Fragments from the Diary of Anna 'ja Nyarla
Found bloodstained and tattered in the ruins of the Great Quake…
giggles from the closet. I told mama about it but she said it’s just Baya and the other kitties in the street. I said mama kitties don’t giggle. But she told me to go back to bed. So I did but the giggles got louder and I heard a scratching.
I was very very scared so I hid under my covers with the glass candle papa brought me before he went away. If papa was here he would know how to stop the giggles and the scratching. I finally slept under the covers holding the glass candle but when I woke up there was a big tear like the kind you see on a scratching post and also big scratches on the floor. Maybe mama is right and it is a kitty. Mama scolded me for ruining the sheet and didn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t me.
Mama went away last night and I was so scared I told her not to go because I was scared and she got angry. She threw everything out of my closet and made me stand inside of it while she scolded me. I showed her the scratches inside everywhere but she told me I was bad and to grow up and then she left.
I was all alone all night so I kept Baya with me for protection. But then I heard the giggling so I grabbed Baya and I ran away to mama’s room and closed the door but the giggles followed and so did the scratches. Closer closer closer and I heard my name! Like a hiss but I heard Anna Anna Anna please Anna. I think I was crying. I could hear scratches on the door so I hid under mama’s covers and kept hoping papa come back why are you gone so long come back come back. Then the door opened.
I squeezed Baya and the glass candle so hard I thought it would break and all I could hear was the giggles and the scratches closer and Baya was hissing too and scratching me she was so scared too. I squeezed my eyes closed so tight. I wondered if I was in a dream and wanted to wake up. And Baya was making a noise she’s never made before. But then I heard my name again saying Anna Anna it’s papa Anna come to me. And it sounded like papa! And I was so excited I opened my eyes! but I wasn’t dreaming and I was still under the covers and from the glass candle I could see a face wide and happy with teeth so sharp through the covers and with papa’s voice it said papa is very angry with you papa is going to make everything fall down if you don’t come out and Baya was nearly screeching and I screamed until mama came home and slapped me because I woke up all the neighbors. I tried to say what happened but no one
and no one believes me that it’s papa that he’s angry or that it’s anything at all. Mama said papa’s dead and not coming back but he is and he’s angry and he’s hurting me and scratching me and I saw what he did to Baya and I would never do that to her or anything! but everyone says it was me! Mama keeps saying to stop crying and that she’s going to send me away but I can see the face behind her now too and it is Papa’s face and I’m so scared. When mama wasn’t looking I took the big knife she uses to cut up meat and tonight when papa comes back I’m going to use it to make him stop and maybe then he will go away forever like mama says he has.