The Day the Devil Stole a Soul

📅 Published on July 22, 2022

“The Day the Devil Stole a Soul”

Written by Eli Pope
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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“Dump the fuckin’ tiles out on the table, boy.” Billy John Cader said gruffly to his son of only fourteen years old who sat shaking in the chair with fear.

Billy Jay had just celebrated, if that’s what it could be called, his birthday only two weeks earlier. He lost his mother and the only ally in his hell-filled world mere hours ago. Her illness came on fast and strong. Two weeks ago, she’d looked tired and hacked and coughed a little more, but she’d been feeling well enough to help him blow his candles out on the package of his favorite Vanilla Hostess Zingers she’d put out on the table for him after school. His daddy still working in the shop. Now, she was nothing more than a memory, and just when he’d needed her most. She never was the pretty picture of the perfect mother, not that Billy Jay would have known any difference, but she was the only buffer between a heartless, wicked man—and him. Billy Jay was the only good thing his mother ever accomplished, and she told him that a couple of times lately. And now—she was gone.

A scared and empty little boy now sat nervously at the kitchen table. The place where he was already far too familiar with the Mason jar and the harsh punishments it delivered. His world growing up was always full of dread and anxiety for as far back as he could recollect. He didn’t understand why that damned jar was on the table, but he knew better than to question his daddy about it. But then sometimes—a child just don’t know no better than to tempt his own fate. And there it was—starin’ him down like a rabid dog. Visually snarling at him and beckoning to question why.

“Why… what… I mean… why…?” he stuttered and tried to ask his father. His words would come out broken and made him stumble even more. “I don’t know why… I… I aint…” The harsh man who was sat across from him, still wearing his usual dirty gray trousers and grease-covered wife-beater t-shirt he always wore began to answer back in his usual loud and angered tone.

“Don’t you do it, you little fucker. Don’t dare to question me, boy.”

“But… but…Mom… Mommas gone. I ain’t done… noth… nothing to deserve no… no… judgment to… today. I… I been good.”

His father’s eyes boiled with bloodshot-red sternness. It easily cut deep and quick to the bone. Young Billy Jay couldn’t imagine those eyes being from anything other than the devil himself.

He’d just spent hours crying in his bedroom since getting the devastating news of his mommas passing. His only refuge underneath his bed, curled up tight and wrapped in whimpers until his daddy yelled for him to get his ass to the kitchen. His father was no crier. Billy’d never seen a situation where that son of a bitch ever shed a tear. Momma did though. All the time. Seemed she was always smokin’ cigarettes and crying quietly to herself. Muttering under her breath while always painstakingly trying to satisfy every demand his daddy had. It made no matter what it was or how big or small.

“Billy Jay,” she’d whisper, “Keeping your daddy happy is like transporting nitroglycerin across a mile of washed-out road.” She’d stop about every sentence and cough a couple times before continuing. “Honey, it’s almost impossible to do without ending in a loud explosion followed by chaos and pain.”. She’d always touched the hair that hung down over his eyes, the only sign of a mother’s love he ever felt. “… You’d be best to keep to yourself, son. Don’t throw gasoline on his fire. Be sure to be there before he finishes calling you, otherwise, he’ll rain down hell’s fury right on top a you.”

Billy Jay knew those words rang no truer. He had the scars to show it. Physical and mental.

Just before his daddy yelled to get in the kitchen, he was thinking about how his momma finally escaped the bastards’ hold over her. But then, he was all alone with him now. The thought petrified him. No way could he stay and survive without his momma. I’d rather get sick and die like she did. At least she finally got grace. This was the thought racing through his mind as he sat awaiting whatever was gonna happen—to happen.

“Don’t you question me, you little fucktard. Dump the fuckin’ tiles out on the table like I done said, you little waste of a good time.”

Billy Jay didn’t understand. It didn’t make sense. It was an all-new way of playin’ the judgment game. He hated his daddy’s jar his entire life; all fourteen years of it, but it was always played the same way. The Mason jar always put fear in him, the mere sight of it made his stomach bind up tight into twisting knots that sent a harsh burn up his chest to his throat. Somehow, Billy Jay suspected tonight would be much different. Even worse with Momma gone. He heard it in his daddy’s voice. He could damn near smell it in the air, hovering above like soured milk. Makin’ it hard to breathe without retching. He wondered if he might just be joining his momma sooner than he’d imagined. Did daddy have it inside him to kill me? He wondered. The tension pierced deep inside, and its sting lingered around him. His daddy’s eyes screamed a loathing, loud and clear thunder through the hollow silence they held. He knew his daddy hated him. He made him feel worthless every day of his life.

