Creative Juice

It was a dark and stormy Father’s Day

Thunder crashed. Wind lamented its life with haunted howls. Cats screeched or perhaps meowed. I heard none of this, of course, but it happened. Lightning flashes lit up the frame of the front door.

The doorknob turned. Slowly, steadily, ever so mercilessly. From across the room, sitting in my Daddy chair, I watched. The lights flickered in the room, then extinguished one by one until I was left with only the darkness within and the bright storm without. An imagined click sounded in my head as the door popped open just an inch. 

Perhaps it is only the wind, I thought, as the door stilled. Then it began to open, a silent unveiling of the horror framed in the doorway.

A pouring rain pounding the front yard, splashing water upon the front porch, and two dark silhouettes of children. I could not see their faces, but I felt their gaze upon me. They lurched forward, one step at a time.

Oh, Dear God, I thought. No one mentioned this part of fatherhood.

They stepped into the room, all raggedy clothes and unkempt hair (how many times must I tell them to brush their hair?) and stepped toward me with smiles too large for their little faces.

“Grrrrraaaaaiiiinnnnnss,” said my undead daughter. “Graiiiiiiiiiiinnssss, dahhhhhdeeeee,” chimed in my undead son.

Everything cliche happened all at once. My hair stood on end. I got goosebumps, both on arms and down spine. In the backyard, I could see someone walking back and forth over my grave that I dug yesterday.

So. Rude.

“Well, alright,” I said.

I walked past my little zombies to the pantry and fished out the oatmeal.

Because being a Dad means that even on Father’s day, you take care of your zombie children.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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