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Coming Out of the Closet
As I looked out the window, the sky was a dull gray. Nothing ever happened here in Haverfield. In my whole life, ten years, the most newsworthy thing that happened here was that a thunderstorm knocked down a tree. Oh and there was also the time when Donny, a big, beefy, football player dude, mooned the mayor. I laughed for weeks.
When I went to my cousin’s house in Glaven, the next town over, I always heard stories about houses being torn down by tornadoes. He also told me this one time that the President of the United States came to his school.
In Haverfield, all I did for fun was sit in my room, and watch the stars. I used to count my fingers and toes to make sure they were all there while I listened to my father’s booming voice scream at my mom through the cracks in the wall, for no reason I could understand. They argued about taxes, money, or some man, whoever he was.
In Glaven, my cousins and I had video game competitions and wrestled to see who got the last bread stick at dinner, while the girls played dress-up.
Nothing ever happened in Haverfield, except for this morning.
It all started at eight o’clock.
I stared at the clothes my mom picked out for me the night before; blue, torn-up jeans, and a green shirt with an itchy collar. There was no way I was going to wear an itchy collar to a pizza party. I grabbed my favorite orange shirt with the hole at the bottom from the dirty clothes pile. There was gum stuck inside the pocket, and it was covered in mud, but I didn’t care, it was going to get dirty anyway.
Today was supposed to be awesome. After school, I was supposed to go to Glaven for a pizza party, and have a video game tournament with my cousins, but that changed.
“Mom, are you ready yet, it’s eight thirty?” The house was silent. “Mom!” There was still nothing.
My mom was always the first one up grabbing me by my ankles and pulling as hard as she could to get me out of bed.
I crept down the steps, quieting my clanging key chains as I went. The house was undisturbed but loud thuds vibrated the floor; footsteps. My mom wasn’t big enough to make them and my dad had already left for work. I felt my bones shake, and I was sweating more than I did when I played an intense game of Grand Theft Auto. I looked around the room, but I saw no one. I saw a closet, and I tiptoed over to it, making sure I didn’t make any noise. My eyes focused on the rusty door hinge and cracked wooden slats.
The door creaked as I opened it, like those old staircases in haunted movies.
“Scott, is that you?” A man’s voice I didn’t recognize appeared around the corner.
He was wearing torn, paint-smeared overalls, and a red and green plaid sweater. He had hair the color of ketchup, but I couldn’t see the rest of his face through the door, only his blue eyes.
The man reminded me of my daddy; a big, strong man, with red hair. The man’s voice echoed and explosions went off in his eyes. He was a scary man, not like my daddy, except for when he yelled at my mom.
I was safe for now, as long as I stayed silent.
Where was my mommy? She forgot to take me to school today. She never forgot anything.
“Get out!” A female voice came from the left. It was a quiet, raspy voice.
“Where is he?” The man’s voice deepened.
“At his house?” The woman joked. “Now get out!” Her voice never quivered.
I tried not to move. I was safe in the closet as long as the door was closed. Who was this man and why was he in my house?
I covered my eyes with my right hand. I had sandpaper hands like my daddy. We worked on cars and worked with wood, but not very much anymore. I peeped through the space in between my middle and ring finger. The room was empty, but I heard screaming and arguing through the wall.
I closed my eyes tight; when I opened them the sight of painted overalls came into focus. In his right hand was something shiny. It had a black bottom and a silver top.
I heard the wreath bells jingle and the woman’s voice. “Get out!”
A dark figure appeared from the door. Through the broken slats I saw black wavy hair, like my mother’s.
The man raised his right arm and jabbed it forward, striking the woman in the left leg.
“Take your last breath, honey. I loved you once. Where’s Scott, now?”
“In your nightmares!” The woman laughed, one of those evil, witch’s laughs.
The man jabbed the object forward. The woman fell to the ground.
I slid further back into the closet. Suddenly, it was completely dark. The door swung open and the man stood in the entrance. I stayed still and held my breath, but I was hidden by a box.
“Scott!” The man was angry. “Scott!” He repeated. His voice got louder.
The door slammed against the worn wood as it shut, and the cracked slats broke even more. I peeped out into the living room, and the man was gone.
“Hel---,” the woman could hardly speak.
I slowly opened the door, and the light blinded me as I bolted over to the helpless woman. Blood covered her entire body and dripped onto the floor. I looked at the woman’s face, and tears formed in my eyes. Big boys don’t cry, I told myself.
“Tro--?” The woman was breathing hard.
“Mommy, no!” I wanted to call for help, but my legs were glued to the floor.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw those painted overalls again. The mysterious man’s shadow hung over my body. The smell of stale coffee, cigar smoke, and pork rinds circled around me. I coughed.
The man’s breath hit my neck. Chills ran up my back. I was shaking, and my heart was pounding, but I counted my fingers and toes just like old time’s sake, and turned around.
My eyes widened. “Daddy?”
The next thing I remembered, was a flashing red and blue light.
Nothing ever happened in Haverfield, except for this morning.