Fiction | Short Story

And Our Fathers, Who Are They?

He had started his murder spree on the very night I was born.

6) The last time I had talked to my father was just about eleven years ago, after I had started high school and before I had moved out of the house. He had asked me to leave, so I found a job working nights at a warehouse, boxing lunches to be sold at gas stations

 despite my imagination veering towards the worst,  my father was still alive and kicking down there. 

29) I would talk to the heads and oftentimes marveled at the alien sounds my voice made. I only really talked to those shrunken heads.

voices of the shrunken heads like my father did. I would hope for them to whisper to me too, and that they would talk loud enough to drown out the sounds of my father as he hacked at something, sawed at something, cleaved at something.

32) Over the thunk, thunk, thunk of what I would realize later as the sounds of dense, dead flesh being mutilated.

33) At the time, he told me he was preparing for a summer barbecues, big ones, so big we’d need to fill the whole of our backyard with grills to cook everything, that we’d need gallons of barbecue sauce and that we’d have enough brisket to make ourselves sick of brisket for several lifetimes. 

34) I remember all of the summers he said we’d have barbecues and I remember these barbecues never coming to fruition, just like the hikes in the mountains, the trips to the ocean, the fishing in placid lakes, the endless road trips, and other such things that my father promised me. 

35) He’d do these things on his own, and he’d often be gone for days. 

36) I was left with enough microwaveables in the freezer to suffice his absence.

37) “If you get hungry, there’s bread in the pantry. Never, ever go into the the basement,” he’d say to me. “If you do, I will no longer love you.”