The Leper (1)

“Mummy I want to go to school.”

“You can’t because I’m sick and they won’t let you go to school so that you won’t give the other children the sickness I have.”

“But Mummy I’m not sick.”

“You just can’t go and that’s all there is to that. Go outside and play.” I’m frightened of the hairbrush if I disobey so I do as I’m told. But I’m bored. Bored before I even get outside. 

An idea comes rushing into my head. My Daddy’s sermon last Sunday. I could be the leper. I walk up to the road where the church sits and wait patiently. Here comes some-one. I jump out of the bushes screaming “I’m a leper. Don’t come near me, I’m unclean.” I jump up and down with glee.The person gives me a strange look and crosses to the other side of the road.

Here comes another. I surprise him with my maniacal appearance, again screaming “I’m a leper. I’m unclean. Stay away.” If only more people would pass this way. Here comes another. I like the ones that look afraid and cross to the other side of the road.

I have to go home for lunch. My Daddy looks angry.

“Irene. What are you doing?”

“I’m playing lepers.”

“You are not to do that anymore. It’s not nice.”

I love my Daddy. He is never angry with me. I don’t want him to be angry with me.

“Alright Daddy.”

“You can go back to school tomorrow. They aren’t worried that you will carry any germs to the other children.”

1961.6 Audrey & Irene

An exercise in free writing – child’s voice, 1st person, present tense. Writing as a child puts the emotion in the forefront. Tomorrow’s exercise will be writing this in adult voice, 1st person past tense.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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11 Responses to The Leper (1)

  1. Pat says:

    The child’s voice is innocent and direct, Irene. It seems to express her simple feelings and longing to play unattached to what is going on around her and consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Obstacles: Discover Challenge | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  3. Norah says:

    I can just see you playing that inventive game. What fun it would be to see their frightened faces. As long as you didn’t go as far as Peter and the Wolf.

    Liked by 1 person

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