A Killer in the Room
Bob Stills banged open his step-son's door and stumbled in. "Wake up you little turd," he said. "We gotta roll."
Danny lay atop a bare mattress, holding his breath and squeezing his eyelids shut. Pretend to be asleep, his momma always said.
Bob, who liked to preach that he was nobody's fool, booted the mattress with a size thirteen Stanley, leaving a bloody print. "I said wake up, Goddammit, I know you ain't sleepin."
Danny opened his eyes, saw his step-father's bloody hands and immediately wriggled to the wall. "I didn't hear anything, I didn't hear anything," he said, bowing his head the way his momma had taught him.
Bob gulped the remnants from a 20 ounce Busch then dropped the can to the floor. Bending forward, hands on knees, he released a barley-flavored burp in his step-son's face. "I didn't ask if you God damn heard anything, did I?"
Danny, whose creamy skin easily bruised, and whose ribs tended to protrude, shook his head from side to side and said "No." Just agree with him, Momma always warned.
"Damn skippy, boy," said Bob, straightening up. He wiped his thick hands on his T-shirt, further smearing his wife-beater BVD. Danny could not help but stare.
Catching the little runt's gaze, Bob booted the mattress again. "What are you lookin' at?"
Danny darted his eyes down and said "Nothing" as softly as possible.
Bob nodded and puffed his chest. "That's right, boy. Nothin'" Then, "You piss in the bed again tonight, peckerwood?"
Danny shook his head but Bob ignored the denial. "I bet you did. How many nights in a row now, little pisser?" Danny continued to shake his head. "I want momma," he said. He removed his blanket and began to get up. Bob kicked the mattress again and told him to "sit the fuck down." Danny wilted back to the wall, pulled the blanket close and turned his head away. Even when he didn't wear steel-tipped shit kickers, Bob stood 6-feet tall and weighed 200-pounds.
"Where's momma?" Danny whimpered.
Bob turned, glanced into the hall, then back at his step-son.
Smirking, he said, "She's around."
Danny glanced at the open door, which seemed miles away. "Is she in the living room?"
Bob swallowed a burp then nodded. "Yup. She sure is."
The boy gazed into the hall, aching to bolt, not daring to move. "I want momma."
Bob tilted his head to the left. For a moment, he considered kicking his Danny in the jaw.
"I ought to beat the skirt offa you, little mama's boy!" He yanked the blanket from Danny's clutch. Danny closed his eyes and raised his hands to his face. Bob continued, "Ed Cook's boy is a year younger than you and he already weighs a full 70 pounds. And his kid don't piss the bed!"
Bob threw the blanket aside and pinched Danny's ear, pulling him from the wall. When he spoke again, the stink of beer-breath prickled Danny's nose.
"Maybe if you woulda stopped pissing in your bed, your momma could be in here right now. Maybe if you didn't make so many problems, that bitch wouldn't have made problems for me. This is all your fault you little shit. " He thumped the boy's head into the wall. "Don't ever forget it."
Danny curled his knees to his chest, hugging them with arms that were as thin as reeds, quite the opposite of his step-father's. "I want momma," he repeated. Tears smeared his face.
"Forget about your momma, boy. She ain't a factor in my plans no more." As if to finalize his point, Bob turned and staggered to Danny's tiny bathroom.
Before long, Danny heard the bowl water splash to life. His breathing quickened as he got off the bed and darted to his closet. There, he opened his Snoopy book bag and took "it" out as carefully as his momma had instructed.
Bob, recalling why he had awakened the little shit in the first place, leaned backwards and shouted to Danny. "Get some clothes on, you little shit. Or I'll leave you here."
When he heard the gun cock behind him, his gut clenched. Turning, he said, "What the fuck?" and fumbled to tuck his manhood into his blue-green work trousers. He never got the chance.
Danny pulled the hair-trigger just like his momma had taught him. Bob fell backwards, his free hand fluttering to his chest. He ended up on the toilet, his legs splayed, his manhood still in his hand. "You little turd," he grunted.
Danny shot him again and again, until the cylinder clicked dry. "I want momma," he repeated then dropped the gun and scurried to the living room.
Just before Bob Stills died, he heard his step-son scream like a little girl. Little peckerwood, he thought.
Former International Surveillance and Under Cover Investigator
Miami, South America, Carribean
Present: Writer & Self Employed