Daddy Dearest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Killing Dad turns out to be trickier than planned

Submitted: March 05, 2007

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Submitted: March 05, 2007

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There’s no way around it. Gotta to kill my Dad. May seem like a pointless effort to an outsider, what with him being a not very sprite ninety-three year old and all, but my own years are counted. I deserve to live out what’s left of my life without him breathing down my neck all the time.

Okay. That’s just a figure of speech, I know. He is locked away. And I can’t really be sure he’s alive since I haven’t looked him in the eye for… well, a long time. But his fetid breath has to be one of the worst things this side of the Wendy’s dumpster, rats included.

All I need is for conditions to be right; the right place, the right time, and of course, the right mood. It’s not the sort of the thing to can be done on a whim. Does your run-of-the-mill assassin wake up every morning thinking “Hey, I feel like killing somebody. Off I go!” Have to be prepared, right? I think you have to get in character, like method acting or something. I mean, I’ve seen those guys in their prison suits. Some of them look a lot friendlier than most of my neighbours. But they probably didn’t look like that just before they struck.

Why I think he’s alive – or not.

When I push the tray under the door, every morning and evening - like clockwork, I’m a regular waitress I am - the plate comes back clean as if I’d never put any food on it in the first place, when I know I did. I give him as good as I get – which isn’t anything to brag about, but it’s edible, I swear.

And I hear noise up there. Like something dragged along the floor, or maybe a big weight falling sometimes. The chair I left for him, I think. Maybe he tries to move it and it gets upturned sometimes, or he’s the one falls to the floor and he uses to pull himself back to the bed. What do I know? I don’t go in there since our last fight.

His room is in the back of a closet I put in to hide it, in case anybody nosy comes looking for him. See, I spread the story around town, way back when, that he’d gone into a retirement home. Then I let it be known he’d had a stroke and died. I wish it was true. But of course it isn’t. We haven’t got that kind of money. We’re stuck with each other, aren’t we?

I used to have a girlfriend. Sometimes, when she came round, she’d say she heard things coming from inside the closet. Whining, scraping. Rats, I told her, big ones. I think that’s why she stopped coming. The noise got so bad at times, might as well have been a giant rat back there. I opened the doors – the first ones, with slats – and showed her. “All’s I got in here are my clothes. Nothing to get scared of!” I told her. I didn’t really care if she believed me, I was sick of the sight of her anyway.

The other sign that I think he’s still alive is the stench. He’s got a bucket, and he’s got a drain in the floor he can empty it into. For a while back there I could hardly go to sleep at night it was so bad. Maybe he got sick or something. It’s better now. Good enough I could bring in a woman again. But I’m not sure it’s worth the bother, giving myself a sponge bath, cutting my toe nails, finding a clean shirt, AND brushing my teeth. On the same day? Nah. I didn’t do half of that when I still had a job.

Funny thing, though. This morning, when I left for work, I could have sworn I’d left the door to the closet closed. Habit I got. You never know. I mean it’s not very likely, but what if I brought someone home? I get urges sometimes still. I’d hate for even one of those street girls to see all the junk piled up on the sides. They’d get the wrong idea, like I’m messy or something by nature, instead of by force. Haven’t got much closet space, have I?

After I saw the door open, I had to go and have a drink – for strength. Brought out the bottle – the good stuff, Four Roses. I had one drink, then another, and so forth. That’s when it occurred to me. We just couldn’t go on like this anymore. I tried to figure out what the easiest way. I don’t have a gun. Poison’s too slow, and hard to get him to swallow. I’ve been suspecting him of throwing his food away, some of it at least. It’s uncanny the way the tray comes back so clean. Wouldn’t put it past the old bastard to waste good food like that.

I thought about the kitchen knife, the big one. But it hasn’t been sharpened in years. If I missed, it could get messy. Probably I’d get covered in blood, then have to wash up – completely. Just thinking about it made me tired.

So there really was only the one option left. The old sledge hammer. Doesn’t need to be sharp to work, and I thought Icould probably get him good on the first blow, or second maybe – three strikes, tops.

I poured myself another glass of the Roses, finished it off. Then I got up and went back to my room. Stumbled a little, but by the time I got there, I was pretty steady on my feet, full of the kind of courage I thought I was going to need. Had it all planned. Step one, unlock door. Step two, pull it open while lifting hammer. Step three, charge in, bring the hammer down on his creepy hairless head. I figured he’d probably be waiting for me right behind it, so there wouldn’t be a moment to hesitate. Step four, smash. The end.

But things never work out the way I plan, do they? When I pushed the door open, he was nowhere near it. He – what was left of him – was over on the bed, flat out. Really flat, like he’d been ironed onto the sheets. All that was left of him was his bones, picked clean. No wonder the smell was gone. Somebody - something - got to him before I did. Don’t know what it was. But it had to have been big – no way it was a rat. The drain was dug out so you could have fit my father’s body into it – when it still had flesh on it.

The hole is big enough to jam the bones down in it, I reckon. Put a new pipe in, pour cement in around it. I always did think it was a waste of space to have a spare bedroom in this crummy joint. Really, the place could use a bathtub, and so could I.


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