Sometimes I begin a story with great intention. I have a perfect plot in mind, and I have a great ability to start the story in a random spot. I intend on capturing the reader’s attention, of course. However, this story–from what I remember–was going to be a decent one. I haven’t written a short story in a while. However, I got distracted, and I stopped writing the concept down. After forgetting about the damned thing, I haphazardly came across it. Now, it is but a simple vignette. Shit happens, but I felt the need to share it with you.
“Someone is going to pay!” The point-five-second shout was followed by a rustle and a show of–what appeared to be–a blooming flower, a magic trick generated from a pile of computer paper, maturing rapidly and exploding before casting petals to the ground in an array of idle floor mats. The teenager in the other room peeked around the corner of the threshold at her father. “This will be the last! I’ll have you know it!”
“Are you going to drive to Connecticut?” The pondering daughter dabbled with disaster as she asked that question, and she leaned back in the char, tilting it on its back two legs.
“Don’t fu–.” He clenched his fists in frustration, contesting his daughter’s actions. “Don’t do that! You’re going to break the Goddamned chair! You’re going to pay for a new set!”
“Will you chill out?” The camera would have focused on her at this point.
“Will you leave me alone? You sound like your mother!” The view returned to him, but briefly.
“I hope you shout your voice out!”
“I hope you grow the hell up! I’m frustrated! Damn it to hell! Can’t you hear that I’m frustrated?!”
“No! I cannot!”
He crumpled up a piece of paper and threw it at his daughter. He followed with a second, a third, and continued to the sixth to no avail of coming remotely close to her. The half-hearted compacted balls of paper fell short or casted in a variety of directions. The scene went on longer than a Tarantino-written dialogue, but more uncomfortable. It was a snowball fight in late May. However, the following moment sprung a very brief segment of nostalgia, a paradox from a lost childhood. Although, this was very reminiscent, it wasn’t the same. However, like snow, paper balls were recyclable.
However, paper balls didn’t produce smiles.
The daughter, now even more frustrated by the feeble attempts on her father’s part to bombard his own child with paper wads, told her parent to: “Get lost and find something constructive to do!” After the teenager-occupied chair balanced itself out, the girl hurried to the kitchen counter, picked up the car keys and tossed them to her father.
Amidst the bout of tension, the father, catching the keys, demanded, “Where is your mother?”
“She brought Thomas to the doctor fifteen minutes ago. You were still sitting at the table, groaning like a dog just having his balls lopped off.”
“I am not a dog… sans balls!”
“So, you sound like one.” She paused, but quickly continued, “However, you actually sound like a dog in denial of having his balls lopped off.”
The father actually howled back at his daughter.
“Oh, that’s mature.”
He howled again, but missed the opportunity of cutting his daughter’s talking off. He began walking backward, continuing to howl at the same time. He even crouched for effect. The bellowing continued as he slipped his shoes on and walked out the door, stopping only upon impact of the door’s slamming, which ironically interrupted him.
As she stood in the kitchen, looking down the hallway at the front door, the hum of the radiator cancelled out the overused cliche crickets’ chirping and comic timing. She waited for the door to open, showcasing his bellowing once more before his slamming the door, again.
It didn’t open.
At this moment, her father made his way to the car, sifting through the streams of pouring rain. As the rain splashed upon the concrete, splashes erected and goosebumps were pushed up by an irritated father’s boiling temperament burning red. The attitude caused his temperature to fall below normal, shivering, beyond zero, and his soul began warming up in hell.
Normally, worry would spring into a daughter’s mind. What happened? She didn’t know where her father was headed, or what he was capable of in times of great stress. The onset of the stress was still a mystery as it was. This daughter did not know what her mother and younger brother would say or feel upon their return. That worried her, and the tears began to well up. If her father did something dumb, she worried about the reactions of family and friends; how they would react and what they might possibly say bothered her. She would be that girl in high school. She would be an outcast. Her self esteem would be shot, and she will let her grades fall. She’ll turn to drugs. She will define the outcast.
As she stared at the front door, that entire last paragraph did not happen. Instead, she placed her hands upon her hips and asked, “What the fuck?”