Fiendish Father’s Day Honorable Mention
“Jesus H. Christ, Greg! Slow the hell down!”
The Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight fishtailed through a patch of black ice, and for a brief moment, Greg Porter feared they might careen over the side of the mountain, they being himself, his sister Amelia, and their father – the dead guy in the trunk.
“We’ve got to reach Hatcher’s Point before sunset,” said Greg, “Or else the road will freeze up and we won’t be able to make it.”
“And if you drive us off a cliff then this will all be for nothing!”
“Not for nothing,” thought Greg, “I did get to kill him.”
It was Father’s Day but things weren’t going well. They killed Dad – a positive – but there were complications, mainly one named Lupe Hernandez. Only Wayne Porter would have his maid come in on Father’s Day to clean up after three grown adults. It was Lupe’s bad luck that she happened to arrive right after they murdered their father. Poor Lupe was now under a tarp in the boathouse with two bullets in her back courtesy of Amelia and her little hand cannon. Sorry Lupe. Greg would eventually need to weight her down with cinderblocks and dump her body into the lake; however, that would have to wait. First they needed to dispose of dear old Dad, then hurry back down the hill before the roads froze over.
“I don’t know why we couldn’t have taken your car instead of Dad’s old land yacht. God, I hate this thing: It reeks of Old Spice and his damn cigars.”
“His stogies,” said Greg. “American made, not Cuban. Just like the Olds. No commie cars or commie cancer for Dad. A hefty boy even after the cancer. There’s no way he would fit in the trunk of my Tesla.”
“He should have croaked from that stupid cancer: it would have saved us a lot of trouble. But no, he had to go into remission – and still smoking those cigars. Even in the hospital!”
“At least we caught him between wives. Otherwise, there could be two bodies in the trunk.”
“I’d be happy if they were all stuffed in the trunk, except Mom, of course. I just want to get this over and be free of him forever.”
“Patience, dear sister. We did the hard part. The rest is just taking out the trash.”
It was Father’s Day and Dad had just divorced Tricia, wife #4, which meant that another large chunk of their inheritance would be siphoned off to a woman half their age for the privilege of not putting out for their father any more. Greg was certain that Dad already had some buxom waitress or former playmate lined up to take Tricia’s place. There was always another Big Boobs Barbie ready to hook up with Wayne David Potter, the ‘Big Steaks Online’ guy. He might grow older and fatter but his wives stayed in that sweet spot between 21 and 39. 40 was too old for Dad. Just ask Tricia, Wife #4, who received her divorce papers via email 3 months after her 40th birthday.
“I’m gonna dump Lupe into the lake when we get back to Dad’s house. I’ll need your gun so I can strip it down and throw it in the lake too.”
“I was thinking of throwing it off the cliff with Dad. You said nobody’d ever find his body up there so they won’t find the gun either, right?”
“They probably won’t find his body. It’s damn near impassable country but it’s possible that some crazy hunter might stumble upon him. Not likely, but possible.”
“Who cares! I didn’t shoot him. YOU bashed his brains in with that hammer!”
“But what if a hunter does show up and he finds good ol’ Dad’s mouldy remains, do you really want your registered firearm near the Steak Guy’s corpse?”
“Ok, let’s toss it in the lake. Jesus, why did I let you talk me into this?”
“Because Dad was a massive prick and you wanted your fair share of the inheritance before he let Wife #5 or #6 burn through it all. We deserve that money for spending a lifetime under the big fat thumb of Wayne David Porter.”
Amelia smirked then returned her gaze to the road, “At least the old bastard is finally dead.”
There was a box of chocolates and a card and a case of Grey Goose on Wayne Porter’s mahogany dining table. Amelia added a desktop humidor full of the cheap American cigars that her father had smoked for the past 50 years. Greg stood at the table, his hands behind his back, waiting for his father to grace them with his wise and kind words.
Wayne David Porter took it all in from his motorised wheelchair, which meant he used it as another excuse to humiliate his biological children. Wayne was still recovering from the loss of his right lung but his charming personality remained intact.
“That’s it, huh?” said Wayne as he guided his chair up to the presents, “Booze I could have bought myself; smokes I already have – hey Amelia, did you hear that I lost a lung recently? – Chocolates for a guy who’s been a diabetic for – what’s it been now, Greg? Ten years? What a lucky guy I am to have such caring and devoted children looking out for me.”
“C’mon Dad, it’s the thought that counts. Besides, what do you get for the guy who has everything?”
“You could start with my granddaughter. Why isn’t she here? Doesn’t Ashley want to see her Grandpa Wayne on Father’s Day?”
“Heather and I are separated, Dad. You know that. We’re going through a rough patch right now and-”
“So what the hell does that have to do with me? You screw up your life so I can’t see my granddaughter? I have such low expectations of you, Greggy, and you never fail to sink even lower.”
“You’re not being fair, Daddy,” said Amelia.
“Fair? Ok, let’s talk about what’s fair, little Miss ‘I live with my friend’ Amelia. Is it fair that I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of my money so you could get a PHD in Art History? Is it fair that I bankrolled your little snobitorium art gallery and flushed another million down the toilet?”
“It takes time to build a brand in the art world, Dad,” Greg said. “Amelia is still growing her client base.”
