In the name of the Father
The loss of her Father was devastating; she could hardly believe it had been nearly five years. She missed him every day but Jack had been wonderful. Her Father hadn’t liked him and it was true that he didn’t have a steady job and that he liked to play the casinos, a habit she had to fund, but he had been there for her when she really needed him. They had moved into her Father’s house in New England less than a month after the funeral. Leaving the city was difficult, particularly for Jack who complained that it was too remote but she liked it here. In this house she felt she could be close to her Father, she kept his belongings in their place and liked to talk to him as she walked around the house. She would ask him to show her some sign that he was still there, still with her and sometimes she thought she could feel him, it was a comfort to her.
Jack seemed happy at first but gradually he had become distant and cool, he went out more and often came home after she was asleep. She discovered the affair on his phone, the modern way. She knew she shouldn’t have been reading his texts but she’d been proved right so she felt she still had the upper moral hand. He didn’t agree, he reacted with a cold and rational fury telling her how disappointed he was that she didn’t trust him and that she was jumping to conclusions. He said they were just friends and that nothing was going on, he was allowed to have friends wasn’t he? She fought to keep her emotions in check as he continued to tell her that she was imagining it until finally she began to doubt herself and to believe that she had overreacted, that the texts were friendly but nothing more.
For the next few weeks she had tried to talk to him, tried to ask the questions that continuously popped into her head. He would sit with his arms crossed and staring into space he would offer one word answers to her streams of emotional outpouring until she no longer knew what was right and what was wrong. She no longer trusted herself. Sometimes she felt a little better, he would put his arms around her and she thought maybe she was wrong and that everything was fine. Away from him though the questions returned and she was less sure of him. Alone in the house she would call out to her Father begging him to give her some direction, to tell her what to do. It was friend though who confirmed it; she had seen them together in a local bar. She didn’t know if she was angrier about the affair or the fact that he had been prepared to let her think she was going mad rather than tell the truth.
He had texted to say he’d be late so she took a bath, knowing she would confront him tonight. She shut her eyes as she lay in the scorching bath and thought about her Father. She talked to him as she always did, shouted at him in her head, pleading with him to offer her some advice.
Her Fathers voice rang loud and clear in her head making her sit upright. She had dropped off she realised. As she dried herself she spoke to him again, out loud this time “Please Dad tell me what I should do, please try and tell me, I need you, I’m so alone”
It was a whisper this time but she was definitely awake this time.
“Dad?” She looked around but she was alone, she wondered if maybe she really had gone mad. She finished drying herself, dressed and went to clean her teeth. In the mirror, written in the steam were the words ‘Kill Him’. She gasped and stared with disbelief at the worse, had she written the words herself? She was confused, she held her hands up to her head and her body shuddered as the tears came. She felt a hand on her shoulder, not a real hand but an impression of a hand and with it the scent of her Fathers aftershave. “Kill him” the words came out long and loud. Something clicked in her mind.
She waited in the dark in the bedroom for him, her Father always kept a gun and now she had it hidden beneath the pillow. He walked in and switched on the light. He was drunk.
“Give me your phone” she said.
“Give me your phone” she held out her hand towards him, the gun still out of sight.
He sneered at her as he handed it over “bloody mad woman”
She clicked in the code but it refused to open, he must have changed his code again.
“Give me the code.”
“No” he swayed as he stood there in front of her and now she brought out the gun holding out towards him.
“I said give me the code” she saw his body freeze and standing behind him she also saw a dark shadowy figure. It was nodding at her.
He gave her the code and she punched it in. It opened to a text from the same woman.
“Me too” it said, she scrolled up to the one above,
“I can still smell you on my hands” it said. She dropped the phone, bile rising in her throat.
She looked at the figure that was smiling at her now and though the face was hard to make out in the darkness it was her Fathers voice that commanded “Kill him”. She pressed the trigger, it was harder than she had expected it to be but it gave way and she was thrown back on the bed as the bullet flew at its target. When she sat up again Jack was on the floor, blood pouring from his face which was now unrecognisable.
She felt very little but made herself go over to him, she knelt beside him letting her breath slow and then she looked back at her father.
“I did it Dad, like you said I should.”
The figure rolled its head back and began to laugh; it no longer looked like her Father. Its face bubbled and shifted before her and for the first time she could see it clearly. Its skin was red and its mouth filled with tiny pin like teeth. It stopped laughing and stared at her, its eyes were filled with fire. She stared back at the demon that had pretended to be her Father, the demon she had brought here with her pleading. Ugly and crouched on the floor now it slowly held out its clawed hands to her, pointing at her. With blood and spittle dripping from its teeth and still using her Fathers voice it hissed at her,
“Now it’s your turn.”