The shadows cast by our sycamore trees aren’t dark enough to swallow me whole. The sun never shines brightly enough here, not even in June, particularly not in June.
Was that too much of a clue? Would they think of asking June whether she had any idea what that meant? Well, so what? It didn’t actually matter much at all. She probably wouldn’t be in the humour to answer any questions to do with him anyways. Not after what happened earlier today.
“June = a goon” had taken him over an hour to etch into the bark of the sycamore tree at the top of the driveway to her house. Would have been quicker with the knife, but mum had taken that off him after what she called the incident.
“Had to use a flippin shard of glass instead, didn’t I? Cut my hand with it, too.” Sean laughed a whispered sort of laugh at the thought of the blood he’d been able to smear onto the white marble gate post as a consequence of that lucky accident. If June hadn’t noticed it yet, he was sure her dad would have by now. Would he leave it there until the next morning? Would he stick with this annoying routine of hosing down his car, the driveway and the gate posts every morning at exactly 7 o’clock?
Everything had to be a certain way with the doctor and not any other way. Sean hoped that the old man wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight, visions of the blood stain appearing before his eyes whenever he closed them so that he had to open them again and again and again to make them disappear.
Don’t go looking for me! I don’t want to be found.
That stupid incident wouldn’t ever have happened if they’d just left him alone. They kept on following him around, chanting “Sean-o freak-o, you’re too weird for June-o. Sean-ee freak-ee, you are such a siss-ee.” He’d been ready for them that day, tired of their taunts. Uncle Pat’s birthday present of a camo knife had served him well. Managed to cut Máirtín’s cheek open with it, served him right, and welcome to the world of freaks boy-o. Who is going to be the freak now? The other boys were just followers and useless little cowards once their leader was down.
I’m not coming back until I’ve grown a beard.
“For goodness’ sakes,” June had said, “would you look at yourself! You’re sixteen and not a bit of hair to be seen on your girly face. And don’t try telling me that you’re shaving. That apple skin of yours has never been touched by a razor. I wouldn’t be seen dead going out with a boy who looks like a thirteen-year-old tomboy. And anyway, I already have a really cool boyfriend. What, you didn’t know that Máirtín and I have been going out for a full week now?”
“I know now, don’t I? He’s a brainless bully and now he’s already turned you into a bully, too. Girls are meant to have more sense than boys. You go and look at yourself! And don’t you come running back to me to cry your eyes out after he’s done with you.“
I really mean it this time mum. None of this is your fault. Love, Sean.
Sean could hear June sobbing into her pillow above his hiding place. His mum and June’s dad, the doctor, wouldn’t find him here. Surely they wouldn’t think of looking for him right under June’s bed.
Sean wondered if mum had found his note yet. The palm of his hand had started bleeding again. He touched his chin savouring the sensation of the warm liquid bonding with his skin. Once dried it would look a bit like Máirtín’s goatee. Maybe June would accept him then and give Máirtín his marching orders.
“Psychoanalytic Clinic, Sycamore House, Dr Carr’s secretary, how can I help you?”
Deirdre’s crisp professional tone made her feel a little less anxious already.
“Oh, it’s you Mrs Carr. I’ll put you straight through to him.”
“Máirtín? Oh, good, I was worried you might be in a session. She’s written another note. This time she’s signed it Sean. She’s in her room upstairs, in bed. She hasn’t barricaded the door this time, but she’s hurt herself, slashed the palm of her hand with a steak knife. There’s a lot of blood on the pillow and all over her face. She says Sean has run away with the knife and that he wants to hurt her boyfriend. I don’t know what to do any longer.“
“Stay calm Elaine, please. I’ll come straight home. I’ll give Dr Costigan a call on the way. He was right, I shouldn’t have tried to treat my own daughter. I only hope it’s not too late to get him involved.”
“I told you I don’t want to be found,” was the last thing Mrs Carr heard before Sean whacked the back of her head with Dr Carr’s 9-iron.
He put the steak knife back into the kitchen drawer and slid the iron back into the golf bag in the hall. He didn’t want to get June into more trouble than absolutely necessary. Her dad didn’t like things being misplaced. He even closed the front door on his way out.
(c) Ash N. Finn, 2013
The trigger for today’s story was: