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Gone To The Rapy





Teresa watched little Joey Marshall sitting alone in the reading corner, looking miserable with unshed tears shining in his eyes. He’d been unusually quiet and withdrawn all morning.


Threading her way through the desks of children busy with their various art projects, Teresa made her way over to Joey. He looked up worriedly as she sat on the preschool sized chair by his side.


‘What’s the matter Joey?’


Shrugging his shoulders, Joey hung his head back down over the picture book opened on his lap. A tear ran down his chubby cheek and his bottom lip began to tremble as he avoided Teresa’s eye.


‘You look very sad,’ she pressed gently, ‘I think you’d feel better if you told me what you’re upset about. I might be able to help.’


He squirmed uncomfortably before whispering, ‘its bout my Mummy, Miss Dalton.’


Teresa was immediately concerned. Joey’s mother, she knew, had only just returned home from hospital after being seriously injured in a car accident. It had turned the family’s life upside down as there had been real concerns for her survival for some time. Joey had been much more upbeat as his mother had recovered and Teresa’s heart dropped into her stomach at the thought of what else could have befallen the family.


‘What about Mummy?’ she asked in a low cautious tone, wondering why she hadn’t been informed of a new problem.


‘I can read now.’


Confused at this incongruous reply, Teresa went on, ‘I know you can. You’re a very clever boy. Not all five year olds can read you know?’ she smiled at him and received a watery smile back. She repeated the question carefully, ‘What about Mummy are you worried about, Joey?’


Standing up, Joey leaned in close and spoke into her ear, ‘I’m scared the rapy will hurt Mummy again. I don’t want Mummy to go back to the hospital!’ 


‘I don’t understand, Joey,’ Teresa was genuinely confused and alarmed, ‘what is a rapy?’


‘I don’t know,’ he admitted solemnly, ‘but she was gone when I got up this morning and there was a note for Daddy saying she’d gone to the rapy. Daddy said she’d gone to the doctor,’ he paused with a heavy sigh, ‘but it sounds like something bad to me. Daddy probably didn’t want me to worry.’


He looked so fragile, trying to hold back his tears and act grown up. Teresa’s heart went out to him, but she was more confused than ever. The rapy? What on earth was the rapy?


‘I tell you what Joey,’ she offered brightly, ‘I’ll ring Daddy and see how Mummy is. Would that make you feel better?’


He nodded vigorously and then looked suddenly worried, ‘Do you think Daddy will be cross at me?’


‘For what?’


‘For reading Mummy’s note. My sister says I’m a sticky beak.’


‘I’m sure Daddy will understand.’


Leading him back to the tables, she left the children in her teacher aide’s capable hands and dialed the work number for Joey’s father from her cramped office.


‘Good morning Mr Marshall. It’s Teresa Dalton here, Joey’s preschool teacher.’


‘What’s wrong,’ he asked worriedly, ‘Is Joey hurt?’


‘No, no sir, nothing like that. It’s just that…well; I wanted to check on your wife. Joey is a bit upset this morning; he seems to think your wife is in some sort of danger.’


‘Danger?’ he repeated the word in a puzzled tone, ‘What sort of danger?’


‘I am a little confused to tell you the truth. He told me he’d seen a note this morning and keeps saying that she is at the rapy. Can you shed any light on that?’


‘The rapy? The rapy?’ he rolled the words off his tongue a few times and then began to chuckle, ‘Oh goodness. Poor Joey! My wife is at therapy today Miss Dalton. Today is her first outpatient physical therapy session. She had an appointment for next week, but someone cancelled an early session this morning and she left before we got up. She really does have terrible writing, writes in capitals and splits her words for some strange reason.’


His deep voice was amused and relieved. Teresa was soon laughing with relief as well. Bringing Joey into the office, he sat on the phone listening patiently as his father explained exactly where his mother was.


Teresa couldn’t help smiling. She would never forget the day Joey Marshall’s mother had gone to the rapy.




Flow of Time



Wherever the wind has blown

Wherever the birds have flown

The slow dance of time has already passed by

Bellowing out in an unheard, mournful cry

As He billows over hallowed ground

Over fallowed fields without a sound

Where once grew flowers of yellow and gold

But as He passed, they withered and grew old

Over glowing oceans far below the sun

Over hollowed channels where rivers run

Changes that followed in His hurried wake

Had not all been of His design or make

But Time is not allowed to slow

He must move on, He is the flow



ALISON M. PEARCE is an Australian author and poet who lives in Queensland with her husband and four children. Writing in a broad range of genres, she has had three short stories published with several more earmarked for future publication. ALISON has shined here before as well.
Gone To The Rapy
"This story was in fact inspired by total chance. Walking through the living room, I noted a banner across a current affairs program that read; "Gone To Therapy", all letters capitilized.  For a split second, my eyes played a trick on me and what I thought I read was Gone To The Rapy.
After a quick giggle at my own silliness, my first thought of course before I looked properly was what on earth was a rapy?; I began to wonder what a child would make of such a statement.  Remenbering my own childhood with an overactive imagination, I began to explore what might have been."
Flow of Time
"This poem was inspired by the constant changes taking place, created by man, all over the world. I envisioned Time as a living entity, unable to stop our effects or "His" own."