Max, an accomplished musician, became an alcoholic after the death of his wife. He paid scant attention to his 15-year-old daughter Debbie and nine-year-old son Nathan. They were always afraid and hid from him when he was on his alcoholic binges. The house was filthy. Plenty of whisky bottles and sachets were all over the place. Snack packs and ready-to-eat foodstuff was all the nutrition they got.
That morning, he was thumping wildly on his keyboard, belting out a song and creating quite a ruckus. It was disturbing Debbie in the next room, as she was trying to study for her exams.
“Dad,” she begged, “Please turn down your volume. I can’t concentrate on my studies and I have my exams today. I’m sure the neighbours are also going to complain.”
He laughed and thumped more violently and his voice reverberated through the entire house. When she complained a second and third time, he was furious. He lunged at her with a kitchen knife. In the scuffle, Debbie managed to twist his hand and turn the knife point towards his chest, pushing him forcefully away. Then she locked herself in her room.
An hour later, Nathan saw his father lying in a pool of blood and screamed.
Debbie came out on hearing the noise.
“Good riddance. I’m glad he killed himself,” she said.
“He didn’t do it – You did,” Nathan yelled, “I’m calling the police.”
“Not on your life. If you don’t shut up, I’ll do the same to you.”
(c) Eva Bell