Trigger warning I guess cuz it’s sad and there’s a little blood and alcohol use and stuff
It’s holiday themed though so whoop
The whiskey bottle is empty. An errant thought. Ignore it.
Isaac closed the door of the fridge and left the kitchen, his hand running along the hallway wall; an unconscious action which had taken place since he was a child, when his hand hardly reached the shift in the panelling. Now, the tips of his fingers lazily drifted around the photos hanging in the hall. A few of them showed signs of wear and repair: a hastily glued frame here, a replaced pane of glass and a taped photo there. Evidence of a house where things were not handled gently.
The whiskey bottle is empty. Something there, though. Still, ignore it.
He stopped in front of the mirror to tousle his curly brown hair, an action performed by other fingers, long ago. Now, the only gentle touches he received were self-administered. Pushing the thought aside, he smiled at his reflection. He was unusually optimistic about the upcoming holidays. He had saved up some money from working at the graveyard, and might be able to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home. His grin widened at the thought, revealing his teeth. He allowed his thoughts to wander back to the events of the day as he hovered in front of the mirror. He muttered aloud and absent-mindedly, observing the movement of his reflected lips. “The whiskey bottle is empty.” Suddenly, he froze.
The whiskey bottle had not been empty when he had arrived to an empty house, hours earlier. It had been nearly full. With his heart in his throat, Isaac lurched to the window from which he could see the street outside, and the car parked there. The location of the missing whiskey was made as clear as the empty Jack Daniels bottle still perched in the fridge.
Isaac jumped as a glass bottle shattered against the wall beside him, embedding a shard in the hand which he had raised to protect his face. Blood dripped into the spilled vodka on the laminate flooring —- it wasn’t just the whiskey, then —- as Isaac pulled the glass from his hand and applied pressure to the wound with the front of his t-shirt.
A shadowy figure rose from the yard-sale couch in the living room. “You little shit. You spilled my drink.” Isaac’s father stepped into the sparse light filtering through the blinds. “Clean it up.” Isaac shrank back from the figure. “Clean it up!” A picture from the shelf was airborne as Isaac skittered down the hall, toward his room. He could do nothing now but hope it would be over quickly. His farther stumbled after him, dislodging more pictures in his drunken pursuit.
Isaac finally reached the closed door to his bedroom, and wrenched the handle with his unscratched hand. His knuckles slammed into the door frame as his hand slipped from the door handle, which entirely failed to allow him into the room. Panicking, he tried the handle with both hands, ignoring the pain coursing through his still-bleeding palm. His efforts were to no avail, as it seemed the handle was no longer connected to the latch.
He was violently torn away from his door and pressed against the wall. The odour of mixed types of alcohol enveloped him as his father leaned over him. Isaac shrunk against the wall.
Isaac’s father grinned maliciously. “Caught you, you little bastard. You thought you could get away from me. Just like your mother. Just like your brother. Just like your sister.” By this point, Isaac was sitting on the floor, with his head between his knees and his hands wrapped around his head in a protective embrace. “Oh, yeah. You didn’t know about your sister, did you? She was just a year older than you. Your mother tried to leave with all of you, your brother included, but I couldn’t have that. You were too young to remember, but your brother remembered. Why do you think he left? He couldn’t stand the memory of being locked in the basement with them, or the guilt that only he.” Tears dripped onto the carpet beneath Isaac as the insidiously slurred syllables scraped along his ear canals.
“I can still hear your mother. Pleading. She was afraid that I was doing something horrible to you while she and your brother and sister were trapped. Do you remember now? Isaac! Isaac! Please, Isaac!”
Isaac screamed as he felt rough hands grab him by the shoulders.
“Isaac! Isaac, please!”
“Nooooooo!” he yelled, as his body convulsed with sobs. He looked up, prepared to lash out in the hopes of getting away, and was startled to see, not the manic and bespectacled glare of his father, but a dark, startled gaze.
“Isaac, listen to me. You were having a nightmare. Just a nightmare. You’re okay.” Isaac continued to sob as he buried his head in the shoulder of his savior.
Danny wrapped his arms around the broken soul in front of him, stroking the curly hair and whispering consolations into Isaac’s ear. Running out of words, he began to sing softly. “Aloha oe, aloha oe, e ke onaona noho i ka lipo. One fond embrace, a ho’i a’e au: until we meet again.” Danny hoped the Hawaiian farewell song would chase away the demons.
As the sweet melody drifted through the room, punctuated by Isaac’s quiet sobs, a voice spoke in his mind. “Happy holidays, you piece of shit.”