Saturday, March 08, 2014

Welcome back, Jack.

    The stifled sound of broken glass woke him up. It was past midnight by now; the heavy wind was bending the old tree in the backyard, pushing its branches against his second floor window. He got up from bed, and made his way towards the door. Right when he was about to touch the doorknob, he stopped and looked back, outside the window. The moon's gleam was brighter than usual, it's beams making their way from behind the tree branches. A howling sound from far away got his attention. "There's no wolfs in these woods, I must be still half asleep", he thought.

    He shook his head and left the room. By now, he was wondering if the noise that woke him up wasn't just in his head. Before he could place his right foot on the staircase, he heard the noise again. It sounded exactly like a half empty bottle of whisky rolling on the wooden floor, Macallan 1984 to be more precise. His uncle always had an affinity for old whiskey. When you're being raised by your barely functional, alcoholic uncle, you get to learn how different bottles produce different sounds. If only there was a competition for this type of ability. Already sure of what.. or who, he's gonna find downstairs, he carefully continued to descend the stair case.

    "Welcome back, Jack." he says, looking down at his old man; better said, what was left of him. He was almost passed out, his face stuck to the hard wood floor. His left hand reaching out the direction of the bottle. It'd be almost funny if it wasn't so darn sad. He was fifty-five but looked like seventy; forty years of alcohol abuse will do that to you.
    "You never ap-appreciated.. what I've sacrificed.. for you. You bloody bastard, I should've.. should've left you in that damn shit house they call an orphanage" Jack says, raising his eyes at Peter. He somehow managed to get himself up, clinging to the wall. "I know that look, you think you're better than me. Don't you, you little tosser?", and as he says that he falls back to the floor.
    "I'm not the one laying on the floor in my own piss, now am I Jack?" says Peter with a grin on his face. Peter always wondered if it was a coincidence, that his uncle's parents named him Jack. He always found it ironic, considering his relationship with the whisky bottles.
    "Ya bloody tosser, get over here! I'll show ya who's pissing his pants!", says Jack as he quickly gets himself up. It would seem his balance is fine out of a sudden, as he rushes towards Peter. But even without balance problems, at his age, all Pete has to do is take a step back.
Jack falls to the ground smashing his nose against the floor. But as we know, rage and alcohol are quite the pair. Jack quickly gets up and manages to land the back of his hand against Peter's face.
    It took Peter five years to find his way back. It's been five years since his uncle left the house in an ambulance. It was on a hot afternoon of August that they last saw each other. They had a fight, and after years and years of abuse, he couldn't take it anymore. His uncle Jack never really hit him, and sometimes he wishes he did. It would make Peter feel less guilty for beating the crap out of him that night. He just couldn't take it anymore. Not after his aunt Beatrix killed herself.
Jack was never really aggressive, not in a physical way at least. But he made it his target to ruin everything in the house, to shame his family, or to harass his wife Beatrix. No one could understand it unless they've been through that. Sometimes psychological damage is far more destroying than physical beatings. At least that's what Peter always thought.
The night right after aunt Bettie's funeral, Jack showed up drunk and started cussing at Pete. He told Peter it was his fault, Peter should have been there to stop her. That's what Jack kept telling him, until Peter snapped. When the ambulance got to their house, Jack was passed out in his own blood. Peter swore to never do such a thing again. He would not let Jack turn him into a monster, he would not embrace Jack's darkness.
    Peter felt the blood rushing through his nostrils. A rage took over him in the blink of an eye. He hit Jack back. Once, twice.. Jack hits the floor. Three, four and the fifth sends away a shower of blood onto the wooden floor. It's almost as if the blood..  drops on the same exact place it did, five years ago.
Jack grabs the bottle from his side and smashes it over Peter's skull. He grins as a few drops of whiskey touch his lips in the fall. Jack gets himself up and heads for the door. Peter is slowly fading away, as the pool of blood forms around his head. "I should have kept my promise, I should have walked away", those were his last thoughts.
Jack opens the door, but the rush of the fight blinds his vision. By the time he noticed the wolves on the front deck, it was far too late to close the door. Five wolves, five pairs of eyes that shine yellow in the midst of the night. They attack in the split of a second, dragging him into the house. Behind cold walls, now lay the remains of two bodies.
Only a beast can kill another, you need a monster to send another one to Hell.

"Can you hear me?"


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