Hi Folks. This one is a little darker than normal and a little bit violent. So those of you who like your stories bright and shiny might want to pass on it. Thanks again to the legendary Barney-R for making my gibberish readable. This is the A version of the story. It was written the way I always intended the story to go. If you don't like it don't worry the next one will be comepletely different. SS06
Most people don't remember much of their lives before they were seven or eight. I can remember almost every detail of my life from the age of four on. I'm particularly fond of the years when I was four and five. The memories are particularly vivid fifteen years later. I cherish them and guard them like jewels, sharing them with no one. After all they're all I have to call my own.
I drop to the floor and crank out twenty-five perfect pushups. Rising I do twenty-five squats. The mini workout takes me all of two minutes to complete. I'm constantly doing little workouts whenever I have time. I must become stronger.
I can hear the sounds of people; walking, talking and doing other things that normal people do only a few yards away from me. I hear his honeyed tones talking to them. He sounds so nice, so compassionate. He sounds like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. If only they knew him as I do.
I peeked out the door and saw the line of people filing out the door getting smaller and smaller. Somehow the organist always managed to be the last one. The fifty-something, bird-like woman smiled up at him through her gigantic glasses as he slipped a small roll of bills into her hand, unobtrusively.
As she tried to engage him in conversation, he promised to call her later and closed the door behind her, locking it securely. His mask was beginning to fade. He leaned with his back against the door, as if reflecting on what had just occurred. I slipped through the door into the church and began sweeping the floor. Only scant seconds had passed since he closed the door.
"Why the fuck does it take you so God damned long to start cleaning?" he bellowed.
"I'm sorry," I said. I said it very loudly and very clearly.
"Stop that God damned mumbling," he spat. He looked at me as if he was analyzing the way I swept. "Why the fuck are you using diagonal strokes to sweep?" he asked angrily.
"Because you said that straight left to right strokes damaged the floor and you beat me for using them, sir?" I said. "You also told me that straight back to front strokes looked queer and God doesn't like them. So you beat me."
"That doesn't mean that it's okay to use fucking diagonal strokes," he said. He reached up with his arms so fast that I almost couldn't see them. His left arm grabbed me around my throat choking me. His right arm punched me in the face so hard that my head snapped back and I fell to the floor.
"The Lord hates stupidity and stupid people," he screamed as he gleefully kicked me in my side. "The Lord hates people who don't take pride in their work and do a good job!" Pain shot through me with each kick and my own anger grew. And then suddenly, fifteen years of torture and abuse ... ended. As he reached to kick me yet again, I rolled away from him.
For the last two years I'd been doing pushups, sit ups, squats and any other exercise that I could think of, any chance I got. He was older and bigger than I was. But I was younger and stronger and more determined. I grabbed his descending foot, caught it in my hands, and twisted it, spilling him to the floor beside me.
He was so shocked that he couldn't find the words to express it. He raised his hands to strike me again. And he had mayhem in his eyes. I rolled on top of him and grabbed both of his hands in mine. I put my knees over his torso and forced his arms above his head. He sputtered in frustration. He tried to move his arms, but as I've mentioned, I've been working out a lot. Meanwhile he's been lying back on his fat old ass eating bonbons, and cupcakes.
My strength, fueled by the built up anger from over a decade of abuse overwhelmed his. I held his hands down with only one of mine and then for the first time in my life. I hit him back. The punch was solid. His head bounced uselessly off of the hardwood floor. He tried to scream but it came out as a short gurgling sound. My anger grew and I punched him again and again. As he tried to get up, I continued to punch him. When he tried to shake me off, I continued to hit him. My fist glanced off of his blood slicked face, but I continued to hit him. His resistance grew more and futile as it weakened because, I CONTINUED TO HIT HIM. I continued to hit him until he stopped moving and beyond that. Long after he lost consciousness, I continued to hit him.
