Fallout

Father kept to his room. His stubble had grown
into a thick field of bristles. I thought he looked
awful. I knew Father was drinking heavily. You
could smell the reek of cheap whiskey under the
door. No meals were made. I had a little spare
cash. So I went to the corner shop and bought big
bags of crisps. Mother, I knew, would have been
appalled. But I couldn’t muster the urge to cook.
It all seemed too trivial. I didn’t go to school. The
telephone rang incessantly, until Father pulled it
out of the wall. Soon the truancy team would come
knocking at the door. I kept the curtains drawn
tightly. Not a chink of light entered our world.
We’d not answer. It felt like Father and I had
hibernated from society. I wasn’t going to let
anyone bother us in our grief.

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Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist