Thread through the Whariki


‘Give me strength,’ Ngapera huffed and slammed the door in his face then yelled through it. ‘I don’t want to leave, idiot, Mauki won’t want me here—’

‘Listen to me,’ Piripi said banging on the door with the side of his fist.  ‘It’ll be fine, honest, I’ll talk to her, she won’t mind, I—’   Piripi grunted, something ripped inside him and he couldn’t move.  He fell against the door jamb, breathing shallowly as pain began to radiate through his body.  ‘Argh fuck.’ 

Ngapera jerked the door open and bustled past him, Wiremu on her hip.   ‘I gotta take the boy to Kohanga.’

Piripi felt rivulets of sweat slide down his face.

Wiremu was staring at him over Ngapera’s shoulder.  ‘Daddy,’ he squealed reaching toward him, his face bunching with concern, ‘daddy—’ 

Piripi’ closed his eyes and began to slide to the floor.  

 ‘Mum,’ Wiremu thumped her shoulder.  ‘Mum…Mum…Muuuuuuuuuum…’

‘What?’  She bent down to pick up his bag.  

‘Daddy sore,’ Wiremu shrieked, ‘Daddy sore.’

 ‘I’m fine son.’  Piripi breathed in and out slowly, trying to beat down the pain.  ‘I’m—’

Ngapera looked at him and jumped, startled.  ‘Fuck sake,’ she let Wiremu scramble down her body to the floor.  ‘Are you okay?’

Piripi grasped his side feeling something hot and wet ooze between his fingers.  ‘No, I don’t think so.’

‘You’re bleeding.’ 

Wiremu screamed.

Piripi looked down at the rapidly spreading blood stain and a wave of dizziness tipped him onto his side.  

Wiremu grasped Piripi’s face with his chubby fingered little hands.  ‘It’s a’ight Daddy, it a’ight.’

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