Slaying the Monster
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(This story contains some domestic violence. This is the first story I ever published on the web. So yes, it’s older as well. It’s not as gory as some of my newer stories, but many people close to me, still consider this my best work to date. Personally, I lean more towards “The Feast of Flesh,” of “The Darkest Smile.” But, that’s the thing with opinions, everyone has one.)
When I was eleven, I use to draw quite well, at least that is what I was told. I would doodle large muscle-bound men fighting horrible monsters. Their swords would be as tiny as splinters compared to their foe. However, my bone-masked hero, Cabal, would always find their soft spots. He’d strike their eyes, throats or any other place I could find on my own body that could be poked with a pencil to create pain.
But most importantly, he always won. He always found a way to slay the monsters.
If I remember correctly, that night he was caught in the grasp of a mighty ogre with
two human arms, and six snake like appendages that sprouted from his sides. It was these serpentine growths that held Cabal as he drove his sword into the spot under the ogre’s chin and his tiny sword pierced the monster’s tongue. That was when the noise of my dad’s car door slamming chased me from my fantasy. It was unusually loud and mean sounding. At least, that is the way I remember it. Or did it always sound that way, even when he was sober? Perhaps, the knowledge of what came after it has permanently colored the memory in darker hues.
My mom, a young brunette woman, told me to go upstairs. As if the sound of my father’s slurred screaming could not be heard up there. In fact, it could be heard down the street as many of my classmates often reminded me, more for their peer’s benefit then my own. “Boy, your dad curses a lot.” Or “Damn, bitch, cunt. That’s all I heard last night.”
As much as I wanted to stay downstairs, I never did. I always obeyed my mom. As I climbed the steps, and looked at her sad, frightened face, I said, “I love you, Mom. Goodnight.” I don’t know if she responded. Her reply may have been drowned out by my dad, who burst through the front door cursing and barking orders about the “slop” he was expecting for dinner.
I closed my bedroom door that is directly to the right at the top of the stairs. My room was maybe six feet squared. It barely contained my bed, drawing desk and white, two-drawer dresser. I was sharpening the pencils, which I keep in a red can on my desk, into tiny spear points when I heard three successive sounds: a slap, a thud and a curse. They were followed by silence.
I thought maybe my mom was weeping and the sound didn’t reach my room, and when I opened my bedroom door, crying was all I heard. It was slightly mixed with my dad’s cursing, and I began a slow decent down the stairs. I turned to the right and entered the kitchen looking for my mother, and was shocked by what I saw.
The kitchen was not very big. It contained a table with three chairs, a small yellow
refrigerator, a stove and three, brown cabinets on either side of the sink. My dad was standing, between the table and the sink, his face streaked with tears. My mom was lying on the yellow, linoleum floor, on the far side of the kitchen, at the base of the stove. Her neck was twisted in an unnatural way. As I looked upon this scene, my legs started twitching, and my dad began to charge in my direction. His blood shot eyes were filled with rage and his mouth was twisted into a crooked-toothed frown. Without thinking, I grabbed the kitchen chair and dropped it in
my father’s path as I ran for the front door.
I heard my father fall as I fumbled with the door’s locks. I turned, and to my surprise, he was up and coming for me again. I was leaping up the stairs, with my pulse pounding in my ears, when I felt his hand grab my ankle. Quickly, I rolled over and instinctively pulled the sharpened pencil from my breast pocket. His fist was raised, but before he could strike, I lashed out with my pencil. I stabbed him in the left cheek and he rose up screaming. Seizing the opportunity, I headed for my bedroom. I slammed the door behind me, and it immediately burst open. However, I had already reached my bed and the aluminum bat that I’ve learned to keep beside it.
I grabbed it and threw it at his legs. Either he was coming too fast, or he was too drunk to avoid it. The bat struck him just below the knees, and the room filled with a metallic “ping” sound as he toppled over. He fell half onto my bed, and he lied still in a very vulnerable position. I grabbed a handful of pencils from the tin cup on my desk, and I slammed them into the soft spot on the back of his neck. Immediately, he began to twitch, and as his blood poured from the wound, he let out a last, slurred curse and then he was still.
Shaken, and most definitely in shock, I walked down the stairs to the kitchen. I picked up the phone and stretched the cord to allow me to sit beside my mom. “It’s over mom,” I reassured her as I began dialing 911. That was where the police found me, sitting beside her in the kitchen and holding her hand.
Not surprisingly, I haven’t drawn since.
If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.