Jump to content
    Parker Owens
  • Author
  • 1,660 Words
  • 10,281 Views
  • 29 Comments
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

A to Z - 3. Normal and Weird

WARNING: violence, abuse, and assault. Read with appropriate caution.

(Second Week of May)

May 10

It took a few days, but I figured how to keep Ackerman from noticing me. I went to the library during lunch period and went to my locker between different periods. I skipped Gym class, and I guess I’ll hustle through the locker room early next time.

There’s enough to do each day without worrying about the Ackermans of this world.

Here’s Dad’s chore for today:

“Clean basement walls. Clean basement floor – not just sweep – mop, rinse, mop again. Don’t forget to move the furniture and junk to get under it.”

This in addition to making breakfast, dinner, our lunches for the next day, regular cleanup and other daily chores. Another thing. Dad eats dinner first, and then – maybe – me, afterwards. Sometimes, Dad doesn’t think I deserve to eat, or I just didn’t make enough. Anyway, then comes homework, which Dad often makes a point of checking before bed – if he’s in a good mood, or if he hasn’t been drinking.

I should explain that Dad is very proud he went to college and got a degree. He doesn’t like anyone to forget that, especially his useless, good-for-nothing son.

Last month, he had a problem with my paper on Oliver Cromwell.

“When was the Civil War? Huh? In 1865, you idiot!”

It didn’t matter that the assignment was asking about the English civil war that happened over a century-and-a-half earlier. Dad ranted on about Robert E. Lee and Pickett’s charge and so on until he dragged me around by the collar, smacked me around for a while, and told me I’d have to re-do the assignment before I could go to bed. Then he proceeded to tear up my perfectly good homework.

There’s no arguing with Dad.

“Yes, sir,” was all I could say, hoping I hadn’t riled him up too much. He must have been satisfied, because I didn’t get kicked as I got out my precious paper to do his version of my homework all over again. Once Dad went to bed, I could try to reproduce my previous homework – if I could stay awake that long.

That was a fairly easy homework battle.

I get up at five and fix breakfast. He gets up at six, sits down and eats what I’ve made. If I’m lucky, I might get a grunt.

Dad is not a morning person.

Today wasn’t much different from most days.

“What’s this on the floor, you moron?” he yelled in my ear.

I couldn’t help jumping at the noise. Dad thought I was playing stupid, so he grabbed my hair and forced me to look down by our feet.

“There. On the floor. What. Is. That???”

I saw a few drops of soapy water I’d splashed from the sink.

“Can’t you do even something simple right without soaking the whole house?”

As usual, I couldn’t think of what to say. I thought I was being careful, but I guess I had been pretty clumsy.

Dad gave me a firm shove in the chest.

“Can’t you even wash a few dishes with out completely destroying the kitchen? Huh?”

He shoved me again, harder. I fell.

“Oh, get up, you miserable shit! I want this floor swept and mopped spotless before you leave for school, got that?”

I nodded, as he loomed over me.

“What’s that, stupid? I didn’t hear you!”

“Yes, sir,” I managed to get out. That’s always the easiest thing to say.

I knew what the result of my sloppiness would be. I would miss the bus and have to walk to school. I’d be late again, serve my detention – again – and walk home in the evening because the last bus would have left. Again. Dad would be pissed because supper would be late; it would go downhill from there.

Again.

All because I can’t be neater. All because I’m such a stupid, stupid kid.

At least maybe the weekend will be quiet.

 

May 14

It wasn’t quiet.

I got screamed at for making supper late. After supper, Dad sat in front of the TV and drank beer, watching the Penguins lose a playoff game.

I tried to keep out of the way by doing a couple of loads of laundry. I could sweep, but I couldn’t vacuum the house until Dad’s game was over, so I sat down at the kitchen table with a book for a few minutes until the dryer was done.

“What’s this?”

I looked up. Dad was standing right in front of me. His eyes were wide and dangerous. Oh shit. I’d gotten a drink of water after doing the first load of laundry, and I forgot to wash the glass. I had left it in the sink.

“It’s my glass, sir. I just forgot to –"

“I know what it is, idiot. What I don’t get is why you think you can leave your mess all over the house.”

Dad grabbed my collar and hauled me out of my chair. He dragged me down the hall to my bedroom. I knew what was coming.

“Please, I’ll wash it.”

“Too late for that, fool.”

I was shoved through the door and landed face first on the bed.

“Please, I’ll wash everything over –"

“You stupid little fuck, do you think that will make it better?”

I felt my shirt being pushed up and my pants yanked down. There was the sound clinking metal, the hiss of leather sliding against denim. I knew what was coming and tensed up. I also knew that trying to squirm or get out of the way would only make things worse. Better to take my punishment now.

I heard the whoosh of motion through the air.

With the crack of the strap against flesh, my back exploded in pain.

“Why. Can’t. You. Follow. Simple. Rules?”

Each word punctuated a new searing blossom of agony.

It took twenty minutes for Dad to quit. I watched each moment tick by on the digital clock. I knew there would be new scars to go with the old ones tomorrow. Eventually, I was alone again. Slowly, I got to my feet, limped into the bathroom, and took a shower to try to clean up and ease the pain.

