Little Gifts

On Christmas Eve my father gave me bruises as a little gift. He dragged me down the stairs by my long hair and beat me under the tree’s lights.

“You think Jesus never got a whipping for doing something bad?” he yelled.

He wasn’t drunk and he wasn’t out of his mind either. My father just beat me because he was mean. I didn’t even know what I had done wrong.

“You’re a leech,” he told me. “A leech.”

I wasn’t even sure what a leech was but that night I looked it up in the dictionary.

On Christmas morning my father woke up with my teeth in his arm. That was my little gift.

“What are you doing?” he yelled.

“Being a leech,” I said. “I’m a leech.”

My father didn’t call me a leech no more after that but he did knock out my front teeth. They were just baby teeth. I didn’t need them anyway.

Benjamin Grossman received his MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. He has previously written for FlashFiction.Net. Also, he blogs about taboo at http://thebreakdownoftaboo.wordpress.com. Currently, he lives outside of Philadelphia.

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10 Responses to Little Gifts

  1. Jeanette Gallagher says:

    This wonderful, poignant, and powerful poem (story) brought tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart. I was never beaten but I have great empathy for those who were.

  2. airong222 says:

    In grief, we trade off the overwhelming pain for indifference to the loss of pieces of our life. Like baby teeth . . . we explain to thin air that . . . Oh well, we didn’t need them anyway. But we did. And we do.

  3. Pingback: Little Gifts (A Short Short Story) | The Breakdown of Taboo

  4. Powerful. And appreciated.

  5. Merryn says:

    Such pain communicated in only a few words. You have such a gift of writing. Look forward to reading more 🙂

  6. caliroe says:

    What a powerful Flash! Masterful work, Bejamnin.

  7. candacejean714 says:

    Reblogged this on Candace Jean xo and commented:
    “You’re A Leech”

  8. kerisjournal says:

    Wow. I happened to click on this one when you liked one of my recent posts and I just had to tell you that you knocked my socks off. I hope it was fiction! But regardless I know that there are just mean people out there and that these kind of stories are not fiction for them. You are a great writer. I look forward to reading more.

  9. Painful to read, yet beautifully written xx

  10. I really hope this is a fictionalized production of your wonderful writing skills, first because it’s awesome, and secondly because if it’s true then I hope you kicked his ass the moment you became able to….. Real write – this strike chords.

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