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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

Daddy's Stories

By Thomas Elson

For as long as I can remember my daddy told me -- his little princess -- stories of kings and queens, witches and goblins, warriors and slaves. He continued to tell stories when I was older, and we sat in crowded, open yards. And when I asked him, he told me a story of why he and mommy divorced:

My daddy had tracked a lady for days. From home to work, work to store, store to home. He huddled in his truck. Took photographs of her movements. Drew diagrams. Constructed renderings. Printed out notecards. Determined she lived alone.

Early on a Friday evening, he entered her house and waited.

"Do what I say, and it will be painless." She complied out of fear while begging for relief. But Daddy told me there was no relief until, no longer able to breathe, she was his.

Then, he hauled her body to a church basement, photographed her in various positions; secreted her from the basement, and deposited her under a bridge -- gently positioning her on her back.

The next evening after supper he returned under the bridge with one of my princess Halloween masks, placed it over her face, and photographed her.

I was allowed to visit him nine times after he told me that story. He told different stories as we sat in the open yard across from each other on unmovable metal stools attached to tables imbedded in cement and surrounded by men in uniforms carrying rifles.

Then I stopped visiting him.

My daddy had run out of stories.

Article © Thomas Elson. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-11-01
Image(s) are public domain.
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