Thursday, June 2, 2011

FICTION: Family Dynamics by Zoe Karakikla-Mitsakou

He walks in the house, lights a cigarette that patiently spent the day in his belt loop, saunters up the stairs, slithers into a closet and waits. The time will come soon enough. She will be home within the hour and it will take her no more than a couple of minutes to realise what once was her sanctuary, is now a death trap.

The house is completely silent. Darkness cloaks its insides. He is prepared to wait in the shadows, his only comfort the cigarette’s dwindling light and the thought of what is yet to come. Yes, best to wait. Hide until he hears her panicked screams, lurk until it’s time to surface. is depravity must be savoured, protected at all costs. He needs the pleasure her pleading eyes and words will give him as her body is wrecked with sobs. He would do anything to prolong her final hours.

He wants to see the life slowly ebb away from her eyes, watch as her muscle tone turns flaccid and watch her as her mind yields to death’s invasion. Watching her suffer will bring him great pleasure....

He jumps startled at the front door’s loud bang. The cigarette falls from his fingers, his joyous reverie interrupted. “Bob, I’m home! Robert where are you? I’m home!” she yells and he shudders as the cacophony of her voice provokes a visceral reaction in him. He takes out breath mint, lets it swirl around in his mouth and tries to swallow back the sourness of sound threatening to flood his pores.

She could wait. Yes that’s what he’ll do. He needs her to wait until he’s ready. He resolves to count to 100 before moving an inch. As always, by 5 he’s galloping down the stairs.

“Y- y-y-yes?”

“Didn’t you have a class with Dr. Benedict today? Why are you still stuttering like that?”

Her piercing tone echoes inside of him. He thinks he might be sick. Ignoring his obvious discomfort and grimace she carries on, her voice hitting sharper notes with every word

“Why do we give him a fortune every day if you can’t even stop stuttering for a few hours? Money down the drain, I’ve always said so... You should pay me instead of that incompetent doctor just for putting up with you!”

It doesn’t take him long to tune her out. He doesn’t need to listen to know what will follow. He’s lived through it countless times, so he tries the only thing he can think of that might bring the menacing jangling to an end and squeaks out “I-I-I-I’m s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-sorry”

His plan is perfect. Watching her suffer, plead and break will give him so much pleasure. And as she perishes so will his weakness.

Eyes shut, he shakes his head; intrusive thoughts... What kind of man isn’t remorseful at the idea of such a heinous act? How could the mere thought of others’ ruin be so thrilling? Yes....his plan is no more than a waking dream but unable to suspend it, each breath he takes brings him and it closer to reality.

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