“Now you’re going to lecture me on business, Greggy? Jesus Christ, the two of you are something else. I should have just dropped you both off at the bus stop instead of sending you to all those fancy boarding schools. At least then you would have learned how to fend for yourselves instead of bleeding me dry during these so-called golden years.”
Amelia gritted her teeth, struggling to hold back the tears as a murderous rage surged through her.
“Greg has one more present for you, Daddy, and it’s from both of us.”
“I can’t wait. What is it? A crocodile to go with those tears, Amelia? Or did Greggy get me a support rattlesnake to aid with my recovery?”
“It’s something from my childhood, Dad,” said Greg as he pulled an old ballpein hammer out from behind his back,
“Do you remember this?”
Snowflakes fluttered to the ground as Greg steered the giant Oldsmobile into the Hatcher’s Point overlook. A blizzard warning had been announced earlier in the day and there was no traffic up or down the mountain. He put the car in park but left it running. His father had put a lot of money into the Olds but it was still a 40 year old vehicle and they didn’t need it stalling in the middle of a freezing snowstorm.
Greg turned to Amelia, who scowled at her phone and did all she could to avoid looking at him.
“I need your help getting Dad out of the trunk,” he said.
Amelia let out a growl of frustration before turning to her brother, “Really Greg? Can’t you just toss him over the side yourself? You go to the gym every day!”
He shook his head. “It’s called gravity. He weighs at least 250 pounds, probably closer to 300, and I’m only 165. Plus, there’s a guardrail to get him over. Force vs. Weight.”
“More like deadweight,” Amelia grumbled, shoving her phone away before unsnapping her seatbelt and joining her brother.
Wayne looked at the hammer in his son’s hand.
“Is that the hammer I gave you back when you were a mopey little Mary?”
“It sure is, Dad. I’ve kept it all these years and now I’m ready to give it back to you.”
“Just what I need,” said Wayne, “Do you remember why I gave it to you, Greg?”
“Of course. I was thirteen and being harassed at boarding school — sexually harassed — so I went and told my father.”
“And I yanked you out of that damn school!” countered Wayne, “and I sued the hell out of those sons of bitches too!”
“But do you remember what you said when you gave me the hammer?”
Wayne puffed on his stogie, his brow furrowed as he tried to recall yet another of Greg’s screw-ups, “I don’t recall. Something about showing people who’s boss and not being such a pansy.”
“Close but no cigar, Dad. You said, ‘Every problem is a nail to a man with a hammer. You go back to that school, Greggy, and you hammer some nails! And if you can’t do it – maybe I’ll use that hammer to knock some sense into your thick skull.”
Wayne snickered, slowly remembering, “Still sounds like good advice to me. Did you take it?”
“No, Dad. I was thirteen and traumatised, but now I have a new problem.”
“Oh, do tell, Gregory,” said Wayne feigning rapt attention.
“The problem is you, Dad.”
Wayne Porter erupted in raucous laughter; his cigar flew from his lips and tumbled down his body to the floor. He looked up, saw Greg brandishing that silly hammer, and laughed again before uttering his last words, “What’re ya gonna do, tough guy? Kill your old man with-”
Greg brought the hammer down hard and drove a lifetime of nails deep into his father’s thick skull.
With a strenuous tug, Greg and Amelia pulled Wayne’s body free from the trunk and onto the ground. Laying there on the asphalt, their father’s designer track suit had pulled down to his knees and up over his enormous belly, the hammer still lodged deep inside his skull.
Amelia looked down at her partially denuded father in disgust, “What a pig.”
“Why, Miss Amelia! That’s an awful thing to say to Daddy on his special day,” Greg chided. “Let’s get him over to the rail.”
Wayne David Porter straddled the guardrail like a drunk attempting to vomit into the ravine below. A handle protruded out of his shattered skull and his bloodied tracksuit was slowly gathering snow. Greg and Amelia stood hunched over facing each other, hands on their knees, trying to catch their breath before moving on to the final act.
A devilish grin spread across Greg’s face, “Are you ready for this, little sister?”
Amelia grinned back at him, “I’ve been ready for this my whole life, big brother.”
The siblings each grabbed one of their father’s beefy legs, and with a mighty heave-ho of precision teamwork, they flipped his bulk over the guardrail and watched as he rolled once then plummeted off the cliff’s edge and into an abyss of wind and snow.
They stood side-by-side at the guardrail drinking in the moment. The snow was coming down harder now and Greg raised his eyes to the grey sky feeling the cool twinkle of snowflakes melting on his face.
“Bye bye, Daddy,” said Amelia, waving to the memory of her departed father, “I hope you get eaten by wolves down there.”
Greg chuckled and put his arm around his little sister.
“Best Father’s Day ever.”
Anthony Hugh Roberts was born on the Cherokee strip, and is a proud member of the Tsalagi Nation. As an expat, he lived in Saudi Arabia and Iran until the fall of the Shah forced him to evacuate. His experiences inspired his first two novels: “Sons of the Great Satan” and “Sins of the Great Satan”. Since then, he has been a Civil War archivist, story-teller at a cattle ranch in Hawai’i and for Sir Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop in New Zealand. He now resides in Wellington and works as a collection archivist for Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision. Roberts writes primarily historical fiction and speculative genres.