My name is not really Lena Seagull. Seagull is the nickname my father was given by those who knew him. While you were alive, he would steal everything from you, and when you were dead, he would steal even your eyeballs.
My first vivid memory is one of violence.
I was not yet five years old and I had disobeyed my father. I had refused to do something he wanted me to. I cannot remember what it was anymore, but it was something small and insignificant. Definitely unimportant. He did not get angry, he just nodded thoughtfully. He turned towards my mother. ‘Catherine,’ he said calmly. ‘Put a pot of water on to boil.’
I remember my mother’s white face and her frightened eyes clearly. She knew my father, you see. She hung a pot of water on the open fire of the stove.
He sat and smoked his pipe quietly. Behind me, my sisters and brother huddled. There were seven of us then. I was the youngest. Two more would come after me.
‘Has the water boiled yet?’ my father asked every so often.
‘No,’ she said, her voice trembling with fear, and he nodded and carried on puffing on his pipe.
Eventually, she said, ‘Yes. The water is ready.’
Two of my sisters began to sob quietly. My father carefully puts his pipe down on the table and stood.
‘Come here,’ he called to my mother. There was no anger. Perhaps he even sighed.
But by now my mother’s fear had communicated itself to me and I had begun to fidget, fret and hop from foot to foot in abject terror. I sobbed and cried out, ‘I’m sorry. I’m very sorry. I will never again do such a thing.’
My father ignored me.
‘Please, please, papa,’ I begged.
‘Put the child on the chair,’ he instructed.
My mother, with tears streaming down her cheeks, puts me on the chair. Even then I think she already knew exactly what was about to happen because she smiled at me sadly, but with such love that I remember it to this day.
I stood up and clung desperately to my mother’s legs. My father ordered my older sisters to hold me down. They obeyed him immediately.
Reluctantly, my mother dragged her feet back to my father.
With the dizzying speed of a striking snake he grabbed her hand and plunged it into the boiling water. My mother’s eyes bulged and she opened her mouth to scream, but the only sound that came out was the choke that someone makes when they are trying to vomit. While she writhed and twisted like a cut snake in his grip, my father turned his beautiful blue eyes toward me. My father is an extremely handsome man—laughing gray eyes and blonde hair.
The shock of witnessing my father’s savagery towards my beloved mother was so total and so all encompassing that it silenced my screams and weighted me to my chair. I froze. For what seemed like eternity, I could not move a single muscle. And then I began to shriek. A single piercing wail of horror. My father pulled my mother’s hand out of the pot and rushing her outside, plunged her blistering, steaming hand into the snow.
I ran out and stood watching them, icy wind caught in my throat. My father was gently stroking my mother’s hair. Her face was ghostly white and her teeth were chattering uncontrollably. Then she turned to look at me and snapped them shut like a trap. I was never the same after that day.
I obeyed my father in all things…
Georgia Le Carre writes contemporary and adult romance.
She lives in a little old 19th century romantic cottage, surrounded by the most magical garden, filled with fruit and walnut trees and teeming with wildlife.
Her diet includes all things chocolate and a voracious appetite for Romance reads, particularly new authors with a fresh voice.
When she is not feeding words into Amy, her precious laptop, she can be found lost in a long walk in the woods, particularly on moonlit nights; and often with the man of her dreams.
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