I hit him in the mouth. I hit him in the jaw. I hit him in the nose, the eye and on his chin. I punched him in the eye and then turned his other cheek to make Jesus proud of him. Bones snapped, blood flowed, cartilage gave way, but I continued to hit him. I only stopped when I could no longer move my arms. Then I stood up and started to kick him.
Every so often, he groaned and then renewed by anger, I would increase my efforts. Anyone walking into the small southern church at that moment would have seen me and sworn that I was a monster.
They would see only a large muscular twenty year old man beating the fuck out of a beloved small town southern preacher. His blood was all over me. It was on my face, my clothing, and the floor around where I continued pummeling him. It was on the wall beside us and on the back of the pews closest to us.
My knuckles were bruised and bloody and beginning to swell, but I didn't consider stopping. The pain from my injuries would be transitory. The pain the man I beat had caused me had been never ending.
At twenty years old, I hadn't been to school in the last fifteen years. I had no friends because no one had been allowed to know that I existed. I had been beaten severely for any and every slight infraction of his ever changing rules. Sometimes he changed the rules without telling me just so he could beat me. I had no actual knowledge of the passing of time. I only knew that sometimes, he'd spit at me, and tell me it was my birthday. Then two years ago, for no reason, he had awakened me in the middle of the night and blackened both of my eyes. He's split my lip, kicked me, and then just laughed at me as I cowered in the corner wondering how I could have done anything wrong while I was asleep.
"What did I do wrong sir?" I asked in a terrified voice.
"Nothing, Stupid," he sneered. "I was just curious. It's your birthday. You're eighteen today. You are now a full grown man. I just wanted to see if I could still kick your ass as easily as always or if I needed to get some sort of equalizer to keep you in line. But apparently getting older hasn't resulted in you growing a spine." And he laughed at me and turned off the lights, leaving me in darkness and pain.
That was when something in my mind shifted. That was when I realized that no one would ever rescue me. I had long since given up on my parents coming to rescue me. That was when I decided that if I were ever to get free, I'd have to do it myself. It was also the day that I decided to kill him.
It is said that every man has two faces. One he shows the world and one he shows only to those closest to him. HE had that down to a science. He showed the people of the town a mask. A mask of a gentle, soft spoken, kindly, backwoods preacher, who when moved could spit fire and brimstone with the fire and passion of a true believer. But when the townies went home and the mask came off, all that was left was the antichrist beneath. That was when the man I knew showed up. He was nasty. He was evil. He was abusive, vile, immoral, and he claimed, though I never believed it, to be my father.
It often shocked me that only seconds after delivering a sermon on tolerance and forgiveness, he would beat me unmercifully for sweeping in the wrong direction. Or the night after proclaiming that the parents of a gay boy had failed their child, he forced me to do things that were unnatural. But this bastard would never hurt anyone again. My last few blows felt more as if I was slamming my fist into a bloody towel than a person. The bone and flesh beneath my fists had been crushed and blended to the consistency of hamburger.
I looked down on him with no regrets for what I had done. For years he had considered me and proclaimed me to be less than human. Now I had proven him right. I rested both of my hands on the floor beside the body and wondered, what next? For so many years I had dreamed of some day getting free of him. I had dreamed of someday paying him back for the way he had terrorized me throughout my life. The problem was that now that I had my freedom, now that I could go anywhere I wanted and do anything I wanted ... I just didn't know what I wanted.
Three p.m. The clock was ticking. I had two hours before Buck would leave the plant. I gathered my things and said goodbye to my students. I think they liked having a teacher who cleared out of the classroom before they did.
As I hit the parking lot, I covered my long dark brown hair with a scarf. Once inside of my car, I put on large dark sunglasses. I left the parking lot, driving not towards my beautiful home on the north side of town, but towards the east side.
