by Andreas Economakis
He’s sitting alone in the living room, alone with his two dogs. His mother is at a cocktail party down the road. Connecticut, the edge of suburbia, where manicured lawns meet the forest, the unknown, the bogeyman. The TV is chattering in the corner of the room but he’s not paying any attention to it.
He looks out the large sliding patio window in front of him, into the deep, dark forest. He can barely make out the abandoned old house that’s rotting by the fork in the little stream that cuts through the woods. That house gives him the creeps. He can feel bad energy coming from it, kind of like the energy of a motel room after a murder. He buried his cat under a tree in the woods the week before, fashioning a crude cross from birch branches. His mother had accidentally crushed her under the garage door. He kept a weary eye on the abandoned house while he dug, running away quickly once the cat was in the ground.
He switches channels on the TV and a movie with dolphins comes on. In one of the scenes, a dead man hangs upside down in a large aquarium, his frozen eyes looking directly at him. He runs upstairs and gets his mom’s shotgun. It’s a single-barrel 20-gauge Harrington and Richardson. He loads it and goes back downstairs. He sits on the couch again, his dogs at his feet, listening to the woods.
At 3 in the morning, 2 cars rumble up the driveway. He tenses, his finger on the trigger, the hammer cocked. A fist pounds on the kitchen door. A large man is holding his mother in his arms. She’s unconscious. He puts the shotgun down and holding the dogs by their chokers, he opens the door.
“Hey kid, is this your mom? She’s drunk,” the man says. After a pause, he adds: “This is the address on her license.”
“Thanks,” he says.
The man lays his mom on the kitchen floor and hands him his mom’s car keys and her purse. He smells of whiskey and cigarettes. He looks around silently, a glint in his eye. He then nods with a slight smile and exits slowly.
He locks the door behind him. He struggles to get his mother into her room. He goes back downstairs and takes the shell out of the shotgun. His mommy is home and he is safe again.
This piece is part of a collection of stories on blindness entitled: The Blindness of Life.
Copyright © 2010, Andreas Economakis. All rights reserved.
For more stories by Andreas Economakis click on the author’s name below.