The Lost Voice

There was so much screaming last night. Far more than usual. It was really difficult to get to sleep. I wished I had the same cloth ears as Little Ted, who was snoozing next to me.

It all started after Dad came through the front door, slamming it. Mum’s words were so loud and screechy, it was impossible to work out what she was saying. Dad was also shouting. He definitely said, “Shut up, woman.” I remember those words, because I thought it was strange he called Mum a woman. Anyway, the pillow over my head must have worked, as I don’t remember much else after that.

This morning I went into their bedroom. I could tell straight away something really bad had happened. There were clothes, bags and boxes scattered all over the carpet. Even messier than my room has ever been. Mum was still in bed, just lying there, staring at the hanging light. Her eyes were puffy red, as if someone had thrown pepper into them. She turned towards me and smiled. I took that as an invitation to climb in with her. There was plenty of room today as Dad wasn’t in there. She pulled me close, cuddled me tightly, but she didn’t feel as warm as usual. Mum kissed my hair and tried to say something, but it didn’t sound like her. It sounded as if she was chewing meat.

“I’ve lost my voice.”

That’s what I believed she was saying.

“You’ve lost your voice?”

Mum nodded.

I unwrapped myself from her arms, jumped out of bed and started moving all the stuff that was littering the floor.“Where are you, Mrs Loud Voice? I’m coming for you.” Mum likes it when I’m being daft.

I flipped through a pile of her clothes and looked inside a few boxes. It wasn’t under the bed or on the bedside table next to her pink tablets. I noticed a big dusty gap in the wardrobe where the suitcases were usually stored. But it wasn’t hiding either.

Mum’s voice had be somewhere.

She’s always telling me that something is never lost, you just can’t see it.

I climbed back into bed, snuggled up and liked the way Mum started to gently rub my back. Her hand was going round and round in circles, as if she was trying to help me think about where her lost voice had concealed itself.

Suddenly, it struck me. I sat up in bed, looked at my mum’s swollen eyes and told her I knew where her lost voice was.

“I think Dad took your voice away,” I said.

She nodded and croaked, “You’re right. You’re so damn right. He silenced me.”

Well, I think that’s what she said.

Published: Pen to Print