By three fifteen p.m., I was driving into a parking lot that was hidden behind a motel on the outskirts of town. There were a couple of large trucks in the parking lot and several cars. I looked around me in every direction before heading towards one of the rooms. As I approached the door it opened quickly and I ducked inside. I had to be careful. It wouldn't be a good thing to have Molly Rogers, the elementary school teacher, seen going into a sleazy motel room.
Almost before the door was closed, he had grabbed me by my arm and slammed me against the shitty motel room's dresser. He lifted my skirt and jammed his knee between my legs separating them. He grunted as he did this in anticipation of what was to come.
I leaned further forward resting my torso on the top of the short dresser. I closed my eyes as his huge hands probed between my legs.
"You nasty fucking slut," he almost groaned. "You walked around all day long teaching those kids with a wet pussy and no panties." His laugh was brutish, but filled with mirth. He lined up and thrust his member inside of me with no foreplay and no warning. It was as if all of the air was forced out of me in one gasp. My insides opened up to allow his entry and then folded back to caress his invading shaft.
He fucked me then, with long almost brutal strokes and I loved every bit of it. I panted, moaned, and begged for him to fuck me harder and deeper. My hips pushed back against him with a passion that matched his own. Just as I began to really enjoy it. A huge rough hand grabbed my jaw and squeezed. I opened my mouth in reflex and soon found it stuffed with a dick that was just as big as the one in my pussy. Before my brain could fathom what was going on, he spoke.
"This is my co-driver on this run," he said. "I didn't think a whore like you would care. In fact I figured you'd get off on it." My brain and my body rebelled. I pushed the new man away from me just as the first guy unloaded almost a gallon of sperm in my pussy. I couldn't help it. My body betrayed me and I had a huge orgasm, spurred on partially by my anger.
"You should have asked me first!" I shouted. "I don't know anything about this guy. He could have all kinds of diseases!"
"Why the fuck would I care what you want," he said calmly. "You're a whore. You want what I give you. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of just taking you with me one of these days. That way I could just fuck you in my truck whenever I want."
I laughed long and hard. "I can get what you have anywhere I want it," I laughed. "You don't matter shit to me."
"I must mean something," he quipped. "You keep risking your marriage for me. Admit it; I'm much more important to you than that wimp you're married to."
"Call him another name and you'll never see me again," I yelled. "The only reason you ever got within a block of me is because I don't want to hurt him. I'd do anything for Buck. You wouldn't believe some of the sacrifices I've made for that man. He is everything to me. You're a toy. And you're easily replaced." I pulled my skirt down and glared at his friend, a large good looking black guy. It could have been fun if he had only let me know in advance. But there was no way I would ever allow him to even think that he owned me.
I walked out of the motel without looking back, slamming the door behind me. I'd get home early tonight. That would be good; I could make Buck an even better dinner. God knows he deserved it, he worked his ass off for us, and I really did love Buck. I guess the problem was that he was just too damned good to me.
I felt weird that afternoon, though. As I left the motel it felt as if someone was watching me or following me. I looked around in every direction and saw no one. I chalked it up to just guilt. Maybe after all of the years I was beginning to develop a conscience.
I got into my car and drove towards home. I stopped off at a local store and got everything I'd need to make a great dinner for Buck. I pulled into my driveway, still looking around behind me. There were no cars following me down the street. And I didn't think that anyone on foot could keep pace with a car. As far as I knew we hadn't developed bionic men yet. So my feelings of unease, faded. I was two showers and a dinner away from having Buck's arms around me to wipe away the guilt of my slutty behavior.
I held the grocery bag in one hand and unlocked the front door with the other. I pushed the door open; and was driven inside of the house by a body that slammed into me, knocking me off of my feet inside of my living room.
"What do you want?" I cried out in fear. "My money is in my purse. Take it and go. You can have whatever you want. Just take it and go."
"I didn't come for money or any of this shit," he sneered. "I came for you."
"Look, I have some time. You can have me, but we need to be quick. My husband will be home in about an hour and you should be gone by then," I told him. He just looked at me crazily and shook his head.
