- Vol. 03
- Chapter 04
Once the idea of killing my father entered my brain, nothing could get rid of it.
A proper Daddy’s girl, I loved my father. Always at his side, he took me fishing and hunting. I was happiest in his shed, covered in sawdust, steadying a plank of wood as he cut.
The notion entered my head like a rusted spike the morning I walked in on my mother getting dressed. I knew they fought when he came home drunk. I’d cover my head to drown out the thuds that peppered the darkness. This was the only time I saw the bruises.
She stood by the mirrored door of her open wardrobe, flicking hangers across the rail, searching. She didn’t see me but I noticed that her entire body was mapped out in overlapping, multi-coloured bruises. The fresh black and purple imprints of his fists sat on top of the more faded yellow and green ones like the pattern of his camouflage jacket he wore when we went hunting or fishing.
The sight of her mottled skin aroused a primal duty in me which I didn’t fully understand. It existed beyond language, part of my every breath and heartbeat. I was once part of that battered body, it brought me to life and she kept me safe in its core. My intervention was as unavoidable as the pain of childbirth had been for her.
That evening, I found the rusty old pitchfork that had been replaced by a new one that summer. I left it to one side in preparation. He went to the pub as usual. I listened and waited for the familiar creaks of my mother getting into bed. When the house was finally silent I retrieved the pitchfork and hung around like a ghost amidst the shadows at the front of the house.
His uneven shuffle towards our gate was my call to arms. I pointed my weapon and charged. The sinewy crunch of the impact was followed by a desperate gasp. His blood spattered into my open-mouthed war-cry. I swallowed its metallic bitterness.
He staggered over the threshold trying to grab the object that skewered his chest. His eyes bulged. They searched the darkness and found me. He looked confused and tried to speak but just gurgled. I looked him in the eye and growled in a voice I’d never heard before.
“You won’t be touching my mother ever again.”
I grabbed the handle, sticky with the warmth of his blood and with a jerk, shoved him back out the gate. His eyes went blank as the life poured out of him. Calmly, I wedged the base of the fork between the rungs of our wrought iron gate. All of his weight slumped forward. I left him there, impaled, hanging like one of the pheasants he’d bring back from hunting.