Parasite: Shadows of the Past Book II: Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Anthony sat on the edge of his bed as he watched the sheriff’s patrol car pull into the driveway of Randy’s house. They’d be coming for him soon. It was just a matter of time before they figured out what had happened. What should have been a joyous week, the first full days of summer vacation, was shrouded by his fear of being discovered.

“Wanna toss the ball back and forth?” his father said at the door to his room and Anthony shook his head. His father stepped into the room and sat down on the bed next to him.

“You know you can’t hide in your room all summer. You’re gonna have to come out to eat, go to the bathroom, that sort of thing,” his dad said.

Anthony knew he was trying to be lighthearted about things but he had no idea how terrified he’d been over the past few days. He’d been waiting for the police to arrive, certain that they would appear the moment he relaxed and dared to believe that he had gotten away with what he’d done.

Then there was Dave. He was a witness to Anthony’s act. There was no reason for him to protect Anthony.

“What kind of trouble is that boy in now?” his dad said as he leaned closer to the window to watch the sheriff’s patrol car across the street. “Maybe they’ll send him away,” his dad said more to himself and Anthony experienced a moment of hope. His dad knew what kind of trouble he was having with Randy. He should tell him. Get it out in the open and be done with it.

“Hey, Dad,” Anthony said.

“Yeah, bud?”

“Nothing, just never mind.” He chickened out at the last moment. For a second he’d thought his dad would understand. But when he looked into his eyes he realized he was still a full-fledged member of the turn the other cheek crowd.

Kill em with kindness, he’d always said. He’d killed him all right. But he hadn’t been very kind about it and he recalled the sensation that had flooded him when Randy had confronted him. A rage fed by years of helplessness.

“I’ve gotta leave for work in a bit. Your Mom’s spending the day at her sister’s. Will you be okay here by yourself?”

Anthony nodded his head. “I’ll be all right.”

“Are you sure?” His father placed his hand against Anthony’s forehead. “You don’t feel hot, but you don’t look too well, either.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Why don’t you get outside today, have some fun. Don’t tell your mom, but I filled up your four-wheeler.”

“You did?” He loved riding his four-wheeler on the trail he and his dad had cut through the woods behind the house. But his mom was always worried he’d get hurt so she’d only let him ride when his dad could go with him.

“You did pretty good in school this year, and you’re getting older. I believe you’re responsible enough to be trusted on your own. But you stay only on the trail, agreed?”

Anthony nodded his head vigorously. It was always fun riding his four-wheeler, even with his dad tagging along, but it would be so much better to ride alone. No one to tell him to slow down and no one to make him go home before he was ready.

“And remember, not a word of this to your mother.”

“I promise.”

“And you have to be back before she gets home. If she catches you riding alone, we’ll both be in deep trouble.”

Again Anthony nodded as he pushed himself up from his bed and crossed his room to retrieve his riding gear from the closet.

“I wonder what he wants?” his dad said. The sheriff’s patrol car had pulled into their driveway. His dad pushed himself away from the window and crossed to the door to Anthony’s room.

“Stay here,” his dad told him before vanishing down the hall. Anthony crossed to the door of his bedroom and listened as his father opened the front door

From below he heard his father’s voice as he spoke with the sheriff’s deputy and he cautiously crept into the hallway to eavesdrop on the conversation.

“I don’t care what they said,” his father’s voice came to him, strained with anger and just a hint of fear that kicked the tone up a note, “I’d rather you didn’t speak to him.”

“I understand your reluctance, Mr. Ferris. As a father myself, I’d be hesitant to let the police speak to my children. I was hoping maybe he’d seen or heard something that could clear this matter up quickly for everyone involved.” The Deputy’s voice was soft, reassuring, self-assured, in sharp contrast to his father’s response.

They knew. The thought blossomed in his mind. They knew what had happened. They knew what he had done. They were going to take him away. Send him downstate to the juvenile facility, to jail. He’d never survive jail. The thoughts trailed off in his mind as his father closed the door with an apology.

Anthony watched him through the slats of the banister as he stood with his back to the front door. He had denied them. His father had protected him, and he was suddenly filled with love for the man who was his father. He would keep them from sending him away. He was safe here in the house, under his father’s protection.

“Anthony,” his father called from the front door.


“Come down here, please. I want to speak to you.”

With his helmet in his hand, he slowly walked down the steps. Reaching the first floor, he crossed to where his father stood with his back to the front door.

“Do you know anything about what happened to Randy?”

Anthony shook his head as he shrugged. “What happened to Randy?”

“The police say he’s been missing for several days. Are you sure you don’t know anything about what might have happened?”

“He’s not my friend, why would I know?” The lie came so easily that Anthony experienced a moment of remorse. What had become of him that he could stoop so low, and lie so easily to his own father? But all children lied, adults too, everyone told little white lies during the course of a normal day.

But this was no little white lie.

“You understand that if something has happened, if we come out with the truth, they will understand.”

“I don’t know anything,” Anthony said. Did his father already know what had happened and he was just waiting for Anthony to come clean? Dave could have told him. He could have told everyone and Anthony wouldn’t know it. Were they just waiting for him to tell the truth?

“Are you sure?”

Anthony nodded. He couldn’t trust himself to speak, afraid that if he did, if he opened his mouth to further the lie the truth would come spilling out. Then they would know he was a murderer, a killer, a wild beast that had to be caged for everyone’s own good.

“I believe you,’ his father said, visibly relaxing as he pushed himself away from the door and crossed to where Anthony stood. “I better get going. Have a good day and remember what I said about your mother and the four- wheeler.”

“I will, Dad.” Anthony watched as his father vanished into the kitchen. He had done it but he wasn’t proud of it. He’d lied to his father. If he could keep the lie going, if he repeated it enough to those around him and to himself maybe he would actually start to believe it and then he could pretend it had all been a bad dream from the start.

He heard his father’s car start in the driveway and pull out. Anthony remained where he was for a moment, alone, listening to the silence of the house around him, then he turned and ran upstairs to finish getting ready. There was a trail waiting for him and he wanted to spend some quality time with it.

Chapter 7                       Chapter 9

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