The tantrum began with Farley's breath turning from quiet and regular to a panting gasp. He sucked at the air like it had suddenly become thick and was now almost too difficult to draw in. He became deaf to the soothing words of his mother, rapidly back-tracking on her previously tough stance; now offering him more than he had asked for in the first place. But by then it was irreversible. His next stage was always to smash whatever he could lay his hands on. She had seconds to hide everything she cared about. Years ago she could have just held him down, but not anymore. She pressed the button on her pager to call his father home, but she knew he was rarely less than fifteen minutes away, even with the sirens on. When he finally exploded he didn't go for the pictures as usual, he went straight for her; pummelling, hitting, kicking, biting. When his father arrived she was balled up unconscious on the floor and he was crying in the corner, sucking his thumb with a teddy bear in his arms.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), December 13, 2014.