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The Enemy Outside


She took me away when I was very young, but we were always happy, she and I. I could barely remember my real mother or my heritage, but as time went by, that became irrelevant.

We spent our time together, I shared her space, her food and sometimes even her bed. Contented years of my life drifted by, as clouds in the sky, and we minded not, rain, wind or sunshine.  I helped her in the garden, watched as she planted vegetables, and sat in the old apple tree as she gathered the fruit, but she grew old and I stayed young.

I was not a prisoner; how can one be a prisoner of love? Through the swing door in the kitchen, I was free to go out of the house as I wished, but she always became upset if I left the garden. 


Sometimes however, when the moon was full, I tiptoed out at night as she slept, and quietly walked down to the beach to see the water, with a life and mystery of its own. Many times, I watched, in secret wonder as the moon and the tide slowly drew a silver sheet over the slumbering sand.

It was during one of these clandestine excursions that I first realised I was different, my body was not the same as others, some parts missing, some the wrong shape. Initially this knowledge was disturbing, but she said that I was beautiful, she said that I was special, so eventually the differences ceased to matter  .........