Brick Girl thought back
to the man who put her here.
He’d called himself Wolf.
And he smiled a wicked sneer.
She wondered if she’d be able,
when it came to the time.
Whether she could tell Mummy the bad things Wolf did.
The commitment of his crime
‘He beat me and bound me.
He made me lay still.
He hit me, he hurt me, he…
He called me “His Thrill!”’
Remembering his words,
she looked at her clothes.
Stained by virgin blood.
Soaked with tears and woes.
‘That was your first and last lesson
in growing older.
It’s for your own good I keep you here,’
that, the last lie, Wolf told her.
‘Now quit your weeping
and acting forlorn.
Or I’ll teach ya another lesson.
Then you’ll wish you was never born.’
Wolf dragged Brick Girl
by her fetters, by her hair.
To a shrine he’d been preparing,
deep, deep within his lair.
Thud! Crack! Thump!
was the sound of her descent.
As she tumbled down the stairs,
into the basement.
It was a neglected dank place,
which smelled of foetid pond.
Unremarkable but for a hole in one wall,
leading to a hollow beyond.
Wolf led Brick Girl to the cavity,
and without even a goodbye.
He shoved her into the cavern:
the place where she would die.
She passed dry magnolia flakes,
dandruff on the plaster.
Which feebly clung to crumbling chalkboard:
the first layers of strata.
Then past staunch timber supports
straddling traditional red brick.
Copper and lead pipe veined this epidermis,
ten inches thick.
Then the repair began,
the lesion in the wall healed.
And so the girl was bricked up,
where she, and her fate, would be sealed.
Brick by brick,
the wall sealed further.
Plaster over mortar,
until her moans were barely a murmur.
Fresh pine skirting board,
followed by cream paint.
Covering all traces of a sight
that would make a grown man faint
Delirious now with thirst.
Exhausted from weeping.
Numbed by the bindings.
Blood, from her privates, still seeping.
Yet a tranquil peace descended over Brick Girl,
as she felt safe in her cell.
Relief now – out of Wolf’s touch.
This bruised angel, demented by hell.
Trussed up and detained.
Barricaded inside the house.
No company but the dust mites.
And a curious wee mouse.
The mouse had a nibble
on Brick Girls restricting ropes
‘Maybe, if mouse keeps chewing, I’ll get free!’
That was her last hope.
And chew the mouse did,
gnawing through hessian threads.
But not fast enough for Brick Girl, because by the time the ropes were loose
she was well-and-truly dead.
Upon awakening from her death,
she discovered the Afterlife was a lie.
As Brick Girl did not see Heaven
when she opened up her dead eyes.
No rolling silver clouds.
No pearly wrought iron gate.
No “Welcome to Paradise”,
from St.Peter, the Saint.
She had passed on,
into the land of Hereafter.
With no Mum nor Dad, no hugs, no warmth.
No little brother’s laughter
She was still inside Wolf’s domain
the stale pocket where she had died.
Still a captive between these walls.
Broken, she cried.
It was some time before
this spiritless girl became aware
that her bonds, shackles, and tethers
lay limp on the floor all around her.
‘A small mercy,’ she thought,
wiping tears from her face.
She stretched her legs and eased her joints,
in this small but surplus space.
As Brick Girl grew accustomed
to this dismal dusky light,
She spotted a tiny scuttering form
that gave her a tiny fright.
It was the mouse,
whom had nibbled through her ropes!
He said with a squeak, ‘I know you’re dead,
but don’t abandon all hope.’
‘You talk?’ Brick Girl gasped,
not believing what she had heard.
‘Nah, not me,’ replied the rodent, ‘a talking mouse!
That’s completely absurd!’
Brick Girl laughed out loud
at what the mouse had said.
She’d obviously become deranged
in her transition to becoming dead.
Her mood sobered
as this thought of mortality refined.
When she remembered the love and the loss
of all those left behind.
‘Are you lonely?’
asked the wee mouse,
‘cos you’re not the first girl
to stay in this house.
I shall give you a tour
of the gaps in the walls.
I shall introduce you
to the citizens of Plasterboard Falls’
Off scurried the mouse
through a gap in the brickwork
‘Follow me,’ he squeaked, as he ran into the dark
where spiders and creepy things lurk
So down the tiny passageway,
Brick Girl pursued the rodent.
It paused, looked back, then scampered on.
Up the wall by the chimney it went.
Across the beams,
through the vents.
holding vulgar scents.
Over ceilings cramped with
interior light fittings,
cables, wires and screws.
Past loose nails and woodchippings
Whenever she got within arms reach,
the mouse would again dash off
Inviting Brick Girl to chase
Leading her up to the loft
Beneath a skylight the mouse halted,
waiting for its slower friend.
As in the zenith of this building,
they’d reached their journey’s end.
Brick Girl stretched up straight,
feeling stiff from the crawl.
Moonlight bathed the dusty attic,
revealing shadows moving by the wall.
With sudden panic,
she thought that following the mouse may be her last regret.
As before-her-eyes, tenebrae cohered together,
fashioning an ominous silhouette.
A spectre-child stepped forth,
her substance seemed paper-thin.
She had sunken, bruised, dead eyes.
But also the sweetest of grins.
‘Pleased to meet you.
I’m Mary-Anne Bones.’
Said this ghost of a girl
with the most delicate of groans
‘Allow me to introduce Jenny and Josie;
The Cadaver Twins.’
Both had no balls in their eyes,
nor teeth in their grins.
As first impressions go,
these kids were not in the best-of-health.
But then Brick Girl considered
she must look quite a sight herself.
Mouse continued introductions
where Mary had left off.
Nodding towards another girl
whose head was the shape of a shelf
‘Meet Emily Aneurysm.
Her head’s full of wood!
‘And that girl in the corner’, Mouse pointed.
‘She’s little Red Riding Hood!
Red was the first girl Wolf took,’
explained the mouse.
‘She was really very surprised,
because this is her Grandma’s house!’