Billy Jay slowly reached for the jar. It was almost too big for his grip. He’d never been allowed to touch it so the slickness of the glass made him extra nervous, afraid he might drop it. He carefully tipped it to its side and watched his different possible fates spill out onto the dirty tabletop. Some landed upside-down where the black lettered punishments remained hidden. Others sat boldly displaying their harshness in coal black ink, easily seen with dread.

DUNK, SLAP, and then one caught his attention. The tile that always seemed to allude him. GRACE.

Afraid to lift his face and meet his daddy’s calloused, hardened stare; not knowing what to expect from this break in the way the game was normally played. His heart pumped inside his chest hard. He was certain the sound could be heard as loud as a freight train blasting its horn, announcing its arrival into town. He also knew his daddy enjoyed watching the panic in his eyes.




“Pick up the GRACE tile and hand it over to me, boy. We won’t be needing it tonight.”

Those words alone spoke in volume that he just lost his only saving chance. Even at his young age, he realized life changed in this specific moment. Not only was his momma lost, but any shot at grace disappeared along with her.

“In fact, boy…” he continued as his son nervously placed the GRACE tile within his black, grease-stained palm, calloused and tattooed with open sores from the vehicles he worked each day. “…grace is now banned forever from this house. Dead and gone, just like your lyin’ momma.”

Billy John began to scoot his chair back from the table, its legs dragged heavy and bellowed out screams against the wooden floor, matching the sharpness of Billy Jay’s internal cries of anguish from the pain he knew would soon be announced to him. He dared to break the rule once more. The rule his momma warned him of, but he opened his mouth.

“Why, Daddy? What… what did I do wrong? Is it—cause I cry for my momma who just died?” he begged. “That’s all I can think of that I did. I already miss her bad.”

“Miss her? You killed her slow, boy—from the day you ripped her lady parts up entering this world ass backwards. And you been choking the life outta her ever since.” He guffawed a wicked chortle which burned as it rang loudly in his ears. “…you were never wanted, boy and you been nuthin’ but a goddamned nuisance ever since.”

“Momma told me she loved me and that she hated you. I didn’t kill her. You said it was lung cancer… from the cigarettes.” His tear-filled eyes began to sting but he insisted to remain defiant and hold strong with his resolve. “If anybody killed her, it was you. She was always scared of you, you—you— fucker. Maybe that’s what killed her? The monster inside you, the one that makes you drink and yell—and hit.”

Billy John finished scooting out of his chair by flinging it backwards through the air until it slammed loudly into the oven. “Get over here you little bastard…” He opened his hand that held the GRACE tile; it stared back at him as boldly as his rebelling son did. That angered him even more, causing him to toss it into the trash piled up on the floor. “You’re gonna pay for those sharp words you think your man enough to fuckin’ use. There won’t ever be grace in this house again. Never! You hear me clear ‘bout that, boy? You’re gonna fuckin’ regret believin’ you’re man enough to talk shit to me. I’m the fuckin’ judge here. I’m the goddamn hangman when need be—and that need be comin’ on stronger than a hurricane, boy.”

The veins in his temples bulged and his normally pasty white skin became beet red with vile anger.

Billy Jay quickly realized he’d goaded his daddy beyond a point he’d ever crossed. It scared him knowing the pain and chaos that was gonna follow from the nitroglycerine exploding. But he knew he’d been judged for the very last time by the son of a bitch he called Daddy. “There never was any goddamned grace in this house, you fuck. I wish it was you that was dead—not my momma. You never deserved her, and I know she’s glad as hell she’s gone and away from you.”

A closed fist flew from nowhere and contacted Billy Jay’s left side of his face with an instant thunderous explosion of hurt. It sent him staggering backwards as he stumbled from the chair to the floor. His head smacked hard against the wall and then onto the hardwood flooring as his blurred vision went instantly dark and dead quiet.




His ears throbbed and rang. Billy Jay’s eyelids barely parted allowing him to see the bourbon bottle gripped in his daddy’s hand. He wasn’t sure exactly where he was or what had happened. His temples pounded; the left side of his face felt numb, yet the skin burned like fire. His vision lacked clarity when he attempted to coyly survey the surroundings. His eyelids mere slits and he kept his head perfectly still. He shivered. His skin was cold, wet, and felt shriveled. After squinting a little more to bring his awareness closer into focus, he realized it was the bathroom—he was in the tub, his father sitting on the stool across from him. Terror surrounded him instantly like the frigid water he was lying in. The tile that spelled out DUNK came instantly into his consciousness. Had that tile spilled out onto the table tonight? Remembering the last time it happened, his panicked flailing arms fighting to breathe in air but only water rushing into his lungs. He’d been dunked so many times in his past it brought the worst fears and memories ever imagined. It was far worse than any of the other punishments that were etched onto the small square wooden tiles Daddy’s jar held.

