Denny was a lovely child but things change when you lived with the devil most of your life. Will he grow up to hate everyone and everything just like his dad or will he leave all the pain in the past.
"Shoot it!", Dad said.
My father had a way of making you feel smaller than an ant and that day he was at his worse. Influenced by several cases of beer, he hated the world once again. While my mother was living, she kept him in check most days and he beat her merciless on others. Mom couldn't save me and dad would be obeyed.
"That damn mutt shit on the porch.", he said admonishing my dog.
Taking a second to emit an ear rattling belch, Ronnie continued. "I warned you last time and now he has to pay."
Skip wasn't a mutt he was my best friend and the last thing my mom every gave me. Two years old with brown coarse fur and big webbed feet he was a bundle of joy. Ronnie had him still attached to his leash pulling and yanking him all around. Pulling the leash up high over his head Dad began hanging skip in front of me. I was twelve and scared shitless. The twenty-two pistol that he made me hold shook violently in my trembling hands.
"Are you going to do it?", he said pausing a second to take another sip of the cold brew. "Or do I keep torturing the mutt? " . He lifted Skip higher and tied the leash to the ceiling fan.
My best friend twisted, turned, and yelped seeking freedom. Mom's voice came to me then it blocked out his cruel voice and told me that everything would be ok.
"Skip is hurting, Denny.", her voice echoed inside my head. "Take aim and release him, baby."
"He will be with me and away from evil Ronnie."
"You can do it. Take a breath and squeeze the trigger." With her voice guiding me I took several deep breaths, raised the pistol and leveled the sight on Skip's head.
"I love you Skip.", I said with solemn tears racing down my cheeks.
With a steady hand I closed my eyes and squeezed the trigger. The gun emitted a pop followed by silence. No more yelping or twisting, Skip was dead. Face covered with Skip's blood, a jagged smile formed. He was wearing the face of a proud father. Skip was with mom but I was still living with the devil. Dropping the pistol I ran to my room screaming. Dad got crazier as I got older and losing Skip was just one of the many breaking points for me. It was there that I decided something needed to change but I was just a kid. What could I do?