"You really don't recognize me, do you Whore?" he asked. He seemed almost disappointed that I didn't. I looked at his face trying to place him. Over the years there had been so many men that the faces had begun to blur, but there was something about him.
He just glared at me angrily. "I can make it really good for you," I said in my sexiest voice. I leaned back and let my skirt rise up. He reached over and ran his hand along the flesh of my leg. Over the years I had lost a lot of muscle tone. But I thought I looked good for a forty year old woman.
His hand trailed along my leg and then my stomach. He skirted around my breasts bringing the hand up to my face. I watched mesmerized and a little turned on by the way he moved that hand. It rose up suddenly and all of the fingers curled in on themselves until the hand formed a fist. And then like lightning he punched me in the face so hard I got groggy. I didn't actually get knocked out, but all of the fight and the will to resist was gone.
Noticing that I was out of it, he quickly went into my kitchen and rummaged through the cabinets and drawers. I tried to stand even though he had one eye trained on me while he searched. He came back with a roll of Buck's duct tape. Then he wrestled me into one of the dining room chairs, he wrapped the tape around my arms and legs.
"Look it doesn't have to be this way," I said. "I'll give you all the pussy you want. Just please be quick. You can come back tomorrow after my husband has left for work too." He slapped me across the face even harder then.
"You're disgusting," he said angrily. "I've been watching you for a while. Truck drivers, salesmen ... you spread your legs for almost anyone you run into. Do you think I want to pick up one of your diseases? When your husband gets home and finds your lifeless body, he won't know it, but he'll be a lot better off. I'm probably saving his life."
"You can wear a condom," I said. "I think I have some around here somewhere."
He stood in front of me then and looked at me. "You really have no idea who I am, do you?" He asked. There was a note of sadness in his voice that touched me. He must've been one of the kids I'd taught over the years. I had never fucked any of the kids I taught. Even I wouldn't sink that low. Well that wasn't exactly true. The real reason was that I had a thing for bigger dicks so the kids were off of the table.
"For just a second I felt bad about this," he said. "But you're as bad as he was. Everything he said was probably true. I am going to make this quick for you though. Open your mouth."
Now that was something I could do. "Pull down your pants," I said lustily. "This is going to be the best blow job you've ever had."
"Yeah," he said snidely. "But it's not going to be the kind of blow job you give your Johns." He pulled a gun from his pocket and stuck the barrel in my mouth. "This is going to be the kind of blow job where I blow your slutty brains all over the fucking walls."
I tried to talk. I tried to beg him for my life, but with the gun in my mouth I couldn't say anything. The look in his eyes was cold and dead. I saw no mercy there. But my mind sensed something. I felt it even before I heard the sound of Buck's custom exhaust system. It was still not in front of our house. But it was definitely Buck's Mustang.
The man looked around as he heard it and pulled the gun out of my mouth.
"Please don't hurt him," I cried. "Go ahead. Kill me and then just run out the back door. You're right about me. I deserve whatever you want to do to me. But Buck doesn't. He doesn't know about me..."
"I already know that," he said coldly. "That's why I wanted to kill you before he got home. I wanted to spare him as much pain as possible. But now though, I don't know what to do here..."
A couple of minutes later, my husband Buck, who at forty one years old still had the energy of a teenager bounded into the house. "Surprise!" he yelled, holding up a huge bouquet of flowers. And then he got the funniest look on his face as he noticed the man standing over me.
I had always feared this moment. I had lived in terror of the moment when Buck found out about the other side of my life. Yet somehow as much as I loved the big lug I had never been able to give it up. The extramarital sex was like a drug. I swore year after year that I would stop, but I never seemed to be able to give it up. I'm human. I've never claimed to be perfect. I have my failures just like everyone else does.
