Lemme tell you something…


by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Copyright,  2013

How far does the acorn fall from the tree?

The day came in the hall when his grim, set face looked down at me, and my 12-year-old self looked up at him.

He gave me a choice between two unfair ultimatums. Both were his conditions and not mine, so they were no choice at all.

I made my own choice.

Saying nothing and moving nothing but my right arm, never breaking eye contact, I punched my fist through my bedroom door.

It hurt like hell; burning fire; breaking bone, and I lost a knuckle doing it. But I did my absolute damnedest not to let it show. I pulled my fist back and, as I did, felt splinters drive into me. I had never known such physical pain at that point in my young life.

Again, I did my damnedest not to let it show, not to hesitate, not to coddle the pain. Despite it all I pulled my fist back and let it fall to my side.

I endured.

After that day, I still accepted punishment from him, whether I thought I deserved it or not. But the physical beatings and the thundering verbal abuse were off the table for good.

Even as I stood there I couldn’t overcome it all entirely. Pain forced beads of sweat to well up from my face. My eyes watered a bit, but I kept them focused on him. I remember feeling my warm blood cool as it dripped down my arm; feeling my hand bloat and swell into pulp and go numb.

Through all of it I never broke eye contact. I saw both his face and body cringe their expression into something I was too young to identify.

Then I said,

“That door was not your chest.”


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Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

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