At least Dad is sleeping off the beer and the exertion and probably won't wake up the rest of tonight.

And I knew he'd sleep late tomorrow.

There is still plenty of work to do tomorrow – cleaning up and finishing the chores that I didn't get done today so that I can start the new ones. There's the lawn to mow and the woodpile to straighten up.

Unfortunately, Sunday is looking pretty dismal. I just hope I can stay out of dad's way.

 

May 16

A seriously weird thing happened today.

At lunch, I went to my corner, away from everyone else, and started reading my book. Books have big advantages. They’re free from the library, for one thing. For another, with my longish hair and my head down, I can watch the room over the top of the page when I want to.

Anyhow, I was getting into this old series, A Wizard of Earthsea, when I saw a couple of older girls sit down at a table near mine. Preppy, ponytails, polo shirts. You get the idea.

They talked for a while, almost putting their heads together. The one wearing red looked over her shoulder at me a couple of times. This never happens.

I kept holding my book up, but I couldn’t concentrate. They giggled away, speaking conspiratorially to each other in low voices. I didn’t know what they were saying, but I didn’t like being the subject of their conversation. I got up, stuffed my book into my pack and walked out of the cafeteria.

It got worse later in the day, at my locker.

One of the girls from lunch, the one in blue, was suddenly at my elbow, peering over my shoulder as I worked the combination lock.

“Hey,” she said, by way of introduction.

“What?” I wasn’t going to make this any easier.

“Did you know you’re cute?”

I looked up sharply at her and stared, waiting for more. She looked surprised. I guess that wasn’t what she thought I would do.

She tried again.

“So, do you think you might go out with me on Saturday?”

Just what was going on? I was anonymous and I could live with that. I don’t live in her world. Hell, I don’t even live in her galaxy. Who was this girl, anyway?

“Look,” I said “I don’t even know you. I’m a sophomore nobody. You don’t even know my name, do you?”

“Sure I do,” she said, putting on a bright and obviously fake smile. “You’re Stephen,” she said triumphantly, pronouncing it wrong, like “STEFFen” instead of “StePHAN.”

I felt like I was being conned into something I shouldn’t want to do.

“Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I can’t go out on Saturday.”

She didn’t seem too crushed.

“So how about tonight?”

“Nope. Sorry.”

“Sunday afternoon?”

“No. I just can’t, OK?”

Now she looked a little frustrated. Not hurt, but exasperated.

“Why not?”

“I don’t go out. With anyone.”

“What, is it against your religion, or something?”

I looked hard at her. Preppy girls like her just don’t mix with outcasts like me. If she wanted a conversation or something, I could almost see trying to hang out for a little while. We could have done that at lunch. Somehow, she was playing me for something.

“No, I just don’t want to. You don’t go with my kind.”

She set her mouth in a hard line, but the corners of her mouth twisted up a little.

“No, I guess not,” she snapped, and she stalked away down the hall.

That was the end of that, and I heaved a sigh of relief.

em>Thanks to Craftingmom for her tireless and astute editing.
Reviews of any kind are most welcome.
Copyright © 2016 Parker Owens; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 65
  • Love 2
  • Wow 1
  • Sad 18
  • Angry 1
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments



  • Site Administrator

Poor Stefan. I feel so bad for him that he has to live with that prick of a father. I wonder what's up with those girls? I'm with him in thinking that it's nothing good. Good thing he's smart enough to not fall for whatever they're up to. Another good chapter. :)

  • Like 5
Link to comment

Yep. Stefan's world is alien to most people ...thank goodness!
The girl. Hmmm. Could be what he suspects, or maybe not. Although it's difficult to see her type suddenly believing an emaciated, poorly dressed recluse is cute. But then, I guess her world is alien to me so, what do I know?
Parker, you managed to make a downer of a chapter suddenly interesting!
Great job!!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
On 10/05/2015 04:20 AM, Valkyrie said:

Poor Stefan. I feel so bad for him that he has to live with that prick of a father. I wonder what's up with those girls? I'm with him in thinking that it's nothing good. Good thing he's smart enough to not fall for whatever they're up to. Another good chapter. :)

Stefan is definitely wary, and has learned that much. His father is implacably horrible. Something is up...

  • Like 4
Link to comment
On 10/05/2015 05:53 AM, Puppilull said:

It's a very well written description of domestic violence. It's the same basic horrible mechanisms, breaking someone down and letting them believe they are nothing. I get so upset thinking about it.

 

And yes, sadly I think Stefan is right to be careful. As I said before, kids can be so cruel...

That is what is the worst thing. Stefan thinks that this is a normal life for him.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
On 10/05/2015 06:48 AM, skinnydragon said:

Yep. Stefan's world is alien to most people ...thank goodness!

The girl. Hmmm. Could be what he suspects, or maybe not. Although it's difficult to see her type suddenly believing an emaciated, poorly dressed recluse is cute. But then, I guess her world is alien to me so, what do I know?

Parker, you managed to make a downer of a chapter suddenly interesting!

Great job!!