Shit, my husband Buck is the closest thing to a boy scout that I can imagine. But even he has his flaws. Our insurance rates in Michigan are among the highest in country. Our personal insurance rates are even higher than the average Michigan family's because of Buck. My husband, as much as I love him, is like some kind of insane Sammy Hagar disciple on steroids. Not only can Buck not drive 55, Buck has trouble driving 85. Every time the man wanders home with a sheepish grin and yet another speeding ticket, I cringe. I know that our insurance rates will go up another 50 to a hundred dollars a month.
As he hugs me and tried to explain what happened, he sounds like Kurt Russell's character Jack, in the movie "Big Trouble in Little China."
"Molly, I don't see what they're getting so excited about," he smiles. "I never drive any faster than I can see and I was only doing a hundred and..." It's the same thing over and over. I swear that I'm buying his next mustang for him. And I'm going to cure all of this. I'm going to get him one of those four cylinder ones they're planning on building. But Buck's won't have the benefit of the twin turbos.
Buck's face twisted as he looked at the man beside me, who had hidden his gun as Buck entered the room.
I watched as a host of emotions played themselves out across my husband's face. I was expecting rage, jealousy, anger ... possibly tears but nothing prepared me for his actual reaction. His face got very serious as he scanned the intruder's face. Then curiosity resulted in him searching the features yet again before ... he smiled, screamed, and ran across the room closing the distance between them. His arms flew wide and then I realized what he was screaming as he hugged the young man.
"Cap!" he screamed. "I don't believe it!"
Life is a roller coaster. It's full of ups and downs. I guess there's a reason for that. It's hard to understand happiness if you've never been sad. Things are never as good as when you're used to them being bad.
My life in particular was a story in contrasts. It just seemed to be equal parts, joy, and pain. Today was another hill on the roller coaster of my life.
I left work early. My current project was stalled. I was ready to move to a full-sized prototype. The only thing I needed was the raw materials. I had 3-D CAD renderings and had used them to generate CNC programs, but I had no metal to work with. The finished product was supposed to be made from a lightweight Zinc alloy. I had ordered several billets of the material, weeks ago, yet none had arrived.
It seemed like a good reason to leave early, stop off and buy flowers for Molly and take her out to dinner. My wife Molly is amazing. She's not a raving beauty, but she's the queen of my castle. Molly is a school teacher. I knew her job was more important than I could ever describe. Molly shapes young minds into the people that they'll someday become. It's almost criminal that teachers are under-paid and under-valued the way they are.
If you saw Molly on the street, you probably wouldn't notice her. She looks just like every other forty year old woman out there. Her waist is thicker than it was when we got together. Her boobs seem to have surrendered to gravity and her butt doesn't stand out the way it used to. But like a lot of women, my Molly looks a lot better without her clothes. When she's dressed, Molly looks a little chunky. But it's because her bra and those terrible skirts she wears to work for comfort, just seem to lump everything together.
Molly's boobs are pretty big and they're all natural. So they tend to sag a bit and rest on her tummy. That adds to the general impression of her being chunky. Her thicker waist and big old butt also add to the impression of chunkiness. But any man who sees Molly naked will definitely want her. Fortunately, I'm the only one who sees her that way and I'm the only one who gets her.
Molly and I are just hitting our stride again after a big life-issue we had about fifteen years ago. There's that joy/pain thing again.
Molly and I got married very young. We were both eighteen at the time and like a lot of young couples; we were faced with heading off to college and inevitably breaking up slowly and painfully over the next few years. Molly had always told me that the two of us were meant to be together. So we decided to both go to the same college to ensure that it happened. Those first few months at college were filled with all kinds of adventures and all kinds of temptation.
After seeing the way some of the women looked at me, Molly had given me an ultimatum. I had to either marry her or lose her. Twenty two years later we're still together, so my choice is obvious.
