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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

It's sort of like a teenage issue kind of story. The protagonist is a teenage boy named Charles, he struggles at school and there's only one thing he is scared of. Mother.

Mr Bills’ footsteps pound in my ears as he strides, rather slowly, towards my desk. My heart is pulsing in my throat and my breathing becomes shallow. The footsteps come to a stop. My algebra teacher hovers over me and I feel like a rabbit being stared down by an eagle. His eyes, however, tell a completely different story. They are filled with sorrow, with empathy, with dread.

“Charles, your exam-,” he starts.

I take a brief glance at my marked assignment and I bolt out of the classroom door, easily navigating through the school hallways despite the sharp twists and turns around every corner. This is not the first time. I turn into the male’s bathroom and lock the cubicle. I stop and think, a B- will not suffice, a B-… I foresee the punishments I could receive. I hope that it’s only going five days unfed, or a day locked out of the house. I hate Mondays. Maybe mother will be in a good mood today, although she hardly ever is, not since dad passed away in war. Overtime, I’ve realised that grieving over him won’t ever ease the pain. I know that the time has long gone for me to move on, but I can’t. I just can’t forget.


Walking home from school every day used to bother me, but mother’s severe scolding has taught me to keep my opinions to myself. The wind brushes past the dried tears on my cheeks. 27 Amity Drive. If only my household was as peaceful as it was named for. I insert the house key in with a trembling hand. The lock clicks open. My feet spring into action and I am halfway to my room by the time I hear the door slam.


I unpack my school supplies and quickly file downstairs to meet with mother. She is sitting at her laptop and her fingers move deftly across the keys.

“School?” she asks blandly. She doesn’t even bother to glance at me or acknowledge that I’m in the room. She doesn’t care about me, her only son.

“School was well.” I reply hastily. She finally looks up to raise a stern eyebrow at me, as if to ask, “How well?”

A lump forms in my throat and I say, “Algebra exam, B-.” Mother pinches her lips together and stops typing. She stares me right in the eye. I feel suspended in time in that long moment she takes to decide my sentence.



“This is for your own benefit.”

They are the last words I hear before the basement door isolates me from society. For how long, I don’t know. “Two days,” she said, but I have nothing to keep track of time. Actually, I have nothing at all, except a bed and a lamp connecting to a faulty power point. No windows; maybe I’ll suffocate. There are faded scratch marks carved into the walls. I think they’re kept there to remind me of the horrible times of when I was younger. I remember them vividly. The bed creaks as I stand abruptly, shaky from the memories that haunt me. It’s about time I did something. Nothing’s going to change if I don’t make it happen.


Has it been two days? Even if it has, I doubt she would let me out. I wonder if anyone at school’s noticed that I’m gone. Not that they would care. I don’t exist in anyone’s world. The dusty bed sheets are crumpled from last night and I go to smooth them out. I stop. My fingers brush over a metal, L-shaped object. I examine it carefully. A gun? I slept on a pistol and didn’t even feel it. Dad probably left it behind before he went to war. I twirl the weapon around in my hands. Nothing’s going to change if I don’t make it happen.


My hatred for mother has never this strong. It has to have been at least five days. Anger builds up inside me and the scratches on the walls fill me up with more rage. Suddenly, I hear footsteps descending down the stairs and I tense. I grab the pistol and press it behind my back. I keep hidden from view.

“Charles, are you in here?”

Her voice makes me sick.

“Don’t move,” I command.

As I point the gun directly at her temple, my vision starts to blur. What am I doing?

“Charles?” her eyes grow wide.

I don’t reply. A battle wages inside my head and I wonder which side will win. I look at her and I see the woman who has caused me so much suffering, so much anguish and I wish I could return the favour. My grip on the gun doesn’t falter as I click the bullet into its chamber. Tears fall down from her pleading eyes and drip onto her shirt. Dad once told me that revenge was never the answer, but I’ve always thought it was. I wish he was here; he would tell me what to do. I miss dad more than anything.


A single gunshot was heard on Wednesday, around midnight. A feminine scream woke the rest of Amity Drive. Someone called the police. An hour later, a teenage boy was reported dead and the mother was sent to court for the charges of murder. No-one knows what really went down that night. The police investigated the pistol, found in the boy’s hand, for evidence. But the mother’s fingerprints were not found on the weapon. 

Submitted: August 25, 2014

© Copyright 2022 songjinloh. All rights reserved.

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Short Story / Literary Fiction