Warily, he flicked his hands away from his model. “Mom, Dad! Look what I did!”
“That’s nice, sweetheart,” his mother cooed absently.
“What a clever boy,” his dad chimed in, with at least some small interest.
Why did his parents hate him so much? He thought he was a genius for pulling this off; what normal five-year-old can create a stone balancing-thing like this? Even if he was lucky with the odd shaped rocks at this beach.
He hovered his face around it, trying to ignore his parents, trying to pretend he didn’t care that they didn’t love him as much. Instead, he dove his mind into this creative wonder, pretending his eyes were cameras filming some giant marvel from the air – from a helicopter!
It was a giant stone balancing-thing, made by ancient humans from the stone age. Like Stonehenge, only bigger! Like it was…built by aliens! Yeah, that would be so cool!
They would write about it for ages to come. It would be like this big mystery that they spoke about for hundreds of years, like in those days where they had to dip their fancy pens in ink, till the modern day.
His face hovered in mid-air. He was the helicopter.
His ears were rushed by the sudden sounds of rubber against stone. Suddenly, a solid slap against his back knocked the wind out of him, and his back caved toward the ground. The helicopter crashed into the great sculpture, sending it flying into the town below.
His balancing-thing. His mind snapped to the falling stones, scattering into the sea below. It was gone; nobody even saw what he’d created. And no one’d believe him now.
He turned around, angry and crying. He was about to yell at whoever did this, when he stopped. Looking down on him was an unfamiliar man. He didn’t know who it was, but something about him gave him a bad feeling. He was scared.
He squeezed his eyes shut, more tears jumping and streaming from them as he did.
“It’ll be alright, Jared. It’s gonna be alright,” his mother continued sobbing into the night. Maybe she did love him, after all.
But Jared couldn’t look. He wailed so loud, he barely heard her. And if he opened his eyes, he’d see nothing but obscure darkness and what looked like tar, oozing out of his father’s skin.
“I never said I was a decent man,” said the fiend, and Jared believed him, wishing it all away. Why them, why his dad? “But your father isn’t much of one either.”
Could he be right? Maybe there was something he didn’t know about his dad. Why didn’t anyone tell him, if so, just because he was a kid?
Maybe his dad really didn’t love him either, maybe it was just his mom? Or was there something she was hiding, too?
“Once this is all over,” said the monster, “you’ll thank me.”
“No,” Jared said. His squeezed his eyes tighter.
“Look at me!” he demanded. Jared loosened his eye lids. The villain grabbed him roughly and yanked him forward, so his eyes shot open. A faint light lit up his face.
“Your daddy is a poison. He made my sister kill herself, and then he laughed in my face.”
“Daddy?” I whimpered, turned a little to him.
“It’s not true –”
“Isn’t it?” boomed the intruder, making Jared shake and fall. He saw the monster approach his dad. “You are going to feel what it is like to drown in sorrow. And I’m going to let that poison affect your family. Do you regret it now?” he screamed.
Dad didn’t answer.
“Daddy, say you do!” Jared cried.
Jared’s jaw dropped. And soon, so did his father, into the waves and rocks below.