General Non-Fiction posted September 27, 2022

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Sometimes childhood is best when not remembered.

Vulture Feast

by GeraldShuler

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

Sometimes memories can be a cesspool of dark emotions, a swiftly swirling vortex of unwanted feelings in the depths of the soul. Hidden from the world, those emotions tear at the soul in every way possible, trying to break through and capture the very essence of the spirit. It is a process faced by nearly every human that still has life in them.

So, dear reader, are you on the edge of your seat, anxiously awaiting gory details about my unhappy childhood? I’ll not disappoint you, my vultureous friends. Since your appetite craves to feed on my heartache I will give you your feast. Even though your own memories should offer more than enough pain, I give you, for your reading pleasure, mine as well.   Enjoy   your   feast.

My father was, by outward appearance, a very good man. He didn’t drink, do drugs or cheat on my mother. His only fault was his temper. That temper was an enigma to me, even as a child. How could he have such control in public and then vent his anger on the family he loved as soon as we were alone with him? I remember a time when he had been secretly angry for several days about a co-worker that wanted his job. For days our family had suffered in that co-worker’s place. This day was no different than most others, but it was the one that clung to my memory, haunting me with nightmares for the longest.   It happened on a day that my father was at work and I was free to be a child.

I had gone for a ride on my bicycle to a nearby fishing hole. There were no fish to catch and I knew it. I just needed to see the pole in the water. I needed to be alone. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized how long I had been alone. It was already past time for me to be home when I heard my father’s voice calling my name. Without thinking, I ducked under the small country road bridge that was beside me. I held my breath, hoping not to be seen. If only I could hear him leave then I would be able to get on my bike and beat him back to the house. I could tell him I had been there all the time. I could tell him…

“Did you think you could hide from me?” My father’s shadow fell across the shallow waters of the creek. I had forgotten that my bicycle had been left in easy vision at the foot of the bridge.  My father  was right above me, staring down at me with fury in his eyes. I had been found.
“Get up here… NOW.”

Experience had taught me that nothing would stop him from venting his anger. All I could do was face what I knew was coming and get it over. I climbed the hill to the top of the bridge. As soon as I was within reach he grabbed my wrist. I braced myself for the “over the knee” whipping I knew was about to happen.

But it didn’t happen, at least not over the knee.

Instead, he held me high in the air and, somehow, grabbed my ankle while letting go of my wrist. I found myself upside down, looking at the creek water below me. Fear gripped me and I screamed.

“Shut up.” My father yelled as he shook me. “I haven’t even started.” Instantly, I felt the palm of his hand strike. Then another and another. How was he able to hold me up that long? What would happen if he dropped me? Dizziness was setting in as I looked at the water below and caught a glimpse of a crawfish making its way under me. I remember thinking 'Poor crawfish. If I get dropped he’s a goner.' One more hand on my rump and the crayfish disappeared in my own  engulfing cloud of blackness.

That, dear reader, is all I remember. Sorry. More happened, of that I am sure. But I choose not to remember. Vultures will need to feed elsewhere because this story is one of love, not bitterness. The true test of a Christian’s walk is his ability to forgive. Following God’s example, if it isn’t forgotten then it isn’t forgiven. I choose to forget.

Dad, the forgiveness is genuine.

Parenthood: An indelible memory writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Describe a memory, a lesson taught or learned, or a moment shared that will stay with both parent and child forever.

Prose only. No minimum or maximun word count.

This memory is true but I intentionally darkened it to see how close I could get to an Edgar Allan Poe style. I do NOT feel that anyone reading this is feeding on my misery. It is only a story based on a real event and readers are only readers forming honest opinions about my story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Glena Jessee-King at

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