How’d I end up here, he questioned himself. He quietly attempted some recollection. Bits and pieces seemed to be just out of his reach, yet he was ever so careful to keep the fact he was now awake concealed. He knew one thing for sure and he repeated it to himself internally over and over. Run away. As soon as the bastard drank enough whiskey to close his eyes, he would quietly leave. Run away. Tonight. He held no clue where he would go, but he would put one foot in front of the other without question and run, never looking back. He knew he’d awoken the devil today and there would be no bedding him back down ever again. He’d have to either kill it—or sneak off in the dark. At fourteen, he held no knowledge on how to kill someone nor the knowledge if he could really follow through should he conjure up a way to do it. His daddy was strong. His daddy drank the devil’s blood every night and day. No doubt they were one in the same with powers unbeatable. For now, he just needed to fight the shivers and remain still as a statue like he were dead. He mustn’t let daddy know he was awake. Wait him out, let him keep drinking from that damned bottle. Please keep drinking. He begged inside his heart and soul.

In an instant he wished he hadn’t let the thought about his momma being gone in his head again. It was that one sniffle he let slip that gave him up. It garbled up to the surface of the cold bathwater and drew the devil’s attention away from the whiskey and back to his evil agenda. In his peripheral vision, his eye that wasn’t swollen closed, saw the arm swoop down fast on him, black greasy fingers opening wider as they grabbed at his hairline and jerked him under.




Billy Jay’s arms and legs flailed wildly as water doused the walls and floor from his kicking and thrashing. His daddy’s grip held firm, squeezing his head down tight against the iron tub’s porcelain bottom. He desperately needed to draw a deep breath, but he knew what would happen. Instead, cold water would fill his throat and chest cavity, not the oxygen his lungs screamed for. He continued to hold his breath and fight until he was about to surrender and suck in as hard as he could. Hoping for the air his body craved would be there but knowing it wouldn’t.

Daddy’s hand gripped his hair and held him down then suddenly reversed the action. Billy Jay was jerked to the surface just in time to inhale one quick coughing breath mixed with heavy droplets of choking water. The young boy’s mind prepared for another plunge. He’d been here before. The procedure drilled into memory. His punishment wasn’t over yet. Two things now fought for his brain’s attention and control. Survival first—and then revenge. He wanted to kill the fucker responsible for his horrendous torture. He knew it for sure.

He barely got half a breath before his head was shoved back under; eyes still open wide now blurred from the rush of cold stinging water that flooded them. The large murky silhouette hovered above him and created a fuzzy canvas of motion just above the water’s surface as his head lashed back and forth splashing waves of turmoil. He frantically searched for another lifesaving gulp of air, but the monster continued his wrath of towering over him. It held him under with the strength of what was certainly a creature from the deepest bowels of hell.

After the third of fourth repeated action, the hand gripping his hair threw his head back into the water but this time there was no pressure to hold him under. Left for dead, it was over for now. The figure got up from his knees and loudly muttered, “That’s what you get for killin’ my housekeeper, cook, and piece of ass, boy. Now you gotta fend for yourself like a real man…” And he left the room likely in search for his goddamned whiskey bottle he loved so much—the only damn thing he ever loved.

Billy Jay lay motionless, almost lifeless, shivering and spent. He desperately gasped deep breaths and sputtered water from his mouth. Seems Momma would have to wait to meet up with him again though. He’d somehow survived his daddy’s fury once more. Too afraid to climb out of the tub and dry off, he instead waited to make sure the devil was passed out. It was cold and he softly cried ice-cool tears. They rained continually down his cheeks. Light muddled sobs echoed around the frigid iron and porcelain sides of the tub, hovering just above the water’s surface reverberating atop the now placid calm. The aftermath of the assault. Now came the  planning stage of running.




