Dad was a taxi driver by day and a bouncer in various clubs and bars seven nights a week. For the first sixteen years of my life I rarely saw him. When he wasn’t working taxis in the day he would be sleeping off a monster hangover from the previous night’s session. He’d always have left for his night shift before I returned home from school.
On the rare occasions our paths met, he was always intoxicated. More than once I’d been woken by mum’s screams in the early hours. I’d stumble bleary eyed in my nightdress into their bedroom or the kitchen to find my dad beating my mum or attempting to strangle her. They usually stopped when they saw me and sent me back to bed. The next morning neither of us would mention the night before. I’d sit there chasing my cornflakes around the bowl staring at her cut lips and blackened eyes. She carried on as if nothing had happened. Just another day in her miserable existence.
They used to go out together to fancy restaurants or just for a drink. I loved it when they dressed up to go out. Mum was so beautiful, not a hair out of place and her make up applied perfectly. Dad would look handsome and dapper in a suit, or jeans and a nicely pressed shirt. Things had changed, when and why I do not know. It just did, overnight it seemed. When I felt brave enough I’d try to talk to mum about it but she insisted it was her fault. She’d make a point of telling me that if anyone ever asked she’d banged her face on the cupboard door or slipped over when she was mopping the kitchen floor. Of course, the neighbours and members of my immediate family knew what was going on. Not one of them confronted my dad about it, ever. They were far too scared as to what he would do to them if they tried to interfere.
Mentally I’d blocked it out but as I grew older and wiser I realised it wasn’t normal behaviour or acceptable. I’d had my suspicions for a while about his infidelity.
In my last year of school I enrolled in a photography course. Mum had somehow managed to talk dad into splashing out on a second-hand camera. Lord knows what sickening acts of depravity she’d had to endure in order to get him to agree to that. Knowing what I do now it makes my stomach turn thinking about it.
They’d presented the camera to me on one of the few times we had all sat down to eat breakfast together. I was both shocked and surprised. The camera was in great condition and one of the highest specs you could get at the time.
Still, the present didn’t make me love him, or hate him any less.
Shortly after my sixteenth birthday I passed my exams, and went straight out to work as an apprentice hairdresser, going to college one day a week. The girls I worked with quickly took a shine to me and within weeks they’d invited me out to party with them.
I told them all about my dad over the next few weeks and learnt that he had quite a reputation as a lady’s man and they knew all about him. It was decided we would avoid the places he worked and go out of town on our nights out. He would go ballistic if he knew I was out drinking and dancing the night away.
The first night I saw him was when I came out of Club Aurora, a dance venue in the next town. My dad hadn’t been on the door when I entered earlier in the night but I spotted him as I was about to leave. He was stood inside the entrance embracing a middle-aged woman. Their hands were all over each other and they were so engrossed in a game of tonsil tennis he didn’t notice me slip passed him and out into the street.
I was furious and was caught in two minds whether to go and confront him. My mum had done everything for that man over the years and yet despite the beatings she still stood by him and loved him. She deserved so much better than this piece of shit. Yes, he was my dad but not a good one and neither a good husband.
I found out later that my dad had become friendly with a well-known drug dealer/ businessman. This guy had placed my dad at the head of his security team and they had muscled their way in on all the clubs and pubs in the area to peddle his pills and powders. They also offered protection and extorted money from the owners. Everyone knew what they were up to, even the police. It didn’t matter this guy was big time. If you weren’t in his pocket or payroll you were simply too intimidated to say or do anything about it. That’s the way it was.
I took it upon myself to gather photos of my dad with various women. Sometimes he was in an intimate clinch with a woman where there was no denying what was going on. Sometimes he was getting in taxis with scantily clad women. I’d follow him to some seedy hotel and snap away as they entered for their sordid sessions. I’ve even got a few of him dragging mostly drunk women and young girls who I found out to be eighteen and younger into the restricted parts of clubs. The more I delved the more he disgusted me.
After several months of me clicking away and gathering undeniable evidence to present to my mum; the time was right to show her what I’d been up to. I knew it would hurt her and that there was no easy way to do it. I hated seeing my mum like this so I had to tell her. She needed to know. She needed to know that he’d been sneaking around with women behind her back.
At first, she didn’t believe a word I said. Why she thought I would make something up like this I do not know. Several photographs later of dad in compromising situations with various women she accepted it, although somewhat reluctantly.
The evidence was as clear as day. She couldn’t accept the man she had loved and shared her life with for the last twenty-two years could do such a thing. It took a while for it all to sink in. She didn’t want it to be true. The man she had bore a daughter to, the man who came home to her every night even if it was in the small hours. That was the day she told him she knew all about his affairs. After a blazing row, she threw him out.
I kept out of the way until it all boiled over.
Later that day I came home to find the house had been ransacked. Every room had been tipped upside down. The television, microwave, mirrors, the crockery, tables, chairs, everything had been smashed, broken and lay where it had landed after my dad’s fit of rage.
I discovered my mum face down on the kitchen tiles surrounded in blood. I thought she was dead. She almost was.
Later it turned out he had fractured her skull, broken her ribs, an arm and her collar bone. Her face was a bloody, bruised pulp.
She never confessed to the police it had been her husband. She instead blamed burglars who she had disturbed. She swore me to secrecy. She didn’t want any more trouble from him or prolong the ordeal. She wanted him to move away, far away from us and for the rest of our lives.
Which is what he did.
Over the next three years I bubbled and seethed inside about what this monster had put us through. It wasn’t only that night but all the nights even before I was born.
