*Here’s a new flash fiction I put up on Webook for their June competition. I got some good feedback, but I’m aware the end is a bit rushed. Still I hope you enjoy! Have a writeous day!*
It’s not every day you find yourself stealing from your Mother’s purse. But I suppose I’ll make this my little secret. My whole family has secrets, such as my mother who said she stopped smoking but sneaks out of the house to walk two blocks away and indulge her sin. In her bag was the silver lighter I hoped was there now.
Dad has plenty of secrets too. His biggest secret is that he loves his wife. Not the type of love you see so often where two people occupy the same space, waiting for the other to honor the ’till death’ part of their vows. He honestly loved his wife. The type of love where he came home from work early to be with her. The type of love where he knew of her little secret and looked the other way like he couldn’t smell the distinct scent of Pall Malls on her clothes.
That was my dad. His love for my mom is what drives my social or rather dating life. All I want is to find someone to love me like that. A man who could surrender everything for his family, yet look like the richest man in the world. It was hard for boys in town to be anything like him. Just the way I’m sure he intended all along. That was my secret I kept from the boys.
I need that lighter…among other things. First things first though. I need to make my way over there.
While I ready myself for the task I think about the other secrets my family has. Such as my dad was going to surprise mom on their anniversary which was now three weeks away. The man pinched pennies for nearly a year to give her a diamond ring, the one he always said she deserved. To get it though meant a lot of long nights at a second job at the docks.
He showed it to me. What little light there was seemed to be magnified a hundred fold as I held it up to my eyes.
“Think she’ll like it?” He asked, his eyes radiating with hope.
“She’s going to love it. If she doesn’t some other woman will.”
He laughed in that boisterous manner reserved for Santa and circus bears in your dreams. “There’s only one woman for me sweetie pie. I hit the jackpot with her.”
“It’s the other way around Dad.”
He smiled and proceeded to hide his gift in the garage, the same one I’m in now. If I look hard enough I can make out the aquamarine box holding the gemstone. It hurts to open my eyes though. I can only get my eyes wide enough to make out the purse on the work table as well as the unpleasantness on the floor besides me.
Mom has another secret though. She’s been smoking more because what she calls ‘the bad bad’ has been harder to get rid of. The bad bad were the voices in her head. Those grating voices that suggested things to her like running a knife across her wrist, or driving into oncoming traffic, or your husband must be cheating on you.
All of his late nights working, and the lies he had to tell to keep it a secret hadn’t helped with the bad bads. She believed it because the bad bads told her so. And no amount of smokes could soothe the hurt from their words.
So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when me and dad were sitting on the couch watching some tv, enjoying the late night styling of Conan O’Brien before he had to head out to work when my life changed forever.
“Who is she?” Mom whispered. “Are you leaving me?”
Dad never had a chance to answer or even turn to see what was coming as the bat connected with the back of his head. Immediately I knew he was dead. His eyes were wide with horror as he looked my way. His mouth, the one he used to speak so well of his demented wife, hung slack as dark blood streamed from his tear ducts. He wanted to say something, but those words would remain frozen on his lifeless lips.
“You made me do it!” Mom screamed at the corpse as it crumpled onto the floor. “You made me!”
Those were the last things I heard before I met nearly the same fate as dad. I don’t remember mom hitting me too. I remember the cold black that came over me like swimming in dark silk that refused to let me me go. When I came to I was tied up to a chair, my dad lying beside me with that horrible, wide-eyed grimace forever etched on his face. He still looks as though he wants to say something to me, the words floating around in his now milky eyes.
That’s what daddy’s eyes said. Live. And live I shall. I spot mom’s purse and remember the lighter. I can burn through the ropes. Hopefully.
I rock back and forth before I topple over onto dad’s lifeless body. Moving like a worm I make my way over his body, the cool body that had produced the laughter I wish I could hear again, just for a moment. He already began to smell. Damp, musty, and whatever smell entices maggots to this realm. The smell is so thick I can chew it.
And as I crawl over my dad I have a thought. I think mom must be trying to have a smoke. Awful hard to do that without your lighter. She’d be back soon. If I wasn’t free by then I would be at the mercy of mom and the bad bads