Fear: writhing serpentine ineffectiveness slithers from your pores. Go deep, angry child. Father’s affection stings like the buzzing of a hot summer hive. Mother is soft, weak, an open sore. Go deep, angry young man.
In the heat of the night brother arrives home. His fists ache, his legs, from miles in his shoes, tremble. Above the whine of cicadas brother hears a chunk! chunk! staccato as he reaches for the door. Apprehension tingles at the bridge of his nose.
“Ahhhh,” cries father.
Brother tiptoes around the house aware of each blade of grass he crushes underfoot.
“Ahhh, hu hu hu,” cries father.
Chunk! Chunk! Chunk! Relentless is the shovel as it lacerates the innocent ground. Brother hurries back to the door and steps inside. He senses the absence of life all around and the silence grips his throat.
The hairs rising from his scalp precede brother up the stairs to his room. He slips closed the lock. Under the covers he shivers to the faint chunk! chunk!, rhythm to father’s lament.