Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Eternal Karma By Thom Goddard

I knew it was wrong. No, tell a lie, I didn’t know it was wrong because I was too young to know. It is the innocence of youth. And you’re only young once, right? So when innocence is gone so is your youth.

My mother and father were decent, loving parents who made sure my brother and I had everything we ever wanted. Our small garden was littered with toy tractors he never rode and I needed a pony but couldn’t have one as we lived in a small, two-up, two-down in Manchester. My mum arranged horse-riding lessons for me every week about 3 miles from our house and I looked after a pony called ‘Frenchy’ (because he loved my left-over McDonald’s french fries) three days a week. I groomed him, fed him and did the dirty job of mucking him out. He was the love of my young life.

Every summer my parents would have a holiday so my brother and me would go and visit our auntie and uncle. Freda and Alfie. It was the same every year. My father would fain how tired he was and my mother would become more volatile with us. They were trying to prepare my brother and me for their holiday. I understand now that parents need to get away, to “escape the kids”. But back then I couldn’t understand why my mother and father would put us through hell so they could be alone for a fortnight.

Uncle Alfie and Auntie Freda had a large, dairy farm that covered hundreds of acres across the Peak District. The first holiday my brother and I had at the farm was filled with wonder at seeing the cows being milked, the care with which my uncle looked after them and drinking milk straight, well, out of the cow. The second visit was more memorable. “Unkie” Alfie started touching me that time. After bath, auntie read my brother a story in bed, while downstairs Unkie touched my pre-teen genitals. When I lost my innocence to him on our fourth holiday, aged 10, it was to be expected.

A year later, just before “holiday”, Uncle Alfie died suddenly. I told my mother everything that had happened and she called the police. Auntie Freda told them the whole thing was nonsense and I shouldn’t make up such stories about the dead. She never apologised to me, my mother or my brother who Alf had just started to notice.

It is now twenty years later and Auntie Freda lives in a dementia care home close to me. The entire family think I’m a saint for visiting her every day. Due to her dementia, Freda asks me every single day how is her dearly beloved husband Alf. And every single day I take great pleasure in my revenge by breaking her heart with the news that dear “Unkie Alfie” is dead.

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