Thursday, January 6, 2011

Demon Deer

Demon deer killed Bettie's mom and sister. That was the name Bettie had given them whenever she saw them at night, their eyes glowing from the car's headlights. An argument in the back seat of the car had distracted their mother as three deer bolted from the woods. Bettie's mom swerved, the car hit a patch of ice and slammed into a tree. Mother was killed instantly; sister died en-route to the hospital. Bettie was unconscious for two days. When she awoke from her delirium she was shocked to see her father. He looked so old and defeated.

"Hi Baby" he managed to croak out before dissolving into tears.

Their new life began; a family of two instead of four. They staggered through the first couple of years, stumbling at birthdays no longer celebrated, anniversaries no longer acknowledged. Ten years flew by; Bettie was turning fifteen soon. She sat on the edge of the bathtub, shaving her legs. She could hear her father making dinner. Jenna was coming over. Bettie slid into the tub, submerging deep into the warm, soapy water.

Bettie didn't like Jenna, or the fact that her dad was spending a lot of time with her. For the past month he had allowed Jenna access to their domain. She came for dinner and a movie, going home before it got too late (Bettie's dad was still paranoid about driving at night). Bettie always excused herself after eating, desperate to avoid the two of them. She had caught them on the couch once, bodies entwined. She didn't like to think of her father as a man with needs. He wasn't a man, he was her dad, and he should do his best to stay that way.

Bettie closed her eyes and sunk deeper into the water, letting it come to the tip of her nose. She knew she wasn't being fair. She held her breath and slipped under. Maybe if she waited long enough, Jenna would disappear. She held her breath for as long as she could and then sat up, wiping the water from her eyes. Someone was knocking at the door.

"Lizzie, are you ok?" Her father still insisted on calling her Lizzie.

"Yea, Dad, I'm fine."

"Dinner's almost ready. Jenna will be here soon."

Bettie sighed and kicked at the water, trying to answer.

"K. I’ll be down in a minute."

Bettie waited until she heard him walk away, and then stepped out of the tub, wrapping a towel around her as she looked in the mirror. Her mother's large oval eyes stared back at her. Everybody said she looked like her mom, but Bettie didn't have a clear memory of her face. She heard her father laugh as the front door closed. It had been a long time since he'd laughed like that. Bettie walked to her room and changed, leaving the wet towel in the corner. Her dad always hated that. Good, Bettie thought. Let him be unhappy a little while longer.


  1. This was originally published on

  2. Poor Bettie, she is the lost little deer..a complex soul at that! I hope she picks up the towel and asks her dad for a hug..the world aint like that though is it..Jae