Photo by Kyle Thompson
Maybe it’s being locked in the closet. Maybe it’s the surprise knuckles to the middle of my back. Maybe it’s seeing my breath on the air as I curl under the thin blanket. Maybe it’s his forcing himself into me.
The day of my liberation it is mid-January. Daddy is drunk, as usual, and when daddy drinks he gets even meaner. When his sinewy grip digs in to my arm, he tells me to walk to town and, “fetch me whisky, you little b*st*rd,” I dress up in my worn boots, tattered coat, and gloves, walk outside, and grab the axe.
Daddy is snoring when I put him to sleep.
Up the creaky stairs I climb afterwards, a little warmer now from the exertion. I light the kerosene lamp, toss it on my lousy mattress, and walk downstairs and out, into the dusk.
I watch her burn for awhile, until my toes are numb, then turn around and head in to town. I feel a pang of regret as I know not a soul on earth will mourn the old man’s passing.
Image by Jocelin Carmes
Carrie is the host of The Sunday Muse.