17106 Li XX, 10th Grade, Female

Translated by George Wang

My father was an alcoholic when he was alive.  He lived idly all days and left Mom to do all the farm work.  When drunk, he turned violent and haunted every one. His words were our commands: obey or face the consequences. He was tall and muscular.  His beating resulted in bleeding and bone fractures.  We were all victims of his brutality.

When I was four years old, we raised chickens in the backyard.  During a rainy day, my father found out that one of the chickens was missing.  He blamed it on my older sister.  In rage, he picked up a bowl from the dinner table and smashed it over her head.  My sister shrieked and blood started to stream down from her head.  Mom was horrified, her face turned ashy and she was trembling.  Eventually, she ran to the old lady next door for help.  The granny stitched the gash and bandaged my sister's wound.  I was living in fear ever since the incident.

Mom left home with my brother afterwards.  Father vented his anger on me and rendered me a bloody nose.  I cried my heart out and prayed that Mom would come to fetch me as well.  Every day, I would sit on the rock in front of our door waiting for Mom. Soon, my father ordered me to prepare meal.  There was no food in the house and I had to kill a fist-sized chick.  It was my first slaughtering experience.  Under great trepidation, my ordeal lasted for three months.

During those three months I could not sleep in the night and was constantly living in fright. My father would order me to cook food and do chores.  The demands would go on all night and it was impossible for me to sleep.  In my mind, he was a demon.

Eventually, Mom returned. By then Dad was ill and could hardly get up from bed.    Mom stayed home to take care of him while our farm was left unattended. Our income dwindled year after year. After six years in bed, my father finally passed away.  I respect my mother greatly for taking care of him.  Mom has since remarried.  She became Mom to her other kids. 


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