Myrna had watched her whole life, her entire tiny life, as her father went through the same vicious cycle over and over again. He’d come in the house half boozed or all the way gone, and go straight into grumbling about how much he deserved and about how much little respect he got. He would inevitably fill her and her mother in on some fellow comrade in the UN Peace Federation. Her father was a captain, though at her young age she couldn’t fathom how he had climbed to such ranks with such obviously despicable behavior. What she didn’t realize is that she and her mother were alone in the plight against the despicable Captain Jon Fletcher.
The truth was that he had barely lifted a finger in his life, much to the dismay of his parents. They had tried so hard to raise a child befitting of their prestigious lineage, but all they ever got from him were half baked results and an attitude of superiority. They had always begged for others to be as hard on him as needed, but he would just remind them of who he was and what his last name meant. He was the father of Admiral Fletcher, the highest ranking officer in the UN Peace Federation, the UN’s only military, which governed all of earth and all of the galaxy. That his father and uncle had fought side-by-side in the last war earth had known, and by his name they’d never see another war so long as there was a Fletcher in the Federation. And then, he would be ushered on to his appropriate billing.
Facts were facts, as far as little Myrna was concerned, and the fact was that Captain Jon Fletcher was none other than Coward Jon Fletcher. A woman beater, a child beater, and a deadbeat drunk all around.
It was no surprise to Myrna when her father burst in the door on a Saturday night, drunk and with another drink in his hand. She had learned to detect the smell of liquor, and recognized that there was something different about the way he smelled that night. It was a mixture of liquor and something sweet, which she couldn’t put her finger on right away. Her mother entered the living room just as Jon fell on the couch, and without thinking before she spoke, she inadvertently accused him of infidelity.
“Is that perfume?” She asked, and then literally bit her lip.
His eyes whitened and he corked his head up at her. “And what if it is? What if it is perfume? What are you gonna do about it?” He threw the bottle on the floor and came out of the couch. He stood up to her and grabbed by the neck. “I work all day. I work all day protecting idiots like you. I work ALL day for scum like you. You don’t even know what I go through. You don’t know what I see, EVERY DAY. You don’t know what it’s like on the front lines.” She was choking for air and her knees began to give out on her as she begged for forgiveness. He bent his knees with her, pulling her face down onto the coffee table. There he continued his verbal assault inches from her eyes. One hand was choking her, the other pressed her head against the glass of the coffee table. “Scum… scum like you. That’s what I do. FOR YOU. You can’t even appreciate what I do. What I see. What I know. So YEAH… I have to shake it off. At the end of the day, I have to shake the filth of this world off. Because I know when I come home to you, you insufferable… you…” He leaned in to ear and whispered. “Dog vomit.”
Myrna had been screaming the whole time, as was her custom during these tirades, but tonight nothing was getting through to her father. Usually, she could get him to balance his wrath between the two thus preventing any overkill on either her or her mother. But tonight he wouldn’t hear her. He hadn’t even acknowledged her existence with a glance of those black eyes of his.
She watched in horror as her mother gasped for air and he continued to rail on her about how it was all her fault, and Federation’s fault that he was an adulterer. Suddenly there was a slight moment of peace where Myrna drowned out her father and met her mother eye to eye. She watched her mother lip the words You will live moments before a blood vessel popped in her eye, filling it with blood. Seconds later her body was limp.
As soon as Jon recognized his wife was dead he felt a cold rush over his body. He let go of her and stood straight up over her. He could see her bloody eye staring up at him. A single tear of blood escaped and ran over her nose. He kicked her to the floor. “Quit staring at me!” He screamed. There were a thousand thoughts flooding his mind, and none of them were putting him to ease with the situation. He was confused and afraid. He had played this drama out so many times before, why now did she give in? He had never felt her give up before.
Before he could figure out his next step, he felt a long, sharp pain in his leg. He grunted instinctively and grabbed at the pain. His hand latched onto a small, warm hand. He looked and saw Myrna standing beside him with a face of extreme hate. He could see in her eyes that she intended to kill him. He followed her arms with his eyes and saw that she plunged a kitchen knife in his leg, and he grabbed a hold of her hands that gripped it.
