I dream bout her again. No. Not dream. More like nightmare. She screaming, as Pa beat her. Nightmare invade my mind. I whimper. Watch Pa batter her body. Burn behind my eyes. She bruise purple, like a rose. My mammy like a rose, towering above a pile of dirt. I dream about joining my mammy. I dream about climbing over thorns, join her in heaven.
Same nightmare. Every night. I always try open my eye, but I never scape. I try scream, but can never scream in dream. Every time the nightmare happen, every time I fall sleep, my mind sink into darkness.
See her blood, red as hell, splat the floor. Watching Pa beat my mammy, like watching a rabid animal tear through prey. Hear her screaming too, sound of fist hitting flesh. I try stop him, but he say it for her own good. He say, she a bad influence on me. Say she teach me woman skills and it not right. She don’t realize her place and she need to learn.
Finally awake. Pa never make his bed, but I always do. I do it, cos I know it make my mammy happy. Even in death, she my crutch. I try wake early to cook breakfast. I do it quietly. If Pa catch me cooking, he beat me. He say cooking Sofia’s job. But she no cook. I can’t tell her though. Not big enough yet. She beat me. I always try fight back, but she too strong. It hurt too much. I always got to crawl away and cry to myself. Whenever men round, I got to stay strong or it be my blood soaking into the floor.
I own a jukejoint. It makes beaucous of money but aint what I wanna do. I don’t belong here. This ain’t my kinda place. My mammy always talk about be respectful to womens. My mammy tell me to look after woman. Can’t do that here. Woman just for show, like caged animals at the zoo. Woman not people here. They made to drink, sing, look pretty. My mammy always told me your wife is the most ‘portant thing in the world. So treat her like royalty. I treat Sofia like a queen, so why she treat me like joker. I wanna be king. My mammy tell me I can be king and I believe her. Before my mammy die, Pa treat her like trash. I don’t wanna be like the men at the club. I wanna be someone different. If I wanna win Sofia back, I needta change. I needta be different. I needta be a man she aint never seen before.
I watch other mens enjoy themselves. They drink, like dogs at their bowls. They try get me to join in. If I don’t say yes, I get kicked out. It might be my bar, but I got no power here. If mens don’t waste money on drink, it be on games. Cards. Chips. Juss thrown across the table. Men get so involved, they almost gamble away they woman. My mammy never go places, like this. Pa never allow her. She stuck at home. Her spirit slowly trickle away. No surprise she cheat. She left on her own. All day. Nothing to do. No love. No respect. Nothing to stay for. I sneak away from the joint. I don’t belong here. Not my place.
I go back to the ranch, where Celie working. No. Not working. Slaving. Dying on her feet. I watch her struggle with the water. She musta carry it all the way from the river. Walking all that way while the sun burn down. She musta sweat a waterfall. She stumble an I see sweat pour down her face, like it trying to run away. She look at me. Her eyes be begging for help. If my mammy were here, she’d tell me go help her. But not Pa. To hell with him, I say. He not the boss of me. I go help Celie. I know it make mammy proud. As me and Celie stumble into the house, we walk past Pa, who sit on the porch. I specs him to shout. To be angry. But he stay quiet. Just sit there. He different somehow.
It be Sunday. Day of God. Day of peace. Me and Pa walk to church. A woman block our way. Pa shove past her like she invisible. Nothing compared to the opposite sidewalk. What was happening? All I sees is a man shoving a woman to the ground. The woman be cowering, cawing like my mammy was. The man lose control. Go wild. Nobody stop him. This be normal. This be right. Tell her she need to learn her place. I turn away. Feel sick. It feel wrong in my head. So why they see it as right?
I and Pa walk into church. Kneel down. Say our prayers.
This is the fifth and final draft of my A-Level coursework based on Alice Walker’s novel The Colour Purple. Any and all SPAG mistakes are completely intentional, as I was trying to recreate the voice of a deep south uneducated african american in the 30s. I suppose this could be classed as fanfiction. A very big theme in this book is patriarchy and sexism. The protagonist’s mother was killed by his father for being unfaithful. However before the protagonist’s mother died, she taught him to be respectful to women and he is trying to honour her wishes.