Last night it was the electric iron. Tonight, it is the washing machine. You watch as he sets it on spin, and then listen to the screams that seem to echo from hell. Afterwards, you soothe the wounds as best you can. But the holes keep getting bigger. You work tirelessly, feverishly, sealing off one hole after the next, knowing you would give your life’s blood if you could but you only have ten fingers and they are not enough. Not nearly.
You recall the first night he kicked you down the stairs. You lay there, gasping like a beached whale, each breath slicing like a knife through your gut. Your distended belly blocked him from view as he screamed, whore, I will kill that devil’s child, and then he left you, lying there with the blood soaking through your jeans down to the beautiful cashmere carpet below.
The carpet’s been replaced and the staircase polished many times since, and you tread with care, afraid of slipping as you softly sing –
Hush, little baby, don’t say a word
Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…
The nights go on and the methods vary but the result is always the same. The Devil’s Child, they say He cannot be killed.
Tomorrow night, it will be the kerosene stove. And the night after, the television.