Billy Jay held no clue how long he’d been lying in the tub. He did finally risk pulling the plug, hoping it would drain its contents without sound. He grabbed a wet towel from the floor and pulled it over his still water-soaked clothes, wrapped himself tightly into a cocoon and nestled in. Billy Jay searched for any warmth he could find, his ears perked and tuned in for constant guard of any sounds that may stir outside the closed door. He was trapped like a frightened wounded rabbit in a cage. Freedom was just outside the closed door and around the corner, but where was the fox and could he avoid him on the way out? He knew he needed to grab things before sneaking away. He wasn’t ever coming back again. He knew that much for sure. And his daddy was right, he would be fending for himself from now on.

Billy’s mind drifted to a time his momma had taken him to a matinee movie several years back. It was the only special day he could remember having. Not certain why it came to him now, but the memory somehow reassured him. My Side of the Mountain was the title. It was about a young boy who took off on his own and lived up in the mountains all by himself. He survived. Billy Jay smiled but it was mixed with worried apprehension. I could survive too, couldn’t I, he wondered? He knew there was no chance of living if he stayed. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t last another thrashing. Never another flogging.

It felt like hours before Billy mustered up enough bravery to crawl out from the tub and attempt to peek outside. He twisted the knob ever-so-carefully. The frightened and shivering boy feared each click of the door handle mechanism was thunderous enough to wake the beast. Maybe he was still so medicated by the brown liquid from attempting to erase the guilt from his torturous actions. Billy Jay guffawed knowing his daddy held no form of any guilt at all.

He cautiously pushed the door open then tiptoed carefully down the hallway avoiding all the squeaky spots past the messy living room. He spied an empty bottle tipped on its side across the coffee table, lying beside his momma’s ashtray, still sitting piled up high with cigarette butts. Another near empty bottle was barely clutched in his daddy’s hand. It hovered just above the messy floor below the couch he was passed out on. Light snores filled the room with no visible movement from the body sprawled out across the filthy stained cushions.

Cautiously, he continued to walk down the hallway still stepping over and around the boards that may give his movements up. He made it to his room and after entering, he quickly and silently opened and shut drawers, pulling out the things he thought he would need to make it on his own. In his young foggy mind, he was grasping at straws. He held no clue of what the future would bring him or just what he would need to take to face such an obstacle. Money would be needed for sure, and he did know where the cookie jar that held his daddy’s precious stash was. He would retrieve its contents on the way out. He’d also take every fuckin’ bit of it too. He owed that son of a bitch nothing.

Billy Jay stuffed clothes into his backpack, grabbed his pocketknife his momma had recently given him, causing another tear from thinking about her. He shoved the thought away as he glanced one more time around looking for anything he was forgetting. There was nothing left but bad memories in this room now. It would be easy to leave and never look back.

Knowing the path all too well, he silently tiptoed back down the hallway avoiding the noisy floorboards by carefully weaving back and forth between the walls. He knew each one well, he’d done it a million times before. Upon reaching the kitchen entryway, he quickly spied the cookie jar on the top shelf. After setting his backpack down he lifted a chair and carried it over to the counter then tacitly placed it beside the cupboard. A couple of carefully steps up both hands methodically clasped the heavy jar tightly within grip before kneeling and placing it quietly down on the counter. He took a huge breath after accomplishing the task without mishap and then pulled the lid from the jar and looked in. There it was the roll of bills he’d seen his daddy stuff inside every time a customer paid him for a car repair. It was thick and had a twenty-dollar bill on the top that wrapped around all the others and was rubber banded into a bundle. It was a fortune for sure. There was something else resting in a clump next to the roll. It was soft and as he attempted to lift it up, he found it heavy as it jingle- jangled. He realized it was a sock when he continued to lift it out. The fabric stretched from the weight of what was hidden inside. After retrieving it and placing it beside the jar on the countertop the fabric ballooned out with more clinks and clatter. He immediately knew what was inside before pulling the opening wide enough to see its contents. It was change, dimes and nickels mixed. By its weight, it must be several more dollars inside, he thought.

He knew he should just take the cash, abandon the lid and jar on the counter and leave. But that’s not what he did. He knew his momma hated her kitchen being a mess, even though Daddy never put anything back and trashed every corner of the house. Out of habit of trying to please her, he set the money roll down and maneuvered the lid over the jar nestling it almost back into position. That’s when he lost his grip. The lid clanked on the jar top and then slid down with a series of rattles ending in a clunk. Fear instantly gripped Billy Jay as he grabbed the lid to silence it. Frozen in place he turned to see the cash roll and sock full of change sitting in plain sight. If Daddy came into the room to see what caused the racket, he would instantly foresee his plan with his backpack, the money, and fresh clothes he was wearing. Billy Jay knelt frozen in place, petrified as the explosion from the nitroglycerin being rattled and jarred.




