The Price of Freedom

Chapter 1:


"You didn't get beer again, I told you to get it five times today!" My father yelled at my mother.

"Well it's not my fault that they were out of beer! But I suppose you can find a way to blame that on me too! Maybe you shouldn't drink ten beers everyday! I mean, Jesus, if you didn't drink so much, I could win the lottery!" My mom retorted.

I sighed, turned the pillow over, and tried to go to sleep. My name's Luke Karr, and those are my parents yelling in the living room while I try to go to sleep. I should have been used to the fights, my parents fight all the time, at least when my mom is here, and not in Vegas, New York, or taking a cross-country road trip with her girlfriends. She never said it, but I knew that she was only visiting the casinos or trying to find other ways to get that 'thrill'. At least my dad was usually in the state at least, even if he was almost always at bars, in other cites, at bars, or being held for the night at the county jail for DUI.

"Well if you bought the beers, like you're supposed to, and if you actually were any good at gambling, then you wouldn't have to worry about that!" Shouted my father, I could almost see the rage building up in him, that vein pulsing, warning me to get out of the house. Apparently my mother didn't see the warning.

"Well if you want your precious beers so badly, then you can buy them yourself! And you're the one that makes me lose! You know why? Cuz you're a loser, Jason, a fucking loser!" Cried my mom, I could hear the anger in her voice, great and driven by countless dreams beaten down, but still no match for Father's.

Suddenly, I heard the sound I expected for a while, a sound of flesh hitting flesh, of Father slapping her. I heard her body collapse on the floor, moaning in pain. Then it was silent, except for the occasional sob from Mother, but they slowly grew quieter, then stopped.

I then heard another sound, Fathers footsteps down the hall, towards my room. I had also expected this, Fathers rage was not usually satisfied with one persons suffering. I closed my eyes, and clenched my body into a ball in preparation.

But the footsteps passed my room, and went straight to the Money Jar. The Money Jar was all the money that the three of us had received at anytime in the past ten years, we had managed to collect about $1,000, and we only used that money in emergencies. And occasionally for Father's beers.

I heard Father take the top off, and grab some of the money inside, when he placed the lid back on, it sounded marginally emptier, just enough to make it sound different.

Father then headed out, slamming the door behind him, probably going to a bar. I silently crept out of my room, and headed to the living room to check on Mother. She passed out now, on the floor, and a small pool of blood starting to surrounded her. I quickly got out the first-aid kit, putting disinfectant on her wound, and dressed it. I got an old towel and cleaned the blood up, on her and the floor, then placed a pillow under her head and went to check the Money Jar.

I had heard right, it was at least another $100 down; it wasn't going to be a quiet night when he came back. I made a realization then, I needed to get out of here, this house, and away from Him. I had thought of it before, but now I realized that my life depended on it. Every time Father was drunk, he beat me, how harsh a beating depended on how drunk he was. Tonight he was going to be completely drunk, and when he got home, he would beat me until I was bleeding all over. I didn't want to have to go through that again.

I quickly get out a lightweight backpack, one that was easily carried around, and began to pack. Warm clothes, my knife to defend myself with if I needed to, beef jerky and other food that wouldn't go bad fast, and, with some hesitation, $100 from the Money Jar. Even if I didn't want Him to have any of the money, I knew Mother wouldn't survive long without it.

I went past the living room, Mother was still asleep, I thought of leaving a note, but it wouldn't do any good, so I went out the front door, and closed it quietly to keep unnoticed. I started down the dim street, started to run, letting the cool night air rush past me, feeling the freedom of finally being away from that place.