There is a new child now. A girl, born of shame and violence. Unpure. Stained. A memory comes back. Another child. A boy. Sorrow.
The girl is playing outside. A woman comes over. I know the woman, but can’ really remember who she is. My heart beat faster. I used to love her. I still do, even after what she did. She did it to protect her son. Our son.
Then the memories fade again. The scars in my head. I know that’s why I can’t remember.
A young man comes out of the house. They know each other. I know there’s one more person, but she’s not there. The other girl. The one I must protect. Her and her little daughter are in danger.
The woman sees me. She’s pointing in my direction. The man looks at me. Our eyes meet. I remember. A little boy, so difficult, so cruel. All the birds he tortured. The squirrels. How she always protected him. He grabs a shovel. I remember the shovel, the pain. Danger.
The day comes back. The day my daughter came running up to the house, screaming in pain and sorrow. A child had been murdered that day, another conceived in horror.
I had wanted to tell, to turn him in. I had wanted to destroy my family. That’s what she said. No one must know. His face. Hans’ face, standing in the doorway.
He comes towards me. I run. Run into the forest, run as far as I can. Soon I can’t remember why, but I’m afraid. I have to hide. I have to go, far into the forest.
Mari looked at the man running into the bushes. He was gone, once again. She wondered who he was, and why he scared her uncle and grandma so. He didn’t look dangerous. They never told her anything.
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