BLIND RAGE LINDA GAINE
For an October day the weather had not been too bad, mainly sunny and warm in the sun, but now as frosty slivers came out of a pale grey sky it started to cover the lush green grass in a silvery blanket.
Early evening was quickly approaching, and murky shadows of twilight began pushing the sun towards a fast-declining horizon. Jennifer and Laura did not notice how cold it was getting; they were wrapped up warmly like two little Eskimos in jumpers and jeans, playing with their dolls on the lawn of the old manor house.
The loud roar of the plane that passed exceptionally low overhead did not distract them, because little Laura Sorensen focused entirely on what she was doing. In her hand she held a pretend cup of tea offering it to her doll, her head tipped slightly to the left as if she were expecting the doll to talk back to her. Suddenly a sharp gust of wind blew in from the East whipping up stale leaves, tossing them carelessly like used pieces of paper and Laura turned her head to watch the crisp dead leaves spin majestically. She hunched her little shoulders flexing her nostrils to smell the dampness of the earth as she tightly clutched her doll to her chest. Suddenly she looked up and with a startled little gasp she saw a flock of Starlings sweep from the trees on their way to roost for the night, their rapid ascent shocked her like the slamming of a door, her eyes sprung open and her lips formed into a perfect ’oh’ as the cold grey sky welcomed them as they soared in one black mass. The wind started up, howling through the trees shaking more leaves to pile up in a heap on the ground.
Jennifer watched her sister with growing resentment; they had not spoken one word between them since they had come out to play. They had never got on too well, but that was not unusual for siblings all brothers and sisters argue. Jennifer was three years older than Laura and she thought she had every right to take whatever she wanted from her six-year-old sister. Suddenly she stiffened; her eyes narrowed then sprung open in a cold angry glare like a thin sheet of ice forming over a clear blue lake, her once tranquil face now turned pink from her fiery temper that was beginning to flare. She scrambled to her feet, holding her doll by its arm, her steely eyes fixed firmly on Laura’s doll.
“Laura! Give me your doll, I hate this one! It’s bloody stupid!”
Angrily she threw the doll and watched as it slammed against the big oak tree shattering the delicate porcelain head against the bark; it fell to the grass in several pieces.
Jennifer stamped her foot. “Now look what you made me do you stupid little BITCH!” Her icy blue eyes held her in a threatening glare.
Laura’s heart pounded faster, her dark eyes widened in shock at Jennifer’s foul language although she knew only too well by past experience that when Jennifer started swearing, she’d be brought instantly to the very edge of fear, because that is how it’s always been ever since she could remember, her life centred around fear of her older sister.
Jennifer moved away from the broken doll and circled her menacingly, gritting her teeth and curling her lips into a snarl. She reached down and hauled the small child to her feet.
“You know something? You always seem to get the best around here, the best doll, the best dress, the best EVERYTHING....Maybe it’s because you’re younger than Me, or maybe they love you that big little bit more than me.” she hissed, drawing the sleeve of her violet coloured jumper across her runny nose.
She was so close that Laura could feel her warm breath uncomfortably moist on her neck. Jennifer grabbed hold of her arm her fingers digging deeply into her tender flesh spinning her around to face her. Her eyes drew Laura’s hypnotically and for a heart stopping moment she was afraid she would get sucked into them and slowly suffocate. Laura’s eyes filled with tears, fear overwhelmed her, and she immediately handed the doll to Jennifer who sniffed loudly and released Laura’s arm. The spell was broken.
Finally, Laura looked down frowning at the broken doll; she knew how angry her father was going to be once he saw it, the two dolls had been in the family for years, and it was Laura’s doll that Jennifer smashed, and she knew that she would get the blame for it. The unshed tears that sat like dewdrops on her dark lashes clouded her vision, a soft strand of rich dark hair fell into her eyes and she flicked it back with one chubby little hand, and then her eyes focused straight ahead, widening in alarm. Jennifer turned to see what Laura was looking at and sucked in a sharp little breath as she saw their father approaching.
“Come on girls,” he called, “your mother asked me to call you for dinner.”
He glanced towards the ground where the broken doll lay, for one moment a look of surprise crossed his face, and then quickly turned to anger.
“Hey…what the hell happened here?”
