My Dad’s Most Bizarre Invention

Submitted into Contest #192 in response to: Write about someone stuck in an endless cycle who finally manages to break free.... view prompt

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Kids Science Fiction Teens & Young Adult

I was only just 12 when that thing happened. It was terrifying. Nerve-wracking. Traumatizing. Pulsating. I could use all the words that could describe fear and anger to explain what I felt and experienced that day. Yet, it was all kinda fun.

In the mind of that 12-year-old kid, that thing was supposed to change the way he sees things. It was supposed to make him doubt anything. To make his heart weaken to nothing. But he didn’t. I didn’t. That same fear planted a seed of peculiar fascination in me that grew bigger and bigger as I grow up. It was oddly captivating. And I could never forget that day. My dad made sure that I won’t ever be. 

“Chaz! I’m running late! You take care of the house while I’m away.” Dad ran up to me one morning — hair still in a mess and his polo still unbuttoned. His usual morning look. He placed his keys on the table and brought out his wallet in a haste.

“Here. Buy yourself some lunch later or go crash at your friend’s house or whatever. I won’t be home until dinner.” He took a bite from the chocolate-dipped donut I was eating and sipped at my milk. He forgot that I don’t have a friend. 

“Dad! You’re eating all of it!”

“I haven’t had my breakfast yet!” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hands and finally fixed his bag on his right shoulder before looking at me. “I’ll go now. Will you be alright?” 

“Yeah.” I mean, what choice did I have? It’s not as if I can stop him now. Plus, he already ate more than half of my donut. That was the last one!

“Alright, then. Goodbye. Love ya.” He kissed the side of my head, which I so persistently tried to avoid but he caught me. He was so clingy, I hate it.

“Remember to keep the doors locked, okay? And don’t go into my office. I’ll know it when you touched something,” he eyed me before closing the door. I heard him run away as he headed toward the bus station. I waited for a few more minutes to see if he will go back. 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Should I wait for five more minutes?

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Nah, I’ll make it ten. My dad was a sneaky ass bastard after all.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. After what seemed to be an eternity, the house was finally all mine. The best of it all, I got my Dad’s keys. Hah! He was too dumb to place it right beside my hand. He probably didn’t notice it anyways. He was such an airhead, to begin with.

I finished my milk and immediately ran upstairs towards his office room. I even almost got tripped in my excitement. Well, who wouldn’t? Dad has all these peculiar toys in his room which I was not supposed to play with, he said. 

Dad was an engineer. A really weird one. One time he created a freaking ball that blew farts on my face when we were playing dodgeball. Another time, he made a lightsaber like that from Star Wars, which he made literally out of electricity. The whole freaking town lost its electricity for a week! And just yesterday, he put me on some glasses with a virtual system of whatnots like that from Ironman’s helmet. It was awesome! But he kept it all back to his grand chest. He never allowed me to keep it. I hate him. So now, I’m gonna execute my revenge and find out his latest invention. 

I inserted the key into his door’s keyhole and slowly opened his office. A loud bang immediately sounded. Shit. I knew it. His fucking door handle has a fucking fingerprint sensor! Sneaky ass bastard. Good thing my Dad was not here anymore. So I entered. Fuck the house.

I stepped into the door and smoke popped into my face. Ugh, Dad! It was so fucking disgusting. Its smell was like a vehicle’s exhausts intensified by ten times more! I felt like I was smoking a thousand tobaccos at once. Fuck these security measures. 

I wiped my face with the sleeve of my shirt and decided to take a step again. Dad’s office was not that big. It was like a typical room just converted into an office. But hell, I don’t even know if you could call this one an office. Because first, I don’t think an office room should have a massive chest like that in the center (which looked like from Minecraft, by the way) as far as I am concerned. And, second, his office looked like a fucking trash! Why does he even call this an office? There were a lot of gears and mechanical tools everywhere, which he uses for his ‘creative endeavors,’ as he likes to call them. There was also a massive parachute in the ceiling. Tons of disembodied robots were on the ground. Greases were all over everywhere. And a medium-sized, freaking colorful, rainbow-ish boat was in the right corner of his room. This was like the setting of Stephen King’s next horror book. If not for that huge painting of our family at the far back of his room, I’d call it Pennywise’s hiding place. 

