The Dark Door (Re-written)
The Good Son
Caleb was awakened by a booming sound of thunder. He arose from his bed slowly, staring into darkness. Outside, the dim glow of streetlights somehow found its way into his room, slithering over several stacks of dirty clothes and into a nearby corner. The house was silent, meaning Caleb’s mother still didn’t return from her late shift as a CTA Conductor. It was this thought that set off a chain of chores left to do in Caleb’s mind, and before he knew it, he was heading down the hall, running a few fingers through his afro.
The eldest of three, Caleb took his role seriously. After the divorce between his parents, Ms. Jones was laid off from her job working for the post office. Since then, she began a balancing act with her next two occupations, leaving Caleb and his sisters to fend for themselves. It pained him to watch his mother struggle, and it upset him even more that his father wasn’t around to lighten the load. Years had passed since they last hung out, but even at that time, it was a disaster. Their constant arguing ruined every dinner, birthday party, or holiday the family held special. If Caleb had his way, he would have a job of his own, but he was only sixteen, a “spring chicken,” his mother called him.
“You focus on high school,” said Ms Jones, with a smirk stretched across her face. “Me and God got this.” Her pruny lips planted a kiss on his forehead. “Besides, who’s gonna look after those two sisters of yours if me and you got a job?” Caleb could still hear the soft chuckle in her voice as she asked him.
He could hear the crazed noises of furious button mashing and gunshots while he made his way downstairs. One of his sisters was playing ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ and Caleb already knew who it was. Crystal, the middle sister, was always into active things like sports, and hanging around friends. Her back up plan was playing video games if everything else failed. Caleb mumbled to himself, slightly irritated. She was the person he had to keep an eye on. Bright television lights from the living room flickered into the kitchen, giving Caleb enough vision to navigate around. He decided to turn on some lights anyway. His heart sank at the sight of a barren refrigerator. Friday was only two days away, yet Caleb still closed his eyes to remember how much allowance money was left. He might have to skip lunch tomorrow in order to bring home a pizza. Along with this came the memory of the frozen pack of chicken he took out earlier. It remained sitting in the sink, which irked Caleb even more.
“Why didn’t you put on the chicken, Crystal?!” he called out in an annoyed tone.
“That ain’t my job!” She shot back, just as agitated.
Doing more angry mumbling, Caleb tore off the packaging, preparing the meat. “I’m not the only person that’s supposed to be doing some work around here!”
Wild obscenities and a loud explosion rang from the living room. “You made me lose!” Crystal groaned.
“Good, now can you help me with the food?”
In she stormed, wearing a gray sweater and sweat jeans, her dark hair wrapped in a ponytail. She slammed her hand onto he counter behind him, letting out an exaggerated sigh. Caleb ignored this.
“You get started on the vegetables.” He said.
Crystal begrudging obeyed and opened one of the wooden cabinets next to him, rummaging through dishes clumsily, purposely knocking most to the floor. When Caleb turned to protest, he instead noticed they were one helper short.
“Where’s Leah?” he asked. Crystal began to respond, but a piercing scream echoed from upstairs, cutting her off.