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My Brilliant Son

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My Brilliant Son

by Daniel Hoar

It’s a Saturday afternoon in July. I’m enjoying my day off. My wife Vera is visiting her mother and our son, Gerard, is outside playing with the kids next door. I’ve already finished all my work for the day and have planted myself on the sofa in our living room. I’m fully reclined, very comfortable and gradually falling asleep. The house is quiet. I love the silence.

But as soon as I shut my eyes, I hear a door close upstairs.


No answer.

Here we go again. My son likes to play tricks on me. He did the same thing last Saturday. He said he was going outside to hang out with the Chandler boys but what he really did was open and shut the front door and sneak upstairs while I was in the living room. As soon as the house got quiet, he started opening and closing doors. I went upstairs and caught him hiding in the guest bedroom closet. He jumped out at me when I opened the door. We both had a good laugh over it. Now it’s a week later.

He’s doing it again.

“Come on Gerard can’t you do something different,” I say with a chuckle as I climb the stairs.

“You know if you think you’re really going to scare me, forget about it.”

I know my son is hiding in the guest bedroom closet again. I decide to scare him this time, so I rush in and open the closet door.

“Got yeah!”

He is getting better at this. The closet is empty.

When I walk back out to the hallway I hear a new sound. It’s coming from the attic. It’ a scratching sound as if something is being dragged along the wooden floor.

I open the attic door and start up the stairs. “You’re sure not scaring me this week, Gerard.”

When I get to the attic I see what is making the dragging sound. Gerard, my brilliant son, is tugging on an old trunk that belonged to my grandmother.

“Gerard, what are you doing?”

“I’ve got Mom inside this trunk,” he says in an excited voice.

Christ, I’m not expecting that to come out of his mouth. I watch him drag the trunk for a few more feet until it is in the middle of the floor. Once he gets it there he stops. He looks at me, smiling.

“Dad, I’ve got Mom in here. Do you want to see her?”

“Gerard, your mother is visiting your grandmother.”

“She was but she came home early. She didn’t want to wake you up. I told her I had something I wanted to show her in the attic. That’s how I got her up here.”

“You’re mother is in that trunk?”

He nods his head.

“Ah, I get it. You and your mother are both in on scare this week. Is that about right, Vera?”

“She can’t talk.”

“Why can’t she talk to me, Gerard?”

“Dad, remember what I did to the cat. I did the same…”

I push him out of the way. Open the trunk. I scream.

Copyright Daniel Hoar 2007

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