Thanks for continuing to read Stefan's story. Painful as it is, this is a story that needs telling.

  • Like 4
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
On 10/05/2015 08:11 AM, Mikiesboy said:

Parker, oh god, it's so hard to read this. So many children, our children suffer all kinds of abuse everyday, physical, mental and are used as housekeepers and personal slaves and worse. I've seen too much of it.

So many people don't f'kg see!! Look around you, actually look. This is about street kids...have a look folks:

http://imgur.com/wdP01Tw

 

tim

This is a hard story, at least at first. Followed your link, and I commend it to everyone who reads these reviews. Crafting on wrote "What No One Sees," which inspired this story. Both are vey hard. Both deal with busy adults who don't or can't see the evidence right in front of them.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
On 10/05/2015 07:17 AM, Defiance19 said:

You know what makes this even harder to stomach, is that there is a child going through that exact same thing somewhere. A number of somewheres even. I feel terribly for Stefan.

I'm glad his defences are up when it comes to those girls. It's more likely they have a bet and would further humiliate him.

There are far too many somewhere's . Not to be preachy about it, but there are things we all could do to help the Stefan's of this world.

  • Like 4
Link to comment

Again this was difficult to read. Nobody can do everything 100% right. There will always be something. Stefan sounds so defeated, but then, when you think he's so deprived of attention, he would jump at some interest, he does the smart thing, thank God. I just have the feeling this isn't the end of it.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
On 10/29/2015 06:05 PM, aditus said:

Again this was difficult to read. Nobody can do everything 100% right. There will always be something. Stefan sounds so defeated, but then, when you think he's so deprived of attention, he would jump at some interest, he does the smart thing, thank God. I just have the feeling this isn't the end of it.

Alas, it doesn't get easier, at least not for some time. Stefan's father is a brute and a tyrant; Stefan has been cut off from anyone who might be good for him. I beg you to keep the faith with Stefan, though it will take a while for things to turn for him.

  • Like 4
Link to comment

Sadness for Stephan, anger for his father, mistrust of the girls intentions. You pulled off another good chapter.

  • Like 5
Link to comment

Okay, that was it for me for the night. I got to watch that happen to my mother on a regular basis. My mother's big mistake was being very beautiful. Gary...

  • Like 5
Link to comment
On 12/13/2015 04:15 PM, Headstall said:

Okay, that was it for me for the night. I got to watch that happen to my mother on a regular basis. My mother's big mistake was being very beautiful. Gary...

Thank you for managing this much. It does get better. I am sorry for the unhappiness and pain you suffered, doubly sorry I caused you the pain of recollection. Again, thank you for reading.

  • Like 5
Link to comment

This was almost harder to read the second time around! This has to be one of the very few times I've been glad to have a short chapter to read. But I am so glad I stayed the story…

 

No pressure, but I am waiting for sequels to this story! ;-)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
On 05/17/2016 01:09 AM, droughtquake said:

This was almost harder to read the second time around! This has to be one of the very few times I've been glad to have a short chapter to read. But I am so glad I stayed the story…

 

No pressure, but I am waiting for sequels to this story! ;-)

Thanks very much for taking the time to revisit the journal. I agree about re-reading, it was harder to edit than to write.

  • Like 5
Link to comment

I decided to come back and comment. This has been such an atrocity of all kinds of abuse that it makes my blood boll!!!:/

  • Like 5
Link to comment

And what is worse, such things happen to real children. They are rarities, but not rare enough. We need to be there for kids in situations like these. Thank you for reading!

  • Like 4
Link to comment

Poor Stefan, the simplest mistake and he gets beaten. I hate his father so much.

Edited by chris191070
  • Love 4
Link to comment
7 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Poor Stefan, the simplest mistake and he gets beaten. I hate his father so much.

Stefan’s father harbors such sustained hatred toward his son. Across this country, there are too many such angry men. Thanks for reading. 

  • Love 4
Link to comment

I feel nothing but disgust for Stefan's father.  But I can't help but wonder how he and his brother turned into such monsters.  We're they abused as kids?  I can't imagine Stefan turning out that way, if he were to even survive.  How does a college educated man, who managed to find a woman to marry him, found a decent job, have such hatred that he tortures his own son?  I have to think he is mentally ill, but I find no sympathy for him.  The world is better off without him.

  • Love 5
Link to comment
50 minutes ago, CincyKris said:

I feel nothing but disgust for Stefan's father.  But I can't help but wonder how he and his brother turned into such monsters.  We're they abused as kids?  I can't imagine Stefan turning out that way, if he were to even survive.  How does a college educated man, who managed to find a woman to marry him, found a decent job, have such hatred that he tortures his own son?  I have to think he is mentally ill, but I find no sympathy for him.  The world is better off without him.

Stefan seems cut from a different cloth from his father. Mental illness, or other sorts of dysfunction can change a person. As for college education, I’m not sure that man ever finished. But Stefan doesn’t know that. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
Link to comment

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    Sign Up and get an occasional Newsletter.  Fill out your profile with favorite genres and say yes to genre news to get the monthly update for your favorite genres.

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..