His face was emotionless but his movements spoke stronger. I walked in and saw the violently crimson staining the scythe in his hands. It was the same scythe I used the day before to reap the crops in the field surrounding our house. The man on the ground I’ve seen before, on television, he's a car salesman who worked at the ford shop downtown.
"He's a bastard to innocence." That was my dad’s excuse for slaughtering that man. His voice was so matter-of-factly, as if what he said was obvious to me. Later that night my dad told me that the world disgusted him and how it had become a minion to television’s desires. He told me how he hated what the world had become and that through his hands he would bring back humanity’s rectitude.
I walked in and dad was standing over the body, cocking the murder weapon above his head. The only noise was the blood dripping from the tip of the scythe down on the scattered hay across the dirt floor. My mind wants to remember the scene more gruesomely but in truth the day was beautiful. The sun was out for most of the day, the sunrise was a gorgeous multicolored symphony that quickly filled the horizon and slowly disappeared as I began to get ready for another day at school.
I remember my father as a proud man, mainly about his work. He was a hard worker, considerably detailed and diligent about his farm work. When I went to school I saw him sharpening the scythe and sickles in the tool shed, preparing his tools for what the day would bring. Dad always stood up strait, walked around quickly but not impatiently. He always wore white shirts, short sleeved and tucked into his jeans. He wore a brown leather belt. The shirts, somehow, were rarely ever stained with dirt. I remember him being a good man.
I walked in and saw dad hunched over, his back was as curved as the scythe in his hands. The shirt was still tucked in but stained a horrible red. Our eyes met, I could feel myself shake from his intense but eerily calm stare. He looked so much worse than how I we was before but I stared into his eyes and realized he was still very proud of his workmanship.
"Oh my…God…” I nearly choked on my words; I didn't want us to say anything. The silence was my only sanctuary. The wind whispered through the cracks of the boarded windows and cradled my dad and me through the silence. Before my eyes my world was torn apart and all I could do was try and breath. The victim stirred at my dad’s feet and reached his crippled hand towards me.
"H-help me! I don't deserve thi-!" Before the salesmen could finish my father stooped down and brought the scythe across his neck. I listened to the horrid crack and watched the fountain of red spread across the floor. The metallic smell filled the room. My father looked at me and sighed.
“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.” He smiled and walked passed me, grabbing a rag from his tool bench. He walked out and left me with the torn body. I remember looking down at the man and seeing his eyes were still open and peering into my soul. His hand was still extended but limp and lifeless now.
I knelt down and began walking closer to the body. The odor was strong; it smelt like dad when he was working on his truck late at night. I got closer and pressed my hand against the puddle of red. Behind me the door swings open and my dad is standing over me.
“N-no!” He ran over to me and grabbed my hand and pulled me up to my feet. “This shouldn't be here…” Frantically he throws the clean scythe down and takes his palm and presses it against mine, taking all the red from my hand to his. He lets go of my now throbbing wrist and backs up.
“That’s where it belongs.” He turns and walks out again, this time I follow.
Over the next few days I studied my father. I even began skipping school to stay on the farm. It wasn't hard to keep inconspicuous, I had to stay to the shadows and hide in the high grass and fields, just like the bad guys and monsters on the late night scary movies. With what I can remember, i saw my dad take 5 more victims to the barn over the next 5 days; six deaths total. A few nights before I left my dad sat down with me and talked to me about what he’s been doing.
“Son, I know that what I am doing is wrong in your eyes but you don’t see what I see.” He adjusted in his green chair. His shirt was still red from today’s doings. “I need to do this.” He pointed to the television.”This…this machine is what causes it all!” He stood up and ran to the closet, opened the door and ripped out a baseball bat from the pile of stored junk. “It needs to be done!” With one swing he shattered the television screen. With another swing the shards of the television scattered across the floor. Father dropped the bat and sat down and rubbed his hands together; they were clean save the brownish red stain under his fingernails.
