Short stories – Wendigo

Kansas, in August, there isn’t hell on earth like it. The sun beating down like Satan was frying bacon on the piles of earth soil beneath this state. Why the fuck would anyone willingly live here? Those were Seth’s thoughts precisely as he laid under that old tree on Oak street. He was trying to catch a little of the breeze the forecaster promised.

The first week back at school, his last year of high school, the seventeen-year-old still tried to wrap his head around it. He failed every one of his finals in May, yet he passed with straight C’s across the board. What he didn’t know was every teacher at the high school voted to push his through. Why? To rid the school system of unequivocally, the biggest asshole the school had ever been saddled with. All of them relieved when the Principal agreed to allow this little grade mix up to happen. Never in his 30 years of teaching had he overlooked something, but this time, it was for his peace of mind. Seth Hightower is a bully through and through. He tormented every special education kid in the school, and the last straw was when he replaced the slide show at the Scholarship assembly with pornography.

Dozing off to the screeching sound of cicada bugs, the slam of that broken screen door jolted the boy back to life. Every time he heard that squeak and slam, Seth wondered why they couldn’t have a glass storm door like every other house. He knew why. His family was dirt poor, and his mother sucked up every dime they had with her daily booze habit.

“Seth Hightower, get the fuck in this house, you lazy, no good piece of shit. Dishes need washed fuck face,” screamed his mother. She was heard down the block, but no one cared. They had all heard her rage at the boy for years now. Seth was the oldest of 5, and the one she blamed for everything in life. He looked like his father, and that was enough to consume her with rage. His father had gone out sixteen years old ago, never returned. He didn’t blame his father. No man spent more than a day with his mother and didn’t want to kill her somehow. Her mouth spewed filth like a Sailor on shore leave.

Opal Hightower didn’t care. She had been cheated out of life, forced with a curse of five children. Her looks fading, she now dyed her scarlet red hair and smeared on her makeup to cover the growing amount of wrinkles on her thirty-eight-year-old face. She worked evenings in a bar, drinking most of what she made. The scent of cheap whiskey and stale cigarettes would be how her children remembered their mother. Not home-cooked meals and a sweet fragrance. If Seth could open the dictionary, the word trailer trash, his mother would be the face he saw.

“Give me a fucking minute, Ma. Jesus Christ, can’t those other bastards do anything,” Seth spat, met with a slap to the back of the head on the way inside. “Fuck, whaddya to that for, Ma?” groaning. His hand moved up the nape of his neck as he shuffled off to the kitchen. The cat in the doorway met the top off his foot, sailing it across the room. The kitten screamed, hitting the old cupboard, knocking it off the hinge. “Fucking cat, get the hell out of here,” bending down, the boy spat on the cat, sending him running off to the other room. Animals were just one of the things he hated about this rundown house. The screams from the living room would be the other. His siblings were awake. (Unfinished)

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