Sophie squeezed herself into the storm water drain under the railway track. She remembered being shown how to get in years ago when she used to play with the Harris kids. They always had so much fun with their Dad. He would really play with them, do exciting things like crawl through drains, or sneak into the school grounds and swing on the monkey bars, or go for long walks in the bushland close by, wading through the streams of water and doing things like kids should do. He even showed them little red-rumped parrots that fed on the ground eating grass seeds that gathered in small groups and were such a surprise to see on the school oval.
Her father wasn’t like that. He was sneaky and tried to get her alone, and touched her in-ap-pro-pri-ate-ly. She remembered the woman at school who came to talk about mo-les-ta-tion. She was seven for heavens sake, how did she understand what such words meant? She tried to talk to her Mum about it but “It’s only his way of showing he loves you” was the reply. Didn’t she understand for crying out loud.
It never stopped. She wasn’t a kid anymore. She was frightened he was really going to hurt her. If he was her father why did he touch her that way? She hated him. Everything about him screamed abuse yet no-one else could see it. She hated him more when the other girls at school started to talk about sex and boys and fantasize about romances. I could tell you about sex, she thought. “It is ugly, it hurts, it makes me feel dirty. I just can’t tell anyone about it because Mum will get all upset and deny it even though she knows nothing, and Dad will deny it and just say he perhaps had played a bit rough with me coz he didn’t have a son. Pig’s arse!"
Sophie continued to muse to herself, "Well let’s see if he likes it here down the drain. I was so lucky. He fell for all my talk about the secret place I had found. The fool even wanted to see it for himself. I didn’t think I would be able to hit him with the brick but it was so easy. OK, so I hit him several times. Now all we want is a nice drop of rain to wash him through and bash him up a bit more. Then they will find him down the creek a few weeks from now."
"I just rang Mum at work at work and asked where Dad was as he hadn’t come home. She wasn’t worried. Nor was I as it has just started raining, really hard! For the first time I feel free, better, cleaner, and safe."