Anyway two years into our marriage, we were extremely happy. Our plan was going great. It was really coming together. I love it when a plan comes together. It looked like we would both graduate on time, her in education and me in engineering. But along came that bump in the road. We discovered that Molly was pregnant. It threw a huge monkey wrench into our plans. After some hand wringing and a lot of tears, we made it through the near crisis albeit with some parental interaction and support.
For Molly altering the plan meant that she would graduate a year or two later than planned. For me it meant getting a paid internship and working my ass off for my last two years of college. But in the end we did the right thing and made it work for us.
When he was born, we argued over what to name our son. We finally settled on my first choice although I never told Molly where the name came from. We had named him Steve. Molly thought I had named him after a favorite uncle of mine. It worked because she also had an uncle named Steve. Actually I had named him after my favorite character from Marvel comics. I named him after Captain America. Steve Rogers quickly became the focus of our lives. He was equal parts best friend and biggest responsibility for me. Steve was probably the primary reason that I grew up and stopped behaving like a boy instead of a man. I simply couldn't imagine Steve having to do without something because I had done something stupid and lost my job.
We did all of the usual father and son things. I introduced him to comic books, movies, baseball, Mustangs, and all of the other good things in life. I remember swelling with pride as I began picking him up after school each day. Every day brought a small infusion of joy to my life as he looked at the cars parked in front of the school, spotted my Mustang and ran over to me.
But that joy turned to horror about three weeks into the school year as I waited for him to come out to the car. Steve was always one of the first to emerge. So when all, or most of the kids were gone and he hadn't come out my concern grew. I went inside the school and looked into his classroom.
I saw his teacher Mrs. Gonzales and waved at her as she sat at her desk grading papers. I spoke to her and found out that Steve had been called to the office about a half hour before school let out. His uncle had picked him up to take him to the dentist. His mother had called earlier in the day to let the school know that it was going to happen. They had gotten a copy of the uncle's driver's license and he was the man that Molly had assured them would be picking him up.
I quickly called Molly and she had no idea of what they were talking about. Molly left school and rushed over to Steve's school. We called the police. During the time that Molly was supposed to have called them she'd been in a meeting with her school's principal and the guidance counselor who handled her students. Both men verified that Molly hadn't left the room or made any phone calls.
The police launched an investigation, they checked out everyone and everything. They looked at the school's security tapes but fifteen years ago technology wasn't what it is today. The grainy black and white video yielded very little information. The FBI was called in and discovered very little additional information. They did find out that the woman who made the call hadn't called from Molly's office or even her school. The call had come from a pay phone in another area of the city. Our son was gone and both Molly and especially I, sank into a depression.
We both blamed ourselves. We both felt as if we had failed both Cap, as I called him for short, and each other. We went through all of the stages of depression both together and individually. We grasped at straws and turned on each other, almost ruining our marriage. I wondered how the hell the kidnapper knew Molly's name. I think that for a while, deep down inside I blamed her.
For the next five years things weren't the same between Molly and me. We argued about everything and nothing. We didn't trust each other. We forgave each other over and over, only to start the entire cycle all over again. Each of us felt the loss of our son in different ways. And I think that was a part of our problem. Molly, far earlier than I did, perhaps through prayer or whatever; came to terms with it. I couldn't. And that, more than anything else, caused the rift between us to widen.
Molly believed that what happened; had just happened. She believed that the best way for us to move on would be to simply have another child. Several other people believed the same thing. I abjectly refused to even consider it. I couldn't face the fact that our son was gone. I also couldn't believe that Molly could so cavalierly relegate him to whatever fate had in store. It made me hate her just a little.
She on the other hand blamed me for our failure to move on. She was also angered by my reluctance to have sex with her. But I knew that she only wanted sex so she could get pregnant again and try to sweep Steven under the rug. She had already cleaned out his room and removed all of the pictures of him from the house.
