QUIET (any gender, mid teens to early twenties)
You know why I'm not going to the movie with mom and Charlie? It's not homework, dad, I actually took care of all that yesterday. I want mom and Charlie out of the house because it's time.
Quiet time is over.
We all know your pattern. You think you're taking us by surprise? You get really, really quiet for a couple of days. You start staying up late, sitting in the living room, all alone, lights off, smoking one cigarette after another. And then one of us makes some kind of mistake and BAM! No yelling, no shouting but the next thing we know, one of us is in the hospital making up excuses for a black eye, a broken wrist, a jab in a gut... Yeah, you know that last time Charlie actually tried to tell the pediatrician that he got a stab wound by running into the washing machine?
Mom told the doc he had just been playing with knives, won't happen again. And it won't. Not this time. You hear me?
Yeah... quiet, quiet, quiet. Just sitting there quiet and smoking.
How'd you get this way, huh dad? How'd you learn to never let it out until you almost kill someone? Really dad, what was it?
Yeah... no answer, quiet, quiet, quiet.
Was it grandpa? I bet it was-- I bet he beat you every time you cried, didn't he? Maybe called you a sissy? Maybe did other things to you, made you feel like a sissy, like a woman--
ah HA! He finally looks up at me!
Let it out, dad. Here. Now. Mom's too weak and Charlie's too young but I think I'm old enough to take you. And if I lose, you're probably going to have a murder charge this time and then you'll be out of the picture anyway, you fucked up piece of trash--
Oooooo did that tickle just a little bit? Hm. More where that came from. So much more.
I'm not going anywhere, dad. You can either try to kill me or you can start talking, start cursing start SCREAMING BUT WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE SCARED ANYMORE!
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes. If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"