The bottle of whiskey must have done its job. Seconds morphed into a minute, and Daddy never stumbled into the kitchen. Luck was on his side, the mistake he’d made failed to awaken the beast. Billy jay grabbed the money roll and quickly stuffed it into his pack and then shouldered it, ready to start his run. That’s when something caught the corner of his eye, the one that wasn’t swollen almost shut. It stood firm and staunch like a tall silo in an empty field. The goddamned Mason jar. It beckoned to him to come wield it in his hands again. To feel the power its contents held. The authority of doling out its punishments.

He sidestepped the chair, grabbed up the sock and walked over to the table; eyes fixed as if in a trance. Setting the sock down, he picked up the jar unable to fight the desire to do so. He absorbed the various tiles and the words emblazoned in bold black etchings that lay haphazardly across the table. He quietly spoke each one as he picked it up between his fingers and felt their sharp edges before silently sliding them back into the jar. “DARK, SLAP, HIT, DUNK….”

There was of course, no longer a tile scribed with GRACE on its face. Daddy had removed it and then tossed it into the scattered trash spread across the floor. He scanned the room, searching quickly but intently for it. An internal thought instantly overtook his thinking and he quietly uttered, “There never was any fuckin’ grace in this house, why start now? He doesn’t deserve it. More than anybody else, he’s owed the worst of judgments.” Vengeance overwhelmed his previous desire to just run. Instead, he felt compelled to doling out the consequences himself of “the judgment game” and its wrath.

He’d been the only recipient his entire life of that damned Mason jar. His momma came very close several times with threats of its outcome. No doubt about it, she too got beat all the time, but the game—it was reserved for him alone.

“Well now—It’s Daddy’s turn,” he whispered and slowly, methodically began to swirl the jar around in circles. The tiles spilled over each other as his hand began to shake them, mocking his daddy’s hands he’d watched so many times himself; swallowed up in fear of which wooden tile would spill out onto the table. Which form of hideous cruelty would be used on him.

He paid no attention to how loud the sound of his actions made. He didn’t care, he was under the spell of the jar. He longed to hear the sound of the angered rattlesnakes quivering their tails in warning of impending doom. The sound that in the past instilled terror inside. Just like Daddy, in an unspoken instant, he halted the jar and tilted it slowly to the tabletop. So careful of an angle steep enough to call the tiles to slide towards the rim, but slow enough to control only one to breach the edge. Just like his daddy did. Carefully jiggling it until that only one and only wooden piece gently spilled onto the surface. A slow timely sting like the venom being pumped into one’s bloodstream. A small square of fate fell silently onto the table but landed upside down leaving his daddy’s retribution still unseen.

Billy Jay’s heart boldly pounded within his chest like big bass drums from the school band hammering an explosive cadence of anticipation. His normal feelings of fear now transformed and converted into power and wrath. It felt awkward and unfamiliar, but it felt so damned fulfilling. He set the jar down beside the faceless tile and reached his hand out. Billy Jay lifted it in between his trembling fingers, hesitating for only a moment before slowly turning it over.




An eerie stillness swallowed Billy Jay’s thoughts as well as the room’s emptiness when his eyes read the word etched into the tiles wooden face. He’d never imagined the excitement coursing throughout his veins would be this kind of exhilaration. He’d always been on the receiving end where only terror was felt. He was never the one in charge who doled out the consequence of the jar. That difference between recieving and giving such a verdict battled a tug-of-war inside his mind. He’d always felt guiltless and any punishment from the jar was unfair. He’d committed no wrongdoing. His daddy on the other hand would be overwhelmingly justified with any reprimand doled out from the jar. Daddy’s entire life was an unending crime against him and his momma. His daddy could possibly drink his guilt away from his own goddamned conscience, but he couldn’t drown it from his or his momma’s.

He slowly laid the small wooden scribed punishment face up onto the table beside the jar. His eyes moved upward as if he were able to stare into his daddy’s eyes across the table as he’d felt him do to him so many times before. In his make-believe moment of wielding total power and control, he smiled an evil and mocking smile then quietly but firmly spoke the single syllable word.


He knew he didn’t have the strength in his young body to beat his daddy bad enough to counter his ability to strike back in reprise. A feeling of letdown hovered inside his head, but he found himself unable to just leave the tile lying on the table and walk away with its judgment unanswered.