On the verge of divorce, we were forced into counseling. So many things came out in the counseling and I believe that those sessions saved our marriage. We had been in love for so long by then, that it seemed incomprehensible that we had never learned to communicate our feelings to each other. The tragedy had brought that out. It was not a matter of a few weeks and suddenly a magic bullet appeared and we forgave each other. We were in counseling for more than four years. We came out of it in bad shape, but infinitely better than we'd been going in.
The one thing that we agreed on was that we loved each other too much to divorce over something that neither of us was responsible for. It had been whoever kidnapped our son that we should focus our anger on, not each other. Over the last few years, we had finally gotten to the point where we could put it behind us. Only a few weeks ago, Molly had brought up the fact that if we did want to have another child, she was reaching the point where it might not be advisable. In other words I needed to shit or get off of the pot.
That had started another argument. "Or else what?" I had screamed angrily. I really misunderstood her.
"Or else we won't have children," she said calmly. She looked at me wondering where my anger had come from. "You know we could always wait a few more years and adopt," she added.
I had taken her in my arms and kissed her with a passion that I hadn't felt in years. "I love you Moll," I said. "Let's make a baby."
She had been amazed by my quick turnaround and wanted an explanation. I told her that I had thought when she said we need to do it now or else, that she'd meant that she would divorce me and have a child with someone else, or that she would just have a child without me, while still expecting to stay married to me.
She laughed for about an hour. She was constantly pointing her finger at me and telling me how stupid I was for even thinking that she would ever divorce me.
Today was the start of that. Molly and I had, after the counseling sessions had ended, resumed having sex. But it wasn't as frenzied, or as frequent as before. It was as if something was missing. It was more like we had sex to fulfill a need that we both shared and to keep our marriage together. But not because of any great desire. And whenever we had sex, as strange as it seemed, I always wore a condom. I guess I was still trying to control whether or not we got pregnant again.
But today, I came home with the clear intention of fucking the shit out of Molly. I intended to shoot so much sperm into her womb that it would come out of her mouth and nose whenever she coughed. I was going to fuck her the way I did in the old days and have her screaming for more.
After leaving the flower shop I had gotten onto the freeway. That day in particular, I wanted everything to go well so I drove an almost pedestrian 85 mph on the freeway. I passed several hidden state troopers. The bastards were parked behind signs and in low lying ditches beside the roads. None of those assholes tagged me today. I decided to burn a dozen donuts as a sacrifice to the traffic gods for my good fortune.
As I pulled into my driveway, I had a sense of excitement. As I opened the door it grew. I saw Molly sitting in a chair with a young man standing over her. There was something familiar about him. Then as I saw his features, it was instantly clear. He had Molly's nose and lips but my hair color and skin tone. Even fifteen years couldn't change that expression on his face. And every Dad could recognize his own child, of so I thought.
I ran across the room as fast as I could and hugged him tighter than I have ever hugged any human being in my life.
"Cap!" I screamed again and again. He hugged me back and that sealed it. There was no doubt in my mind that my son had come home. My mind, my body, and my soul all agreed that my nightmare was finally over. Unfortunately they were all full of shit. My nightmare had just begun. The dream I expected to find with the return of my son was tainted. There was darkness on the edge of my dream and it would change my life forever.
"What!" screamed Molly. "It's not possible!"
It took me a while to realize what I had done. On the surface, I knew that I had made sure that I no longer had to worry about Reverend Cletus ever hurting me again. I knew that I was no longer a slave/whipping boy. I knew that I could now for the first time in my life, do anything I wanted to do. I just didn't know what I wanted to do.
Another thing that was resonating through me was the fact that I had with one thoughtless act destroyed the code that I lived by. I was taught from a very early age that I was one of the good guys. I was Cap after all. And the good guys don't kill. I had taken a life. Did that meant that I could no longer be one of the good guys?
