Like any self-respecting cubbyhole, this one was dark and oppressive. I was determined though; I’d stand tough this time…
… until the fire-snakes appeared.
I screamed; ‘It’s me, mum. I broke the vase!’
For Trifextra. ‘Give us a confession’, they said, ‘could be fiction or fact.’
And this is a…
Fact. It’s a memory that’s still floating around in my head.
I was about six or seven when this happened and at that age I was particularly … well, let’s say ‘hyperactive’… and I used to do a lot of things that my mother…well, let’s say ‘she didn’t approve of’.
If I got a spanking, the effects usually lasted precisely the amount of time it took for my bum to stop hurting. Mum, therefore, needed to find a more effective way of disciplining me.
And she did.
I’ve always been terrified of the dark (I’m twenty-six and I still sleep with a night light!). I could always see all kinds of shadows; hunched and crawly things creeping up towards me from the corner of my eye. And snakes. There was always snakes (There still is).
As a punishment, therefore, my mum devised this ingenious plan. She would lock me in the closet (after removing the light bulb from its socket) until I:
1) admitted to what I had done;
2) was sorry enough to scream my apologies through the door.
It never took longer than five minutes; the creepy/hunched shadowy snakes always coerced me into admitting to whatever mum wanted to hear.