The father holds a gift in his hand. He came home at lunch to leave it on his Child’s bed. It’s a samurai tiger. Something for them to share.
He didn’t expect to find two monsters fighting in his Child’s room. He didn’t expect to discover that his Child’s nightmares are real.
He didn’t expect the memories to return. It’s the one from the closet. The same one that tormented him. The one that made his nightmares laugh at him.
It had turned into imagination and forgotten dreams. He’d pushed the thing out of his mind.
But now. Here it is.
The three are frozen. One monster devouring another, with the father looking on.
The dark form lashes out. With its free arm it strikes at the father.
“No!” The furry beast, the larger one, lunges in the way. Bone-white claws dig into hairy flesh. The monster cries out in pain.
The dark one looks at the father. A voice sounds, a voice the father knows too well. “What do you mean, he got bullied again? No. No boy of mine is just going to run away and hide in his room.”
The hairy monster strikes the dark form. It tumbles to the ground.
The voice continues. “It’s time for you to grow up. I’m sick of having a pussy for a son. You can’t hide in your room anymore.”
The father hears his own words. The words that caused that rift between him and his son. The words that sent him away.
“Stop crying. Men don’t cry.”
His last words hit home. His own words used against him. He had never been a real man. He never stood up to anyone bigger than him. He was nothing but a bully.
He drops the present to the ground.
No point. How could he raise a man…
…when he had never been a man a day in his life?
Read more of the Nation of the Child here.