Posted on August 17, 2011



She has gone out the door again. Like a silhouette within a shadow, she goes silently into the cover of darkness. The hunt has begun…again…and I can not stop it…again.
I mourn for her and her loss. I curse my own and what it has wrought.
Every night, the memories flood back as the door quietly closes behind her. The moments remembered clog my conciousness with a septic disposition that I can never forget but wish to not relive again. But that is a pipe dream swallowed by a nightmare of my own making. I often think that Frankenstein and I have dipped our ink in the same well, but with greatly different results. He created his monster with the purpose of creating a life. I, however, created mine by destroying one.
When she was a young girl slowly turning into a woman, the wonderous age of thirteen, something dreadful happened. Something that would change both of our lives. The day started out like so many other rainy spring days. It was a Tuesday so cool, wet, and with the wonderous hint of a beautiful summer to come. School was almost out and she had a headful of lazy, summer days planned out. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
I had left for work that morning leaving her mother and herself alone to get her ready for school. Everything went normal as usual as my wife drove the joy of our lives together to the building where she spent many hours of each day learning and wondering about boys and chatting with her girlfriends. After she was dropped off, my wife began to make her way back to the house we called home. The rain had become a bit harder. According to the police report, my wife had lost control of the car around a curve and slid off the road down an embankment into one of those large concrete drainage ditches. The car, once hitting the bottom, rolled twice before coming to a stop. By the time the paramedics and police had arrived, my beloved soul mate was gone. I received the call that changed my life forever at 9:13 a.m.
Funny thing those phone calls. It is like a hidden trap waiting to explode everytime you pick up that receiver. Or a contest where the prize is hidden behind a closed door. You answer it and it can change your life forever. Once you take that call, there is no hanging up and starting over. How I often wish, for her sake, that I could do such a thing.
The funeral was a fog of tears and sympathys. I was numb, but I had to stay focused for our daughter. She had lost her mother. She didn’t need to lose her father through self-pity as well. It came and went and we moved on in grief.
Time has a way of changing things sometimes. Not always for the better. As the weeks went by into months eventually turning into a year, the realization of loneliness began to creep into my soul. I had my daughter, it was true, but no one I could share myself with in those deep ways that lovers are capable of. The isolation from that connection was beginning to take its toll on my mind.
It was shortly after the first anniversary of my wife’s death that the horror forced its way into the shattered remnants of our lives and took root growing into what it has become in the present. I was in a dark mood (as was occuring more and more of late) and I began drinking myself into a state that I would never have believed I could concieve. Alcohol is an amazing and dangerous beast. Coupled with depression and loneliness, it is quite capable of achieving the most terrifying deeds known. Something I never imagined took life and then took life.
My daughter…almost fifteen now…had returned from a friend’s house for the evening and noticed my condition. I saw her frown and then quickly move up the stairs to her bedroom to prepare for an evening’s slumber. How much she looked like her mother now. “How much she looked like her ” soon became “she was her “. That soon became “I want her “. It was the end of what was left of us and I could not see through the liquored haze to realize the implications of what I was about to do.
I slowly made my way up to her room. I did not knock. Quietly, I opened the door and gazed upon my angel. Which one though? I could not tell the difference anymore. She was changing into her bed clothes. The beast, aroused by the sight, raged below as I, within, screamed in terror of what would soon transpire. She glanced in my direction. Startled, she pulled her pajama top up to her exposed breasts to cover her nakedness. Her precious mouth began to open, but before she could speak, I staggered forward and….
I will not speak of the next few moments. I have to live those horrible memories over and over. She has to as well. You should not.
In the short time that came abruptly after, I found myself sitting at the foot of her bed sobbing uncontrollably. I glanced back at the devastation I had left in my agonistic ecstatic wake. She, too was sobbing uncontrollably as she lay there in a bed she would only find nightmares waiting from now on. She said only two words to me softly through her sobbing.
“Daddy, why? “
