Welcome back to Member Monday. We’re kicking off June and our month of submissions around the theme “fathers” with a piece from Writers Forum member Aaron Steinmetz. Join Aaron for a book reading and signing Saturday, June 15th from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm at Lisa’s Book Nook located at 4030 Railroad Avenue.
Father the Controller
by Aaron Steinmetz
That inexplicable video game controller, the one with symbols that seemed to be lifted from Egyptian hieroglyphics, it taunted him. Teased him. Sure, his son with his mere eight years on this planet had mastered the damnable thing, but he was light-years behind the boy.
He had physical strength on the kid, that was for sure; he challenged his son to arm wrestle with him all the time, ably beating him within seconds knowing full well the boy would beat him someday, but he wouldn’t let the boy win. No, the boy had to earn it. And the controller the boy held as he played those enigmatic games? The father would earn that too.
In the dark of the night, the television muted to save his pride, the father had turned on the gaming console and attempted to guide the…thing into the other thing, the mysterious goal that only seemed possible if you kept your eyes glued to the screen, a feat he’d seen the boy perform a hundred times over without looking at the controller once.
The father couldn’t take his eyes off the controller, and as such, the thing didn’t go into the other thing, but instead struck the ground with enough force to make it explode in a geyser of blood. Far more blood than any “thing” should be able to carry. He flung the controller at the wall with a curse.
And when the boy awoke and found the gaming console locked in the closet until the boy was old enough to look at the gruesome video game with an adult’s emotional distance, the boy was so upset he challenged his father to an arm wrestling match.
The father merely smiled and sighed.
Author’s Note: Aaron Steinmetz is the ‘word-renowned’ author of Sleepy P.I. and Highland High, two quirky comedies about a private investigator who doesn’t sleep until he closes his case. He also has a book of short stories out called Anomalous Confessions which, despite the pretentious title, is actually quite wacky. He is currently working on a third book in the Sandy Mantle Series, and a little something about a cat.
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