My dad took me out to the dump one afternoon
to shoot me, says I.
It was a crispy clear blue day, as I recall,
perfect for a killin’.
“This here’s a clay pigeon,” he said.
His huge, murderin’, grease-pitted hands turned it this way and that
so as I could get a look at it.
I nodded, wide-eyed and mute
as it surely was the bottom bit that fit
under the pot of the geranium plant in the kitchen window
(and I should know as I had my own watering can).
There was a whole bunch of ‘em
stacked neatly behind him on an old fence board.
I figured mom must already be dead.
She’d never let those out of the house.
he untied the string
which wound around
the closing flap
of the canvas bag
and he eased the gun,
into the smelly air.
of the stock
gleamed slowly next
and free of prints.
He was all casual-like
with the shotgun clamped under the crook of his gorilla arm.
He took my hand and strolled
and I followed his lumbering footsteps towards the edge of what used to be a cliff.
He dropped the bag beside me and started loading shells
like he’d done it a hundred times.
His cold eyes never left mine as he pumped each one
one by one into the chamber.
“This,” he nodded, eyebrows up and eyes too large, “is a 12-gauge, boy!”
I leaked out a “yessir” as he scooped up a woodmetal contraption-thing
I had mistaken as part of an old bedspring or maybe a Lazy-Boy.
He snapped a little clay disk into into it - “a hand trap thrower,” he taunted,
an extra gleam in his dark eyes.
“Grab it here. Tight.“
Well, what would you do?
I wrapped my little chubbies around the handle as best I could.
“Fling it. Thataway,“ he grunted. His tree trunk head jerking to the left.
And he raised the barrel ...
And in my mind ”hand trap hand trap hand trap….”
A careless mistake.
HE was overconfident.
I knew that if I threw it, it would somehow suck me along with it
catapulting me into the air
an easy target.
I flung it and let go as hard as I could
and it flew and spun out into the blue yonder.
That little clay pigeon was trapped in there though.
It never did come out.
He watched my throw
his eyes full of despair and disbelief
as it landed on the landslide of rot.
He shot the gun and curdled a scream of rage.
Me? I was already runnin’!
The boom had launched me towards the safety of the power truck.
And as my wee tiny feet doubly redoubled their desperate charge,
I couldn’t help but think
“He’s a really good aim.”
By the time he swung the Remington around
I was already hunkered down in the trench of the cab.
Armlocked knees pressed against my cheeks
my eyes were squeezed shut with the grateful stark image of
keys still dangling from the column ignition
shot after shot
slammed into the door and blasted the window
and he was furious at the irony of bulletproof glass and plate steel.
He huffed and threatened and banged.
I turtled and chinny-chin-chinned even lower
The little bump of our driveway jarred me awake and I pulled my head up and off my greasy rag pillow.
I looked up at my father.
He seemed almost normal now.
He must’ve run out of shells and run out of steam
his reptile brain retreating to allow the glimmer of a memory
the Hide-A-Key in the wheel well.
I grabbed the dash with both hands and peeked over to see
my mom craning her head around the stucco wall of the house,
her Olive Oyl wave gangling my safe, if unlikely, return
and I hopped down out of the cab as my dad put it in park.
I rounded the corner and sat on the hot cement steps with my Lazarus mother.
She passed me a handful of baggies and a pail.
And as I unloaded peas
from shell after shell
I hatched my plan
to finally deal
with that monster under my bed.
About the Creator
Playwright and poet.
My goal as a writer is to write thoughtful pieces of prose, poetry and stage plays. Hopefully, the end results are entertaining and engaging, with layers of meaning that make sense to the whole or a theme therein.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Original narrative & well developed characters