Autumn has lost any structure for judgment based on moral precepts.
Her life lessons have been about chaos, not order.
“I am a warrior princess hero. But what am I fighting for?
Who is my adversary? What are my weapons?
I am a wee bean in a burning forest. Likely I’ll
be flamed into oblivion, or maybe eaten by a passing
bird once the fire’s roared through.”
She speaks in metaphor, paints with words.
Her native beauty imbues sordid history.
A toy stuffed bear had heard her early childhood
fancies and confusions those years before
her home was cast asunder. A day-bound vampire
gives better audience, different experiential
perspective for response; if not warm, more
“He would touch me, tell me to touch him, our
special secret ritual that no one could be told,
because I was his beautiful princess and he was
my adoring king who would protect me always.”
She barely whispers, giving voice to deep regret,
“Years into our ritual, in a fit of superiority, I
threw it in my mom’s face, and saw a very
different side of her. She turned lioness,
charged into his study ablaze. Really, amazing.
It was nothing to him. Strong arms, precise intent,
he increased pain beyond our submission, then
went out to solidify his alibi.
In the morning he could with commanding performance
scold. ‘Beth, I don’t know what your voices are saying
today. We all know that last night I was entertaining
important clients on the town. You were asleep by the
time I got in. Look at Alice, she’s fine. Though I have
been thinking that therapy might be helpful with this
habit of lying she seems to be picking up from you.
I know just the doctor. He seems to be doing wonderful
things with aversion therapies. Isn’t it marvelous what
we are learning about the functions of the brain.’”
No threats, genteel conversation. This man is practiced in
the art of deception, knows to inflict punishment
leaving no telltale bruises, only terror. He knows the value
of charm, authority, decisive action dressed in admired fashion.
He has turned it into all that money, all those trappings of
a happy home.
After their escape, they changed their names as part of
the plan to avoid recapture. Mother Beth became
Kathy. She advised young Alice to take a name with
personal meaning, so she could call upon herself for
support. Kathy knew what young Beth had not.
Royalty is not about fairytale romance and happy
ends; it is about control, the power to destroy.