I Escaped, But Only Just - Part 6: Family Tension

The daily bus journeys to school were beginning to prove tiring, so my parents moved home, closer to the school. A couple of streets away from the new house stood the tallest factory chimney in Europe. Further on was a secluded muddy trail that weaved its way through playing fields, back onto the main road – ideal for walking the dog. The hill on the opposite side of the main road led up to a grass summit with a pylon visible from our backyard. In the other direction, a pathway rose up another hill with cottages set back from the lane, leading to several miles of fields and farms, hemmed in by the motorway.  

On our first night there, Robin and I were lying in our new bedroom, talking in low voices in the dark, excited still from the move. Suddenly, I saw a shape like an orange ball roll out of the curtains onto the window latch, remaining there for a few seconds before making its way back into the curtains.  

I let out a startled gasp.

‘What?’ Robin said.

‘Did you see it?’

‘Did I see what?’

‘That head. It just rolled out of the window and stared back at us.’

Robin sat up in his bed. ‘You’re making this up,’ he said, although he sounded scared.

‘No, I swear. I just saw this shape come out of the curtains. It was orange.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I can’t explain.  It was strange.’

There was a pause. Then: ‘Do you think we should put the light on?’

‘I don’t know,’ I said, heart hammering. ‘Mum and Dad might notice and get angry.’

‘Well, I don’t want to sleep in here if there’s some strange shape in the room. Are you sure you saw something?’

‘Definitely.’  I dared to take a peep at the curtains. ‘But it’s gone now.’

It took us both a long time to fall asleep afterwards.  The sighting of the shape kept playing in my mind, rekindling old fears. Like the first hint of ice in the air after a warm autumn, a harsh lonely winter beckoned.        


The new house never had a calm atmosphere for long. There were always arguments brewing, always shouting matches filtering through the walls. Arguments about problems at school. Arguments about meals. Arguments about bedtimes.  Even the dog was not immune from the tension.  Recently, he’d taken to biting us without warning, although he never bit my mother. Once, he went for me while I made ice cream in the kitchen, letting out a grown before charging at my leg while I held the blender goblet.  

The steady thud of Brian’s heavy metal music continued to fill the house, his cigarette smoking seeping out onto the landing from under his bedroom door. The tension between him and my parents had escalated following his decision to abandon plans to study at university and take on a job in the financial sector      

The friction between my mother and I reached a peak one Monday night when I yelled back at her. Chasing me up the stairs and into the bedroom I shared with Robin, she jumped on me, pinned me to the mattress and slapped my repeatedly across the face and head.    

‘Little bastard,’ she snarled when she’d finished, bending my neck back.  ‘I wish I’d never had you.’  

‘I hate you,’ I said, refusing to cry.  

That earned me another round of slaps, but I was past caring by then.  

Written by Lozzamus
Author's Note
This is a true story covering a number of harrowing experiences from my teens and the effects of those experiences. I will post several times a week and bring the story to a conclusion. Where...
This is a true story covering a number of harrowing experiences from my teens and the effects of those experiences. I will post several times a week and bring the story to a conclusion. Where necessary, I will warn readers of potential Triggers by selecting contains Adult Content.

In this post, I develop the themes of family and Community tensions that took hold during childhood, eventually leading to crisis and danger.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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