As I looked around the church, I put that thought on a shelf for the time being. I thought about my situation and realized that I had several things going in my favor. The first was the fact that Cletus' own actions had helped me. He followed the same pattern in almost every place we'd gone over the past fifteen years. We would move into a small town, Cletus would find them on the internet. He looked for small towns that had a church but needed a preacher. He would take over the church and steal every nickel he could come up with. And we'd continue to do it until he either got caught doing something stupid, or someone caught him and found out that he actually wasn't any kind of preacher.
Cletus did have a certificate of ordination. But it came from a college on the internet that would ordain anyone with fifty bucks and a mail order address. Cletus had been caught a couple of times screwing the wrong man's wife. He always claimed that those small town women came on to him. He also claimed that he was doing the Lord's work exposing whores for what they were.
I also remember what Cletus had told me once during one of his drunken episodes. Cletus talked a lot when he was drunk. That was how I found out how I came to be with Cletus instead of my family. And thinking back on that, I knew where I needed to go and exactly what I had to do.
Maybe I couldn't be one of the good guys anymore. I remember from the comic books that sometimes you can't be a hero. Heroes make lemonade when life hands them lemons. But sometimes life doesn't even give out lemons. Sometimes life just gives you pure shit. There are some people who life just shits on. I've never heard of shit-on-ade. So instead of being Cap, maybe I had to be one of those anti-heroes. Maybe I have to become the Punisher. Maybe it's my lot in life to get back at the people who gave me shit. Perhaps my life was always destined to be short and lonely.
One thing I had going for me was the fact that Cletus never let anyone in any town we went to know that I was with him. In fact we never let anyone know that I existed. So after living in this town for nearly three years, which was a record for us, no one in town knew anything about me.
That meant a couple of really good things for me and bad things for Cletus. But since Cletus didn't really care or really matter anymore, all that mattered was what was good for me. The first good thing was that Cletus only had people in the church twice a week. Wednesday evening for choir practice and Sunday morning and afternoon for services. That gave me three days and three nights to travel before anyone discovered Cletus.
I decided to wait until dark and bury him behind the church. Maybe that way the people in town would think he had just run off. In the meantime I turned on all of the lights and closed the doors. I cleaned up the church as I always did. The only difference was that as I mopped and scrubbed, I was mostly more intent on cleaning up blood and bits of Cletus than I was on cleaning up the dust and debris of the church service.
I searched through everything we had in the church. I found a lot of things that would be useful to me. I found a lot of cash. The keys to Cletus' car and a gun that I never knew he had. There were no bullets in the gun, but it would be useful for scaring the shit out of people.
In another room I found some things that made no sense at all. I found the belongings of lots and lots of people. I found pictures clothing and ID cards and licenses from men and women but also from boys and girls. I looked through them and found a driver's license from a man about my age with hair the same color as mine. His name was Buford Barnes. It was an omen.
I remembered him from a couple of years back. I had dug his grave. He had been killed in a traffic accident out on the highway. Cletus had volunteered to take care of everything for the family. Of course they had given him, or the church, a substantial gift afterwards. I pocketed the license. I ate as much of the food as I could stuff down myself and loaded a lot of dry, easy to eat things like chips, cookies, crackers, canned tuna, and juice into the car.
We had planned on planting several trees in the area behind the church. I planted a tree that night before I drove off. But I planted an asshole with it.
Cletus had taught me to drive when I was fourteen. I stayed under the speed limit and listened to news stations as I headed north. I never heard anything about a missing preacher or a dead one. I was stopped a couple of times, but neither time resulted in tickets. It was mostly just officers checking on a young driver on the interstate alone. I was polite, showed my stolen driver's license, and shared the story of my first solo trip up north to visit my grandma. They ate it up.
"Yes sir, officer," I'd say. "My name is Buford. But everyone calls me Bucky."
There were so many things that I could do, that I had never been able to do before. I went to McDonalds. After eating there for my first time, I couldn't figure it why anyone would ever want to eat anything else. After that I only stopped for gas and more McDonalds as I made my way north.