He pulled his hand back and backhanded her face with all of his might. She fell to the floor, losing the grip of the knife. He towered over her, while she tried to get back to her feet. “So you think you can take me, huh? Well, come on! Let’s see what you got?”
Myrna was seeing spots. She shook her head, trying to get her vision back. She had to finish this once and for all. She was not going to be another victim of Coward Jon Fletcher. And she would see her mother avenged, one way or another.
“COME ON!” He shouted at her. “You can take me now, or end up like–“
He had stopped speaking abruptly, and she turned around to make sure she wasn’t in immediate danger. She blinked twice, and got half of her vision back. She could see clearly, but only in black and white. Her father stood staring across the room at his own father, who stood firmly in the doorway to the living room. Admiral Fletcher was twice the size of his son in muscle, and stern as an ox.
“What’s going on here?” He asked.
Jon began to stutter, which was his custom when he knew he was in hot water. “Well, it was an accident. She, she must have been stressed, I guess. She came, came at me with this knife and–“
“THAT’S A LIE!” Myrna yelled.
Jon lost it and came limping at her, but Fletcher stepped between them and caught him. “Dad, stop, she’s crazy. Can’t you see?! She killed Lana and now she’s trying to kill me with this knife!”
Fletcher pushed him onto the couch, and he screamed in pain as the knife scratched against the bone. Fletcher then turned to Myrna, and spoke directly to her, only inches away from her face. His tone was always calm and warm. “Honey, I need you to go to your room. Look yourself in and don’t come out for anyone, but me. Got it?” She nodded. He kissed her on the forehead and she went down the hallway to her room. She closed the door, and waited until she heard voices again. She cracked the door open just enough that she could see her father sitting on the couch. He was looking up at her grandfather, pleading and begging. He kept telling stories about how he had come home to a bloodbath, and how he thought that she must have gotten the bad gene from her uncle. A shadow came closer and closer to her father until he was completely covered in it.
Fletcher had heard enough of his son’s rantings, and excuses. He and his wife were certain for some time there was something afoot in the home, but he had been yet to prove it. It had only been the night before that they had decided in bed, he would start making uninvited house calls. They were hoping one day he could walk in something, but he wasn’t expecting this. Not murder.
They had failed their son, they had failed their daughter. It was time to cut the tie that bound them, because he was not gonna fail his granddaughter.
He came at him with a father’s wrath, but unhinged, without borders. This was no longer his son, this was some scumbag wife killer. And there wasn’t much room in the world for lady killers. He pinned him to the couch with one hand pressing against his shoulder, and began to assault his face with a fist. He pounded his face harder and harder, like he had done once before when he found a stray drunk in an alley standing over a dead hooker. And like that drunk, Jon didn’t fight back, he just threw his hands up and begged for mercy. They hadn’t shown mercy, and they weren’t getting it from him.
Fletcher stood up straight and backed away from him. He fell over onto the couch crying, holding his face with one hand and his leg with the other.
“Son.” Fletcher spoke wearily. “I’m gonna call The Order. They’re gonna come here and arrest you for murder, child abuse and attempted murder on a minor–“
“Dad, please, no!” Jon sat up, begging for mercy.
Fletcher kicked the handle of the knife sticking out of his leg, and his head shot back in pain. “You let me finish talking, or I’ll kill you myself.” Jon went back to crying, but chewed his lip in pain. “When they get here, I will testify to what you have done, and Myrna will testify to what you have done. When they call us before the courts, we will both testify to the heinous crime you have committed and to the monster you are. You will never see your daughter again, except when she is throwing you to the wolves. And the last time you see me and your mother, is when you are executed for your crimes. Nothing will be held back, no one will give you a pass. It will be just and dispassionate.” Though he spoke these words firmly, and meant every last one, he couldn’t help but tear up. He wiped the tears from his face with no change in his demeanor. “You lived a pathetic life, and for that I am sorry.”
Myrna was still watching from the door, and her heart beat with excitement. Finally, Coward Jon Fletcher was going to get his due justice.