“Dad…” I stuttered. I remember asking the question. I remember shaking uncontrollably because we were in the same room. I remember the stench of blood. Asking why had always been a habit of mine. I asked my teacher when she told us the story of Christopher Columbus’ journey to the new world. I asked why to my teacher out of curiosity, but with my dad it was out of disobedience.
“Don’t question me.” He stood. “When you’re old enough you’ll understand.” He walked out of the room without saying another word.
I look down at my crossed feet and stared at the shards of glass from the television. That was the first time I saw my dad lash out in anger. Even when I walked in on him killing that salesman he was calm. With a horrible uneasiness I cleaned up the shattered television, putting it outside near the trash, and retired to my room.
Sleep was on my minds agenda but I never got to it.
I woke up the next day to find my dad gone. His truck wasn’t in the drive. I wondered if he was in the barn but didn’t dare to look. Looking out the window I found myself staring at the barn, looking at the death seeping from between the cracks. What could it look like? I remembered the blood spraying out of the man’s throat and cringed. I’ve seen slaughtered animals before but for a man it was a first.
In the distance I heard the truck’s tires rattle through the dirt path towards our farm. Dad began leaving the house regularly, coming back with a new victim each time. I wsa suprised when he exited the truck.He was carrying a television and smiling. I ran out, confused and hopeful.
“Dad! Need help?” I rushed towards him and tried to grab it from his arms. He yanked back.
“Help? Help!” He slammed through me and plowed towards the house. “Don’t want you to get your fingernails dirty kid.” He entered the front door and I could hear him pounding up the stairs and finally entering his bedroom with a slam.
He stayed in his room for the rest of the day. When night came I could hear the television through the walls and my dad cursing at it. I tried giving him food, leaving sandwiches at the foot of his door. After a while they started to get old and moldy. I gave up.
As the rest of the week drew to a close my father spent more time in the barn and even more watching the television. The stench of rotten flesh and blood was spreading across the yard and into the house; it was inescapable. My father had long given up on tending to the crops and it showed. The fields of tall barley and wheat had long withered away; even the soil had drained of life.
I watched my father deteriorate. Under his eyes massive shadows formed and his hair began to mat against his scalp. His righteous stature was gone, replaced only by a serpentine posture. He never spoke anymore, only grunted me away when I offered food or asked an unwanted question.
I’m not sure if I should of left, thinking back on it now it I was more a coward than a hero. The police had already started searching for the killer. I could have told them it was my father. I could have stopped the chaos in the beginning, before things got out of hand. I was afraid; I’m still afraid.
The night I left was horribly condemning. Though we lived away from the city we still couldn’t see any stars, the overcast was too thick. In the distant horizon was the coming onslaught of a storm. A frequent rumble of thunder wasn’t very welcoming for my escape. I couldn’t change when I left though, the time was now.
My father had just returned with new supplies. Because the police had started their search he said he wanted to clean up the mess in the barn. The trip had taken a while; we lived enough away from the city. I packed my things. Save the truth I carried nothing heavy, either money or a satchel filled with a few set of clothes.
I had been planning my escape the evening I found my dad in the barn. I spent all night searching through the house while my dad spent his time in seclusion. My clothes were already in my room, a jar of money on top of the fridge; my dad’s rainy day fund. Thinking about it now I figure, with the storm coming I suppose the time seemed right.
My radio was sitting on my window sill when I was packing up my things. A womans voice interrupted the song on the radio.
“An emergency broadcast in the Dane county area. Be on the lookout for a man, short, trimmed hair, and thick brown rimmed glasses -- Height of 6 feet 3 inches.” They wanted dad. I stood up and leaned against my bed. “This man is wanted for questioning pertaining to numerous missing person reports. If you or anyone you ma--.”
I couldn’t wait any longer. I grabbed my things and slung my pack over my shoulder. I flicked off the radio and ran downstairs. As I grabbed the front doorknob a scream came from the barn. I quickly threw open the door and ran hard. As I passed the barn I looked inside and saw two struggling shadows through the cracks of the walls. My dad had killed someone this morning. This would be the first time it would be two murders in one day.