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Just dumping this here. It’s an old one. 

 

What Does Your Daddy Do?

By Ronald Cypress

 

The house was unusually quiet when Tim woke up in the morning. After getting out of bed, Tim went straight to his window and looked outside. The snow was still coming down, just like it had been doing the night before. His mom had promised him that he wouldn’t have to go to school the next day. That was what the snow did, allowed him to stay home and play. Tim stood by the window and stared outside for several minutes.

The six-year-old wanted to rush out of the room and go see his mom. She would make breakfast for him, and then he would go play one of his games on the computer. Tim looked at his bedroom door. It has been slammed shut during the night. Tim assumed that his father had been the one who closed it. Tim had been awake when the door was closed. There had been other noises before the slamming of the door, noises that sound like arguing. Louds sounds continued to be heard in Tim’s room. There had been some thudding noises.

The six-year-old worried about what was going on outside of his room, but he was too scared to open the door and peek out. The last noises he heard before falling back to sleep where the sounds of bad words coming from his father. The morning came and all the noises were gone. Tim went to his door and tried to listen for any sounds. The house was completely quiet.

He was just a little bit afraid to do it, but Tim eventually decided to open the door and step out into the hallway. Looking down towards the living room, Tim noticed that everything appeared to be normal. The only thing not right was the quietness. Tim knew that there should have been noise. His little brother, Marcus, was usually up and running around. Marcus, a few years younger than Tim, was always full of energy. The house was never quiet when he was awake.

Tim made his way down to Marcus’ room and peeked inside. The room was dark and empty. It looked the same as the last time Tim had seen it except Marcus wasn’t there. Tim looked around the room before continuing down the hall towards the living room. He listened out for any noises coming from his parents’ room, which was behind him. Tim knew that he usually heard his baby sister, Vanessa, crying in the morning. She would either be crying or his mom would be talking to her. That morning none of those noises existed.

The house was silent.

Tim made his way into the living room. Everything appeared to be normal there, too. The room was a little bit darker than usual because some of the curtains were still closed. The TV was on, but the sound was muted. Tim found the remote and turned the sound on. On the television screen there was a man discussing effective kitchen knives. Tim was familiar with the man because his dad had been watching a lot of cooking shows recently.

Tim wondered about where his dad and mom could be. No longer fearful of the quietness and calm, Tim decided to walk around the house and look for the rest of his family. It didn’t take him long to see that they weren’t in the kitchen and they weren’t in their rooms. Tim checked in the garage, but they weren’t there either. His family was not in the house.

Tim considered that they had gone out, but that would be odd. His mom wouldn’t have just gone out and left him alone. Tim looked outside the living room window so that he could see the driveway. Both his mom’s car and father’s truck were still in the driveway. That meant they hadn’t left him. But if they hadn’t left there where were they, he wondered.

Tim decided to go back to his room and play one of his video games. He would just do that until a parent showed up and explained what was happening. Tim had a bad feeling about what was going on, but he knew that once one of his parents appeared everything would be all right. Back in his room, Tim sat on the floor and played with one of his handheld devices. He had been sitting there for twenty minutes when someone suddenly appeared in the doorway.

“Tim!” his father barked out his name causing Tim jump.

“Dad.” Tim placed his device on the ground and stood up.

There was a look of anger on his dad face when Tim first saw him. The look quickly went away, his father’s face suddenly showing a lethargic sorrow.

“Tim, I need you to come along with me.” Tim’s father held out his hand. “We have to go somewhere, son?”

Tim hesitated.

“Come on, son,” his father said. “We’ve got to go. It’s time now.”

Tim went over to his father. With his hand on Tim’s shoulder, his father began leading the young boy down the hall.

“Where are we going?” Tim looked up at his dad.

“Out,” his dad looked straightforward. “Out for a little walk.”

“If we’re going out I’ll need my shoes and coat.”

The two stopped walking, and Tim’s father looked down at him.

“I guess so,” Tim’s father said. “Go get them. Be quick. We have to go now.”

“Okay.”

Tim rushed back to his room. He found his snow boats and heaviest coat. While he was putting them on, Tim thought about his father. He could tell that his father was in one of his strange moods. The moods had been going on ever since his father had to go away to the hospital. His father had never been the same since going away.

Tim worried about the man. The way his father would stare off into the space was weird. There were times that Tim caught his father talking to himself and that was weird. His father didn’t work anymore. Instead he just stayed home and had to be avoided. The man rarely spoke to Tim anymore. Tim could remember being younger and his dad being more talkative and happy. Things weren’t like that anymore. His father was weird. Tim didn’t even really like talking about him. When a group of kids were talking about their dads at school, Tim was cautious about discussing his father. The other boys talked about what their dad’s did for a living. All of their fathers had job. Tim didn’t know what to say when it came time to discuss what his father did for a living.

“My dad used to work on homes,” Tim told the other kids. “But he got sick and doesn’t do that now.”

Those were short versions of the truth. Tim’s father had worked on homes and he had gotten sick.

Tim’s mom told him that his father was just going through something and that he was going to get better, but Tim didn’t really believe her. He just acted like he did.

“Come on, Tim.” his father rushed him

Wearing his coat, snow boots, gloves, and wool hat, Tim was ready to go outside with his father.

“Where are we going?” Tim asked as he and his father exited the house.

His father began to lead him over to the side of the house.

“Out into the trees,” Tim’s father said. “Not far from where we went squirrel hunting that one time. Remember that?

Tim nodded, remembering how his dad had forced him to go into the woods and watch as he used a handgun to shot at least four squirrels. His father had bragged about how great his marksmanship was and how he had gotten each squirrel in the head. Tim remembered wishing that the squirrels would just runaway and stop showing up for his father to kill.

Tim inquired about the rest of his family. “Where’s mom, Marcus, and Vanessa?”

“They’re all out here waiting for us,” Tim’s father told him. “I already brought them out here. Your mom and Vanessa came out first. Then Marcus came out. They’re all waiting for us.”

Tim noticed that his father was walking fast. The boy was having a hard time keeping up. The snow was deeper than he could remember it ever being. His foot kept getting stuck. He was also extremely cold and tired, but his dad kept dragging him along. The two made it into the woods that were behind the house. Tim wondered about what some of his friends were doing. He felt slightly embarrassed even though they weren’t around to see what his father was doing.

Tim’s father took him into the wood, and the two kept walking until the finally reached the rest of the family. Before Tim saw them on the ground, he realized that he was indeed right back to where he been when his father shot those innocent squirrels. The first person Tim saw was his mom. Then he saw Vanessa and Marcus.

“Daddy,” Tim tried to pull away from the grip his father had on his arm. He couldn’t get lose.

Tim looked at the rest of his family

“Daddy,” he pleaded as his father brought him closer.

Soon Tim would be right where his father wanted him, and the young boy knew what he was going to do.