Confessions of a cereal killer

Posted: February 18, 2009 in Crime, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

People will always look for a reason. Antecedents, the courts call it. Probative and prejudicial. For mitigation or explanation. It doesn’t matter to me.  I am what I am. A self-confessed cereal killer.

I make no excuses, so don’t try to blame it on a deprived childhood. Other people had what I had. A choice between Weet Bix and Vita Brits.

But they didn’t grow up to suffocate Rice Bubbles. Crush them into dust. Drown them to make mud. Then dispose of the evidence.

The early signs were all there. Like cruelty to dumb animals. Feeding my six brothers Froot Loops until they ricocheted off the fibro walls of our shack in the sticks.  It was a long way to town; a girl had to make her own fun.

The fire-starting, I date back to clearing brigalow in the seventies. We’d celebrate by throwing potatoes into the base of burning stumps. It trained me to rake through coals to retrieve food.  I do the same with my own kids. Tell ’em it’s toasted meusli.

My mum would take out her angst on the porridge bowl. Gave it a damn good beating most mornings. Do the same thing myself. Intergenerational transmission of behaviour, the shrinks call it.

I call it the one clear warning you will get. Don’t mess with a perimenopausal writer before coffee. Ever.

Am I escalating? The evidence is mounting. Blackened saucepans litter the pots cupboard; unresponsive now to the once reviving power of boiling vinegar and baking powder.

The eleven-year-old has started cooking for herself and for her younger brother too. Each night, she sees the glaze film my eyes as I head on autopilot towards the kitchen. She intercepts me, steers me gently but firmly back to the keyboard.

She pats my hand. Her voice is soft in my ear. “It’s OK, Mum. It’s OK.”

[Editor’s note: Christine Bongers needs to get back into writing her crime novel. It has been languishing at 43,000 words for too long.]

  1. belindajeffrey says:

    love it, Chris!

  2. Zany says:

    I also hate the time around 40 and 50 thousand words when the 100,000 target seems so far off. Somehow the first 40,000 zip by and then hits a speedbump. The only antidote I know costs about 70 dollars a bottle…

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