One summer evening my beautiful mum suddenly dropped down dead whilst out playing bingo. A post mortem revealed she died from an aneurism. The coroner pinpointed it as a result of head trauma.
Dad had finally killed her.
I questioned the police about having him in on a manslaughter charge but they said there wasn’t enough evidence with it being so long after the incident when I implied he had beaten her. She could have banged her head numerous times since they said.
Dad never showed for the funeral, or sent flowers, not even a message of condolence. Heartless, cruel, evil bastard that he was.
How could he get away with this? Why should he?
I decided he wasn’t going to.
It was easy to track him down. He was working the doors in a town only 100 miles away and still up to his old tricks.
I knew what I wanted to do and exactly how to do it.
On entering the club, he clocked me, undressing me with his eyes as I stood in the small queue to get my bag searched by one of his colleagues. He beckoned me over before I reached the front.
I’d grown up over the last few years and filled out in all the right places, not that he would have noticed I was his daughter even before that.
My classic hourglass figure was shown off in a tight fitting red dress. My ample breasts pouring out the top of it and the four inch heels accentuated my athletic legs. He briefly searched my bag finding a small silver bullet vibrator. He smiled and raised his eyebrows in appreciation then let me through. I winked and flashed him a smile before I swished the long brown hair of my wig over one shoulder and strutted into the club.
It wasn’t long before he found me propping up the bar and offered to buy me a drink. I knew he would. I asked for a single vodka and lime as I needed to stay sober and keep my wits about me; this could go horribly wrong at any time.
I played along and flirted with him although inside I was disgusted that my dad was quite the player and had no qualms as to the age of his prey. I was worried that he’d see a glimmer of me, his daughter, but he’d paid me little attention as I was growing up. In fact, this was probably one of the longest times we had spent together. I was so different to the skinny, boyish looking girl I was back when he left.
He kept making advances toward me, his hand resting on my knee or touching my hand. I brushed them off with a smile, flirting back but keeping him at a distance, for now anyway.
After he’d downed a few more drinks he got a bit more forward and vulgar. His foul breath reeked of whisky and cheap cigarettes as he leaned in closer to whisper the most disgusting things in my ear. I played along and made him drink a couple more double whiskys before telling him I’d leave first and to meet me outside just around the corner.
He knew of a cheap hotel a short walk from the club. I guessed this was the frequently visited den of iniquity he had become accustomed to.
As soon as we got in the room he immediately wanted to get down to the penetrative act but I had other ideas and told him so. I could tell by the growing bulge in his trousers he was excited. I however felt sick to my stomach.
I put on a bit of a show and performed a striptease after he’d undressed down to his boxer shorts and lay on the bed. I tried to block him out as I danced provocatively. He had fell into my trap: hook, line, and sinker.
I seductively made my way over to where he’d threw his clothes over the back of a chair. Using his tie and his belt to lash his legs to the bedposts it was obvious he was enjoying this. The cords from the kettle and iron made make-shift shackles that were fastened as tightly as they would go.
Climbing on to him, straddling him in my black lace underwear it was clear to see the anticipation in his eyes. Pleading with me to touch him, to touch him down there. I asked him what it felt like to be helpless, to be restrained. He said he wished his hands were free to touch me and never took his eyes off me as I dismounted, grabbed his socks and stuffed them in his mouth, making it difficult to decipher what he was saying. He was becoming increasingly excited.
The sight of the vibrator appearing from my clutch bag startled him at first, but he seemed to settle as I sucked it in my mouth. That look was soon replaced by one of fear as I pulled the tip of the silver bullet off revealing a blade.
He struggled to free himself and his screams were muffled as I sliced once, twice, thrice across his chest.
‘This is for mum you bastard!’ I spat.
His horror slipped to confusion then it dawned on him who I was as I removed my wig.
He murmured something. My name I presumed.
‘That’s right daddy it’s me!’
I carved his nipples off and cut down his chest and stomach toward his groin. He was shaking and trying to scream for help, for mercy. I wasn’t going give it him. Not yet. He needed to suffer. I needed to see him suffer.
Despite taking care not to go too deep, his blood sprayed in my face and splattered my arms. I didn’t want to hit any main arteries and for him to bleed out quickly. I wanted him to feel pain, to suffer. He bit down on his socks as he writhed and squirmed with each incision and puncture inflicted on him. Alas I could take no more. The blade scraped his pelvic bone as it penetrated his crotch and I twisted my hand as I drove it home.
Dad had passed out giving me enough time to swap the kettle and iron cords with that of the phone extension cable.
His eyes flickered open as he came round mumbling incoherently.
He could see the steam rising out of the kettle spout. I poured the scalding water in his face, down his chest and over his crotch. The pain must have been excruciating but I could barely hear any screams at all.
He must have been thinking there couldn’t possibly be any worse pain to feel after that. He was wrong. I pushed the steam button on the iron and pressed down hard as I held it to his face.
I’d iron those wrinkles out for you, you bastard I thought.
His skin blistered, stuck to the iron, and peeled off as I raised it and smashed him with every ounce of strength I had on the nose. By the time I had finished, there was not a patch of skin on his trembling body that wasn’t red raw, blistering, and weeping.
He was bleeding from everywhere now. He wouldn’t last long. He wouldn’t survive this. My work here was done.
By the time I’d showered and dressed he was lay there limp, unconscious, and drawing in his last breaths.
I took one last look through the viewfinder at the pitiful man who was my dad and smiled.
As the shutter lens closed so did my dad’s life.