Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 86

“What are those,” Elizabeth asked. ‘They are presents, for you,” Tichiban replied, “But they are not finished yet. I need some items from you to make them whole.” Tichiban had a thick West-Indies accent and was sometimes hard to understand, but Elizabeth had gotten used to her way of speaking. “What are they for?” “They are special dolls my child. When you get angered at your parents and want them to stop what they are doing, you merely have to stick a pin in the dolls and they will be halted in their intentions.” “Really? When will they be ready? I mean, what do you need from me?” Tichiban explained what she needed. In a matter of days, Elizabeth collected the items used to finish the dolls. From her step-father she collected, shaven whiskers, a sweaty rag, and fingernail clippings. From her mother she obtained a small amount of her favorite perfume, hair from a comb, and a rag with her menstrual blood on it. Tichiban incorporated these items into the dolls. She waved her hands over them and chanted in a foreign tongue. Candles flickered as Tichiban blew a dry dust over the figures and sprinkled them with oil from an unlabeled jar. After an hour long ceremony, she gave the dolls to Elizabeth. Elizabeth hid the dolls in the barn, which was rarely used these days and had become a sanctuary she often visited to collect her thoughts in solitude. Watching from the upper level of the barn through a window, Elizabeth tested her doll. She poked the needle into the doll’s back. Standing at the front of the house, her step-father grabbed his back in pain. She pulled the needle out and poked it in again. Isaac arched his back, the pain more intense than the first time and retreated into the house forgetting his original intentions. Elizabeth was amazed and excited with the new-found power she possessed. She giggled aloud and ran to hide her wax doll in its hiding spot between the wood panels of the barn wall. The next morning, Elizabeth sat at the breakfast table confidently, basking in the knowledge of her secret power over the world. A young lady with an Irish accent set a plate before her, and then set plates before her parents. “Who is this stranger?” Elizabeth asked. Her eyes widened with curiosity. “Whatever do you mean, dear Elizabeth?” her mother, Abby, questioned. “Who is this woman serving me food?” Elizabeth returned with distrust in her voice. She knew something was afoot. “She is the new house maid, Eleanor.” Elizabeth darted her gaze to her step-father then back to her mother with disbelief. “Where is Tichiban?” she asked. Nervousness was clearly present in her voice. “We have relieved Tichiban of her services,” Isaac stated firmly. “What? Why?” Elizabeth asked. Her voice was two pitches higher in tone than her normal speaking voice. “Your mother and I consider her a bad influence on you and your sister - what, with all her strange religious beliefs and pagan customs.” Isaac said this with a smirk on his face and a satisfaction in his voice, knowing Elizabeth would not be pleased. He reveled in causing her harm, distress and misery, whether it was physical or emotional. Elizabeth’s eyes grew wide with shock and brimmed with tears. Her brows rose on her forehead and her mouth hung slack. Fighting back tears, she found her voice. “But…But, I must see her. That is, I would like to say goodbye to her. She has been my friend for all these years.” Elizabeth gripped the table edge and dug her nails into the wood as she attempted to control her anger. “It is too late. Tichiban and her family vacated the servant house just after dawn. Perhaps if you had awakened at a decent hour this morning, you may have been able to say your goodbyes,” Abby said. It seemed to Elizabeth that her own mother had been somehow influenced by Isaac to inflict hurt and misery upon her for their shared enjoyment. “No, no. Please I must find her,” Elizabeth shouted, finally bursting into a torrent of tears. She stood, ready to go and find her old friend. “Sit back down this instant,” Isaac demanded. “I will not have you running down the road full of tears over a servant.” Elizabeth backed away from the table in horror, a hand over her mouth, unable to speak through the pain. “Elizabeth! Did you hear what I said?” Isaac screamed. She backed up into the dining room wall and straightened her arms to her sides. A fury mounted inside of her and her face turned bright red. She clenched her fists together and her eyes flashed wildly from her step-father to her mother and back. “I hate you! I hate you both!” she screamed in a rage at her loudest possible capabilities, forcing her mother to cover her ears and Isaac to be startled at the depth and power of rage let loose from her.