He scanned the kitchen looking for a way where he could overcome and carry out its justice. His frown turned upward into an evil grin when the answer came to him in the form of the coin-filled sock boldly starring back at him. Yeah, the sock that held part of his daddy’s precious fucking savings. What could be more fitting, he questioned? Billy Jay reached over and picked it up. It was weighty in his hands. It could certainly do some major damage in the right place. Without much more of a thought he tightly grasped it and ominously walked through the kitchen’s entryway into the living room. The change stretching the sock towards the floor from the weight of the coins pulling downward.

His daddy still lay passed out on the couch, his bottle nearly ready to drop from his hand to the floor. His wretched eyes still closed tightly in slumber. Light snores rythmmically escaping his callous lips.

He hated the man he now stood over. His eyes coldly stared at the evil in his father’s face. The weathered lines across his forehead, the graying stubble that shadowed his cheeks masking any form of humanity there. He was disgusted with everything about him. The way he drank. The way he treated him and his momma, even the smallest of things like the filthy clothes he wore and the careless way he trashed the home they lived in. He loathed him.

Billy Jay wrapped the stretched sock twice around his right hand drawing it closer to his wrist and began to slowly swing it back and forth in his tightened grip like the pendulum of the grandfather’s clock sitting in the corner of the room. Click… clock… tick… tock… feeling the heaviness of it as gravity helped increase the weight of the coins pulling his muscles to tighten. He imagined the weight of the coins smacking down onto the face of the devil lying unsuspecting before him.

He instantly and effortlessly swung his hand upward as it traveled high above his head almost brushing the ceiling. Hovering no more than a millisecond while it towered above his daddy’s head. Then without hesitation, the weighted pendulum swung quickly downward, hard and fast as if the hangman’s lever had been pulled.

The socks landing ended with a dull thud as crimson red liquid exploded from his victim’s face in a shower of brightly beaded droplets painting the couch and walls. The explosion was followed with an immediate sharp groan as the whiskey bottle sanctimoniously fell from his grip to the floor with a quiet thump that echoed above the moaning wails of his agony. His bloodied eyes appeared to cry as they attempted to focus while his hands quickly crept towards his face to nurse the pain-filled swelling and jellied flesh.

Billy Jay could barely see his daddy’s shocked reaction through his own swollen eye he had suffered earlier by the now curled up body on the sofa. A wicked smile grew across Billy Jay’s face, and it was indeed the satisfying smile he had hoped it would be. One of accomplishment.

He’d finally given the punishment his daddy deserved for the years of abuse he’d doled out to them, his momma and him. The mean and vulgar filth he’d spewed through the years. The repeated rapes and beatings his momma had endured, his own suffering from his unrelenting and inhumane tortures. The lack of any attempt at love being shown to either one of them. The drunken rages from out of nowhere.

He never imagined just how good such a horrible thing like this act could feel. It was guiltless pleasure. It was emotional payback. It was an epiphany, and he felt its instant addiction react inside, telling him he would need another fix.

“How do you like that you fuckin’ bastard!” he spoke in a monotone yet deathly calm voice as he coldly stared at his daddy’s agony. The fucker’s cowardice attempt to cover his face as he watched his young son swing his arm upward for another revenge-filled strike he would be unable to halt.

A moment later Billy Jay again pulled his arm down hard with all the force he could muster, connecting another bone crunching blow to his daddy’s face and hands. A loud yelp of brutal excruciation instantly bellowed out overshadowing the sound of the coins within the sock jingle jangling in chaotic chimes.

“That one was for Momma, you worthless fuck.”

Young Billy took his time to remove his backpack as he watched his daddy roll up in a ball of agony and cry out in tears. “Please… stop…” Tears like he’d never witnessed before from the man who so easily gifted those same tears of pain to family.

He calmly stowed the bloody change-filled sock into the pack, placing it next to the money roll and then threw it across his back. He walked a bit taller with pride through the front door. He’d didn’t feel any urge to look back again, knowing there was nothing left there for him to miss.

He did feel as if he were leaving one thing behind, though. It only took a flash to realize what it was. It was his last bit of innocence. The devil had just stolen his soul today, but it had felt good. It felt really good. He had a purpose now with his new start in life. He could now cuss like his daddy—like a grown-up. And of course—he could now judge and execute punishments—just like his Daddy used to. He didn’t need no fuckin’ Mason jar to do it.

One foot after the other almost skipped through the yard as the sun dipped just below the horizon of the new chapter he was entering. The world was now his for the taking. He felt alive for the first time ever. And it felt good.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Eli Pope
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Eli Pope

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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