Re-created is a poem written from the POV of our Mother Earth. She expresses how humankind have rejected grace and re-created a life of destruction, breaking her heart and ultimately killing her.
Raenar must leave her husband if she is to survive, but she will not leave her brother, Peter behind. They have both ran away before, from their abusive parents. But will this time be different? Raenar is broken and cannot withstand any more heartbreak. Can she fight or will she fall?
‘It is time!’ Luna exclaimed, as she barged in through the door.
‘You must leave now. Make haste, Little Wren.’
I turned to face her. She had never looked as fierce as she did tonight. Luna appeared to be an elderly woman, though I had never known her exact age, as common courtesy would not allow me to ask.
Her hands were worn and wizen, her bones brittle and her smile never full.
‘Worn down by a thousand memories past’, she would growl with a whisper of a smile. Though some days were grievous, as her bones would ache and every so often when she had had enough, Luna would rub and bark at them to seize their antics.
Each time, I wondered if Luna ever expected her bones to answer her back.
Those were the moments I cherished. They always brought a warm kind of comfort to my soul.
Her grace had been an escape from the waves that drowned me. A gift greater than I deserved.
I could feel my face burn red and my eyes fill with tears. This might be the last time I see her.
Luna looked up at me and her features softened.
‘My dear Little Wren. Come here’, she sighed, and she reached out her arms to me.
I wasn’t someone who relished in physical contact. It made me sick to my stomach. With bruises that were never seen and tears that drowned our pain, my parents would force their arms around us to suffice their guilt. Trying to hide the violent past, never to be spoken of again. Luna had learnt this.
Tonight, something was different. I looked at her outstretched arms and it occurred to me that this might be the last time I see her and despite myself, I leant in and held her close.
After her shock subsided, Luna held me tight too.
‘I will never forget your kindness,’ I whispered into her silver hair.
‘Promise me, Little Wren, you’ll protect your heart. He might have broken your wings, but there are other ways to fly.’
She pulled away and with one hand, she gave me my bag and with the other she ushered me out the door.
I glanced at her one last time and with a reluctant smile, I turned and dragged myself down the hallway to meet my brother.
I pulled out my phone and saw a message from him, he was on his way.
Peter had been my everything from the moment he was born. He was pure and whole, I was tainted and broken. The world needed more people like him, the world didn’t need me. A waste of space, less than scum I had been told.
I stood at the door that stopped me from seeing Peter. It was gigantic, hand crafted out of wood, with spiralling architecture that met to form angels. I took a step back and gazed up at them. I felt as though they could see within my soul and it seemed to me that they were whispering amongst themselves, ‘with a soul like that, broken, infested and rotten, who could ever love that?’ Sanctuary she pleads for. Huh! The righteous do not house the unclean souls like her. Be gone filth!’
I stared down at my feet and wished I was anywhere but here. Guilt had never been a stranger of mine, but within the midst of fear and sorrow, guilt had been resided into the shadows. Until now.
For as long as I can remember, Peter and I were abused by our parents. Our Dad would beat us for the smallest things; at three-years-of-age I was allowed to make vegemite sandwiches for lunch, though this one day I could not hold onto the glass jar of vegemite and it slipped out of my little hands. The jar smashed on the kitchen floor and my Dad dragged me to his room, pulled out his black leather belt from his wardrobe and belted me with it. Peter was about five-years-of-age when a family friend of our parents turned forty-years-of-age, and there was a party thrown for the man. Peter ate a lot of lollies that night and became ill. That night when we had gotten home from the party, our Dad strangled Peter and kicked him the stomach, then sent him to bed. Apparently five and seven-year-old children should be seen and not heard, and he believed we had embarrassed him that night. When I turned sixteen-years-of-age, I earned my ‘L’ plates and bought a second-hand car. Our Mum thought it meant I could do everything for her. She screamed at me when I would sit down to study, yelling at me to go to the supermarket, take Peter to school and pick him up, run all of her errands. If I asked for time to study or breathe, she would tell my Dad and he would beat me. Apparently, I was a horrible, evil child.
I had no choice but to take Peter and run away, though it was no use. I had allowed myself to fall right into the arms of another abusive relationship and a dangerous one for Peter or was I imagining it?
It was not good for me here, but it might be for Peter?
I fell to the ground and held myself tight. My heart was breaking, and the pain was unbearable. Peter had everything here. He is doing well at school and has made plenty of friends.
I didn’t want to drown him in the uncleanliness, the unworthiness of my soul. But I was selfish- at least, I feel selfish. I could not leave him here. I needed him with me.
I looked up from the floor toward the angels again and spoke with as much calmness as I could gather, ‘I know I am not worthy, but please, please, show me the way’.
Opening the door, I saw Peter standing there and I tried to stay calm, but I had seen a profound sadness in his eyes and knew instantly that Luna had told him. Peter’s body trembled and tears filled my eyes again. ‘I am so sorry Peter’, was all I could manage before becoming a blubbering fool. Straight away he pulled me in closer, wrapped his arms around me and held me tight, his head resting on mine.
‘I am the one who is sorry Raenar, I should have known.’ Peter whispered and after a little, he spoke again, ‘let’s get you out of here’.
I looked up toward the angels and without speaking aloud, I gave thanks. For without them, I wouldn’t have known what to do and with that, I felt, perhaps I was making the right choices.
As Peter and I passed through the doors and into the garden, I couldn’t help but pause for a moment to marvel at the extent of its beauty.
