How will Henry be able to live with his alcoholic father after his brother's death?
| Sitting on his bedroom, Henry was sketching under the small light of an oil lap which flame danced gracefully as the pencil scratched the sheet of paper. The delicate sound of the crackling and flickering of the fire was peaceful, and his face gleamed warmly as he admired dreamily the mysterious, and yet, seductive figure he had just drawn.
Henry had always loved to draw. It had been one of the few things his mother taught him before her untimely death. The different lines and the contrast between the light and the shadows were so captivating and calmed down the incessant agitation of his soul. His brother, Thomas, found amusing how Henry seemed to be always drawing and reading and, he would always call him a nerd with his usual tender and playful voice. He loved to spend time with his older brother. They always had a blast. While Thomas played video games, Henry would focus on his sketches or dive deep into the old adventure books that his mother had left behind. Those were the best evenings, and he missed them so much.
It was only when he raised his gaze to check that it was already past midnight, that he noticed that, among the deep and cold darkness which fell upon the narrow road, a figure dragged itself towards the lonely farm. A freezing chill moved down his spine and the horror took control of him. He didn’t need to look any closer to know who it was. Henry would recognize that figure anywhere.
In one quick jump, Henry stood up from the chair and began to collect all the drawings spread over the small bedroom. His entire body shivered as he felt the icy breeze caress every inch of his body and his heart pounded faster in his chest. There was not much time. He was almost there.
Once he heard the front door opening, the young boy felt his body paralyze while he heard the heavy footsteps getting closer and closer to his door. Quickly, he hid the paper sheets on his school book right before the door of his bedroom was wide opened. Jumping frightened, Henry bit his lower lip almost as if he was trying to contain the scream that was forming on his throat. From the dense shadows, a tall and built figure stepped inside the bedroom and looked around.
It was his father.
The intense smell of alcohol suggested that he had spent another night at the local tavern with his companions. The man’s jaws clenched hard and his threatening raging eyes narrowed as he looked at Henry with a fuming expression on his face. During the last few days, his father had been drinking even more than usual and, whenever that happened, things tended to get violent. The darkness that had entered his bedroom seemed to form a cloak on the man’s shadow as his dark brown eyes glared at Henry and then scanned every single part of his bedroom.
Noticing he had forgotten about the sketch he had just been working on, Henry discreetly took it from the desk and held it strongly against his back as his father seemed to look around, trying to find any flaw aside from the little and fragile boy standing in front of him. However, his father noticed on the way he was looking at him fearfully and, without giving him a chance to even move, he threw himself at Henry, as if it was a wolf hunting its prey, and grasped the drawing from his hands, ripping it into pieces until the unique and beautiful features were unrecognizable.
Almost in a whimper, Henry walked forwards to collect the pieces, but the threatening looks in his father’s eyes made him step back. His interest in art was something that his father had never understood. He couldn’t comprehend why Henry would waste so much time drawing unreal figures and places when he could have been playing football with the other boys. The simple fact that he was more emotional and attached to nature irritated the farmer, who didn’t have any problems on showing how much he disapproved of him. The man would usually boast to the others in town that Thomas was his perfect son. Every time that he found Henry drawing, he would shout at him and almost threw himself at him as if he was going to beat him up or worse. Fortunately, Thomas would always step between them, so he could protect him. But Thomas was no longer there.
It was only Henry and his predator.
His father had always blamed him for Thomas’ death, saying that if he hadn’t attracted the evil within them, that his perfect son would still be alive. Not even during Thomas’ funeral his father gave him a break. He offended and yelled at him for standing up to him and express himself. The stronger man had almost punched him in front of everyone. Maybe he was right. It all his fault. He had been the one causing all that and now… now Thomas was gone. Maybe he deserved what was about to happen. It was the right thing to happen since he had taken Thomas’ life.
As soon as he saw his father walk towards him and, for a second, he waited for Thomas to come across between them, but that wasn’t going to happen. A delicate and warm tear slipped down his blushed cheek while his father placed his large hands around his neck and squeezed it. The harsh grip had him whimpering, and his face turned into a deep red tone as the tears came to his eyes. His lungs would start burning as he gasped desperately for air and placed his smaller hands over his fathers in a failed attempt to get loose. In the middle of such aggression the only thing that he had in mind was Thomas and his mother. The memories took over at them at the park, playing together. And, suddenly, the shadows and absolute darkness fell upon him and his bedroom disappeared.