The sun cascaded down heat onto the Las Venturas strip as it always did. Away in the suburbs in the city of sin, the heat gave no exceptions. Fat women fanned themselves down with old Chinese takeaway menus as a traffic jam piled up on the normally-empty Woodcraft Street. The houses here all looked pretty on the outside. The white rimmed roofs, the clean doors, and the garages, those were automatic. Although one house never seemed clean; number 39. The white roof was black, the door was dented and scratched, and the automatic-door to the garage, well, that hadn’t work in years.
Around the back of the house, a young kid played away in an old blue plastic sandpit. His tall figure made him look like a giant as his legs folded over the side. In his hands he had two action figures; Captain Chaos and Lord Lucidvius!
“I’ve got you now, Chaos!” he screamed, bashing the two figures together.
“You’ll never take me alive,” screamed Chaos, Lucidvius’s foot launching into his plastic stomach; sending him flying into the sand, his head poked out of the sand: “Die! Hahaha! Diiiiie!”
“You’re going to jail, Chaos, or you’re gonna be the one who dies!”
“Let’s fight then!” And the two resumed their mutual bashing. The young teen frolicked and found joy in this time, whenever his dad was here he couldn’t play with action figures. Even with the sun beating down on his shaved head, he enjoyed his time outside. He hadn’t been out in the sun for days.
A sudden crash echoed inside. Oh no. He was home. Another door-slam echoed out. A picture crashed to the floor from the patio window; he must have slammed the door hard.
“Franky!” screamed his father. He was looking for him. He’d catch him outside. He’d hit him again- not again, please.
“FRANKY! Where the f*ck are you?!” Another door slammed, this one was up top. He’d realize the room was empty, he’d run downstairs. “Boy, you better not be outside! I’m gonna give you such a-,” his voice flowed down the stairs and the patio door slid open with a whoosh! Out stepped the scrawny figure of his father, his clothes torn and dirty; Franky always wondered why his clothes were so dirty; and why his eyes were so big. David Tenpenny always spoke slowly, his mind wasn’t what it used to be, and Franky could tell. He was young but he knew something wasn’t right.
“Franky, you little sh*t!” he yelled as he stormed over and pulled him away from the plastic sandpit; Captain Chaos and Lord Lucidvius fell into the sand. The battle would have to commence another time. A hand wrapped itself around Franky’s neck, pulling him inside.
“You’re not allowed out here, you little punk. Get inside!”
“But dad, it’s hot! I don’t wanna stay in the house- I’m thirsty-“ a quick slap came down hard on Franky’s cheek, it stung. The other armed launched him onto the dirty sofa that always stunk of pee.
“You stay inside, you don’t go out again! You heard me?” his dad was in one of those angry moods.
“But dad-” David clenched his fists, his droopy eyelids folding away, bright eyes stared down at Franky who knew better, but knowing didn’t always mean doing. “I’m tired of-“ Sound all around slipped away as a fist came down full force on Franky’s head. He hit the dirty wooden floor with a thud; from his peripheral to his central, darkness formed and took over.
When he woke up several hours later, the sun had begun to set. A faint tan glow began to cover the house, lighting up certain areas. Blood trickled down Franky’s neck as he slowly attempted to pull himself up. His grip was weak, his head was blaring; a pulsating feeling of a headache began to form. His strength allowed him to get onto the sofa where he slumped. Nothing was out of the ordinary in the old, dirty Tenpenny residence.
There was no TV, no real pictures. It was as if the two were squatting here. I’m gonna sit here and be quiet, cause that’s what Dad wants. And like a hundred times before, Franky sat and counted the dimples in the ceiling. He knew how many there were but it didn’t stop him from counting them over and over. Two thousand, seven hundred, and eighty eight to be exact, but before he could reach two hundred, his head began to pulsate and burn. He was really tired of being punched. Something about the pain irritated him, and instead of the normal passive attitude, he felt something else, something that refused to be calmed.
Okay, that’s it. He got onto his wobbly legs and slowly made his way to the patio. Right now, Dad’ll be sleeping upstairs. The decrepit shed with the broken door was across the untamed garden that was being licked with rays of the faded sun. Regaining some strength, Franky opened the shed door and looked inside; the stench of rotting wood and oil was thick in here. From under a broken lawnmower a handle poked out; Franky’s shaking hands tugged at it and the dented metallic bat that he had put there weeks ago came out without much effort. He slipped over to the sandpit and looked down at the action figures. Hmm. Captain Chaos or Lord Lucidvius?
He gave a few practice swings, and then, heart racing, he headed back inside. The living room was empty; the kitchen was empty, so quite obviously he was asleep. Franky; always light on his feet, made his way past normally full rooms of Dad’s friends and poked open the master bedroom door with a creak! David stirred in his sleep. His eyes opened and he looked up, Franky stood still; his heart racing so fast the pulse could be heard in his ears. His doped up father’s head hit the pillow again and the snoring continued.
“I got stuff what- huh? No. Pfft,” his father mumbled in his sleep. Franky squeezed in through the gap of the door, not risking another noise. The sun was almost set; cracks of dimming light split through the broken set of blinds. Thousands of tiny specks of dust floated around; the dented-bat glinted lightly as it was raised high. Sweat poured down shaking Franky’s head.
He lowered the bat. I can’t do it. “Yeah you can!” said Captain Chaos in pocket, “It’s time to step up, Franky!” I can’t! I’m scared! “You gotta take control!” And just like that, it became clear. He had to take control. He couldn’t keep letting his dad hurt him.
The bat was brought down swiftly on David’s head. A thud was heard and Franky’s father’s body twitched quickly but he did not wake. Air escaped Franky’s lungs, his eyes widened. Did I do it!? Another lift, another whack followed; something cracked. No time to think! He didn’t notice the tears down his cheeks until he had continually bashed his father’s head. That’s enough! His legs! Get his legs!
Crack, seven heavy thuds and his father’s legs splintered. He looked back at the head when two white eyes stared down at him; a face resembling a half-eaten lasagne stared at him; teeth-bared. But he couldn’t move; Franky must have done some real damage. Something inside him screamed for him to run, he ran to the door, but then a switch flicked inside and he found himself turning with an apparent smirk.
“Can you hear me, dad?”
Heavy breaths; white eyes and teeth flared up. Blood trickled down onto the dirty ash-covered sheets.
“I’m...I’m gonna tell you right now. I’m gonna do what I want and you’re not gonna hurt me anymore cause I’m in control now, dad!” he said, his voice getting stronger. “And you’re gonna listen to me instead of hitting me!”
Franky raised the bat again; heavy breaths followed and then he realized the look in his father’s eyes wasn’t of anger, or frustration. It was pure fear, and in fear, there was probably some sort of respect. Franky smirked and quickly slammed the bat onto the bed; the stench of pee began to fill the room.
“I’m in charge now, dad!”
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