Epilogue Rich Boy

Spotlights shine down like mother’s sun. Father’s love follows in the form of drugs and liquor. Relive, rich man.

On stage, man raises his hand to the shrieking crowd, awed with humility at his fans’ adoration. Grasping the microphone, he thinks of father rolling in his grave.

He sips water from a bottle and shakes the rest over his head, a momentary reprieve from the lights’ insulating heat. Layers of clothing hide scars he openly speaks of yet never reveals. He laments mother’s death with his lyrics and thousands cry for his loss.

Father’s legacy follows him doggedly. Later, alone, man will consume that for which he distances himself from his own offspring. Let the child have his mother.

The boy within bows, and sings of the love engraved in his heart.

To return to the beginning, click here.

Disclaimer: This series is an unauthorized, semi-fictional story, based in part on the author’s imagination.

…One Man

Stale air fills sunlit kitchen of childhood’s end. Choking on father’s love fills the coming void. Look back, poor boy. Closed eyes reveal crystalline crimson sparks, drowning in tears of years gone by. Look forward, young man.

Man sits across from father at the kitchen table. Turning and turning a crystal tumbler tinted with two fingers of scotch in a puddle of its own condensation he listens to father’s wheezing breath.

“Give me some,” demands father.

Man regards father. It is the first time man has been alone with him indeed since he was a young child. Man recalls that setting with its backdrop of violence and self-consciously man touches his chest.

“Give me some,” father repeats. He stretches across the table for the bottle but man moves it out of reach. Father begins to cough with exertion.

In the refracted sunlight from the crystal glass man envisions his future, reflected in father’s dull eyes.

Man swallows the remainder of the scotch in his tumbler and stands.

“Give me some,” father chokes.

“Fuck you,” man answers.

Man carries the bottle to the sink. He considers emptying it but instead places it on top of the high cupboard, inches from the ceiling. For the last time man studies father’s dying face.

“I love you father,” man says.

The End

To Epilogue, click here.

…One Mother

Odd shapes shine on linoleum, on table. Wind outside splays triangles of leaves displaced on again, off again, the clouds whisk like milk boiling on the stove. Struggle, dear mother. Coffee dreams drown bourbon breath bathing father’s last wish. Struggle no more, precious mother.

Mother retrieves a crystal cut tumbler from the kitchen cupboard at father’s behest. Into it she pours the golden liquid until it brims.

Mother and father are alone, as they usually are since the children moved on, brother with his family, boy… mother thinks of boy’s wanderings as something that will certainly bore him eventually.

“Where’s my drink?” father demands.

“I’m coming!” mother cries with cheer.

To continue, click here.

…One Brother

White quiet halls, scuffs covering walls, nurses pad by in soft shoes. Whisper, obedient brother. Crumpled sheets on vacated gurney, heart leaps then falls as toilet flushes. Bow down, father’s son.

Brother, standing in the doorway of father’s hospital room, steps aside when an orderly arrives pushing a wheelchair.

“You takin’ him home?” the orderly asks.

“That’s what I’m here for,” brother answers.

The orderly leaves without comment. Father exits the washroom and torments brother with yellow eyes.

“Are you ready to leave father?” brother squirms, offering the chair.

Father turns, sits and waits for brother to gather his belongings. Brother wheels him to the car.

The two drive through rapidly emptying streets into the setting sun. Brother squints and glances at father’s hands in his lap. Old and sallow, liver failure tinctures his skin.

“Stop at the liquor store,” father commands, his first utterance of the journey.

“Yes, sir,” brother concedes, relieved to turn away from the blazing, bloody beam of the sunset.

To continue, click here.

Fifteen Attending Brother

Oppressive darkness shrouds the vast black hallway while spotlights scream energy out on stage where there is air. Wait, raging son. Shrill electric pandemonium resounds from mile-high boxes, drowning out sickly shrieking adoration. Unclench, trembling brother.

Brother waits, impatient for his younger sibling to leave the stage. Fists at his sides he scrutinizes the singer as he wails and thrashes for his audience. Brother’s fury lies in the frustration that the little shit would never mutter a sound while taking his beatings.

Brother ducks into the cover of the darkness as the song ends and the band begins to leave the stage.

“Sir!” calls a staff member, addressing man as he finally arrives in the wings. “This guy says he’s your brother…”

Man squints into the shadows. When brother steps forward he waves off his employee and approaches.

Brother cranes his neck to sneer at man’s effeminate make-up, his long hair, his slim body in tight clothing. He wonders how so many women can desire such a sissy.

“It’s father,” brother hisses. “He’s in the hospital.”

“Why should I care?” man asks, turning to leave.

Brother grasps his sleeve. “Mother wants you there.”

“Fine, I’m almost done,” man says. He walks back onstage to thunderous applause.

Brother seethes, biding the time until his next opportunity to shine in father’s eyes.

To continue, click here.

Fourteen Stirring Mother

Home breathes, love pours comfort into cups of fine gleaming china. Catch the scent, dear woman. Steam rises in clouds of humidity, obscuring the impenetrable essence of life. Smell the coffee, tiresome bitch.

