The Art of Hunting
They gave me a gun when I was fifteen. I don’t think it was a grand gesture but my father did say that it was “high time I got off my faggoty ass and learn to be a man.”
So I said thank you and chucked it into the corner of my bedroom. I had no intention of using it. I have a sneaking suspicion that I was afraid I’d become my bastard of a father if I started putting holes in things.
Weeks later, dear old daddy burst into my room and announced a “surprise inspection of your weaponry.” He gazed into the empty chamber. He gently leaned the weapon against the wall then flew upon me in a fit of rage.
“How dare you disrespect me and your mother like this! We spent hard earned money to buy you a gift and you don’t even use it!” Each word was punctuated with a slap that got harder the longer he spoke.
After that, I started taking it with me, my books hiding under my shirt, as I ventured into the woods to read. I made sure to fire off one shot before returning, ensuring no more beatings for “lack of respect.”