In a Dark Garden

Scrambling in silent slow motion she made her way through a labyrinth of dusty boxes and pipework. The boarding school basement closed around her, a cold grip both disturbing and comforting. If only she could burrow deep enough perhaps he wouldn’t reach her with those hands, so tender and so cruel.

As if on cue his voice dripped through the darkness, “Mein mannstoll, mein mannstoll, zur liebe kann ich dich nicht zingen, doch geb ich dir die freiheit nicht.”

Curling into a dank corner, warm and musty near the boiler, she dared not even pray. Perhaps a god so cruel as to deal her such a fate might be in league with the priest. Her eyes grew wide in the dark as the rhythmic pad of his feet encroached—pat, pat, schriff…pat, pat, schriff.

She almost asked aloud the thoughts in her young head, “Is he waltzing?” Slowly and surely, he danced his way towards, encroaching with measured steps, humming the overture to The Magic Flute, as though he were taking a stroll through a dark garden.

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