I lept to my feet and staggered out of her room. Almost falling down the stairs, I made my way to the front door and out into the night air. The stars were a blur to me. Partly through my tears. Partly through the alcohol. I ran over to my car in the driveway, jerked the door open and jumped in. My key, which I had pulled out of my pocket in the yard, found its way into the ignition. The car fired and the engine roared with the same fury that I felt within my heart. I peeled out of the driveway and down the road with no particular destination in mind. Life did have a destination for me however.
A few miles down the road, my anger (infused with alcohol and horror) took the wheel and I ran headlong into a telephone pole at over 70 miles per hour. The car careened off the pole, which broke, after collapsing the front end sending the engine into the cab crushing both of my legs. The car came to a halt after spiraling several yards away from the point of impact. Not only was I a mess mentally, I now was one physically. My dash to the car was the last time I would walk.
Now, years later, my daughter has grown into a woman. It wasn’t easy. She never spoke to anyone about what happened that night. She came to the hospital (with her grandmother) every day to see me until I was well enough to come home. By this time she was fifteen. She became the parent or guardian at this point. She would help take care of me in my invalid state while trying to live her life, shattered as it was, as well. I do not know why she did it, but she did. Maybe she thought I was no longer a problem anymore stuck in my chair like I am. Perhaps she had blocked the episode out of her mind. Whatever the reason, she stayed with me. Of course we had lots of help from my parents and my dead wife’s parents also. They all felt sorry for us with the loss of my wife and my terrible, tragic accident. They saw my drunken crash as a cry for help. I let them believe it. Little did they know the truth.
She stayed, but she was now so cold and lifeless and I knew no way to change that. It crushed me to see and know this. Like the night my body crushed hers, I could find no way to stop this or change it.
About the time she turned seventeen, I began to notice things. The way she dressed. Seductive and alluring. The slight squint in her eyes. The squint of a predator searching a great distance for prey. Her tone. Always calm and soothing but with a hint of sarcasm. She began going out late at night and I could not stop her. She would return in the early morning and I could hear her sobbing quietly as she made her way to the bathroom and then to bed. She would hide in her room the whole day. Sometimes days. She became even more distant as time progressed.
I soon began to hear of strange events on the evening news. Things horrible. Things that began to make me question. To make me wonder. Tales of death. Of men found in dark alleys mutilated and murdered. Of men caught with their pants down and now having nothing to hold those pants up. Of police searching for a serial killer…possibly and, later, probably a woman. The one they would soon begin calling “The Ripper “. I shuddered. Two and two became four and four in the morning mornings began to give me thought of who that infamous murderer might be. There were too many coincidences and too many past consequences to leave me any doubt.
And this is where I find myself now stuck in this chair in this house where the door has closed once again for the evening. She hunts again. How do I stop it? How do I change it? Could Frankenstein destroy his own monster if he loved him more than life itself? I would trade places with her, but I can’t. I fear for her as well as fear her now. What do I do? Tears are no answer, but tears are all I have left.
I beg of you, what would you do?

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One response to “Jacklyn”

  1. Powerfully written. Moves well. Flows.
    QuoteLike a silhouette within a shadow, she goes silently into the cover of darkness
    Quotemy agonistic ecstatic wake.
    Agonistic. I puzzled over that one, in this context. Not often I run to the dictionary.

    The issues with grief, anger, alcohol and incest are commonplace in our modern society, and well worthy of a writer’s touch.
    Now the reaction by victims of incest is a complex one. You capture something there, in terms of the short term "apparent forgiving".
    What are the long term consequences?
    It’s a well known fact that many children who have suffered some kind of mental or physical abuse, later on in life, become abusers themselves.
    Why? Reams and reams of learned books have been written about that, I’m sure.
    What is long term psychological damage? How does it manifest itself?

    Loss of trust… Loss of innocence… loss of compassion?
    That is the behavioral approach, as opposed to explanations based on immutable genetic coding. Kate (on this site) has career caring experience in this area.

    Good write.

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