I asked him once why the painting was there and why it has to be that huge. He could’ve just picked or made a smaller one and then put it in a smaller frame if he wanted to, but he didn’t. He said that the picture of us, specifically the face of my mother, inspires him to create more things. He maybe misses her, I don't know. She was no longer here, after all. Dad told me that she died because of some sort of an accident which I could not remember. I couldn’t even remember any memories of her anymore. I just knew that she was here and she birthed me. That was it. Mom and Dad used to be partners in creating these things. They married because of these things. They wanted to create a family because of these things (At least, that was what my Dad said). I wonder if this place would turn into a garbage area if Mom was still alive.

Going back, Dad told me not to touch his things because he will know it when I touched something. So, I didn’t plan to touch anything at all even if I already triggered his security systems. I’m just gonna tell him that it malfunctioned (it happens sometimes). And being the airhead that he is, I know that he will believe me. So, all I’m left to do was pace around everywhere, look at his creations, and inspect his current projects. 

I saw a weird-looking watch that looked like Ben10’s. I wonder if a person’s outfit’s gonna change if they tap something in it? I also took a peek at the boat I saw earlier and found that it was nothing but just his bed. Apparently, the lights were just a freaking decoration. So childish. I didn’t bother to pull open the grand chest at the center of his room for I might trigger something again.

I walked around and around, and around again, trying to learn something until my feet landed back in front of our huge painting again. I don’t know, but something in it just pulls me to be in here. Well, come to think of it. Knowing my Dad, he could’ve thrown or moved this away because it takes up too much space in his office. He could’ve just hung something there on that wall just like what he did on the right and left walls of his room — wires, metals, suit wear, and other otherworldly stuff hung on those walls that you could no longer see the actual wall itself. 

Was he really that obsessed with Mom’s face? I brought my face nearer to my Mom. She was beautiful, all right. She got that tan skin, which I got. That curly, autumn hair, which I also got. And that sheepish smile that seemed to know all of your secrets. No wonder Dad was this madly in love with her. But I couldn't grasp why he had to keep it.

I sighed and stoop back to my place, staring at the painting longer, and longer — and there. I found it. It was small and inconspicuous, but there, just at the right side of the frame, at the side of my Mom’s, was a carved portion of the wood frame where fingers rest to pull the painting open to reveal what was inside. Hah! Dad was really a sneaky-ass bastard.

In fear that my Dad would know that I touched something I should not have (who knows if he got a sensor of some sort in his phone that automatically detects if I touched something), I grabbed a thin metal rod on the floor (which seemed ironic to my idea of not touching something, but I don’t care) and tried to carefully pull the painting open. The painting was heavy. Its length spanned almost the entire height of the wall. But, after a couple of tries, I managed to pull it open. 

Inside the painting was a door. A tall, black door. Nothing unusual. I thought something was gonna pop out to my face again like earlier, but nothing happened. Then, I discreetly opened it (thankfully, there was no more bang), and a staircase revealed itself to me. It looked no more than just an ordinary staircase. There was a stair going upwards and another stair going downwards. Now, why would Dad have a secret staircase here? For robbers? Was he hiding something here? Or maybe his latest, biggest, grandest invention was stored somewhere there upstairs or downstairs? That thought excited me so I ran without a second thought. I didn’t mind the door that immediately closed behind me as soon as I leaped off to the stairs. All I have was the thought that I’m gonna be the first person to see his most bizarre invention. Hah! Wasn’t that awesome?

I darted upstairs first. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Now I gotta turn. Another one. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I’m back to the door again. Huh?

I ran upstairs for the second time around and I landed back at the door. What the fuck? Was my mind making fun of me? I tried to go downstairs next.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I turned. Another one. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. What the actual fuck? I’m back at the door again. What was happening? 

I scampered downstairs for the second time but after a couple of tips and taps, the door came daunting at me again. Wait, wait. This was real right? What the ef was really happening? I turned the doorknob open to go back to my Dad’s office but it wouldn’t budge. Huh? Was it locked? I didn’t lock it as far as I can remember! I tried to spin it open multiple times, but it really wasn’t opening! I punched the door and gave it a matter of fuck.

Bullshit. Now, the door was not opening and I am stuck here in this endless cycle of stairs. What am I gonna do? Maybe, I’m just looking at it wrong? So, I tried to walk up again, but slowly. 

One. I was looking at my foot and upstairs simultaneously to see if something was moving. Two. Nothing was moving. Three. All that ever moved was my foot. Four. Did the light just move? Five. No, I’m just hallucinating. Six. Nothing was really moving. Seven. Something was appearing upstairs. Last step. It was the upper frame of the door. Fuck it. I continued my walk upstairs, and I have gone back to zero again. I did the same thing when I made an effort to walk downstairs but I just made fun of myself. Who am I kidding? Ugh! I’m going insane! What really was happening? Do I need to run fast to get to the top or bottom? What do I do?

