My name is Tomi and I have a tale to tell you, a tale from a different time and place.
On the edge of the village is the fast road, the locals call it the fast road because people drive too fast, plenty of accidents although the road so straight is. A few years ago a car was found flattened on the fast road, it had no number and the two adults inside no ID.
In the back, uncrushed, was a baby and a stuffed-toy kangaroo in a carrycot, brand name Tomi. That baby became me. I was brought up in a home for girls in the village.
You may have negative ideas about a home for orphan girls: dreary rooms, six beds to a room, inadequate food, frequent beatings, poor education... And you would be right.
But I didn't know, I had no comparison, I knew however that it was bad. I didn't need to be told that I was an awful girl nearly every day. That I was a very naughty girl, that I had stolen food from the other girls, that I climbed onto the roof, that I had left the home at night to wander through the woods, that I had kicked the Vicar...
Sure, I had done all these things and others, much better stuff too. I especially liked hitting the Vicar, but I did not like being shouted at or being hit with a cane, I just wanted to disappear and be somewhere else.
So I practised disappearing and being somewhere else; I did not find it difficult. Perhaps you cannot, perhaps you never tried. The other girls in the home were pretty dumb and they couldn't either.
Things were immediately better, any stupidity from the carers or Matron and I disappeared and reappeared somewhere else, not very far away, but out of sight.
It was odd, but they could not believe their eyes. They did not accept that I had disappeared, they thought that I had run away. Sometimes they ran after me, sometimes they ran in the right direction and found me quickly disappearing again.
No, they did not like running, yes, they gave up troubling me, too much effort for no return.
Life got better, I ate the better food that the carers and Matron got, I appeared in the kitchen at the right time. I did what I liked. I appeared in Matron's room in the afternoon when she had been scoffing doughnuts from a big paper bag and had fallen asleep. I took the bag and all the girls got doughnuts.
One day Matron bought all us girls doughnuts, I thought that things were getting better...
The Vicar gave us girls two hours of Religious Instruction two hours in the afternoon twice a week. Funny sort of instruction it was, each girl took it in turns to be fumbled by the Vicar, he said that it was necessary, I knew that it was wrong, but the other girls just accepted it. When I told Matron what he was doing she shouted at me, she called me a liar, but that was in the past.
It was Repentance Day when he said that all we girls had to remove our clothes and kneel on the floor... I lost it, I hit him so hard, he hit his head on a table edge, he was out cold. What to do?
I told the girls “Remove his clothes and stick him in the cupboard. Or no more doughnuts! Got it! Do it or I'll hit you.” They did it, I stuffed his clothes up an unused fireplace chimney. I was happy, the girls were happy.
Matron was most upset, she organised a search party for the Vicar, all the carers, all the girls, some villagers too. Two days later one of the carers found the cold and frightened and naked Vicar in the cupboard.
The Vicar disappeared and not one word was spoken about him.