JUDITH by M Teresa Clayton
“Because no one has more thirst for earth, for blood, and for ferocious sexuality than the creatures who inhabit cold mirrors” – Alejandra Pizarnik
It was cold outside and the wind was pounding against the window of the bedroom when her life shifted hard, introducing Judith to the evil inside of the night sounds.
“You owe me, Alan! You told me you’d pay me for last week and tonight! I have a mouth to feed!” Her mother was angry and her voice was harsh.“That blow-job wasn’t worth a plug-nickel!” he yelled back at her. It was a familiar voice – one of Mommy’s friends… one of the creepy ones.
Judith heard the loud slap of flesh against flesh followed by a hard crashing sound, followed by a shrill scream unlike anything she had ever heard before. There were more crashing sounds and then silence.
Judith thought for a second that she should run out there and see if Mommy was okay, but she was frozen in fear.
“You fucking two-bit whore!” The man’s voice called out in a rage. Then she heard her mother screaming for him to let her go. Judith could hardly breathe.
“I’ll show you how to make a nickel and feed a hungry mouth!”
Judith could see the shadows in the gap between the bottom of her bedroom door and the floor. There was an awful tussle and then the door burst open.
Judith’s eyes grew large when she saw the blood oozing from the man’s lower lip. She was thinking her mommy must have hit him pretty hard. Then in that same moment she gasped as she suddenly realized he was dragging her mother by her blood soaked hair into the bedroom; more blood than Judith had ever seen.
“Alan!” She was screaming. “She is a little girl. Please leave her alone. She never hurt anyone. This is between you and me. Don’t hurt her. Please!”
In the light from the hallway Judith could see a rip across her mother’s face that started above her right eye and slid down across her face until it ended at her torn left ear.
The man threw her mother against the wall and told her not to move or he would kill them both. Judith watched in horror as her mommy’s face went blank and shook with terror at what was now coming for her.
The man grabbed Judith by her hair and threw her head back so that her mouth was gaping open. In what seemed a flash, her mouth was full of something hard and she was choking on something wet. That’s when she began to sing to her in that sweet lullaby voice.
Close your eyes, Judith. I’m here, sweet baby girl. Clear your mind child and dream; now close your eyes and sleep.