These stories are fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental. This work belongs to the author.
SHINING LIGHT INTO DARK
This is the story of Bozonarciss Rejectamenta and her mother Shrew. Bozonarciss was born to Shrew who did not really want her, but her father so wanted a child, someone to love, that Shrew finally capitulated and gave in. It was in a small flat in some mediocre city that Bozonarciss was introduced to the world after she came home from hospital. Sad it was, the day when Bozonarciss was barely a year old and an Aunt came to visit her. The aunt found Shrew sitting on the lounge room floor in a bedraggled state and Bozonarciss lying limply in the cot, in a soaking filthy nappy, which had not been changed since the early morning, whence her father had changed it before leaving for work. Bozonarciss was whimpering softly and in obvious distress.
The aunt, concerned for Bozonarciss asked Shrew as to what was happening here. Shrew replied that she was on a ‘hunger strike’, which at that time was one of her nefarious weapons for the manipulation of others who would not bend to her controlling ways. Shrew stated she had not eaten for three days and would not eat until she got her way. The aunt now very concerned, asked if Bozonarciss had been fed at all that day. Shrew, who always wanted to be the centre of attention was miffed at such direct questioning and snarkly replied “If I am on a hunger strike, then so is she!” The aunt now deeply concerned realised the child ‘was’ in deep distress and had not been cared for, for many hours – no food, fluids or anything else; nothing ,and at this rate would fall ill very quickly as she was already gangly thin and under weight. The weather was very hot and they were on the third floor. She looked malnourished. The aunt now knew why, as Bozonarciss had been born healthy.
The Aunt asked Shrew ‘where is the baby formula?’ “There is none” replied Shrew “I told you, we are on a hunger strike!” Shocked to her very core, the aunt could not believe her ears and asked herself why do this to an innocent? Surely Shrew, who professed to be a good christian would not stoop so low as to starve her innocent child? Who in their right mind would punish a baby who has done no harm or had any choice in the matter? Why was the child being starved because of some petty peevish argument or grievance, Shrew had with others or Bozonarciss’ father? What am I dealing with here? the aunt asked herself. Is this a psychopath, who had no empathy for others, a mentally unstable person who is willing to starve an infant – her own child? Is this a loving caring mother? The aunt did not like the answers to these questions, as it didn’t bear thinking about.
What the aunt needed to think about was her little whimpering niece and she had to get food into her and quick as the heat would quickly dehydrate her and she might die. The aunt rapidly tallied up the hours the baby had been without fluids or nourishment. The father had left at around 7.30 am and it was now well past 4pm. So it had been at least nine hours since Bozonarciss had any care, whether food, fluids or a nappy change. Disgusting the aunt thought, oh my god action was needed immediately!
The aunt was still a junior worker and did not earn a lot of money, but for the sake of her niece, she quickly realised, the baby needed it more than she did. So with the last $15 in her purse, she headed to the nearest chemist to buy a tin of formula for Bozonarciss. This took over thirty minutes and when she returned to the flat, Shrew was still in the same position where the aunt had last seen her. Shrew had made no attempt at all to comfort the infant. The aunt quickly boiled the jug and did what she could with the glass bottles (no plastic in those days) to sterilise them and made up a bottle of formula for Bozonarciss. The aunt changed Bozonarciss’ filthy nappy that she had been in for over nine hours, her little bottom was sore and red, no wonder thought the aunt, she nearly cried with sorrow for the infant. A bath was obviously needed and the aunt bathed Bozonarciss and fed her. She comforted and nursed Bozonarciss until her father came home. The aunt felt great shame that a supposed family member could be so cruel and without care for one so innocent. And a supposed christian to boot!
The aunt believed at that time that this was not the first instance of a ‘hunger strike’ as the child was so thin and drank only half of what she should have been able to consume for her age. The aunt was determined to see that this would not happen again and resolved within herself to confront her brother on this issue. She was perplexed as to why Shrew was so uncaring for her daughter and was willing to risk her child’s life, just so Shrew could have her own way!
When her brother returned the aunt quietly confronted her brother and he unwillingly admitted that this was at least the third occasion that Shrew had “thrown a hunger strike” and he also was deeply disturbed for the welfare of his only child, Bozonarciss. He thanked his sister profusely for her concern and help and care of his daughter. Good lord, thought the aunt, what was her poor brother going through also, to be the butt of this behaviour. The aunt stayed for a few more hours, helping to clean the flat, doing washing and those domestic duties, that are rightfully a mothers duty, and if that mother cared she would do it out of love for her child! But sadly in this case was not occurring. The aunt finally left well into the night with a deep feeling of unease and was worried for her brother and niece. She knew she should go to the authorities but what would that do to her brother? And what of Shrew? Obviously, there were serious issues here and what did it bode for the future?
It reminded the aunt of all the other manipulative behaviours that Shrew displayed before her brother had married her.
It had always been a ‘rocky relationship’ and full of breakups and ‘getting back together’ times, and the Aunt was remembering at that point in time a particular incident where her brother had broken off with Shrew. One of Shrew’s many manipulative tactics was to ‘stalk’ him relentlessly, barge into the house unannounced and demand to see him. Shrew would then make up outrageous lies and convoluted stories in order to try to win the aunt’s brother back. In this one instance of many, Shrew turned up at the house, after 10pm at night, barged her way in as usual and threw a phony fainting fit on the floor. This brought no response from those who were there, siblings of Bozonarciss’ father, as they had seen this ‘trick’ several times before. When Shrew realised this one was not working, she slowly sat up and declared that she had fainted because she had been ‘raped’ by six blokes in a nearby city.
To be continued…