Inspiring Prompt: Depeche Mode – Home
Word Count: 411
A formidable predator, dad specializes in damage control for the Tarantino family. An occupation I detest. A secret better left buried in the tangled bits of sheets that drag behind his feet.
Dad’s weary grin opens an ugly crimson gash near his jaw. Flecks of dried blood cake the edges of his raven hair. A sickeningly-sweet haze surrounds him.
“Why are you playing ball with the neighbor’s pet?” he growls, intimidating the poodle, who instinctually scampers off. “No more hanging out with that babbo from across the street. You’re supposed to be in training.”
“I prefer chasing after balls, not people,” I say, leveling my eyes with his. The metallic bite in the air stings my nose. “You should try it sometime, it would be less hazardous to your health.”
In one brutally swift motion, Dad has me pinned by the neck, my face shoved into the rough concrete. “Watch it son! You’ll treat me with respect or I’ll…”
“Or you’ll what, Dad? Tear me to shreds like the last guy?” I snarl, firing my accusation into the cold cage of his heart.
“It’s a dirty business, son. I”m not gonna lie,” Dad relents, backing away as I jerk free from his loosening grip, “But it’s the only life I know. You won’t be so quick to judge once you start making rounds with the boss.”
“That’s no kind of life,” I snap, shaking the dirt from my coat. “You’re nothing but a pawn tied to a short leash — one they’ll use to hang you with before all is said and done. I want a better life. I want a home.”
He hangs his head, “When I was your age, I was trained to inflict pain. It was my job, my duty, my purpose. I don’t wish this life for you…I never have.”
“Then why can’t you stop?” I plead. “I know where we can go. A real home where people will actually care about us. You have a duty to me — to your son!”
“I wish it were that easy, son,” he sighs.
“It can be. We don’t belong here. Just, trust me.” I say, backing down the driveway into the road, eager to put some distance between us and the clutches of violence.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” he jeers, reluctantly following my lead.
“Good thing you’re not old,” I tease, the tags on his collar clinking as I lick his face.
© 2013 Samantha Redstreake Geary
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