Mary Josephine Parker died at the age of twenty one, while trapped inside an asylum.
| Mary Josephine Parker died on July the twenty-second 1914. Her end came during a break out at the local asylum, PennyWeather Home for the Insane, were she was being contained. Mary suffered from mild schizophrenia, along with insomnia and hysteria.
During her confinement at PennyWeather Home, her physical and mental health degraded rapidly. Her once lustrous ginger hair became lank, as if the life had been sucked out of it. Her shining eyes, alike to emeralds, became dull and misted, dead.
To those who knew her, Mary was virtually unrecognisable. She was only identifiable by her voice, akin to the trilling song of birds.
Her husband, Jack Parker, claimed that Mary's voice was well known. She used to sing at local celebrations, and he said that her voice was one of her many attractive qualities. "She had a voice like a bird, strong, seductive, and full of a light happiness."
Mary's fifteen-year-old daughter, Grace, claims that Mary was a kind woman, happy, and content. "Mother was not crazy. The woman in that asylum is not my mother." When asked what she meant, Grace merely replied, "Mother wasn't. Mother isn't. Mother is gone. Mother went a long time ago."
The gravel clawed at my bare knees as I crawl under our house, to fix that goddamn plumbing again. I swear, the house has some vendetta against me. Like seriously, I’m only thirty-two! I have to fix everything that happens in our little Darwin abode. First, the washing-machine stuffs up. Then the plumbing wrecks itself.
“Arrrggh!” The plumbing collapses, spraying me with a filthy mixture of god-knows-what. I sit for a while, listening to the sounds, just to calm me. A child laughs. Tessie, my five-year-old daughter must be playing with our dog, Flash. A male yelled hoarsely. Gerome. The druggie from down the street. A car horn blasted, followed by a chain of disgusting swear words. Cranky old Mr Smith must be mad again. Those kids are always parking their Mercedes in his drive-way. Drunken laughter. Jackson, my seventeen-year-old, has some friends around again. I must make sure to tell them off.
“Gemma! Get in here, Tessie is going to eat all the ice-cream, and there’ll be non-left for you!” James was my husband, a loving man of thirty-five, and the best thing that has ever happened to me, bar our beautiful children.
“Coming dear!” I rush inside, shower, and join Mason, Tessie and James at the table. Mason is our other child, thirteen, and a quiet and studious child. He is always quiet, a bit of a loner, but with a kind heart. He shares my taste for learning, and my love of horror movies and nachos.
Tessie’s red curls bounce up and down as she races towards me. She is an exact replica of my great-grandmother, Mary Josephine Parker. My mother said that she died in an asylum, but my family gets all touchy whenever her name is mentioned, so I learned not to ask. Tessie shares my green eyes, but her ginger curls are far different from my jet-black ringlets. My hair is a hand-me-down from my black-sheep of a father, Jerome Butcher. Funnily enough, my great-grandmothers red hair decided to skip my mother and me, so Tessie is the lucky one.
James however, is a golden blonde, with chocolate brown eyes. He passed on his boisterous and adventurous personality to Tessie and Jackson.
Mason, looks like me, his dark caramel skin and raven hair like mine. His green eyes stand out against his skin, again like mine, unnatural with the dark skin tone, but unearthly and luminous. In other words, we are lookers. Not to be bigheaded.
Jackson is exactly like James.
Tessie nuzzles into my chest, and murmurs,
“We have ICE-CREAM mommy!”