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THE YELLOW UMBRELLA



I brought my arm up to shield my eyes as the yellow umbrella struck me on the side of my face knocking me to the ground.

"You had better just sit your ugly, little ass right there and don't you get up!" said the matron as she raised the umbrella above her head for another whack at me.

"I can't drink that powered milk. It's not cold."

I was holding my arm over my 7-year-old face as she reared back for yet another blow. She moved to the right and then to the left trying to get a direct shot at my head. All of a sudden, she jabbed the sharp end of the umbrella straight into my face barely missing my eye.

"OH, GOD! OH, GOD!" I yelled in pain.

"Are you going to drink that God damned milk?"

"I can't see anything in my eye. It's all blurry," I told her crying as loudly as I could.

She reached over and grabbed me by the hair, jerked my head backwards and slapped my hand away from my face.

"I didn't get you in the God damned eye."

"But I can't see very good."

"You had best get up off your little ass, walk into that God damned dining room and drink that God damned milk! Do you understand me you little bastard?"

"Yes ma'am," I replied as I got up from the ground. The matron and I started walking back toward the dining room. It was a large hall filled with many tables, each neatly surrounded by six chairs. The room was now vacant of orphan children as they had finished their breakfast consisting of hot powered milk and farina cereal, and had returned to their dormitories.

"Pick up the milk and drink it down," ordered the matron.

I reached over, picked up the glass, raised it to my mouth and stopped.

"I said to drink the damned milk!"

I pinched my nose closed with my other hand and swallowed the milk in large gulps as fast as I could. All of a sudden, the milk came out my nose. I bent forward and began to vomit all over the dining room table and surrounding floor.

"You (MF) little bastard!"

The next thing I remember was her hitting me as hard as she could with the umbrella. I was lying on the floor and still throwing up. I scrambled to my hands and knees, and slid beneath the table. It was the only way to stop the wire strands of the umbrella from cutting into my back and neck.

"What did I ever do to make you hit me like that?" I yelled in a sobbing voice.

"You are in this damned orphanage, because nobody else wants your lazy little ass, you or any of these other little orphan bastards.

"I didn't asked to come live here."

Once again I began to throw up, but nothing came out of me.

"You puke one more time and I'll drive this God damned umbrella up your little ass! Do you understand that young man?" she screamed slamming the umbrella into the back of the chair at the head of the table.

"Yes ma'am."

"Now get out here! Take off your damn shirt and clean up this mess you made."

I climbed out from under the table and stood shaking, with my back to the glass wall. The matron turned around and started stomping down the hallway toward Mrs. Winters, the head matron's, bedroom. I quickly removed my shirt, got down on my hands and knees, and surrounded the white liquid with my shirt. Soon, the contents of the spill were all over me. It was on my pants, my face, and my arms and in my hair. My entire body shook with fear. I knew the matron would soon return with Mother Winters, before I could get the mess all cleaned up. I rubbed and I rubbed, and I rubbed as fast and as hard as I could. However, the white stuff just kept moving from one place to another. Finally, I screamed as loud as I could and guess I just gave up. I stopped dead still, threw myself across the pool of warm powered milk and cried as loud as I could.

I do not remember what happened after that. When I woke up, it was the next day. I was in bed in the infirmary building by the end of the breezeway porch. I stayed there for two or three days, until all the marks on me were gone.

I sure wanted my grandma and grandpa to come and get me that day, even though they were really mean to me too. However, they never beat me with an umbrella. They used a big, old, brown leather strap that had no wires in it.



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