Chivalry is Dead

October 27, 2008
The beauty and innocence of a young adolescent child radiated off the smudged, dirt filled face of Tommy. Standing three feet and nine inches tall, the oblivious, eight year old, covered in what seemed to be crater sized, black and blue welts, yearned for the stoic voice of a true mother and father. The short, golden brown threads dispersed on top of his head as if someone had thrown a handful of seed onto the warm and luscious dirt of a farm. Patches of hair seemed to have been missing as the pale scalp of his head became more and more exposed due to his lack of nutrition. This pure, simple orphan remained clueless, sheltered in fact, to the captivating feeling of love. Left at a doorstep in a rickety, mold-covered wooden basket, abandoned became the only word he could feel. The only word he had ever felt since the day he arrived on the cold, wet stoop of the two-story house at 1705 Chivalrous Avenue. Shaking, he gnawed at his bare fingernails as the raw anticipation grew from each and every second on the clock that passed by. Tommy, the type of child who seeks corners of rooms, refuses to speak, and shakes violently at the sound of loud noises, is not the victim of a war, or a natural disaster. Instead, he remains the victim of his so-called “parents”.

Unfortunately, Tommy had to live with these people in a small, rundown home. After being left alone while his “parents” went out to a bar, he heard the car pull onto the street. The unsightly, rust infested car chugged itself in front of the house. Tommy reached for the curtain to peer through the weather worn and unbalanced broken window. The headlights, bright and blinding, shut their eyes and lay to rest for the night. The chugging halted. Tommy scampered to his room, vigorously throwing himself to the floor. He crawled under the bed and closed his eyes tightly. The wrinkles, like rivers, formed his face as he squeezed his eyes shut even harder. Trembling, he prayed that his “parents” wouldn’t even bother to stop in his room. The front door crashes open, slamming into the wall. Barbaric footsteps of his father stampeded through the kitchen, as the frightful crash of glass slices the ground beneath it. Tommy flinches, terrified of what may happen soon.

The intimidating, low voice of his father slithers through the crack under the door. “Where are you, damn it? Get out here you worthless piece of…” His father’s voice slurred and became hard to understand.

Tommy scoots further into the dark, depths of what lay beneath his bed. Concealing himself behind the immense amount of cobwebs and dust, he violently rocks back and forth. The footsteps grow louder as the shadows of giants appear at the door. A few strong pounds bang against the wooden wall and the scratched, dust covered knob begins to turn. Tommy gasps as the barrier between him and his parents is knocked down. Removing his belt, his father approaches the bed. Tommy quivers at the thought of being hit. Weeping, his eyes begin to rain tears as he learns the time he had feared approached more quickly than he thought. Peeking through the fuzz-filled dust and ominous webs, Tommy screams as his father’s face appears at the bottom of the bed.

“I’ve got you now, you little brat!” his father exclaimed.

Tommy’s father tightly grasped his arm, as if he purposefully tried to cut off his circulation. Jerking the poor child out from underneath the bed, it didn’t occur to him that he had slammed Tommy’s face into the bed frame. The red and warm liquid oozed from Tommy’s mouth and nose as it profusely dripped onto the now stained white carpet. His father harshly and devastatingly threw Tommy into the wall, cracking his pitiful, tiny arm in two. With the belt in his hand, he whipped it across the child’s face causing more blood to flow from the gashes and wounds of this already broken soul. As he continued to strike Tommy in his side and all the way down his legs, Tommy’s mother stood patiently at the door refraining from saying a single word. She stood in agony as she watched what happened. She couldn’t do anything. She knew if she tried, the same thing would happen to her, as it did before. Sadly, she walked away as a small, sparkly tear slid down her soft and tender cheekbone.

Suddenly, Tommy’s body came crashing to the ground and he lay there sobbing. His father walked out of the room chuckling as he told Tommy to keep his mouth shut or it would be worse. As he sat there, gasping for the cool and soothing breath of air, he drifted off into a state of unconsciousness. When awoken, he found himself sitting in a completely white room. Every wall he turned to seemed to glow like the many stars in a pitch-black sky. Terrified, he jumped off the table, but toppled to the pale white tile.

“Now how did you manage to do all this?” the doctor asked as he walked through the door.

Tommy, frightened as to what he should do, sat silent and sullen. His mother entered the room. Panicking, she replied with the first thing that came to her mind.

“Oh, I’m not sure how he did it sir, but little Tommy here managed to fall down the stairs and some how… hit the railing at the end.”

“You must be a clumsy tike then eh?”

Tommy remained silent. His eyes, framed by a black and purple outline, stared painfully at the floor beneath him. Slowly, the grass green eyes fixed themselves to his mother’s face. Tommy saw a scratch on her left cheek. He knew where it came from and how it got there. The rueful look he gave his mom sliced her heart in two. She wept and took Tommy into her arms.

Quietly she whispered, “It’ll be okay honey. I’m going to take you far, far away from your father. We’ll be safe and never see him again.”

A sense of safety flushed through Tommy’s body. The two walked hand-in-hand out of the building and headed for the car. When they arrived home, Tommy’s mother packed all of her belongings, as well as Tommy’s into two suitcases and headed for the door. When the latch opened and the two started to step out into freedom, they were met face to face with the devil himself.

Tommy’s father, with a pungent scent of Whiskey on his breath, shouted, “And just where in the hell do you think you two are going? Thought you would leave and then get back at me? Well it’s not going to work!”

He knocked the suitcases out of her arms and flung her to the floor. She wrestled to get up and away from his wrath, but he pinned her to the ground. Tommy stood there, as his mother once did, and watched as his father brutally threw his fists against his mother’s delicate body. He didn’t know what to do. Adrenaline pumping, he lunged at his father and begged for him to stop. Shoving Tommy aside, the beast began to cut off her passageway for air. Gasping for oxygen, she slowly withered away as she mouthed the soft spoken words to Tommy.

“I love you son”, she said as she took her final breath. Her body, mangled on the floor began to ease. Her eyes slowly rolled back and the rest of her limbs fell numbly to the floor. Tommy stood devastated. The closest thing to compassion and love that he had ever felt vanished from him. The mother he had finally found, ripped from his hands. He turned out the door and ran. Darting down the winding neighborhood street of Chivalrous Avenue, he stopped and hid behind a bush. Looking at the street sign, the vague remains of a sticker appeared before him.

“Be strong…” seemed to be the only words he could make out from the left behind message. Tommy’s heart raced as he tried to gain composure. He could see his father quickly pacing down the street. As their eyes met, he knew his father noticed him. Tommy’s father ran toward him and Tommy couldn’t move. With his father’s death grip on his arms, he ripped him off the ground. The picture of the sticker remained in his mind. “Be strong,” he told himself. Therefore, he did. Persevering through the torture, his dad drug his body across the pavement, scraping his already bloody knees, and literally peeling the skin off his legs. Rocks became engraved into his body and cuts measured almost a foot down his leg.

When Tommy and his dad arrived at the house, a surprise was waiting for him as well. Caution tape bordered the house while flashing lights were awaiting their arrival. Mrs. Rosenbottom, the next-door neighbor was standing on the sidewalk with a police officer. She exclaimed that she witnessed the whole event and saw Tommy’s father strangle his mother. She stated she had heard many loud noises and screams come from the house before as well. Tommy, flung into the street, face first, smashed his nose into the metal sewage cap. His father turned and darted away from the cops. A crowd gathered around Tommy as paramedics rushed him off to the hospital. The gun bearing police officer ran quickly trying to catch up to the villainous murderer. A few shots, heard from the distance, echoed as the horrifying sight of a body crashed to the pavement.

Tommy awoke, yet again in the pale white room, he felt discomfort as the doctor examined him.

“He has a fractured skull, a broken arm, torn muscles in his legs, and severe head trauma,” the doctor said to the mysterious man standing at the door.

Tommy gently sat up on the bed and stared at his casts. The one covered his right arm completely, while the other covered his left leg. With a bandage around his forehead, Tommy searched around the room.

“It seems like our little tike is conscious again!” the doctor said with a smile. “Tommy, this is going to be your new daddy. He’s going to take very good care of you.” The doctor pointed to the man at the door.

“I’m going to be your new daddy! How does that sound?” the man exclaimed. “I’m your real mommy’s brother, Phil. I think you’ll have a good time at my house.”

Phil walked over to Tommy and pulled him into his arms. Passionately, he hugged the child and gave him a slight pat on the back. There was a man dressed in a police uniform who was mysteriously familiar to Tommy. The man quietly wrote on his notepad, and supervised the adoption taking place. When the process was complete, the man cautiously exited the room and laid the papers on the counter with the receptionist.

“I’ll see you soon Tommy,” Phil said as he followed the man out of the room.

Tommy sat their confused. Puzzled as to what was really going on. He lay down, and his eyes gradually shut. After a week of recuperation, Tommy walked out of the hospital with Phil. Enjoying the long drive to a new town, a new area, a new life; he felt the gentle breeze swift across his still bruised, but healing skin. He smiled as they pulled into the driveway. The house seemed to be gigantic compared to the small house on Chivalrous Avenue, but it was where Tommy planned to start anew. Phil unpacked Tommy’s bags from the car and carried them inside. Tommy’s room seemed as if it was an entire castle for his imagination. After settling in, Phil said he would trust him to stay home alone for the night. Tommy said he could handle it and with that, Phil was off for a bachelor party.

Later that night Tommy began to watch some television as it hit him. The all familiar lights traced through the windowpanes as Tommy noticed the same circumstance. He was so frightened from the past, that with instinct he dashed to his bedroom and hid in the corner of the room, beneath his much larger bed now. Then, the front door crashed open.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

ashpooh1108 said...
Aug. 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm
I think this is amazing. 
Keep writing and have teachers read it. Your grammar will eventually get better :]
Denae W. said...
Apr. 15, 2009 at 4:34 am
First, though your title matches the street name well, you seemed to have missed the meaning of "chivalry." It doesn't mean parental "niceness." It's more like courtesy, anyone showing anyone else some honesst consideration.
You had an interesting idea and pulled it off fairly well with Tommy's naive view. Also, it was a nicely tied ending with the half-repetition going there.
Next, was Tommy adopted, dropped off in a doorway, or not? Why did his mother stay with the fat... (more »)
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