Sister would slam her head against the refrigerator door. Pepper jars, condiments and other glass items clanked with each blow. Magnets slid empathetically, scattering on the beige linoleum. She would yank her chestnut blonde curls from her monkey-sized skull and drop to her knees, gasping for another breath, choking in hysteria. During her convulsive blows of self-abuse, the expression on her face were a suspended jittering frown of terror. A sheen of saliva shined her bottom lip, dripping to the floor with each hit to the head. She didn’t know any better. Sister was special. She was deficient.
Most of the time mother would spring sister up from her merciful stance, occasionally ripping sister’s blouse from her skeletal frame and yell, “Stop! You’re too old for this.”
Other times sister would continue the self-affliction by clawing her child flesh from her undeveloped breasts down to her stomach in a maniacal frenzy. Fresh bleeding scratches adorned her tiny body, breathing so heavily, sleep would attain her tortured spirit, lying peacefully on the linoleum under the kitchen table like a dog.
The front door opened. The keys jangled in the lock. All hairs on our bodies stood up. Father was home. His charcoaled boots clunked against the wooden foyer floor.
If he sees his daughter lying underneath the table, mother would be chastised for neglect and bad mothering; punished under his law of unforgiving cruelty.
“Why is she on the floor again?” Father sternly inquired.
“I sorry. I cook you dinner, I have no time help her.” Mother replied in a broken dialect.