Jennifer shook her head and raised her eyebrows in complete surprise. Laura shrugged her tiny shoulders helplessly, her tear drenched lashes swept towards the ground.
He frowned “What happened to the doll?” His voice became harsh, angry, with a strong thick Swedish accent that cut cleaner than a newly sharpened knife.
Jennifer cried appealingly. “Laura dropped it daddy, she stamped on it.”
Laura’s mouth hung open in astonishment. “I didn’t...I...” her words trailed off as she looked at her father, the anger was very apparent in his angry gaze, his eyes fixed firmly on Jennifer.
“Go to the house Jennifer.”
He bent down and picked up the dolls head it crumpled like dust between his fingers.
“Jesus Christ Laura! This is an expensive doll...its head was made of porcelain...Do you know what Porcelain is Laura?”
She nodded her head submissively. “I think so Daddy.”
“Why did you break it?”
“I didn’t daddy...I didn’t...honestly”
“We’ll talk about this later...Go on to the house and wash up for dinner.”
Laura bent down, picked up the doll Jennifer had taken from her and headed silently towards the house.
Jennifer wasted no time at all hurrying back; she didn’t dare glance behind once to see if Laura was following, instead she pulled up her socks and ran as fast as she could, her pigtails swinging in the wind to be ready for her defence, to think clearly and decisively of what she was going to say.
She raced upstairs to the bathroom and splashed water on her face. Taking out the bands that held her pigtails in place she discarded them on the side of the sink while she brushed her long auburn hair. When she had finished, she walked slowly yet confidently towards the stairs, with all the equilibrium of a staid more sensible older child that she was sure, was going to get her out of trouble with her father.
Jennifer was careful not to sit anywhere near her younger sister, instead she sat herself next to her mother, right at the end of the huge regency dining table.
Sven stood at the door to the dining room, he was a big man with broad shoulders and handsome Viking features. His face looked like it was sculptured in granite, yet his eyes were soft, they seemed to be smiling until he got angry, and then they did not look so soft anymore but resembled icy glaciers.
He walked towards the table, nodded to his wife with a hint of a smile, and pulled the chair from under the table and sat next to Jennifer who’s eye’s remained firmly on her plate.
For a long while he sat watching Jennifer, and then he placed his fork beside his plate. “Jennifer, May I ask you why you broke the doll…and then deliberately lied to me in the process?”
“I didn’t...Laura did it, she’s the liar not me.” She lowered her head defiantly with a look of stubbornness on her face.
Sven slammed his hand on the table “Jennifer! Please don’t lie to me.”
She jumped, glancing furtively sideways at her father.
“I’m not lying Daddy, why is it always me who gets the blame for everything?”
Her heart had started its steady rhythmic thudding, as it always did, mainly out of excitement rather than fear. She got a mega kick out of seeing her younger sister punished for something that she had not done. After all what were younger sisters made for anyway? The thought of Laura getting a good hiding from their father sent waves of joy coursing through her.
The room became as silent as a funeral directors waiting room, Jennifer could almost feel her younger sister tense in her chair, and it was all she could do to stop herself from grinning.
Sven clasped his hands firmly together on the table, watching Jennifer closely.
“So, who is going to tell me what happened, huh? Would you like to be first Jennifer?”
Jennifer fidgeted in her seat, but her head was still bowed.
“I already told you it wasn’t me, why do you always think I’m lying?”
“Because you always tell lies Jennifer, I know when you lie to me.”
“No, I don’t!”
“I beg your pardon Madam. Then why is your head bowed instead of looking directly at me?” Sven sat forward angrily.
“Oh Sven, for god’s sake, you’re making a drama out of the whole thing.” Nadia frowned; she placed her fork on her plate. “Come on honey, let’s forget the whole damn thing, it’s only a doll.”
“Nadia...I will not have her lie to me like this, she is heading for trouble, and one of these days that’s just what she’s going to get, a barrel load of it.”
Nadia smiled at nine-year-old Jennifer, reached over and smoothed hair from her eyes.
“Did you break it honey? Was it an accident?” Nadia asked in her soft American accent. Jennifer shook her head.
“Well?” Sven asked turning to Laura. “Did you break it?”
Laura’s small fingers curled around each other in her lap, she looked at her father and smiled nervously.