Cultograph

TRIGGER warning  – manipulation, death threats.

This is out of context unless the blog has been read in a chronological order.

In The Society, information spread quickly through the bush telegraph or on the grapevine. Neither expression embodies the full truth, which is messages were sent and received within a cult. Of course, Society members would never refer to their treasured club as a cult. It is survivors who look at the past with clear eyes and for us I say: it is a cult and therefore a cultograph. 

Bianca, Giselle, Guinevere, 4 years old:

Our first term in kindergarten the third employee at The Butterflies, besides Timothy and Barbie, was an old lady. She was rather stern and a stickler for protocol and if she wanted peace and quiet her voice could be sharp. Everything had to happen on schedule, there was no time for dilly-dallying. But her hands never strayed if she hugged you and there was kindness in her heart. I loved her. Timothy called her ”The Witch” and he and Barbie were counting the days to her retirement. I’ll call her The Nice Lady. She immediately questioned why it took so much time for Timothy to administer my medication.

”It should take maximum five minutes and there’s no reason to keep the office door shut”, she declared. Timothy argued I was a very difficult child. The Nice Lady called up the doctor on the note supplied by my relatives and asked for instructions on how to give the medicine. Then she took care of it herself.

”Three minutes, Timothy, and with me she behaved excellently!” 

”It must be because of all your experience”, Timothy flattered, trying tide how much he was seething. Now his only alone time with me would be Fridays, because on Fridays The Nice Lady was resting and then he and Barbie ran the show. Barbie began working there around the time I started, she was a replacement for a woman who quit because she felt bullied by the children and Timothy. I guess she didn’t have any concrete evidence against him and that’s why she left. When The Nice Lady retired, Timothy secretly offered candies to those who tormented unsuitable successors. Maybe he had the same modus operandi with Barbie’s predecessor? 

Guinevere:

When The Nice Lady left, Timothy put a big photo of her on his desk and lit a candle beside it. Then he asked me to pray with him, that her soul might never reach Heaven.

”She was trying to stop the Love in the world”, he claimed. ”Love is unstoppable and therefore she died!”

”Is she coming back?” I wondered.

”No, dead means she’s never coming back. A car hit her, she went to hospital and there she died. Dead people never come back. It was your fault, you know!”

Mine?

”Yes, because you told her I’d said she was a witch. That nearly cost me my job! Accidents happen when you tell people things. You wouldn’t want your mother to retire, would you?”

He also insisted I must never use the word ”dead”, because if I said she was dead everyone would get angry and scream at me.

”Dead is a bad word. You don’t want them to punish you, do you? You have to say she retired. Everyone knows what it means.”

Guinevere and Giselle:

Timothy and Barbie had advertised through the cultograph for a replacement to The Nice Lady. Here was a kindergarten section with two cult members, a unique opportunity! Society members from all over the country applied for the vacant position. But the preschool boss chose to hire uneducated, just out of college teenagers whose parents were somehow related to her. A year full of students who left in tears, swearing to never ever work with children again, passed before the boss accidentally hired a cult member. During this time, the rule that prohibited children whose parents did not work close to the kindergarten from going there was lifted. This made it possible for all cult members in the City to send their children to this day care centre. Harriet commenced her employment at The Butterflies only a couple of months before Elijah came. She had uprooted her whole family and moved cross-country to get the job. Now the cult ruled over one section of the preschool, but the road there had been far from smooth. 

It’s comforting to know they had to intrigue so much to create a team of cult members. 

It’s consoling to learn there are more normal people than bad.

It means The Society does not wield the almighty power it claimed to have.

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