JUST A BOY - JOHN RACHEL
“Danny. Please eat your dinner. You haven’t touched a thing.”
“Don’t call me Danny! My name is Flava-yo.”
“So please eat something. Then you can watch TV.”
“I hate your cooking! Why can’t we go to McDonalds?”
“I made this special for you, young man. Please. Just eat.”
“This is crap. I wouldn’t give this to the dog.”
His mom stormed out of the room. She held a Kleenex to her nose, trying to keep from crying. Danny’s father looked up from his plate of pasta, glancing at the boy over the top of his reading glasses.
“Why do you talk to her like that? She’s your mother.”
“Because she’s a bitch. That’s why.”
“Did your mother give you your pills today? Your Prozac?”
“Get a life, dad. I’m outta here.”
Danny got up and headed out of the kitchen, grabbing a king-size bag of potato chips from the counter and a 40 oz. bottle of Coke from the fridge on the way. He plopped himself on the floor of the family room, in front of the 54” flat panel TV screen.
Tonight should be good. CSI: Miami was on now. Then he could watch Kill Bill: Volume 2 on Showtime. He cranked up the audio volume with the remote.
Out of the corner of his eye, Danny saw his father enter the room and knew that he had inserted himself in the La-Z-Boy lounge chair in the corner. It’s what he always did.
“Flava-yo! Flava-yo, I told you.”
“I’m not calling you that, young man. In fact, I’m going to insist that you change the channel right now. I don’t think these kinds of programs are good for you.”
The boy got up and went into the other room. His father’s office. When he returned, he stood directly in front of his father. As his dad lowered the newspaper he was reading, the boy fired a shot from the handgun he was holding, directly into his father’s heart.
Good choice, the boy thought. From what he had seen on TV, heads were messy. Brains and blood all over the place.
He heard the raucous clumsy steps of his mom clambering down the stairs two at a time. She was yelling hysterically.
“What’s going on? I heard a gunshot! Are you two alright?”
When she appeared in the doorway, Danny took aim.
The first shot missed. The second caught her in the forehead.
Shit. It was going to be messy after all.
The boy turned his attention back to the television screen.
Perfect. The commercial was just ending. He hadn’t missed anything.
His hand started to hurt from the weight of the handgun and the recoil of the three shots, so he put it down on the floor.
The .38 caliber Braztech-Rossi is probably not the optimal choice for a little guy like him.
He was only six years old.
Just a boy.
BIO: John Rachel has a B. A. in Philosophy, has traveled extensively, is a songwriter and music producer, and a left-of-left liberal. Prompted by the trauma of graduating high school and having to leave his beloved city of Detroit to attend university, the development his social skills and world view were arrested at about age 18. This affliction figures prominently in all of his creative work. He is author of two full-length novels, “From Thailand With Love” and “The Man Who Loved Too Much.” He is currently living in Japan.