#DirtyGoggles : Dad Pushed Me Too Far

TITLE : Dad Pushed Me To Far
AUTHOR NAME : Mark Ethridge
TWITTER HANDLE : @LurchMunster
CATEGORY : Dieselpunk

It was Friday night. Dad was late again. He was always late on Friday night. He was always drunk on Friday night.

Mom was sitting on the sofa, waiting for him to get home. She always waited. She always greeted him. She always dealt with him.

I checked the joints on the suit again. Made sure they were flexible enough. For safety, I added more grease to them. It wouldn’t do to have a joint freeze up when I needed it.

I closed my eyes, and remembered all the Saturday mornings when Dad slept in, Mom telling us to be quiet, and let him sleep. All the Saturday mornings I saw bruises on Mom’s arms and face. All the Saturday mornings something in the Living Room was missing. Another plate. Another picture. A lamp.

I remembered the Saturday mornings Mom wasn’t home. Dad was. And he told us to fix cold cereal. With milk. And he always made us drink orange juice. We used to ask him, “Where’s Mom?” until the Saturday morning my big sister asked, and Dad slapped her across the face. He busted her lips, and bruised her face.

After that, we stopped asking where Mom was. We knew. Mom was at the doctor’s. Or the hospital. We knew. Dad had hurt her.

One Friday night, Dad pushed me too far. He got home. I heard the sounds as he beat Mom. Then, I heard him come upstairs. He walked past my room, to Big Sis’s room. Then, he did things to my Big Sis. Anytime she screamed, I heard Dad slap her. She never told me what happened. I just know she never smiles anymore. And Dad goes to her room several times a week.

I sat in my room that night, and prayed to God. “God, make it stop! Make it stop!” That’s when God told me to build the suit. “You can make it stop. You can end this. You can protect your Mom. You can protect your sis.” I listened to God. He told me how to make the suit. It was hard. It took a long time. I had to mow a lot of yards. Do a lot of chores. Weed a lot of gardens. Babysit a lot of kids. But I finally got the suit made.

I tested it all Friday long. I didn’t go to school. I skipped. Mom was at work. Big Sis was at school. I made sure the suit worked. And that Friday night, I climbed into it, and turned it on. I listened to the small diesel motors run. I’d made sure I had plenty of fuel in the tank on my back. I walked to the front sidewalk, and I waited.

I’d learned the suit was called an exoskeleton. Made of cable, gears, and steel. Using it I’d learned I could pick up big things, like Dad, and throw them. I’d learned I could hit rock so hard I chipped it. I learned I could move faster too. Faster than anyone without a suit.

I was ready. Mom thought I was in bed. Asleep. Where I was supposed to be. Big Sis thought I was in my room hiding, and crying, and wishing Dad wouldn’t come home ever. Mom was on the sofa, trying not to cry. I heard her quietly talking to herself, “I have to protect my children. I have to protect my children.” I knew Big Sis was in her room, “Kill me God.” She said that a lot. “Kill me, and set me free.”

I waited. In my suit. On the front sidewalk to the house. I waited for Dad. He wouldn’t hurt Mom or Big Sis anymore. Ever. I’d see to that.

I wrote this for the #DirtyGoggles blog hop being hosted by Ruth Long, Steven Paul Watson, and Jenn. It’s my first attempt at anything Dieselpunk. Please, go read all the entries in the blog hop. There are some great writers out there.


#ThursThreads #67 : Not Even Once

My Dad looked at me, handing my 10 day old son to me, “Woah, this fella’s a little ripe!”

I took my son from Dad, “Ripe?”

My wife, Deborah, sitting on the sofa in her house robe, next to my mother, explained, “He pooped in his Pamper, dear.”

I stammered, “Oh! Ripe!”

Dad looked at Deborah, “Lemme guess, he ain’t changed the baby yet.”

She nodded, “Not even once.”

“There ain’t no time like the present!” he announced, heading toward the baby’s room.

Deborah motioned me to follow Dad. Mom was laughing. “I’m gonna like bein’ a gran’ ma!”

Dad stood me next to the changing table. “Put the little fella down.” I did. He handed me a clean Pamper, the baby wipes, and a little blue plastic bag. “Take off the old one, put it in the bag, clean him up with the wipes, put the wipes in the bag too, then put him in a clean one.”

I set the wipes down, opened up the blue bag, and pulled the tape straps on his Pamper. “Holy shit!”

Dad laughed, “Yep. That’s what it is.”

“It’s green!” Dad just nodded, “Like, like…”

“Baby shit,” Dad finished my sentence for me.

He talked me through the changing process, then he told me, “Do this every night before you put him to bed. It stinks. But it’ll show her how much you love her.”

When we returned to the family room, Dad declared, “Now he’s a real man!”

@247 Words

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 67. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.