A childhood reflection

Light can squeeze through a gap thinner than the hair of a spider’s leg, yet it also expands to fill an almost limitless space.

Despite the semblance of transparency, light is just as likely to reveal as conceal. Although its business is its own, it remains steadfastly mischievous; you could swear it originates from a particular source, but due to complications of geometry and nature, the phenomenon of reflection makes it appear to originate from somewhere else entirely.

Light may not be trapped, beguiled or depleted and yet light depends for its very existence upon darkness. In fact, it is impossible for one to exist in the absence of the other. Light penetrates a human mind and reveals spaces within that should remain forever dark, secret places where demons live.

The boy sniggered because he knew where his demon lived and one day, one night, he would trap him in his sweat-soaked bed and suffocate him. He would terminate his wheedling seduction so it would never, ever, be his turn again.

No matter how much he deserved his heaving, cigarette stinking, favour. He would never be his “good boy” again.

Oh yes, he knew where he lived alright, and how he operated, and spoke his name aloud: Mr Lambton. Sir . . .

Sir didn’t go forth and make his name in the world as the headmaster religiously preached to the assembled school. No, instead Sir hoisted up his wrinkled maturity and inveigled his avuncular authority to strip a boy naked, maul his shivering skin, crank his pubescent cock and take whichever part of the boy’s flesh he wanted.

Sir slithered in dark places sucking up the fungus of a child’s credulity, the rotting mush of his naiveté, all the while concealing his malevolent intent behind breezy smiles and cajoling bon ami – “how brave to take that catch!” Praise, which stung like a whiptail when the truth became too heavy a burden for a 12-year-old boy.

But the boy knew Sir was at his most sinister, most dangerous, in daylight, among people, out in the open. For in the light Sir consummated his skills in the dark art of manipulation – but the light, directed with infinite patience upon the chosen boy, concealed a cancer. It embraced the child and drew him willingly at first to the succour of Sir’s tweedy breast. How the man cared, really cared, with practised knowing and rehearsed wisdom, for the tearful child who shared his pain of isolation; the horror of abandonment. Eventually, the sensation of feeling love turns to hate.

Once inside the boy’s head, it was a sleight of hand to be inside his body.


Comment below or write to me: rod@rivenrod.com

© Rod McRiven 2017

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