No Words For Charley
"For the love of God, Girl! Put that thing down 'for I think you mean to use it! You gonna hurt yourself, or worse, me!" Old Charley stood still, stunned. He didn't really think she'd do it, but then again, in his heart, he knew he had it coming. So he just stood there, motionless, waiting. With a double barrel aimed at the bridge of his nose, right between his eyes, it didn't occur to him to pray. It was a little late for that. A fine sheen of sweat broke out on his weathered brow, and his hands and knees began to tremble slightly as he looked down that barrel, into her eyes. The nervous smirk on his face was a dead give-away for the fear that was slipping it's icy fingers around his heart and beginning to squeeze. He saw in those eyes something he had never seen there before, a cold, determined gaze of hatred that pinned him to the wall with its intensity. There were no words, Charley knew. So he just stood there, sweating and shaking, frozen like a statue, in a twist of fate he never saw coming.
On the other end of that shot gun, with her slender finger resting ever so gently on the trigger, was his eighteen year old daughter, Molly. This day had been a long time coming, but, now that it was here, a calm had settled over her. She meant to put an end to Old Charley, and his torment. It had gone on too long and Molly had had enough. Everyone has their limit.
Molly's mother had died in her birthing bed just moments after her baby girl took her first breath. Charley had been devastated and dove head first into a bottle of whiskey, trying to drowned out the pain, and never came up for air. Charley was a mean drunk, to boot, who didn't have the first clue what to do with a baby girl who had no mama. He didn't much care, for that matter. A couple of ladies from town helped out when she was young, but all too soon, Charley found himself alone and at a loss with a bright, active little girl to raise. It was all just more than a man could bare. So he worked when he had to, and then, he drank.
Now, when a man has had enough to drink, his more base animal instincts take over and he'll do what he may never even dream of doing, in a sober mind. And more often than not, won't even remember it later, when the anesthesia has worn off. Such was the case with Charley. When he wasn't working, he was drinking. He didn't smile, rarely spoke, and then, never had a civil word to say. Molly had been his surrogate wife and whipping post for near all of her young life. At first, she'd tried and tried to win his affections, but there were none to be had. They had died with her mother. Then, she'd tried to ward off his unwanted attention, but that was impossible, too. Finally, she had given up the battle and resigned herself to the cold, hard truth. This man, who was her only parent, all she had, had to go, before he did her in, and she meant to put him out of their misery. So, there she stood, with his double barrel aimed right between his eyes, and calmly watched him sweat and squirm. She had lived this moment in her dreams a million times. Now, her mind was blank, her heart numb, and she had no parting words for Old Charley.
She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and squeezed the trigger. Molly had never shot a gun before and the kick of the shotgun knocked the gun right out of her hands. But her aim was true and Charley hit the door with a dull thud, where he then slid to the floor and slumped over, quite dead. Molly just stood there, holding her breath, staring, in shock. After a moment or two, the tiniest hint of a smile tugged at one side of her pressed lips as the reality of freedom from Charley's brutality seeped into her now whirling mind. She propped his gun up in the corner, slowly walked over to the chipped porcelain wash bowl and poured some water to wash her face. Glancing out the window, she hesitated and realized that she heard a bird singing sweetly outside in the tree, and a single tear slipped down her pale cheek. It was the first birdsong she had ever heard, and, at that moment, her heart took to wing, and soared.
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