The Derangement of Creation
I was young when my father left, too young to understand. So I wasn't going to leave; I didn’t want Huxley to have to do what I did. I was an abandoned monster, lost and disregarded. Creators have certain responsibilities; I now know that. It was a dire, gloomy day - Tassie's best. The wind was blowing at the mountains, the cradle unsteady. That wasn't the beginning of his doom though, that started with us. Jenna and me.
The deafening bellows of the wind, and searing wallops of thunder were accompanied by the screams of many. Each shriek, hundreds of them, to live on in infamy. They'd live on in Jenna's mind, a reminder of an event so powerful, it brought us together. She was there that day, over at the port as he opened fire. The shooting began. It was hostility of biblical proportions; a singular man was as ruthless as the Israelites in Egypt. The use of bullets, filled with angst and devastation, to fester for decades to come. Jenna avoided much of the fire but was inflicted with the prolonged memory of tragedy. The skies converged that day, and on the one's to follow. It was the encore of what was to come; preceding events so crippling, those in them can't paint a full picture.
I'd go to church a fair bit, almost every Sunday. Everyone did after the shooting. In the weeks and days following it, people flooded in. But I'd gone ever since I was able to. Before meeting Jenna, I had gone for a decade or so. As a teenager, it kept me sane. It was the order I needed to stay on some sort of a path. I'd lost my dad early on, so I was constantly in search for some sort of filler - something to give me structure. I sort of found that through church, although, even mum wouldn’t go, so I'd still feel alone. Not at any stage would I be confirmed - I didn’t adhere to the strictness of Catholicism, it helped me though. Each Sunday, the brisk Tasmanian early morning breeze would gust through those church doors, the coolness matched by the warmth of the Ecclesiasts, and the selective few that would show. Jenna became one of those people, but not for long. She only went a couple of times, her maiden visit directly following the massacre.
From city to country, pillar to post, they came in their masses; numbers only a tragedy can foster - all in search of hope amongst the rubble. I'd arrived quite early, as had Jenna. The look of shock still hadn't worn off her face, so I approached her, apprehensively. She told me of her story, of bullets whizzing past her ears, as fast as a rabbit across the mountain's edge. She told me of the fear in the eyes of those once considered brave. She told me of a baby faced killer, so rabid in his quest for blood. This was the first time I'd heard of recounts from those there, and the detail of such an event stunned me. My mother would struggle to remember what subjects I did at school, yet Jenna's horrific recount from glimpses of memory, things I'm sure she'd rather forget, left me dumbfounded. We had a connection, Jenna and I, so we'd thought to make the most of it. In such an uncertain world, people tend to grasp onto any order they can get, even if it only slightly resembles what we long for. Jenna and I were no different.
We married in the spring of double-o, amidst the harshness of the vast Tasmanian landscape. In the presence of those famous rugged mountain ranges, so full of brisk air. Air that would absorb us that should rejuvenate us with the contemporary. Our love was forged in our minds and the surroundings - so cold, so absent, so hostile. It was love though; it was the love we would give our son.
We moved out there, in serenity. Not a land of sweeping plains, but the bizarre vista that remains. There was a church nearby I would go to; not as frequently as I could have. It's where I went to think, as I was found to be distracted by the mountains. We settled tentatively. I'd wanted kids, after I married, maybe not at 25, but Jenna didn't see a problem with 26. So we had a son 9 months later, in August of '01. The island of the devil didn’t seem to transition from winter to spring as well as those on the mainland; it was just too familiar all year round. Yet that crispness would soon reach boiling point as September came around.
The attacks were far away, only further unnerving Jenna. Its reverberation was felt by humanity; the destruction of man and creation the only thing capable of such a feat. That day, at the mountains, the skies again converged, and it would stay that way for a while to come. Then, it was Sunday, the 12th. I hadn't gone in months. I felt I was abandoning what held me together, but the surrounding hostility consumed me. The cool air blowing, little Huxley crying in his crib, Jenna desolate in our bed. She assured me she was alright, so I left to go to church. My coat hugged me tight as I waved goodbye to Huxley. So I began driving, just a 15 minute drive normally, from memory. This day however, that wasn’t the case.
In Psalms, it's proclaimed to be the work of God, yet the skies mirrored the hostility of the situation I would find myself in. A fire was erupting right beside the path I'd drive down - who knows the cause this time. So much of this house had been burnt, but there wasn't anyone there. I was still only 5 minutes from home, but I didn’t want to turn back again. The fire roared, and the rain poured. The water vaporizing, travelling back up, only to be pummeled by more drops to soon have the same fate. Despite the efforts of the storm, the raging fire grew. It was time to go back, I knew…I knew.
I was in discomfort, panic tremored within me as I rushed back. At the house, it was much of the same tale. The heavens opened and dumped caution, confusion, and chaos. The clouds above were a purple mixture of all three. As I sprinted into the house, the normality of a Huxley's outburst was intruded by what prompted it. The treacherous events of her past, the abandonment of how we became one, erupted with our creation; a derangement still being felt by humanity today. Jenna smothered our baby. She wanted to kill Huxley. The rest and support of his little pillow turned into a tool for murder. I jumped to keep him alive, throwing Jenna off him. On the ground she looked up, we locked eyes, and she ran. She disappeared. I don't know where to, but her abandonment continued. Huxley, blue faced, drew a breath, filling me with that same hope felt on my wedding day. I held my boy, looked out the window, as our everything drove off into the thunder and rain. As the realisation sunk in, I felt more lost than before. I was trying to find myself, had been for 26 years, and now, a one-month old bundle of despair lay in my hands.
I hadn't much of an idea with parenting. The conflict on the global front made me second guess each decision about Huxley. I chose not to send him to school, or kindergarten. They were institutional wastes of time consisting of outdated traditions and morals. Thus resulting in the breading of deceitful familiarity. He learnt the essentials off me.
The years would pass as quickly as rabbit across the mountain. As a result, I felt increasing levels of regret, I didn’t show him much. I taught him to read, but he cast an eye on his own. As he grew, we distanced. Upon turning ten, he had slowly made his way through two classics - the Bible and Frankenstein. Two tales of creation which he seemed to understand. What more would a third be?
All year round, the cradle felt alive. It's gripping fauna, and familiarly cold flora. It would hold you with uncertainty, reminiscent of the past. Yet, I still went. I would spend my time alone there, when Huxley was old enough for it. He would often come along as well, mainly when he was younger. He came that day, he was 10 that day, and I told him that day - of the past. The massacre, the church, the wedding, everything. In particular, what his mother did to him on the 12th morning September.
He didn’t comprehend it; it was my flaw for revealing such things. The shock present on his face plagued me, it was that of Jenna's at the church. He kept it reserved, for an hour or so. We went to find a rabbit, I felt as though he could use some food. I got the gun from underneath the compartment in the boot of the car, you could only be afforded one shot. He saw me shoot it. He saw the hostility. Huxley was old enough to understand that. As the skies converged again, we headed to the car with the rabbit, I was intending to cook it at home. However, Huxley wouldn’t have that.
He revolted against me. Snuck behind me and tried to kill me. His grip around my neck vice-like. The unrelenting hostility saw me collapse on the ground of the cradle. Without consciousness, I would only find out of the destruction he was capable of hours later.
He took the car and negotiated his way back to the house. Upon my arrival, rain still pouring, what was left was lit up in flames. My production wanted me dead, all because of the past, our past. The only accompaniment of crackling flames dispersing into the night sky was the shrieks in the distance. Shrieks of agony that resembled loss, this time, of a ten year-old boy. I couldn’t see, but everything was lost, and the clothes on his back were seared to the remains of his bed. He wasn’t unscathed, no one was, we were joined in our torment.
The next 10 years didn't pass as quickly, in fact, probably at the rate of a dead rabbit. I hadn't a hope of ever seeing him again, he was gone from me. So I left. His words, while muffled in my head, haunt me.
"You brought me here to ruin me, with no plan but hostility."
He didn’t grow after this; he kept seclusive and forever stayed young. Burns bad that tales of the 'Tasmanian murder goblin' would come to light. He had the body of a ten year-old and a mind to match the murderous. He was deranged, I had deranged him. He was ought to be thy Adam but is rather a fallen angel.
Not often would I brave it to go back out to the mountain; it was unsteady and permanently unstable. The sight of dead infants, bundles of them, gave me enough to know of Huxley's ways. His own tailored path of destruction, from the village to the cradle mountain, he killed so they wouldn’t suffer his fate. His warped perspective of creation was all too real. To the police, there were hundreds of reports of missing babies, I felt as though I should make one myself.
I caught a glimpse of him upon return, by the Church. A wrinkled young man, so militant in action leaned over, and picked up some rubble. A deafening, high pitch sound of a stain-glass window shattering rung out as I looked to the mountains - the cold, captivating land of chaos. One I am a part of.