Hey man

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story of a close call.

Submitted: September 06, 2012

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Submitted: September 06, 2012



He hasn't been home in three days.  It is one or two in the morning so he takes his time turning the key in the door. After five minutes he is inside and slowly, deliberately shutting the door so no sound issues from it.  The dog barks. "Hey boy", he whispers. The dog barks two more times, louder and meaner. He hears his father talk to the dog. The dog does not bark. He silently walks to the kitchen and lights the stove. He leans in and takes a drag on his cigarette, relieved. He walks back through the kitchen and sees his father staring out the front door, his .38 revolver hanging loosely in his left hand. "Hey man", he says softly. The dog barks. He dives backward into the kitchen as his father turns and raises the gun, pulling the hammer back. The cigarette falls from his mouth as the gunshot echoes through the room. He watches from the ground as realization cuts through his father's face.

He wakes in a hospital bed with a concussion and a bullet wound in his calf. His father is crying beside him. His father's eyes are redder and sicker than usual from the tears. "Hey man", he says softly. His father cannot hear him but he can hear his father. "I didn't know, I didn't know" rattles coarsely from his father's lips. He pretends to sleep. His mother walks into the room and through squinting eyes he sees she wears a look of panic and rage. "What did you do to him?" his mother asks of his father. "I didn't know, I didn't know", rattles coarsely from his father's lips. The Morphine takes control

He wakes to his mother's voice. "Sweetie, sweetie", his mother is asking of him. He cannot fake his sleep any longer. "I'm ok, what time is it?" he asks his mother. He opens his eyes and his father is gone. "It's seven thirty, how are you feeling sweetie?" his mother asks of him, choking on tears with a look of fear on her face. "I'm ok, take me home," he says. "They told us you can leave in the morning. You're going to come live with me and your sister now." his mother tells him reassuringly. "No, I don't want to" he tells his mother. "You don't have a choice sweetie. Get some rest, we'll talk about this in the morning." He watches his mother leave the room and falls back asleep.

The nurse helps him into the wheelchair and pushes him to the car outside. His sister helps him into the car. The drive is silent and long. Outside the pharmacy his mother asks if he wants anything special. "Booze" he tells his mother. "Ok sweetie" his mother says with a smile. He eats a double dose of the painkiller on the way to his mother's house. His sister helps him out of the car and into the kitchen. His mother pours whiskey into an ice filled glass and sets it down in front of him. "Can you leave me alone for a bit before we talk?" he asks of his mother and sister. "Ok sweetie" his mother says and hugs him and kisses him. "It's ok kid" his sister says to him while doing the same. He watches as they leave the kitchen.

He grabs the car keys off the table and limps out to the car. He starts the engine and sees his mother and sister running out the door after him. He jerks the car out onto the street and takes off at a frightening speed. The drive is fast and silent. He pulls into his father's driveway and slowly and deliberately limps up to the door. He takes no time with the key. The dog is barking. He whistles to the dog. The dog barks louder and shiller. He limps thoughout the house looking for his father. The dog is barking faster. He enters the kitchen and broken glass cuts his foot. The kitchen stinks from the whiskey on the floor. He limps through the kitchen out to the garage. "Here boy" he calls to the dog. The dog creeps to him and lays down whining. He bends down to pet the dog. "What's up buddy?" he asks of the dog. He looks into the garage. His father is hanging from the roof by a rope tied around his neck. "Hey man" he says softly.

© Copyright 2018 Bluebeard Barry. All rights reserved.

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