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Family Matters

back of a hooded figure in a dark alley

Please note: this story was provided by the author and published as is.

God I hate my mom so much. She always breathing down my neck like she’s some god damn life coach. Wear this, do this, say this, smile like this. I mean for fucks sake give me some room to breath?! But I listen to her anyway. Not to please her though. God no. Hah, if I could light the match that sets fire to her perfect little dollie world I would bring the fucking lighter fluid. No, I do what she asks because it’s easier than turning everything into another fight.

Everyone in mom’s little social group all act the same and it’s just expected of me to “follow their example”. In this case I would rather endure their egotistical bullshit than have little miss self righteous bite my ear off over some crap about my attitude. I mean, c’mon. I think if I planned to see my girlfriends this weekend, three weeks ago, I’ve got every right to be fucking pissed when mom tells me last minute I have to stay home to help prepare for another one of their spontaneuos social gatherings.

It’s not like they don’t meet enough as is. And what makes their plans so much more important than mine? Mom tries feeding me the same bullshit saying “they’re more than just friends, they’re family” but it’s bullshit. They’re not an actual family and you’re a damn well loser if you consider them friends. If she wants to be an old hag with no life then she can join whatever stupid clubs she wants but that gives her no right to drag me into it.

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I’m sixteen now, I am more than capable of making my own damn decisions. Maybe when I was like twelve it was “cool” to be with the grown-ups but now it’s just fucking pathetic and boring as hell. And whatever, I should “feel blessed” to have such a “kind and giving family”. Bullshit. They’re just as selfish as my best friend Emily with her chubby-ass mascara. They would probably murder or steal from each other if it wasn’t against “The Rules”. I’m pretty sure the only reason they still have their stupid get-togethers is for a fucking head count.

Oh but mom gets a kick following orders like the good little girl she is. She’s such a joke. When she’s shouting at me she pretends to be so big and tough but all her social group has to do is snap their fingers and she’s on her knees sucking someone’s dick. Can you imagine that? Yeah, some fucking role model.

Damn it. DAMN IT. I should be at The Jumps down by the river getting blasted with my friends not getting blood all over my hands preparing appetizers. God it smells awful… I wish mom never told me where she gets it.

I bet that bitch Meg or whatever her name is from Craps Hill is at The Jumps right now. And I bet with me gone she’s going to be stealing all the hot guys. Like that boy Mark. Honestly I don’t know what he sees in her.

Emily says I should try being friends with her- that “we have a lot in common.” Ha! No. Just cus we both hate our moms and both our schools hang out at the same spot doesn’t make us friends. And as if I would forget that time she took my beer without asking. Like, learn to share much? Seriously, like I wish she would just jump off a cliff and kill herself.

“Fuck!”

I broke a nail…

Uhg. None of them UNDERSTAND! Everyone in this stupid social group are all just a bunch of wealthy old creeps in their late 40’s who won’t grow out of their mid life crisis… Of course, there was that cute college boy. I’m pretty sure he goes to college. It’s against The Rules to talk about your personal life at the social group meetings. But I’ve seen the collar of his shirt nearly a dozen times and I’ve been to enough Mount Adeth tailgates to know a Mountaineers jersey when I see one. When I asked him about it though, he got all embarrassed. It was kind of cute.

I could tell he’s a lot like me and didn’t really care for any of the religious crap. He just never really seemed like he “fit in”; he always looked like he wanted to leave. Someone probably forced him to come. Maybe his parents?

He was totally into me but he was also afraid to make the first move. So one day when the rest were busy with one of their sermons, I pulled him into the kitchen where we could be alone. He was kinda slow to start the conversation so I went first. I told him a lot about me. My friends, how much of a loser my mom was, and even… my name! I lied and said I went to the same college as him. I didn’t want him knowing I was still in highschool. What kind of loser would I look like then? I think he was really nervous because he didn’t really say much.

But this boy was shy. And I mean SHY shy. When I went to kiss him, I tried to take off his mask but he freaked out. In his sorta hot but nervous voice he said it was “against The Rules”. I tried to take off my mask to show him it was okay but before I could he ran away. I wonder if he’ll be here tonight? I haven’t seen him for a few meetings now.

There’s someone at the door. Knock… Knock-Knock-Knock… Knock. OMG that’s the code! It is him!? Shit, I’ve still got blood all over me. Fuck. I’ll just hide in the kitchen.

Mom’s going for the door… God those red robes look awful on her. I wonder if I look like that? She’s opening the door!

Uhk. No. It’s the mayor. A disguise is kind of pointless when you’re as fat as him and spew that obnoxiously loud voice on TV all the time.

Great, now mom and the mayor are discussing the “awesome magnificence!” of “our Lord and Shepherd!” I feel like cringing. I just wish I was with my friends. Or at least I wish one of my girlfriends could be here with me. That way I wouldn’t have to endure this crap alone.

