Jump to content

Seifert - UNTIL IT'S FACED - First Pages/Writing Sample

Recommended Posts

My son killed my wife, so I never cared about being his father. I couldn't remember the last time such a small physical act like a hug, or even a tender touch on the boy's shoulder, came naturally or willfully. This basic skillset existed in other parents. I know because I've studied them at kindergarten drop off and pick up, but my own gestures with Savion felt forced like a skill that never properly developed. Even though my son never knew his mother, Imani, they somehow shared mannerisms like the way they each bite their lower lip when nervous, or how they always let a laugh linger longer than what seemed appropriate for the situation. In those moments, I’d be reminded of the life Savion stole and refuse to look at the boy. These states of emotional distance were selfish and unfair. I knew that, but it was so much easier to play a drunk hotel manager than a sober father. Please don’t think I was neglectful. I created daily routines and healed illnesses with chicken noodle soup. Savion never complained. I wasn’t happy but had learned a jaded version of contentment. For the longest time, I thought that nothing would ever change our relationship. Then, one night while putting Savion to bed, a simple inquiry forced me to reconsider our dynamic. It wasn’t so much the question’s context, rather Savion's intonation which did a poor job of masking a hurt I knew all too well. 

"Dad, how come there are no black superheroes?"

While a sense of urgency was emphasized on the word black, the way in which Savion said dad made me frown. The five-year old’s eyes pleaded for an answer. He looked winded as though it took great strength to utter the words. I had a rare urge to hold the child, but instead my arms lay dormant on the bed's edge. After a shared awkward silence, Savion rolled over while hugging a stuffed armadillo. I tried to think of an answer but there was no point. It wasn’t about comics. Something had happened at school. That’s when I remembered the newly purchased bottle of bourbon waiting in the kitchen. 

I thought about switching the lights off without acknowledging the question. No. I had to say something. I could choose to act differently. This one time, I'd offer more than a mundane response. I started conjuring images of men in costumes adorned with iconic chest logos. As my mind imagined various characters fighting villainous foes it occurred to me that while there were probably black superheroes the ones in the consciousness of 2005’s popular culture were white. 

"What’s this all about anyway?" I asked. 

Savion said nothing. 

"I don't read comic books, or graphic novels, or whatever they're called. I haven't even seen the new Batman movie with that Batmobile that looks like a tank yet. I don't know what to tell you. I'm sure there are some. Unfortunately, they're not well known."

Savion raised the armadillo to create a wall, perhaps pretending it held a resolution. 

I tapped the bedpost for a while before standing. "This is a waste of time. I can tell you're upset. This is clearly not about superheroes."

"Black superheroes."

"Okay, black superheroes. So, are you going to tell me what's really going on?"

"Forget it."


"You wouldn't understand."

"I bet I could if you try. I’m ready to listen. Like always you shut down and-"

"I wish mommy was here."

"Well, she's not. She's dead."



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 2
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



WTF is Wrong With Stephen King?

  • Create New...