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Burnt Innocence

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They burnt the table again. Its plastic sheen has given way to a gaping hole. Looks like a screaming mouth. That thought makes me giggle since she’s upstairs again, screaming.

I look around the debris of last night and recollect my absence. I was in my room, listening to dead rock stars on the turn table. Slowly and quietly writing and rehearsing sonnets in my head, getting drunk in the process. It was only a matter of time until my lyrics included the obscene things that were happening outside. I would repeat the word ‘flesh’ until I found it vulgar. But that is what I saw. Pink, white, brown, burnt, bleeding, bruised, stretched, withered, hairy, bald, thin, and thick.

I walk around, finding the lighter that would have inflamed the table. I had no feeling towards the table, therefore I looked away and tried to find meaning to this catastrophe.

The wire holding the washing was still intact. The pegs held photos from last night. The whole scene was peculiarly beautiful. The pictures held little or no meaning. Obscure and blurred outlines of people who were trying to dodge the camera. And for good reason. Shards of clothing were dotted around. Condom wrappers were everywhere. And a skipping CD player was found underneath that burnt table. I put it out of its misery and switched it off. That was when she began to scream. I closed my eyes then looked up at the bedroom window that had the view of the garden.

I tried to decipher it all. I wasn’t of age, so I was shunned to my room. They didn’t have enough for a baby sitter, so there I sat. Listening to the sound of sex. Wondering why that sound would envelope a sense of wanting. I tried to look for someone.

After a while, since the screaming wasn’t going to stop, and the view from the garden to that bedroom was shrouded in darkness, I sighed and walked into the house. I went up the stairs to that bedroom and with one finger, I nudged the door open. Oh, she was having sex again. I tilted my head to understand how her legs got that high. But no matter. I wandered off and relished in the memory of my adventures from last night.

I eventually wandered to the bathroom and had found the noise to be unbearably close and loud. The door was open but someone was in there. A boy, looking at himself in the mirror, saying encouraging things to himself in the mirror. Dutch courage. I asked,

‘Why do you need Dutch courage for?’

‘What? Oh. Because of what’s happening downstairs, naturally,’ he chuckled to himself as if my question was an idiotic one. I sniffed my annoyance and replied,

‘I need to use the bathroom,’

‘Oh right, sorry,’ he shuffled away and then I went about my business. When I finished, I could see that he had left his drink behind. I sniffed its contents, recalled what the substance was and then drank it. Afterwards, I wandered down to the kitchen for something to eat.

I was waiting for the toast to pop up when I realised that I could see everything. The smell of it was filling the entire house. So much noise for something I didn’t understand. In the garden someone was using a camera to capture the night, and once a picture came out, the photographer would look around for a good place to store the pictures, then found the wire with the pegs. I could even see the idea warming to him as he got to work.

I found another camera, which was left on the kitchen table. There was a full roll of film in it. Next to it, I found a mask. I put the mask on, placed the camera around my neck and got to work. I tapped my leg nervously, took a deep breath, and then went outside. The music was loud, drowning out the screams and moans of both sexes. I snapped away, capturing the different exotic positions and their faces in a drunken erotic faze. I took my time, gaining the right composure and pocketing the pictures for later use. When I had run out of film, I went away and stored the camera under my bed. The pictures, now developed in my pocket, I took out and looked at.

My smile vanished. I was no longer innocent and it was all their fault.

© 2019 L P

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