Mother smiles, watching her men at the kitchen table. Father and son laugh and drink to the joys of life and the trials of marriage. The aroma of bread baking in the oven turns her attention to the clock. Father senses her concentration.

“Where is the little shit now?” asks father.

“He should be here soon,” replies mother.

Man opens the front door as though on cue. The cat yowls as man trips over it.

Brother stands, knocking over his chair. He charges out of the kitchen, mother in his wake.

“I’mm sorry, mmother,” slurs man.

“He’s fucked up on drugs!” brother jeers.

Mother extends a hand to help man rise to his feet. Brother leers and kicks man’s unsteady legs from beneath him. Man slips back to the floor.

Father staggers from the kitchen to assist and mother stands back. Hands at her face she incredulously attends the thrashing of her youngest child. She jumps as the bell in the kitchen signals the readiness of the bread.

Emancipated, mother concerns herself with the rising of the bread and her concern over the immeasurable appetite of the three men near the front door.

For part fifteen, click here.

Thirteen Idolized Man

The lights, the lights, like mother’s love burn through retina and numb the brain. Drink them in, precious boy. Screams of adoration oppress and uplift, confusing like family’s comforting reassurance. Float, young man.

Man drops his key card on the table inside the door of his hotel suite, his music echoes in his ears. He turns to his chosen one and bends to press his mouth against hers. His desire radiates heat through his body. His chosen leaps up, legs around his waist, her sweet scent reaches his taste buds. Man carries her to the bed. She knows what he wants. She has been his before.

“The sword is beside the bed,” man says.

Man lays back and his chosen slides from his lap to retrieve the katana he occasionally uses, like a benediction, to shave his face. She hands it to him and with a smile and a shink! he unsheathes the weapon. He drops the scabbard to the floor and rests the sword on the bed above his head while she undresses him.

“Do you love me as I love you?” man asks.

“More,” his chosen whispers.

She crawls up his body to take the weapon.

Man closes his eyes. The lights and the roar of the crowd pierce his memory as he hungrily anticipates the inspiration of a fresh scar.

For part fourteen, click here.

Twelve Inherent Brother

Two spent bulbs reside darkly beside a third, dimly illuminating the marital bed. Go deep, vapid man. Clouds rage between two souls in thunderous silence. Attend, inconsequential man.

Brother slips on his black cotton pyjamas and glares down at his wife. He measures the years by the Christmases they have spent together. This one sees more lines about her eyes – lines of worry about how she plans to leave him for his younger brother.

“Why don’t you just go fuck him if you think he’s that much more of a man than I am?” brother spits.

She admits nothing, backing up from where she sits. Brother knows he is right.

He sees again as father stalks past mother to upend the kitchen table laden with hours of preparation. He beholds again as his sibling protects the children from the glass on the floor, protects their mother, protects his own wife while he looks on, paralysed.

“Chase him around the country like one of his groupie whores why don’t you?” brother continues as he administers the first pinch to her thigh. He sees the blood red and sickly green that this Christmas has become.

“Say it!” brother seethes. He crawls up her body, forcing her down. “SAY IT!”

You should never have let him grow up,” his wife whimpers.

Brother rewards her with his love.

For part thirteen, click here.

Eleven Visionless Mother

Christmas lights sparkle like champagne, ascending to the Angel atop the tree. Glow of family’s warmth pervades the room like a candle. Shine on, blind mother.

Mother places the final platter on the table with a smile and steps back to admire her work. She lifts her elbows as two of her grandchildren, chasing one another, careen past the crystal wine glasses, toppling one to the floor. Cursing her eldest son’s spawn she bends to retrieve the largest of the shards.

“Mother, let me help you,” says man.

Mother looks up at her son, wondering where he achieved his height. If only he would cut his hair.

“Thank you,” mother says.

Man bends to help her.

“When will you get married and have children like your brother?” mother asks him quietly.

Man smiles. “I’m too busy for that,” he says.

From the kitchen doorway comes a grating whisper.

Mother, he’s coming,” warns brother.

“Then get your children in order!” mother accuses.

Man stands to face his father.

“Lovely,” says mother, glowing. “Let’s eat.”

For part twelve, click here.

Nine Grasping Brother

Cold and white, flurries muffle the air like clouds of frigid dust. Hurry on, persistent child. Wind stings, raw, bitter, like father’s loving caress. Abstain, willful young man.

Brother throws his keys on the table just inside the door and shakes the snow from the shoulders of his jacket as he takes it off. He goes to the kitchen to find boy sitting at the table, drawing a picture by the dim afternoon light.

“How’s mom?” asks boy.

“It was a miscarriage,” answers brother.

Boy looks up at brother and narrows his eyes.

“You wouldn’t know, you weren’t there!” brother disclaims.

Boy goes back to his drawing.

“What are you making?” brother asks.

“Nothing,” boy answers.

Brother peers over boy’s shoulder to behold a well detailed account of the previous night. Father stands over shattered mother, his mouth agape, his fist raised. Brother cowers, twitching in the corner, his knees to his chin. Below the drawing boy has written, ‘Father’s Love‘.

Brother, snatching away the drawing, shreds it with his teeth before eating it.

For part ten, click here.