Family Obligations

Being part of the family meant taking on tasks that you never thought you would have to do, but that was what belonging was all about.

Shaking like a leaf, Trevor looked long and hard at the knife he had in his right hand, far too tightly gripped for comfort. It was sharp, oh so sharp as testified by the tiny rivulet of bright red blood running down his left palm from the exploratory nick he had made on it. He had been in the garage, using the whetstone, and was surrounded by surgically sliced pieces of old sponge, his practice material for the main event.

A big man, he stood six-two, 200lbs of muscular power, and he had once believed himself afraid of nothing, but that was before the family came into his life. His past had certainly been colorful, including many incidents of which he was less than proud, but as a one-man show he had only had himself to answer to.

There was a huge lump in his throat, threatening to choke him, and his heart was pounding, because she was a fearsome woman, the unforgiving old girl who ruled the roost with an iron fist inside a velvet glove, and her scorn if he failed to live up to expectations in the given task was the one thing he dreaded above all else.

When he had taken those vows of lifetime allegiance to the family, in spite of some misgivings, he had secretly been proud to finally belong, to be in a situation where his own desires had to be put aside for the greater good of the family as a whole.  Even though, at times he was asked to perform tasks he had never thought himself capable of, he knew that those vows were binding, and far too strong to be broken.

There had, in that first year as a family member been many minor jobs, and he had scraped by, even if there had been some gentle mockery of his fumbling some of them, but now the stark reality of his first really big assignment was upon him. He stood in the gloom of the garage, mind racing as he breathed deeply.

The Family had insisted that every member who wanted to belong needed to perform these tasks on occasion, and that it could only be done with this particular knife, which needed to be razor sharp. It was an initiation that would finally come to pass that afternoon, the rest of them expectantly waiting for him to wield that fearsome weapon, and Trevor felt weak and dizzy as he  contemplated the act.

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  1. Great share.

  2. My word, that takes me back Tony! My dad always had the task of carving the Christmas turkey but both Adam (my partner) and my brother in law insisted on standing either side of him to get first dibs after Dad had sampled it. Likewise it was traditional for my sister Gillian to make the stuffing and the gravy. I got the task of making the Christmas sherry trifle, sausage rolls and the mince pies :D .

    Unfortunately things have moved on – my sister and brother in law split up, my dad passed away, my mum’s elderly so couldn’t cope with having the whole family and nor will she turn out of her warm home travel to either mine or my sister’s. So it’s just me, Adam, a turkey leg, a bottle of wine and a drop of brandy to follow!!

  3. Very gripping and full of foreboding suspense.

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