The Fifth: Father

Despite everything that’s happened, there are still pictures of the thing around the house. Grandmother and you can’t seem to part from them. Sometimes you catch her holding a particular picture—one with a younger you, and the creature standing side by side, after a nice weekend of camping out in the woods, back in the good days—and she will often start crying, crying to the point that her chest seems to hurt. Sometimes, you feel betrayed and disgusted with her when you see her like this; after all, you’re the one in pain here.

Then you remember that day, when the perverse creature had tricked you into walking with it on the path of needles (pins?) and attacked you, that it was Grandmother who heard your calls for help. Grandmother who came running to your aid. Grandmother who chased the monster away, bullets flying. And then you remember how difficult that must have been (how difficult it still is), to attempt killing the creature she’d given birth to and raised, so long ago.

She isn’t the only one who gets sad while looking at those pictures, though you can’t muster the urge to cry anymore. But they do bring pain. They remind you of the happiness you had, the happiness that can never be again. They remind you that it was once “he”; that you once called the creature by another name, one that should mean safety and love.

For now, turn the pictures to the side so you won’t have to look at the faces. When Grandmother is out of the house, only burn the ones that you won’t be able to avoid.


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