I remember looking out of the window, the third time that evening, the tenth time that day. He was still there, totally oblivious to the rain drip-drip-dripping from the clouds, totally unaware of the time tick-tick-ticking past. He’d been there since before i had woken up, just standing in the middle of the road, his back to me, face down and eyes closed- he didn’t move a muscle.
I busied myself with things to get my mind off him. I was home alone, and knew i wasn’t allowed out. But i was a curious child then… After a while i found myself at the front door. It was obvious that i should go outside… but there was a part of me telling me not to.
The rain was heavier, and still he didn’t move. Clutching onto my toy rabbit, i pushed open the large door as quietly as i could. It creaked, and i stopped. I could’ve sworn i saw him flinch. I carried on opening the door, and creeped down the garden path to the little front gate, and stopped.
I’ve been on the run from the law- escaping every place i have been held captive. But now…now i’ve had enough running. It’s early. The dew has set….but the birds aren’t awake. I stand in the middle of the country lane, and i turn to the cottage standing behind me. This is the place, i think. I close my eyes. I breathe in the fresh air, the air my lungs are greedy for. I think to myself… think of how great it is to be free at last.. how great it feels to just stand here, not having to run away from anyone..anything. Now i wait.
I hear a creak… they’ve come for me, that’s my first thought…. but now there is no sound. I relax a bit, but not too much. Then comes an angelic voice from behind me… The girl i have been waiting for is here…
“Why are you standing in the rain?” I asked poitely. The man twisted his head quickly to look at me over his shoulder. His features took me back… From behind, he looked older, and wise… but his face told a different story… He was young, with black hair, darker than the darkest night. His skin- pale. Almost white…almost. But what stood out the most, where those brilliant blue eyes… Like nothing i had ever seen before…
“Come with me, little girl.” He said in a whisper, holding out a hand.
“But my mummy said i have to wait for her to come back from the shops.” I said innocently. The man looked confused for a second, and then asked ,
“When did she leave, little girl?”
“Earlier,” i replied simply.
“Do you know what time?”
“No she didn’t.” The man said sharply. I was scared… confused. “Little girl,” He continued. “What year is it?”
“1983, and my name isn’t little girl, it’s-”
“Little girl, it isn’t 1983. It’s 2012. You’ve been in this house for a long time, and people are coming to get you. They aren’t good people, they are very bad. You must come with me now-”
“What happened to my mummy?” The man stopped talking immediately. “And my name is-”
“Your mother died, along with 30 others on Saturday 5th March, 1983, at the market in town. Now if you don’t come with me now, you will also die, and i can’t let that happen.”
Tears started to well up in my eyes. I didn’t know what was going on…
“You’ve got to understand that if you don’t leave now, very bad people will come and get you. They will kill you, little girl.”
The girl stands there, looking at her feet. I keep trying to convince her that she must come with me… but she is reluctant. We hear sirens, coming up the hill. The girl looks at me, fear in her eyes.
“Come with me now, and you’ll be safe.”
“Will Mr. Rabbit be safe aswell?” She asks. I am confused, but she shows me her toy rabbit. I smile.
“Of course he will.” I lend her my hand, and, shyly, she takes it.
We disappear as the police cars reach the top of the hill.
-South African Nutter