The Day After

My father.

 

No, this isn’t a school essay. I actually saw my father sitting at our dining table. With mother.

 

“Come on son! It’s time for some breakfast.” Oh, my father’s baritone. It seemed as if Beethoven’s orchestra had suddenly come alive.

 

I ran to the dining table. Mother had just changed the tablecloth. Our nice teakwood table was covered by a lace tablecloth with frills. It looked lovely. I didn’t see any food though.

 

What surprised me even more, was father not asking me to brush my teeth first. Strange, considering that he is a doctor. Mother glared at me, but a glance from my father was enough for her to let me be.

 

“Let’s have some bread, shall we? Your mother has made all your favourites today!”

 

Our butler walked towards us with a tray of sumptuous food. Golden-brown toasted bread, two half-fried eggs sunny side up, bacon and delicious, creamy milk. I attacked the food as if I was Oliver Twist. I was only 10 years old after all.

 

I took one bite of the delicious toasted bread.

 

That’s when I realised that this was all a farce. The bread tasted like a worm-infested piece of flesh.

 

Then I looked up at my parents. Oh, I shouldn’t have.

 

My father was wearing a funny mask, which looked like a cross between a gunny bag and a Jack-o’-lantern. My mother looked even worse, with green hair, her face covered with white paint. She was wearing red lipstick that extended well beyond the corners of her mouth into an evil smile. Even my butler’s face was half-normal, half-scarred. And he kept tossing a coin for some reason.

 

Then, a searing pain went up my right arm. My father (?) had dug his needle-like fingers into my palm. My mother (?) was holding my other arm, “Oh don’t worry son, this won’t take too long.” She then let out a hysterical laugh. My butler (?) held a gun to my head. He asked my scary father, “What’s the diagnosis on this one, doc?”

 

“Ah! Acute case of scelerophobia and to some extent, vermiphobia. I say a double dose of fear toxin should do him good…”

 

“No! Dad! What are you doing…? NO! NO!” Just then, my butler fired his pistol.

 

And I got water sprayed all over my face.

 

“That’s the third night in a row you’ve had this dream, Master Wayne.”

 

“Alfred… you don’t look like Two-Face anymore…”

 

He gave me a reproaching look. “Have you gassed yourself with the fear toxin again?”

 

I just smiled at him. Then I looked around and saw he’d brought his suitcase here.

 

“I’ve been here the past 3 nights.”

 

“Oh… good for me, then.”

 

“Master Wayne, what happens at the end of that dream?”

 

“You shoot me.”

 

“Well, it might be true if I have to endure more of this.”

 

We had a good laugh.

 

Alfred is the only reason I still exist. If I were alone, I would’ve probably killed myself long ago. Gotham didn’t need me, anyway.

 

But I wasn’t willing to give up just yet.

My past shall never leave me
Dad! Mom!
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