Not to me, I thought. The things he did. Was it my father's attempt at art or was it something else? My mother let out a scream, a yelp, a cry of pain and my brothers were up out of the lounge room and into my parents' bedroom in a flash. In these photos I recognise the way my mother poses for the camera, her movie star look. Huge silver domes stood on either side of the room, like umbrellas to concentrate the light from the intense white globes he kept on for hours on end. He sat alone in his chair in the lounge room or took himself off to bed, from where he commanded my mother or my sister to attend.
My father sought comfort in his daughters, but he had confused comfort with sexuality.
The room became tropical hot and we each sat in turn on the high-backed Jacobean chair my grandfather had sent to my mother as a present from Holland years before as my father snapped our images. In the midst of my anxiety the curtains began to waft about again, but faster this time. I kept the negatives in a yellow lunch box and it was years before I had the courage to develop them. He wrote down everything Mel had learned from the school nurse, called our Grandma for more advice and then called Beverly over to help him out. We sat, listening for all the sounds, not from the television but from behind the closed bedroom door. Once the towels were dry Beverly started washing our bedding and bagging our toys. The flies must have bred during the previous summer and died the winter that we moved in.