The Sanctity of Home
Short Story.me. 2015
June 5, 2017
We watched the moving truck pull up next door. We were still in our pjs and looking down from our bedroom window. My brother, Wilson and me high-fived each other and got silly because we were finally getting rid of the bully, Norman who’d been tormenting us for years. We knew mom and dad were happy too cause Norman’s parents had been annoying them for years.
Finally, around one in the afternoon while they were still packing, another moving truck pulled up in front of our house with a van and a pickup truck right behind. A large, bald tattooed man got out of the pickup and a lady and two kids got out from the van. The dropped the tailgate on the pickup, pulled a ramp out and backed down two three wheelers which the kids got on and drove around the cul-de-sac. Around and around.
The mother, after a bit, took out a blanket and a picnic basket and walked over to our front lawn and made themselves to home. The father motioned for the kids to come over and they did wheelies and gunned their bikes over and parked in our driveway.
Mom was speechless because dad was going to be coming home soon and the lawn was his pride and joy. The two kids, they looked about twelve, listened to their father and came up and rang our doorbell.
“My father says we should use your bathroom to wash up before we eat our lunch,” one of the brothers said. He looked over at me and Wilson and grinned a bully’s grin. Before my mother could answer my father pulled up to the house and began to turn into the driveway. Blocked by the bikes, he honked his horn and looked over at the picnickers who waved and motioned him over,
Dad did that and tattoo guy stood towering over dad by a few inches and lots of pounds and they shook hands. They talked for a few minutes and Mr. Tattoo yelled for his boys to move their bikes which they did leaving ruts in dad’s pride and joy yard. Dad put his arm around Mr. Tattoo and spoke into his ear.
Next thing you know dad walks into our garage and returns with a sledge hammer and we know that those bikes are history. Instead he walks over to this tricked out pickup with racing stripes, 4 doors, extended bed and beautiful wheel hubs and starts to beat the shit out of it. He knocks out all the windows, lights and dents every surface he can. The Tattoo guy is standing and watching.
Dad calls us over and hands us the sledgehammer and points to the bikes and we look at him and he nods and we go and beat the shit out of the bikes. Mom is outside watching and Dad takes the sledgehammer and reaches it out to Mom and points at the van.
There are now neighbors out watching this scene play out and Dad takes back the sledgehammer and walks over to Mr. Tattoo and swings it down on his foot as hard as he can. The neighbors murmur and then applaud which is unusual because my folks really don’t know the neighbors.
Mr. Tattoo calls his moving driver over and they talk and then the moving driver gets in his truck and drives off. Mrs. Tattoo gathers the food from our lawn and gathers everyone into the van and they drive off just as they came—in a squeal of rubber. An hour later two tow trucks pick up the truck and motorcycles and haul them away while dad is outside on his lawn raking the ruts.
That night we sit around the table after dinner and dad explains why we have different names and can’t talk about our past. He says that the tattoo guy is also in the Government Witness Protection Program and they made a mistake moving him next to us and that all he had to do was explain it to the man and get his attention and everything would be alright.
Two months later Dad gave us our new names and we moved in the middle of the night from Tempe to Pasadena. We only took some clothes and toys and left all of the furniture.
When we got to our new house it was furnished and on a lake and very private. Dad said that he was no longer a manager at McDonalds but that his new job was selling life insurance which he was obviously very good at.