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Drama Crime Fiction

Trigger Warning: Alcohol, Abuse, Murder

When I was younger, I loved my father. He bought me the most expensive toys to go with my fancy bedroom. I had 3 different playhouses, countless dolls, and a tiny Maltese dog named Hannah. I named her after my mother, who had died when I was too young to know what death was.

Then, as I grew, I began to hate my father. He was never home, and when he was, he smelled of whisky and Scotch. No cheap beer or bitter vodka for my dad. I learned to recognize a drunk man when I was 8 years old. I knew to stay in my room when dad wasn't sober. He had a short temper naturally, and alcohol seemed to cut whatever he had in half.

I never went to a normal school. I was tutored at home in all the usual things, English and Math and dreaded History. How my teachers could make events like the holocaust and the american revolution sound boring has always escaped me. I was trained in other things as well. My phy ed consisted of a mixture of different martial arts, strength training, and other miscellaneous things, at my father's request. I learned to check a pulse and perform CPR. I learned how to handle a knife, how to drive, even though I wasn't of age. I learned how to fire a gun, with accuracy. I learned how to hit a target in the areas that would end life quickly, and those that would bring a slow, painful passing. I learned not to miss.

I was twelve when my father called me to the first of many late night meetings. I had been doing homework at the time, still sweaty from that day's workout, but I knew I couldn't ignore a summons from him. That night, he told me about his job. He never used the word, but I thought it, and I'm sure he did too. He told me people gave him money, and he would fix their problems. Sometimes, he said, people got in the way, stepped over the line, got out of place. He helped his 'employers' with these problematic people, so that they could do their jobs and succeed. How, I asked, did he deal with them. He paused.

Looking back, I'm not sure if his conscience flickered to life for a moment, or if he was trying not to scare me, or if I imagined the hesitation in his expression, hoping there was some piece of humanity left in him. I already knew what he was going to say. I think I had known for a while. But I needed to hear it from him, needed it as much as I needed air to breathe and food to eat and my father to take care of me. "I kill them." He said it straightforward, with no bit of regret in his voice, and the words felt like a slap on the face, almost worse than those I'd adapted to avoid. It wasn't a confession. It was a fact.

I didn't speak to him for the rest of that night. I ran to my room and he didn't try to follow me. I think I cried that night. Most kids thought their parents were angels, but I hadn't seen him in that light for years. I knew he wasn't a saint, but I never thought he'd be a devil.

Dad called me down the next night too, and I almost didn't go. But I did. With him, it was second nature to comply. We talked that night, not about death, but about life. This is how I provide for you, he said. This is not a bad thing. When it got late, when he was about to send me off to bed, I blurted out the question I'd been wondering ever since he'd admitted to being a murderer. "Are they innocent?" I didn't even have to elaborate. He knew what I meant. "No," he said, simply. "They've all committed crimes, squeezed themselves into situations they should've stayed out of." I was almost afraid to ask, but I had to know. "How many?" He took a sip of his drink, an Irish whiskey tonight. "I don't keep count," he said finally. "I don't see a point."

The next week, I started more specialized training. I dropped English and Math and dreaded History, and started focusing on sneak attacks and get aways and the art of taking life. I didn't accompany my father for another two months, and I had no time to prepare mentally for the prospect. One morning, there was an outfit laying on the back of my chair, black and flexible and comfy. I put it on, went downstairs for breakfast, and there my father was, leaning against the counter, drinking coffee. He smiled when I walked in. "Guess what day it is," He asked. Lamely, I guessed, "Your birthday?" He chuckled, put down his cup, brought out a gun, handed it to me. "It's take your kid to work day!"

That day's target was a middle aged man, with thinning gray-brown hair and brown eyes. I watched them glass over as he died from the wound in his chest. My father placed it perfectly. This one would die quickly, without time to fully resister the pain. The first time I watched the light die from someone's eyes, I cried. I wiped the tears before my father could see. When he looked at me, though, he could tell I was shaken. He put his arm out, and I, hesitantly walked into it. "The first time is always the hardest," he muttered. "Let's go."

That night, my father brought out a bottle of Gin, but I didn't run to my room like I usually did. Instead, I watched as he poured his first glass, then his second. Eventually, I worked up the courage to ask. "Why do you drink, dad?" He looked at me for a moment with the same rage I remembered so clearly from my childhood, the rage that would lead to screaming and crying and the sound of broken glass on the tile floor. But it burned down quickly, and he was left with a haunted, sad look. "It takes an edge off the hurt," he said simply. Then, he got down another glass, poured a half cup. He handed it to me, with a smile. I shuddered when I first tasted it, made a bit of a face. That made him laugh.

I didn't get drunk that night, not quite, but the warmth of the gin sure did take an edge off the hurt.

Over the years, I learned other ways to dull the sadness. I took over the family business, became even more successful than my father. People trusted me to get a job done, cleanly and on time, and I trusted them to stick to their word and pay me. If they didn't, well, I certainly knew how to deal with troublesome people.

Me and my father were different in a few ways, though. I kept a record of those I'd killed. I always knew the number. 73. 109. 254. I always remembered that number before I downed a drink, before I let the alcohol seep through my veins and numb the pain. I owed my kills that much. And I never tried to keep up the preconception of a happy family life. Me and my father never got very close. He had scarred me when I was little, and I wasn't going to let myself be that vulnerable again.

I had grown stronger over the years, matured until I needed no one but but myself. I had learned that kindness was weakness, and love was for those who wished to be hurt.

When I was younger, I loved my father. Now that I am older, I have learned not to love.

September 14, 2021 01:39

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2 comments

Ariana Lamers
18:39 Dec 04, 2021

This was deep but it really highlights the effects of childhood drama. I liked the way she kept count to pay respects to the dead. It reminds me of another book I read. You should do a part 2 and have her realize that her dad killed her mom so she has to kill her dad.

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Quinn Marie
03:18 Dec 06, 2021

Thanks, good sugestion

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