I ran upstairs, fast. Then downstairs. Then upstairs again. Now, downstairs. Upstairs. Downstairs. Upstairs. Downstairs. Upstairs. I was running for, I think, 10 whole minutes, but I’m still caught in this endless cycle. I’m still at the door for fuck’s sake! I’m also getting a little bit claustrophobic here. It felt like everything was getting so narrow and hot and suffocating and small and spinning and whirling and tight and confining and…and dark. The light has gone out. I could see nothing. I’m only clinging to the faint light that came out from the spaces of the door. I’m really in a whole lot of shit

I can’t breathe. I can’t think. My mind was spinning. My chest was getting heavier and tighter. My body was starting to shake. No. No. I need to think. I need to think. What if I’m stuck here? What if Dad comes home and he doesn’t realize that I’m stuck here? What if I die here because of the lack of oxygen? What if…What if my Dad purposefully left me here to die? No. Dad wasn’t like that. He was not like that. I know him. 

Do I really? Ever since I could not remember, I’ve always been left here alone at our house. He always leave me alone in this house, assuming that I could do everything on my own. On the days when there was no food left because he forgot to go to the grocery, I’m stuck with only a single, moldy loaf of bread. My tummy would ache so much the next day, but he won't notice. On the days when extreme and terrifying thunders and lightning and storms overran our town, I was left cooped up in my room, alone in my bed. And on the days that I wanted to be with him and play with him, he was always mad-focused on his creations. Did I ever have a space in his life? Or was I just a nuisance and burden in his life? Maybe he really did leave me here to rot and die.

A tear fell on my chin as I ponder the thought. It felt like there were thousands of needles poking into my heart. The feeling of betrayal, loneliness, and revenge seeped right into my core. Well, if Dad really intentionally left me here alone, again, then fuck him! I’m gonna punch him in his balls then pack my things and leave this house for good! I’ll be nowhere in his sight. But that could only happen if I get to leave this staircase anyway.

I’ve been in this rut for I don’t know how long. I’d already perspired an insane amount of sweat and ran for an insane amount of minutes around and around, and I was still here, right beside the door. I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t know how long I have been here. My anxiety has already purged my thoughts, and I don’t know how to get away from here.

No. There has to be a way out of here. Dad once told me that in every problem, there always has a solution. He was able to create all of those things, after all. So, there has to be a way. I just need to think. Think, Chaz. Think. How could you get away here? I ran upstairs and have gone back to the door again. I ran downstairs and the same thing happened. What was the mechanism behind it all?

I’ve been running up and down, around and around, and nothing was happening. Nothing was moving. I tried to retrace my steps and I was sure that these stairs were never changing. They were the same stair I stepped onto again and again. It was if…It was as if I’m running in a circle — That was it! 

If these stairs were never changing and I was always brought back to the door again, it was the only best answer. The staircase was a circle. Due to some unknown mechanism my Dad probably thought of, he made the staircase look as if it was going upstairs or downstairs, when in fact, it was neither nor! And the only way to get out of a circle is to simply just get outside of it. Like when you’re running on a circular track, the only way to get yourself out of the track is to move outside of the track! But, that came another problem. I don’t see any space here on the stairs that I could run out of. It was just a couple of steps leading up and down. There was no space in between and outside. Just walls. 

I stood up and stared at the staircase again. If there was no space outside or in between, there really was no way to get outside of this ‘stair-circle’. There were only just walls around us. Unless these walls are imaginary?

I walked the first eight steps and stopped just before I turn to the next. There was a massive wall here. If this wall was really just an illusion, should I go run for it? But I could be wrong and get myself hurt by lunging myself toward a solid wall. But I could be not. I looked up and saw the upper frame of the door waiting for my return. I looked down and saw the lower frame of the door watching me. I looked back to the wall and decided to run for it.

I crashed toward something solid. Shit. I knew it. I knew that I’m gonna be stuck here forever. I knew that I’m gonna die here.

“So, how was my latest invention, son?” 

Fuck him.

April 07, 2023 13:53

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2 comments

02:08 Apr 14, 2023

Interesting story. Did he crash into his dad?

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Unknown User
17:47 May 07, 2023

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