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Jodi Lynn Hutton

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· Daddy Dearest
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Daddy dearest 2
By Jodi Lynn Hutton
Monday, May 06, 2002



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She hung her distraught head over the large oval table. Tears welled up in her eyes as she glanced up at the shattered window above the kitchen sink. Yet another consequence of Jacks drunken rampages. She asked herself how it ever got to this point. Their lives used to be so simple. There were neighborly get togethers on Saturdays where they would play cards with Bev and Todd, have a few social drinks, family outings with the kids and shared feelings.

Saturday social life gradually turned into Friday through Sunday party life. Soon it would be a drink after work and a bottle prior to dinner.

At first Jack would just pass out. Pearl didn't mind that so much, but when he began staying up later, he started to become aggressive. His aggressiveness eventually worked its way up to pure hostility and Pearl was on her way out the door. She wondered how she would feed and clothe her children without him and at the same time, didn't care. She knew in her heart that any place would be better than here. The way in which she viewed life today was much more complex than yesterday.

It was just approaching noon. There were five hours remaining in Pearls plight to freedom. Jack would then be arriving home from a hard day at the coal mine and there was no doubt in Pearls mind that he would be angry. Her sister (Maple) would be coming at around four oclock to pick them up.

The grandfather clock alarmingly struck twelve. Pearl quickly snapped out of her daze and jumped up from her chair. Running up the stairs, she said to herself "Come on Pearl, snap out of it". She headed toward the girls room first. Christopher was sleeping in the next room and she wanted to keep it that way.

Christopher was the baby of the family. He was also the household jester. Often, he made the bad times feel better with his knock knock and why did the chicken cross the road jokes. No matter how bad things got, Christopher always managed to find a way to make somebody laugh. He had big brown eyes and eyelashes that seemed to be a mile long. A cute little dimple imprinted his left cheek, as if Cupids arrow had made contact and his chocolate brown hair was shaved to Jacks specifications. "One inch. No longer and no shorter!" Even at the age of four, Christopher was the man of the house. His courage was the flame that kept the Hopkins together, even on the darkest of nights.

Very slightly turning the handle, Pearl quietly says a prayer. "Dear lord, please give me the courage to save my children from the pain and suffering to which I've unknowingly lead them. In return, I shall devote every fibre of my being to your spiritual guidance. Amen". She ever so gently swung open the door and to Pearls utter shock and amazement, Stephanie was peacefully asleep in her bed.

As she slowly crept toward Stephanies bedside, Pearl realized that her dughters sleep wasn't so peaceful afterall. Stephanies long wavey hair was red in some strands where the blonde once was. Her lips were cracked and swollen as well as her nightgown being torn at the shoulder. The awful stench of Jacks nasty liquor habit filled the room as Pearls stomach rose up to her throat while dropping on lone knee. Immediately she knew of the horror which had been forced upon her first born daughter. Pearl began to feel the anger swell up inside of her, like a pissed off volcano waiting to erupt. Her baby had been violated and she desperately wanted revege. Pearl silently spoke to herself, "over my dead body, you sick f*ck". Tears streamed down her face as she reached over to carress her sweet daughters forehead. Stephanie began to moan in a tattered, yet pain filled voice. "No daddy, please don't hurt me anymore". As she softly placed her abraded fingers upon Stephanie, thoughts of murder crossed her mind. How could she kill Jack and walk away, without anyone knowing?

Stephanie slightly opened her eyes. Her sad face peered up at Pearl. "Mommy?" she softly spoke. "Yes sweetie" replied Pearl. "Can we leave this horrible place?" "Yes honey, we can", said Pearl. "Now lets hurry, we've got alot of packing to do before that sick prick gets home". Stephanie rose up from her bed and went into the bathroom to clean herself up.

Pearl began to shove everything she could fit into garbage bags. When she was finished the girls room, she moved on to the other two. She removed the hand pistol from Jacks bedside table and wrapped it up tightly, in a pair of her slacks. She placed the slacks in the centre of one of the bags and headed downstairs to wait for the other children to get home from school. Soon, Stephanie emerged from the stairway holding Christophers hand. Instantly, Christopher noticed the pained look on his mothers face. He ran over to her and jumped up on her lap. He reached over, gave her a great big hug and said, "We'll be o.k, right mommy?" The only thing that Pearl could do, was sit silently and wait for the obvious, unknown.

As the school bus neared the end of the long gravel driveway, all three of them stood up to investigate. First, Casey stepped off, carrying her knapsac and what appeared to be a sculpture.

Casey was the sixth born, the youngest girl in the family. She was only six years of age, but had the mentality of a grown woman in her thirties. You could always count on Casey for moral support in times of need. Her hair was dark blonde and usually had one braid on either side. She had eyes that were as blue as the morning sky and always wore the cross that her auntie Maple gave to her for Christmas three years prior.

Next came Jonathan, then Ronald and finally Belinda. "Where is Craig?" shrieked Pearl. "Oh my god, this can't be happening". Stephanie called the children upstairs to help carry the bags down to the front porch.

As they sat outside, waiting for Craig and auntie Maple to come, they talked of good times gone bad. Family conversations at the dinner table and when dad used to help with homework, play sports with them as well as the wonderously exciting camping trips. Jonathan hadn't spoken a word the whole time. when Pearl finally realized that he hadn't been taking part, she asked, "Don't you have any input toward this coversation, Johnny?" All of the sudden, Jonathan piped up, "Dad's always been an asshole and I don't know why none of you all think so". He continued on to say, "You're all sittin here talkin about the fun camping trips. Well I didn't have any fun at all gettin pistol whipped! Did you Steph?" Pearl quickly saw anger. "Jonathan stop it. Your brothers and sisters don't need to hear it right now!" Then, from out of nowhere, Jacks old Ford came roaring up the driveway. "Oh my god!" cried Pearl. "He's back. Kids, get in the house and lock the door, NOW!

As Jacks truck came to a grinding hault, he glared at the garbage bags on the porch. When he opened the door and stepped out, he gave Pearl an eery grin. "Is all of this for me?" He wailed. "Awe, honey. You shouldn't have". Pearl trembled with fear, but that didn't stop her from making her point. "You will never lay your hands on any of us again, you demented f*ck*ng pedophile!" At that moment, she remembered the pistol that had been wrapped in her slacks. Frantically, she began to tear at the bags. Jack started to walk in her direction, taking very long strides. When she turned to reach for the door handle, he grabbed her by the back of her hair and pulled her down the stairs. At the bottom, he bashed her head off of one of the large rocks which surrounded the flower bed. As pearl lay unconcious, Jonathan stormed out of the house, leaped onto his fathers back and started to punch him with all of his might, but Jack flung him onto the lawn like a dirty shirt.

Stephanie and the others watched from the kitchen window in complete horror as Jack picked up their mother and placed her in the back of his pickup truck. As auntie Maple turned onto the driveway, Jack got into his truck and squeeled away speedily, with Pearl in the box of his Ford, clueless as to what was going on. When Jonathan finally rose from the ground, all he could see were his brothers and sisters peering from the window, with tears streaming down every face.

Copyright© 2002 Jodi Lynn Hutton

       Web Site: poetry4thought

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Reviewed by Johannah 11/26/2002
Really good...
Reviewed by Baine Thomas 5/24/2002
I look with saddened eyes and compassion for those characters not fortunately covered in the illusion of fiction of a story such as this.
Reviewed by melissa brown 5/7/2002
Wow lookin good so far.Keep up the good work!


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