Barred Windows

A strange boy loves to escape from his life through his window, but when his father blocks it, the monster inside begins to break free..

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2. The Father

Today was no different from any other day. His father came in, belt in hand, ready to lash the boy if he showed any sign of disobedience. As always he hurried under the bed covers, trying to ignore the words of abuse falling like a waterfall from his father's mouth. Five, four, three, two, one BAM! The door had been slammed and he rushed out of his bed, swinging the window open and throwing his hands out in ecstasy. He was finally free of the tyrant, and could watch the world for the night without fear of discovery. The first thing his eyes fell on was the blackness in-between the trees. A path led into it and he tried to remember where went, but he couldn't; he didn't ever remember seeing the path during the day. It was almost as if he avoided looking there when the sun was shining, too afraid to find out what really lay there. It was a mystery, and one that for once terrified him. Normally he was never afraid of the dark; he had come to accept it as his only ally, but tonight he could swear there was something in the trees, something unnatural. He leaned further out of the window, peering at the absence of light. He could swear something was in it, and it appeared to be moving.

Just as he was about to make out the shape of the moving object, the door slammed open, a foul odour of beer and smoke wafting in. Dust fell from the ceiling and the lightbulb swung around crazily, nearly smashing the forehead of the giant hulk of a man that was standing in the boy's room. A muscled arm shot forward from the man's body and grabbed the boy, hauling him off of the window ledge and smashing him into the ceiling. "So, you were trying to escape, boy."
"N-no father, I was just looking out of the window."
"Stop with your lying! You were just trying to run away like your mother did!" screamed the father, tossing the boy onto the bed. A loud crack resounded in the room as the little body hit the hard mattress, breaking a few bones. He had never had enough to eat, and it had made his body as fragile as a wine glass. Blood already stained the bed sheets, and when his head lolled back he could see the indent in the ceiling his body had made. His father stood over him, blocking the light.
"I will teach you not to try to escape, you bastard boy!" 

There was nothing the boy could do but endure the abuse his father poured on. When the man was finally finished, they were both panting heavily and covered in fluids, the father in sweat and the boy in blood. Neither spoke, letting the silence talk for them. Quiet pants of pain were emanating from the boy's mouth, bringing the father's attention to the tiny heaving body. He showed no remorse for his actions, only holding the light still before slamming the door shut again. The boy briefly wondered how the hot glass had not burned his father's fingers before another wave of pain hit him. He didn't know how many bones were broken, only that a doctor would come in the morning and assess him, thinking that he was a clumsy child that had fallen down the stairs. That was how the story always went; the father taking all of his anger out on the fruits of his passion, then taking no credit for the damage he had wrought. At least he was kind enough to send for a doctor, if only so he could beat the boy again.

Luckily, he had left the curtains open, and the boy twisted his head to catch a glimpse of the night sky before passing out. The trees swayed gently, lulling him to sleep. For once, nature was on his side. A slow smile spread across his bruised face; he would sleep deeply that night, no terrible nightmares would haunt him for those few hours. Just as eyelids closed, he saw two red eyes, peering at him from the darkness in between the trees. It too smiled, gazing at the sleeping boy, yellow teeth gleaming in the orange light. Yes, it would have fun with this child.

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