From "Inheriting Fear", a romantic suspense novel
Hi, I’m Mya, the motorbike-riding tough girl from 'Inheriting Fear'. I want to tell you a bit about myself, just so you’ll understand that I’m not all bitch. I put on a front to keep people — especially men — at arm’s length. Can you blame me, after what I endured at the hands of Cockroach (Jack Roach)?
But my childhood wasn’t all bad. Jack was a loving dad once upon a time. I remember barbeques in the back yard with Nana hugging the breath from me and the neighbour’s dog waiting in the shade by the fence for a bit of left over sausage. Sometimes Mum and Dad’s friends would come over and they’d play card games at the kitchen table. I’d sit on the cool linoleum floor with a bowl of potato chips and glass of lemonade, listening to the grown-ups’ conversations. It made me feel important to be privy to such things.
Once we even holidayed by the beach and had to eat our ice creams fast, because the wind made them melt quicker than a lick. Mum was the most beautiful woman I knew, with long waves of caramel hair and glossy pink lips. She gave the best hugs too. Being wrapped in her arms was like snuggling into the softest blanket, with the scent of vanilla cupcakes, which made me hungry.
Cooking with Mum was such fun that even my kindy friends used to ask to join in. She didn’t get angry when you cracked the egg too hard and got shell in the cake mix, or when you stirred too vigorously and slopped some onto the floor. And she had an uncanny knack of needing something from the cupboard right when I slipped a few chocolate chips into my mouth. Luckily she always measured out extras, so there were still plenty for the cake.
Mum gave the best hugs...
It wasn’t until Nana died that Jack started to change. He was sad all the time and Mum didn’t know how to cheer him up. She’d make his favourite meals and keep the house tidy. I drew him pictures of the three of us holding hands on the beach, and told him funny jokes I learnt at kindy.
Nothing worked and he started going to the pub on the way home from work. I didn’t like the way he smelt when he got home, and he was clumsy and rough. I’m not sure how long it took before he stopped going to work all together, but things were never the same after that.
Jack used to sit on the porch and scowl at the world all day. There would be quite a collection of beer bottles by his chair when I got home from school. Sometimes he’d cry while Mum rocked him like a child, and other times he’d get so angry that he’d hit her. Mum told me he didn’t mean it, he was just like a lost child since his mother died.
The more he hit Mum, the more I stayed out of his way, but one day he got sick of the sight of me and locked me in his long metal toolbox. It was dark and cramped and I screamed and cried, and clawed at the door until my finger tips bled.
After that I made sure to ride the trains when he was in a mood. Nobody knew who I was and I could ride for hours on one ticket. Even the quiet electric trains made a rhythmic rumble as the wheels clacked across the joins in the track. The landscaped blurred past and if I had a seat to myself I could rest my head, fall asleep and dream of a different life.