They creep up from the basement of my mind. Like monsters in the dark. Rancid. Stinking of puss. Soaked in Sicks Lethbridge Pilsner. They capture. They provoke. Evoke.

Bursts of light captivate my attention. I gut sob. Wrenching. Tears cascade. Drown my cheeks. Dripping on my knees. Naked. Afraid. Terrified. “Mommy!” “Mommy!” “Mommy!” No one comes. No one. Nothing. No one. To rescue me. From the monster. The monster.

My uncle the monster.

I slammed down the pen. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Fucking stupid exercise. Fuck. Fuck. Motherfucking, shit, fuck, damn, swear!

Holly had told me to write whatever came to my mind. I blanked. Finally a memory popped into my mind. Of reading that Dean Koontz used music when writing Intensity to evoke the intense pace of the book. Might as well give it a try. Nothing else was working.

The image of Barbra Streisand brushing aside Robert Redford’s hair lock came sharply into my mind. I hated, hated, hated that image. It reminded me of how cunt face would neaten my hair, as if I wasn’t good enough, proper enough to be seen in public. So I fired up YouTube and typed “The Way We Were” into the search box. And, pressed enter. Barbra’s sharp, sweet vocals caressed my ears. And, I began to write. A torrent of words poured forth.

And, I remembered.