I was no expert in botany and therefore couldn’t name one plant which grew here, though I could see the way the plants were tamed to grow high around the structures of archways, chairs, tunnels and the castle itself. It was exquisite. Montreal had always been known for its gardens and Sorel was no exception. It might be a little quieter but just as grand.
Further on, as we made our way through the garden, were a multitude of trees, serving the purpose of a private forest. A place within this fortress I would always come to when the pain was too intense to bear.
Luna had decided the safest and quickest way for Peter and me to escape was through this garden and into the forest, which led to a secret door I had found months ago.
It was the same night Nathaniel had shown his true nature. I don’t remember how I had gotten out of there this time, but I know that once I started running, I just kept on running.
My body ached in pain, and bruises revealed themselves underneath the glistening light of the moon. As the moon’s light peered down below, I imagined her seeing the old and new wounds as they bled in unison. I tried to hide under the trees, but my feet felt the harsh claws of the winters ground below. My chest felt tight from the chilling night air, and my breathing had become jagged. My head hurt and my eyes burned. I could feel my soul tearing apart, my heart scattering farther. “Run Little Wren, Run!” A voice inside of me screamed. I tripped and hitting my wrist on something hard, I shrieked out in pain. For a while I lay there on the ground; holding my arm close. The pain had almost been unbearable, until a numbness washed over me and the world around me turned blurry.
When I awoke, I slowly got to my feet and tried to keep my wrist close to me. I looked at the tree root I had tripped over and followed it to see the largest, tallest tree I had ever seen. Foliage had grown over the branches and captivated by the growth of the tree, I moved the foliage with one arm to touch and as I did, I saw the way the bark intertwined to resemble a door.
It was like something out of a dream. It was intriguingly charming. The longer I observed, the more I witnessed. It had to be handcrafted. Different pieces of wood brought together somehow, intertwined to create intricate patterns that spiralled and weaved into an elegant woman. After some time, I had stopped coming to this door. Nathaniel had grown suspicious and I never found the key.
Startled by someone moving out from behind the rose bushes a little further up the path, I put my arm in front of Peter to stop him.
The man winced and from his cursing, I recognised him. It was Reid. He came out busily scratching where the thorn had nestled into his arm. I looked at Peter. ‘Luna made it quite clear that we needed Reid if we were to get out of here, so I agreed. Reluctantly.’
Unease settled in the pit of my stomach. I valued Peter’s opinion and I knew he admired Reid. He always spoke highly of him. But I didn’t like him.
I don’t know what Luna was thinking. It didn’t make sense.
Once we reached the place where the secret door lay hidden, I took in a deep breath and turned back to Peter and Reid, ‘we are here’.
Reid looked ahead of me and frowned.
I could see he was frustrated that all he could see was a giant tree, but I was angry at him. He did not need to be here, and to me this ginormous tree held so much hope for me. After a moment of regaining myself, I found my voice, and I spoke aloud to Peter, but so Reid could hear me too.
‘No matter how many times I came here, I could not find the key.’
‘Alright, let’s look around deeper in the foliage. Perhaps it has been buried?’ Said Peter. He turned to face me and realised I was frozen still.
‘What is it, Raenar?’
‘Reid, Reid is not here’, I said.
Before one of us could speak, there was the sound of clapping approaching us. Both of us turned around at the same time and I could feel my body turn into stone.
My husband, Nathaniel was walking toward us from the direction of the house. I felt like an alarm had been set off in my brain and all I could think was… run! I felt weak. I felt petrified. I could not move.
Peter stood up beside me, tall and strong. He tried sheltering me from Nathaniel. But it was not enough. I was frozen; I could not understand how had he known we were here?
Tears weld up, though not daring to spill. His smile was deep, deathly. His eyes welled with excitement. Nathaniel’s mind had wrapped itself around mine and was strangling me. He delighted in tormenting me and now he had the two of us. He was a monster!
Peter reacted by firmly pushing me farther behind himself. Nathaniel began to laugh a deep, eerie laugh. I had seen Nathaniel in this state before. I made to grab Peter and move him away, but Reid knocked me to the ground, forcing me to hit my head and ribs on the rocks. I felt the wind escape my lungs and I cried out, though it was not only my cries I heard!
I looked up and saw Reid standing in front of my brother. Nathaniel held a knife that was plunged into Reid’s lower back. Whimpering, I tried to get up, but my head pounded. Refusing to help. At first Nathaniel looked stunned and then he tore out the knife and plunged a second time… I willed myself to get to my feet, but I kept falling. I looked up again, as I heard Reid tell Peter ‘I am sorry.’ He pushed Peter as hard as he could, ‘run’ was all he could speak before blood splattered out of his mouth. Peter stood in shock.
‘Peter!’ I screamed.
Nathaniel lunged toward Peter, with a knife clenched in his hand.
It was as if the world had gone into darkness and the moon had found judgment. Nathaniel’s day of reckoning was over. For as I hurled myself between him and Peter, a silver-haired eagle flew down and dragged Nathaniel into the dark sky.
For some time, Peter and I sat in silence. Without a word, I got up and walked to Reid. I closed his eyes and began to pick flowers for him. It was then that I saw a key shimmering in his hand. It was the key to the secret door.
Sarah's passion within the arts has been the ability to express herself as the dreamer she is, and she hopes her work enthrals the dreamer in others. It has been interesting to learn during lockdown and she has found she is passionate about empathising with her characters to the extent that they become real to her. It makes her the writer she is.