Hello guys, finally, it is here; thanks for your patience. Another journey begins today. Please do read, comment and share on all platforms. Thanks

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PROLOGUE

Warmth slowly faded, receding until it was but a distantly vague memory. Cold took its place, creating a wall of ice thick enough to rival the walls of Jericho. Peace turned into war, love turned to hate and the silence and calm which Jack always cherished and desired in his home was gone, replaced by the loud screams of his mother which penetrated the fogginess of his sleepy eyes.

“Pleeeeaaaasssee…”

Jack jerked up with a start. Mummy! His bedside clock confirmed it still two hours to midnight. He couldn’t have been sleeping for long, but his mother’s shrill voice sounded parched and raspy as though she had been screaming for hours. He jumped out of bed and raced out of his bedroom and down the stairs, knowing what was happening from the matching growls of his father. He is doing it again! He thought fearfully. The closer he got to the sitting room, the louder the voices became. Fear gripped his heart like the claws of a hungry lion, squeezing hard until it became too hard to breathe. Without thinking twice, he dashed into their large sitting room, turned his head in the direction of the screams and froze.

He stood there, frozen in time as he watched his father’s fists go up and down, pounding the face of his mother repeatedly.

“Pleeeeaaassee… stop…” his mother screamed, aimlessly using her hands to shield her face.

Mr Pascal’s slaps and blows seemed to increase. “So you can beg ehn?” he yelled. “Don’t worry, I would teach you respect with my fists” he barked.

Jack couldn’t stand it any longer. He ran towards them. “Nooo… stop” Jack pulled uselessly at his father’s arms, clawed at his back but he just won’t stop. Mr Pascal continued to rain punches on his mother.

“Don’t. Ever. Talk. Back. At. Me” Pascal roared, as his fists punctuated each word.

“Leave her alone… leave my mummy alone” Jack screamed as tears rolled down his cheeks. His mother’s face was a bloody mess, her initially loud screams were becoming weaker and weaker, his father’s punches kept coming and coming, yet, he couldn’t do anything about it. He couldn’t defend his mother! He picked his shoes and started hitting it against his father’s back desperately, shouting above the wails of his mother. “Stop. Stop. Leave. Mummy. Alone” he yelled as he slammed the boots against his father’s back.

“Get off, stupid boy” Mr Pascal’s hand flashed out and pushed Jack away forcefully.

“Jack” Margaret gasped out painfully as Jack tumbled and fell to the ground. She tried to drag her battered form towards her son but couldn’t muster the strength. “Don’t… don’t hurt my son, please…” she begged.

“We cannot stay under one roof. For your own good, take this useless son of yours and get out of my house before I drag you out” Pascal barked, his fists clenched tight.

“Mummy” Jack yelled, stood up and rushed to his mother, ignoring the sting in his buttocks. “Mummy… mummy, are you alright?” he asked hurriedly, with his seven years old face totally askew. “Let’s go mummy, let us leave this place” he begged as tears rolled down his cheeks. The bloody face of his mother tore at his tender heart and his hatred for his father increased.

“Listen to your son, woman” Pascal barked. “Leave my house”

“No” Margaret gasped out in pain. “Please Pascal… we have nowhere to go… pleeeaasssee…”

“Do I look like I care?” he asked. “You can go to hell, I don’t give a damn! Now, get  out of here before I drag you out myself” he threatened, his voice echoing round the sitting room.

“Stop” Jack yelled, putting himself between his mother’s form and his towering father. “We would go! Leave my mummy alone”

Mr Pascal glared at the seven years old boy. “Shut up you little brat” he barked. “How dare you raise your voice at me? I have always wondered if you were my son”

Jack nodded. “Me too. I have always wondered if you were my father” he returned stubbornly and heard his mother gasp in horror.

Mr Pascal’s eyes burned with rage as he slapped Jack soundly across the face, making the little boy sway from the force. Margaret shrieked and summoned enough strength to stand up and pull Jack behind her, shielding her son with her body against her husband. “Leave him Pascal, we would leave”

“Get out of my house now” Pascal roared, “and take this bastard along with you. This boy can never be my son”

Jack turned his eyes back to his father, stubbornly steeling himself against the tears which threatened to break free. “Yes. Being a bastard is better… than being your son”

Margaret hurriedly dragged Jack out of the house as fast as her battered body could carry her. Jack hurried along with his mother, he didnt know where they were going, but at least, no matter where they went, he took pleasure in knowing that his father wouldn’t be able to beat up his mother again. Mr Pascal’s enraged voice grew thinner and thinner until it finally faded out. And so they walked, away from the house and into the thick darkness of the night, without a destination in mind. They were alone, tossed out in the cold to thread the dangerous path of uncertainty. Jack felt certain that anywhere would be better than the lion’s den which was his father’s house, but he was to learn…

Getting himself and his mother out of the den seemed like the best decision at the time, but it took being out in the unknown to change him, maim him and ultimately, chart a new course for him… There are worse fates than being in the lion’s den! It took being out of it to realize this, but the hands of time can only move forward. Turning back the hands of time is… a painful impossibility!

#MaimedSoul

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