January 31- Mom, Dad has his gun again.

The downpour did nothing to dad’s temper. If anything it roused his sense of the dramatic. He opened the door without a word, his father’s rifle–grandpa’s rifle strapped to his back,

 

I followed behind. “Dad,” I called from the back porch. “What are you doing?”

 

“Go back inside boy,” he called back, his eyes fixated on the ground. He wiped his brow and fixed his hat. “Dirty bastard ain’t gonna get away this time,” he muttered. He crouched down and started fingering through mom’s vegetable patch.  

 

A bottle of Wild Turkey and an empty glass sat on the table. I looked at the clock. 2:45. I turned back and walked through the kitchen to get the phone.

 

6-5-5-7-7-0-1.

 

“Hey mom.”

 

“Hi Jimmy. What’s up?”

 

“Dad is in the backyard with grandpa’s gun again.”

 

She sighed. “Put your father on the phone.”

 

“But it’s rai–”

 

“James Thomas Thornton, put your father on the phone right now.”

 

I turned back to the door and scrambled to find my shoes. I tried to shove them on, my heels got caught on the backs of the shoes.

 

“Dad,” I called.

 

“What?” he called back furiously. The rain had picked up now and he was standing, looking down the sights of the rifle.

 

“Mom wants to talk to you.”

 

“Tell her I’ll call her back. I’m busy.”

 

“Mom? Yeah, he said he’ll call you back. He’s busy..”

 

She exhaled into the receiver and calmly continued, “Jimmy, tell your father that I will be leaving work early and coming home if he doesn’t pick. Up. The. Phone.”

 

“Dad,” I called again. “Mom said she’s coming home early.”

 

He took the butt of the rifle off of his shoulder and turned slowly. The determination left his eyes.

 

He marched, dripping wet, back into the house. “Give it here,” he said reaching for the phone.

 

“Hey honey,” he said meekly into the receiver. He flinched the next second and slumped over.  
“Jimmy,” he mumbled, “find the phone book and look up the number of an exterminator. Your mother is going to get rid of that mole in the backyard.”  

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