Blood of the Father

Eye see you - Editor

by Philip Roberts

For the first ten years of Charles Mclemore’s life he knew only wealth and luxury. On his tenth birthday his father pulled him from his bedroom one bright, sunny afternoon, and led young Charles down plywood steps, across dusty cement, and through an entrance hidden behind an aged, rotted cabinet.

Eyes glistening with frightened tears and the sting of dusty air, Charles struggled against his father’s grip, a man he’d known as a face more than a parent. He’d always seen his father’s reddened eyes from a distance, pronounced jaw and chin firmly set whenever looking upon his own son. Hired help had tended to Charles’s needs, the word father itself meaning little as Charles was forced down crumbling stone steps, their only light held in his father’s outstretched hand.

They ended in front of a wooden door barely able to contain the bright red shining behind it. The sight silenced Charles, mute when the door opened and his father gently pushed him into the small room.

At first Charles thought he stared at a nude man inside a wooden cage. The only light came from a metal stand with a red bulb on top of it, but Charles ignored the light to focus on the stranger hunched in the corner of the cage, his arms draped over his knees, the skin pale white.

The man’s head lifted, shifted towards Charles, the movement sending ripples through the skin, bloating the flesh. The man had no face, the skin around the outside of the head pulled back into dark oblivion, and as the being pulled into a crouch, Charles could see the skin itself dripping to the hay covered floor.

Eyes pulled opened in the man’s chalk white chest, ten of them in all, but melding together, turning the man’s entire chest into a massive eye, his very arms being absorbed into the skin, empty face tilting upward. And then, in the middle of the eye another line formed, split it open into a toothless mouth. Charles barely heard a dry wheeze. It gave up on its attempt at speech before it could finish, pulling back into the corner instead, the more human form returned, except in the hollow face Charles saw the flesh pulling together, forming a replica of his own youthful features atop the pale, adult body of the entity.

Charles watched his father pull out a pocketknife and cut a deep gash in his own finger. He pressed the bloody tip to the glowing orb, and immediately the light shined brighter, forced the being in the cage to pull away from the glare, face returned to the void, arms pulling back over its watery flesh.

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