I Had Bad Parents

Thank Chuck Wendig for tonight’s “flash fiction”. I’m loathe to call it fiction, because each piece is somebody’s truth. I could have written more, but decided to end it here.

I Had Bad Parents

I had bad parents.

My mom was a drunk and a whore. She fucked other men while my dad was at work. She gave me two brothers and a sister, all of them bastards.

My dad was weak. He slaved for a family that wasn’t truly his. To hide his own inadequacies, he got drunk every Friday then came home and beat the shattered memory of the woman he’d married.

Then, he beat us.

I had bad parents.

Mother was ever so successful at her job. A charming woman, always on the go. I saw her three or four times each year, around the major events; Birthday. Christmas. Mothering Sunday. Easter. She gave birth to me, and I was raised by a succession of nannies.

Father had died many years earlier; terrible bi-plane crash. But to me, that didn’t matter. I had the finest education money could buy. I excelled at piano; top of my class (of one) at the sciences. Of course, I went to university.

I died a bachelor at 97. The money I had inherited… gone to waste.

I had bad parents.

Mam ran off after the birth of her sixth child. Nobody knows where she went. Nobody cares.

Papa worked the docks, hauling in the day’s catch. He’d come home, stinking of fish and salt, his knuckles raw, his patience endless as he cooked the same broth over and over again.

He made me work the docks, too. The stink of fish and salt… I was never clean again.

I had bad parents.

Mummy didn’t understand me. When she found me dissecting a pigeon, she called for the quack. He thought my behaviour quite normal, until she told him the pigeon was still alive. But how else am I to learn about how a living body works, than to take it apart piece by piece?

Daddy doesn’t care about me. He looks at me and sees something broken, which reflects badly upon him. For who will he leave his estate to, now? If suddenly he should die of some acute poisoning, he has no other children to bear the family name.

I sit in my room, caged by their narrow-mindedness, and I plot.

I had bad parents.

When I was eight, teacher said I was dumb. Mom cried. Cried a lot. I tried to tell her it was okay, that I still loved her even though I was dumb. She hugged me, and told me everything would be okay.

Dad didn’t like dumb kids. He and mom argued a lot. He asked how she’d cope, just her and me. I didn’t understand. Was he going somewhere? But no… there’s a lady at the door. She’s smiling. Friendly. She’s here to take me away.

I don’t like my new mom very much.

I had bad parents.

They raised me in absentia. Memories of their faces haunted my dreams. A photograph… that’s all I had of them. Why had they abandoned me? Why had they handed me over to the orphanage, without even imparting the knowledge of my name? Why aren’t they here, to sing lullabies to me? To comfort me when I’m lonely, and hold me when I’m sad?

The weeping of a dozen other orphans drowns out my tears of self-pity.

I had bad parents.

Mother didn’t know how to say ‘no.’

Father was afraid to say it.

I learnt about consequences too late. Now, I sit in this chair, my last meal weighing heavy in my belly.

I had bad parents.

It was all the rage, Mum said. Her eyes. Her hair colour. The mouth of a singer. The nose of a supermodel. The physical build of the finest athlete money could buy. The agility of a gymnast. The hand-eye co-ordination of a neurosurgeon. The IQ of MENSA alumni. Her very own designer baby.

“Father”? I’m sorry, I don’t know what word.


8 Comments on “I Had Bad Parents

  1. I love your take on it. Reminds me of the 100-word challenge from a few weeks back and coming up with ONE of those was hard enough! 🙂


    • My (belated) thanks. I did get the idea from the 100-word challenge thing. I hope you’re gonna participate in this week’s FFF… given how awesome your watermelon fic was, I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with a super-hero!


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