Friday, February 13, 2015

Little Man Cain

It was a dark and stormy night...

Little Man Cain was interrupted from his homework again with a call from Carlton to come to the bar to collect his father. Yup, dad was gone with the wind as usual. It was 11:30pm when the call came through, and the 16 year old Cain bundled himself up and stepped out into the stormy night. 

He's never been one for bad omens, but Cain felt something different about this night. Something wasn't cool. Something's fucked up.

When he got to the bar, he walked to the table his dad was slumped drunkenly in and sat down. Johnny, his dad, jerked upright. 

"Hey, son!" was his loud greeting.


Johnny could hear and see his disappointment. "Good to see you, too. Get your old man out of here."

Cain stands from his spot and yanks his drunken father by his arm to his feet. "This is old, you know that, right?"

"Boy, as long as I pay the bills in that house, you'll come get me whenever they call." He nudges Cain away with his elbow. "Or until the day I die." Johnny stumbles out the door with everyone staring pitifully after him. Right into the stormy night.

At the house, Johnny drops his drunk ass on the bed and struggles to take off his wet boots. It's funny to him as he tries to unlace a shoestring, only for it to knot up from the water.

"Cain, come help me with my damn boots!" Nothing. "Cain, you hear me?" Still no answer. "Boy, you hear me?!"

Cain yells from another room: "Take off your own damn boots! I'm doing my homework!"

Johnny jumps up from the bed, bumping into the door, bouncing off the hallway walls while  making his way to Cain. He finds him in his room, hunched over his desk doing homework. He approaches his son from behind and BAM!, boxes his right ear. Cain falls out his chair, holding his ear while gaining his bearings.

"Bitch, when I tell you to do something, do it! Am I gonna have to show you again who runs this house? Huh? Answer me!"

Cain rises from the floor with an uppercut to his dad's jaw, dropping him like a bad habit. "You're not putting your goddamn hands on me again!" Cain jumps on him, swinging wildly on his drunken dad, not stopping...until he looks back at his bed, to the baseball bat next to it.

Johnny boxes his ear again, dazing Cain. "Gonna teach you who's the boss, boy! You're gonna fuckin' learn!" Drunk ass, pissed off Johnny tries getting Cain in a headlock, but he's too drunk to hold onto it. Cain slips out and reaches for the bat.

Johnny chuckles. "The fuck you gonna do with that, hit me with it?" He continues laughing as he staggers to his feet, and Cain rises along with him, the bat in the ready position. "C'mon, take your shot at the title, lil boy! C'mon!" Johnny slaps the left side of his face, laughing maniacally,  daring Cain to hit him. Poor kid doesn't know if he should hit him, or beg for his life while putting the bat down. 

Seems like yesterday his dad was all hugs and kisses with him when he was younger, until his mom decided not to come home anymore from the abuse she was taking. That was 7 years ago. Since then, he's been caring for a drunken overgrown kid who takes his rage out on him and has to cover up the bruises with excuses of excessive fighting on the Southside streets. 

But not today. 

"I love you, dad." Those were Cain's last words to Johnny as he peels his skull back with the bat. One good crack left Johnny convulsing on the floor and bleeding profusely from his head. Cain kneels next to him, sobbing and cussing and unapologetic.

It takes Cain a few minutes to get his mind straight enough to call 911. From this day forward, he'll hate dark and stormy nights.