Short fiction (500 words) written for Prompted: Sneaky | Tipsy Lit.


There are some things I would rather not know, such as that my mom killed my dad. I mean, he was a bastard, but still. What was I supposed to do with that knowledge? She shouldn’t have told me.

I don’t remember him clearly, but I do remember the fights. He would come home drunk and start yelling, crashing around the house, throwing things and hitting out at anyone who got in his way. I mostly stayed in my room when he was around. Maybe that’s why I can’t picture him now.

Mom told me he’d left us and all I felt was relief. She had to go out to work, and then we moved states. I wasn’t sorry to go. I didn’t know how to make friends back then and school sucked. Mom said it was a fresh start, I wish she’d let us move on.

I liked the anonymity of the city, the bustle and life and nobody knowing who I was. I thought mom was happier but turns out she brought her demons with her. We never talked much until that night, especially not about him. What was there to say?

I’d been hanging out with some guys and we pikeyed a load of beers, sat and drank them in the parking lot before throwing up and heading home. Mom lost it when she saw the state of me, I’d never seen her so mad.

She sat me down and started talking about getting pregnant and family shame and being pressured into marrying; how being a drunk could be inherited and she wouldn’t live with that again. I must have dropped off because she started yelling, hitting me round the head. I didn’t mean to push her over.

I was scared the way she looked at me, all that hate bubbling out. She told me if I ever laid a finger on her again she’d kill me, like she had my old man. I said ‘What do you mean?’ but only because I was fuddled and it made no sense. She shouldn’t have answered.

Once she started talking it was as if she couldn’t stop, so I left; wandered around until it got dark, then crashed in the doorway of a store. Some cops moved me on, but where was I supposed to go?

I caught a bus to the freeway and hitched a ride with a trucker. The people here don’t ask many questions if you’re offering labour on the cheap. I pay my bed and board, put the rest towards learning a trade. I never saw a reason to try until she showed me what I could become; I guess she gave me that at least.

Two things I know for sure: I’m not a drunk and I’m not a killer. I’ll walk my own path from here.



4 thoughts on “Inheritance

  1. “I liked the anonymity of the city, the bustle and life and nobody knowing who I was.”

    I feel the same way about cities.

    I really like that the main character found his/her footing in the end, even if it’s a hard knock way to get to it.

  2. Pingback: Polling Prompted: Sneaky | Tipsy Lit

  3. Great story – you have a real chicken & the egg there. Was Dad a drunk and that made Mom crazy? *or* Did crazy Mom drive Dad to drink.

    I also loved the “anonymity of the city” part. Having moved around a bit, I’m drawn to anonymity and savor it. My demons follow me too (as if we can escape them -ha ha!)

    Nicely done!

  4. Very believable action with the mom not really freaking out until the kid was old enough to ‘become’ the parents at the point where mom made her big mistake. Very tough road to walk, but I also love that your character was able to find a way forward without any of the baggage of the parents.

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