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The Bestial Justice
It’s been one year since that day, the day I ended life of the man I hated more than any other: my father. I remember every detail as if it were playing out on a television screen in front of me. The crimson blood, the agonizing screams, the mixture of fear, guilt, and exhilaration in my chest; I remember all of it. Or rather, I can’t forget. God knows I’ve tried more times than I can count. I thought killing him would end the nightmares, bring some sort of peace to the elements of chaos that had been wreaking havoc in my mind. I was wrong, more than wrong actually. The pain is still there, now compounded with the memories of the blood with which I sullied my hands. Honestly, I don’t know how I ever thought that pouring blood upon blood could cleanse my mind.
The idea came into being during dinner one chilly December evening. My father had been berating me with his usual arsenal of insults, which generally functioned as a warm up to the beating I would receive later. I was suddenly overcome with the desire to drive my fork through his eye. It was a feeling different than my usual hatred; it was colder and scared even myself. I attempted to push the dark fantasy into the deepest corner of my mind, but it continued to linger about like a foul stench. As my father kept up his seemingly endless barrage, my shadowy machinations began to envelop me in a sinister black cloud. Images of my father’s death by my hands flashed before my eyes, vivid descriptions of the bubbling manifestation of my long dormant ideal world. No gust of wind or splash of water could put out the raging inferno ripping through my core; I was lost amongst an unquenchable fire that offered only a false light and warmth.
Days past and I continued to experience the fantasies. At times I embraced them with open arms and at others I shoved them away, too frightened to accept such a macabre part of myself. My soul was tearing itself in two, forces of light and dark constantly vying for my approval. Each night was a kind of mental anguish I had not known even existed. Dawn would break before I even realized I was tired. Out of the abyssal ambiguity of my mind arose one coherent thought: this has to end. Be it one way or the other, I had to find an answer quickly, lest my sanity would have begun to slip away. The decision I came to will haunt me for the rest of life.
The silence of the empty house sang a song of ominous foreshadowing as I waited for my father to return from work. I had my devious agenda mapped out inside my head from start to finish. A twisted smile had warped my normally placid face into a grotesque bust. My mind was no longer my own, replaced instead by a foreign sadism. But it was far too late to save me. My fate was sealed behind iron bars of vengeance and a flaccid justice. I heard the front door open, the sound somehow crisper and more foreboding than I ever knew the screeching of brass hinges could be. The die had been cast.
“Dad? Is that you?” I called in the direction of the door, launching my plan into action, “Can you come to the living room? I have something to show you.”
My father entered the room, the putrid odor of alcohol clinging to his person. “You got somethin’ to say, boy?” he said, slurring his words.
Drunk again. Typical. But it only reinforced my resolve. “I wrote something for you, Dad. Would you read it?” I asked, holding out a hand-written letter. It was a letter a prepared for this very occasion, a letter of all my feelings toward him, a letter designed to enrage him.
He took the letter roughly from my hand. As his eyes struggled to focus on the words, I steeled myself for what was sure to come. As comprehension finally dawned in his eyes, his face turned a deeper shade of red and his hands began to tear the page apart.
“What’s this s***? I’m your father, boy! I won’t have nobody speakin’ to me like that!” he roared, fueled by a drunken rage. His fist soon connected with my face, knocking me to the ground. I had to endure his beating for a while; I needed to make it all look like an act of self-defense. No one would believe me if I didn’t have the bruises to prove it. Pain exploded all over my body as my father continued to assault me. I tasted blood in my mouth as my lip was split open. When I could bear no more, I pulled the knife I had been hiding in my back pocket out and drove it with all the force, hate, and boiling anger I could muster into my father’s gut.
Screams of anguish, accompanied by a splash of blood that poured onto my clothes, followed as I extracted the knife. My father writhed about on the floor, gurgling noises coming out of his mouth. He attempted to grasp my leg with floundering hands, and I kicked him away in disgust. Blood began to pool around his body, soaking into the carpet like a dye. The reality of my actions sank in as well. My father was dying on the floor in front of me, and I was to blame. The mad thirst that had whetted my blade for so long began to subside, leaving me with an icy fear and guilt. I was a murderer. I had punished sin with sin. In my quest for freedom, I had lost myself, becoming an animal. Was this justice? No, this was vile. This was one beast slaying another. I had forgotten that revenge was a one-way street.
“I…. I didn’t…. You….” My father never finished what he tried to say. A great, heaving gasp racked his body and he fell still, his eyes fixed upon a place he could no longer see. Tears streamed down my cheeks, the salt stinging the cuts on my face. I’d lost a part of my soul, a part I could never recover. Two people died in the living room that day.
A year later and not a thing has changed since then. I got away with self-defense just as I had planned, but this false freedom is more like a curse than a blessing. I no longer live; I merely exist, just as a beast does. I lost my humanity when I killed him. That’s the price of living for revenge; there’s nothing left of you once you’ve gotten it. I forsook everything to achieve my self-satisfaction, yet my only reward was blood. There is no solace to be found in my success. There is only regret, bitter and bleak regret. And with only regret, there is no room for the future as I have already died in the past. I fell to a demon called desire, born and raised by the soul which it later cast into the impregnable infinity of oblivion.