September 17, 2008

Chapter 2 of The Generation

If you've missed Chapter One of the novel I am working on, here is "The Generation", again. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

"Chapter Two"

She took two steps forward and stopped. She was standing in the entrance hallway. Nothing had changed. The walls were still aligned with black walnut paneling and bare from any signs of family life, the carpet the same deep cranberry red as she remembered, on the left the kitchen entrance and further down on the right the dining room, which adjoined into the living room.

“Lunch will be ready in five minutes.” She heard her mother call from the kitchen and then nodded knowing full well her mother was speaking to her father.

The smell of freshly baked cheddar bread drifted from the kitchen. She edged closer to the kitchen doorway until she had a clear view of the kitchen, still keeping herself hidden enough so that her mother would not see her. She was standing at the island. The sound of the chop, chop, chop, against the cutting board directed her to small round hands aged with time, a small pudgy frame and long brown locks streaked with silver.

Terri Johnson had never condoned her husband’s dismissal of their daughter and never forgave him for it. She knew her mother had tried to see her on several occasions, but was denied visitations for one reason or another. She smiled at her mother, nodded a silent goodbye and then let out a slow heavy sigh. It was now or never.

“Hello?” She walked past the kitchen doorway, across the dining room, past the beautiful old oak grandfather clock her mother had given to her father on his 36th birthday and toward the living room never once giving a second thought to her mother‘s call.

She stared back at her reflection in the grandfather clock’s glass door trying to forget the memories. Something that was far easier said than done, but now was not the time to be dredging up the past, and she knew it, and with that she turned her attention back to her task.

It would be hours before the institute realized she was gone. It had been all too easy. She thought, as she caressed the steel metal of the gun her father had kept in the Study’s display case in the palm of her hand.

She had simply walked out of Howswel Institute while everyone was busy with one of Cooper Blackwell’s daily violent outbursts. They never watched her. They never had a reason to. She wasn’t sick and everyone who was familiar with The Johnson family knew it. Dale Johnson had simply bribed Howswel in allowing his daughter to be institutionalized for his own personal reasons.

All of those years wasted. In a place she never belonged. Seven long years of heartache and pain, of wanting and waiting for a family that would never come, a father who had disowned her the day she was born. All of those nights weeping, until she could no longer feel the pain deep down inside. And then the weeping stopped. And the hurt that once reflected back into the depth of her eyes, gone. Now there was nothing left to weep for. Tonight there was a difference in her eyes, something that hadn’t been seen in years. Bright green, like the color of jades, full of laughter and contentment. Eyes that now peered out of the darkness at the ruggedly handsome man, her father, partially hidden behind the newspaper, resting comfortably in his favorite leather recliner in front of the living room fireplace.

She looked down at the gun in her hand, then lifted it at her father’s head. Her finger edged toward the gun’s hammer, but then something deep inside willed her to stop. Her face twisted in pain, her eyes narrowed in disgust and the tears began, streaming down her ivory oblong-shaped face. Damn not now. Not now.

She couldn‘t remember the last time her father had ever really acknowledged her. At least not in the way a father would.

“A father can‘t bond with a daughter.” He had said. “They aren‘t strong enough, tough enough.”

From the time she had learned how to walk and talk, she’d tried desperately to be strong enough, tough enough. Now there was only one way to end the pain, and she would be damned if she let her emotions get the best of her. She swiped at her tear stricken face angrily.

“Only one way.” She whispered.

A father can’t bond with a daughter. Cold steel caressed the palm of her hand. It was time. A father can’t bond with a daughter. More hot tears slid down her face. Swiping them away she took a deep breath and raised the gun at her father’s head once more. Then with long slender fingers, cocked the gun and steadied a shaky finger on the trigger. She blinked, focused her gaze and reality struck her hard as if someone had smacked a hand up the backside of her head. A father can’t bond with a daughter. Damn him. Damn him forever.

She sighed, stepped back and slowly lowered the gun. The sudden sound of footsteps coming from behind alerted her to the presence of someone else in the room. She jerked to attention, causing the gun to slip from her hands and go off. She hadn’t even realized the gun had fired until a spark from the bullet ricocheted off the brick mantle of the fireplace pulling a scream of terror from her mother.

“Why daddy? Why?” She found herself yelling. But Instead of answering, he simply stared at her his face showing no remorse, no guilt, no care. The man hadn’t even flinched at the stray bullet that had been inches from his head or the gun that she had retrieved and now aimed at him once more.

Her eyes narrowed as she realized he would never change. He would always be a heartless bastard. A man she had always known as daddy. Well no more.

“No more.” The words rolled off her tongue with a hiss as she raised the gun, cocked it and fired.

Suddenly, she felt strong clammy hands grab her from behind, struggle the gun away and a harsh voice say, “Sara Johnson, I have been looking for you.”