Too bad it’s against “The Rules” to allow anyone into the social group who hasn’t been “Baptized in The Black”. I still shiver a little whenever I think of my baptism. But it’s not like we could just baptize anyone. Mom says only “The Marked” can be baptized and survive. When I turned thirteen and found out The Blind Shepherd had marked me, Mom was so happy. She was ugly crying and everything. I don’t think she’s ever hugged me as hard as she did that day.

Great… more of them are starting to show up now. It’s hard to see around the kitchen door but there’s no sign of the cute boy. Or maybe? Uhg gross no- that’s that’s the Sheriff from Copps Hill… Damn it! Between school dress codes and these stupid social gatherings everyone has to dress the exact same! At least in school I can spot Emily’s dorky hair ties across the hall. No red hoods and white masks covering everything.

Oh shit mom’s coming! I haven’t even put on my robes yet! Fuck-fuck-fuck! Uhk… There! Oh! The mask!

Here she is… Little miss perfect…

“Yes… Understood… Of course… Right away sister…

Whatever BS I need to say to get her to leave. Better not call her mom now that she’s in costume. That would really drive her nuts.

UHG. Finally the bitch leaves! Auck! What’s that smell?

SHIT! The appetizers!

Ah damn it! Mom’s actually going to kill me for this! Well maybe if I just drown it in some seasoning… The food tastes like shit anyways so no one should really notice.

“Huh? Yes, it’s done… Okay… Yeah, I’m coming!… I said OKAY MOM-”

Uh oh. If I could see her face right now I’m sure it would be hot red. She’s so going to kill me when this is done…

Alright… This has to be the part I hate the most. Going around person to person offering appetizers on a tray like some butler.

“Flesh for the flesh, may we be made whole.”

blah blah blah”It’s so stupid. I look stupid. God I hope the cute boy died so he doesn’t see me acting like such a loser. Where is he?

Shit. I hope that coughing is coming from that girl with lung cancer and not whoever I just handed that appetizer to…

Nope. It was the person I handed the appetizer to… fuck.

Maybe I should just…

There. Appetizers sll gone. Uhg, the sermon is starting. Always the same broken record “Bless the Blind Shepherd who guides the way-” and so on. C’mon just skip to the end already! God, I would kill somebody just to be drunk by the river right now.

God, I bet Heather is talking shit about me now that I’m not there. Fuck her. We used to be best friends but that was before I found out she was copying my makeup a month back. And then she had to go and spread a rumor that I was cheating with Emily’s boyfriend! All because I went around telling boys she had an STD. Take a fucking joke Heather. And I wasn’t cheating! We just kissed a little behind the bleachers. That’s it.

Huh?! What’s going on? I kinda zoned out… A tribute? Today? We haven’t had tribute in over three months. Who could it be? OMG could you imagine if it was Heather?

I can’t tell but it… it looks like a guy? Damn. Well at least this will be a good stress cleanse for me. I wonder who it is though? They always keep a hood and robes on the tribute until it’s time. I can tell some of the losers here are anxious to get their cut. They’ve already swarmed mom’s dinner table- or the “altar” I guess they would call it. Let me see if-

“Hey um- excuse me… C’mon make a line!”

I’ve got to make my way near the front so I get some of the action first… I’ve learned that those in the back of the line usually get the scraps. By the time it’s their turn the tribute is either dead or nearly there ‘cus some loser got too carried away. Ok, third in line. This is good! Oh I think I’m getting a little excited!

“Hey!? Save some for the rest of us?

That was a pretty rough cut. Don’t SHRUG at me! Man, what a fucking loser. Yeah give me the knife already. Geeze.

The knife is short. That way no one’s at risk of accidentally killing the tribute too quickly. I mean, I could just go straight for the eye. I’m sure that would do it quickly. But it would probably look bad if I finished him off that quick. See, that’s the tough part. Finding that perfect spot. Somewhere where it will hurt but not outright kill them.

Now let’s see who we’re working with…

Oh shit.

That’s a sports jersey for Mound Adeth!

Maybe it’s not him? It could just be some other college loser? I’ve never seen his face before so who knows! Oh man. This fucking SUCKS! Is that why he wasn’t at the last few meetings?! Did he try running away?! Looks like the first two guys cut him pretty good. He would still survive if he got out now.

His eyes look so sad. Does he know it’s me? I’ve got my mask on right? Yes, whew, okay… Oh my god. Am I betraying him? Oh man.

Think. Think. Shit, I don’t have a lot of time. There’s a literal LINE OF PEOPLE waiting on me. Everyone’s watching me. What do I do, what do I do…

I know what mom would want me to do. I know what everyone here would want me to do! But they don’t make my decisions for me! I’m a fucking adult!

I decide!

I decide…

I have to do what’s right…

God that crying is so unattractive. I should leave the knife in there for a few seconds. Take it out slow so the others don’t think I chickened out. Maybe I’ll twist a little too? I’m not about to become the next tribute over a half-assed job. There we go.

That should be good. The others look eager to take their turn.

Too bad about college boy. I guess he wasn’t cut out for it all. But who knows. Maybe a few new guys will join? The Family’s always getting bigger.