but I was sorry

They still wouldn’t listen to me.

They five gruesome big bulking men- no faces

Just hair

Hair everywhere, Mama

Tangled strands covering they bodies

Heaps upon heaps of tangles

Knots and nits and everything in between

Long and dark enough to wrap around my neck

And take away my breath.

They didn’t do not much talking, Mama

Just grabbed me from behind

Strapped me in this chair

And told me to keep my eyes wide open

Or else I’d never see the light of day.

And so I tried

I tried Mama to do what they said

But they kept showing me these

These rotten images


Of you and Daddy dying

And Little Martha crying


And me just, just sitting in the background, Mama

Not doing a single goddamned thing, Mama.

How could I not

Have any control whatsoever?

And then this one image, Mama

You and Daddy and Little Martha and the whole wide world

Standing outside and the grounds are on fire

I’m sitting inside

I’m sitting inside making love to the devil himself

Giving him every ounce of attention that I can express

My very soul

Escaping me

And I can’t even look out the window to see what’s happening.

Then at the end, Mama

One of them scary, hooded men

He comes up to me

He unties them ropes

Plunges his very fist into my heart

And takes out a thin crystal shard

Reflecting all them gruesome images I’d just seen

And he says to me, Mama

He leans in and says to me


Is but a relapse.


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