Read Boys in Gilded Cages Online

Authors: Jarod Powell

Tags: #meth addiction, #rural missouri, #rural culture, #visionary and metaphysical fiction, #mental illness and depression

Boys in Gilded Cages (23 page)

BOOK: Boys in Gilded Cages
6.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Take that shit off and
stay out of my closet.”

Kenneth calmly reached into his pocket and
pulled out a switchblade knife. “Eat your dinner, Fam, and then
afterwards I’m going to kill you and pile your bodies up.”

Lloyd laughed, lunged across the table and
pinned Kenneth to the wall. “What was that, boy? You’re gonna do

I’m gonna kill…” Lloyd
spit in his face.

You’re gonna do

I’m gonna kill…” Lloyd
kneed Kenneth in the groin. Then he slammed Kenneth’s face into the
table. Kenneth bounced off and landed on the floor.

You’re gonna get up, wipe
the blood off your face, and eat this nice dinner your aunt has
prepared, is what you’re gonna do,” Lloyd said. “Then, you’re gonna
take that shit off, and if you behave, there might be a clean pair
of drawers waiting on you after your shower, you fucking glass
dick-sucker.” Kenneth did as he was told.


The next morning, Kenneth awoke to Lloyd and
the family at the table, doing the morning routine. Sally smoking
her cigarette, and the kids eating cereal while Lloyd read the
paper over bacon and eggs.

Morning, everybody!”
Kenneth said.

Morning,” Sally said.
There was a silence in the room that was usually there, but made
weird by Kenneth’s presence.

You know, Lloyd,” Kenneth
said, “One time, my old man didn’t give me what I wanted, and his
wheels came off as he was driving. Almost died.” Lloyd did not look
up from his paper.

You better hope I die, if
that ever happens,” Lloyd said. He knew Kenneth hadn’t messed with
the tires, because Kenneth had passed out and was checked up on
several times during the night.

On his way to work, Lloyd almost crashed
into a ditch. The lug nuts had been loosened.

Lloyd beat the shit of Kenneth when he got
home. Kenneth then beat the shit out of Trent the next morning, for
no particular reason.

Sally walked in on the boys, and hit Kenneth
in the back of the head with a greasy frying pan from that

You done fucked up,
bitch,” Kenneth said. He casually walked to the kitchen, and the
family was preparing to exit on foot, as Lloyd had the car. He came
back with a huge kitchen knife. “I wasn’t playing when I said your
bodies will be piled up,” he said.

It was Kenneth vs. the family, as he tried
taking swipes at them, dodging and jumping on furniture to avoid
being slashed. Dani approached Kenneth as he cornered Sally, and
knocked him out cold with a frying pan.

It was at this time the children planned
Kenneth’s exit.

Dani, a plump-faced, blond 8-year-old girl
suggested that Trent use the gun he had been keeping under his
pillow since Kenneth moved in. Toby suggested they crush a bunch of
xanax and put it in Kenneth’s Kool-Aid. They talked a lot, but
mostly they just had to wait for the right opportunity.


Kenneth was gone for over a week, and they
thought they were rid of him, until Trent peeked out the bay window
to find Lloyd pistol-whipping Kenneth against the tree. Kenneth was
bawling, and Lloyd didn’t care.


Kenneth came in, nose broken again, sobbing
quietly. “I have a concussion,” he said. Sally said, “I think
Kenneth needs to go to the hospital.” Lloyd scoffed.


After Lloyd and Sally were in bed, Kenneth
punched a sleeping Trent in the chest. Trent woke, coughing.

Shut the fuck up,”
Kenneth said. “You’re keeping me awake tonight.”


Your cocksucker father
gave me a concussion. You know what will happen if you don’t do

At 2a.m., Lloyd went to work. Sally left
with her girlfriend, probably to score but she said to go get
cigarettes at the 24-hour place in Sikeston. Kenneth was asleep on
the couch. Trent nodded at Dani, and she knocked him out cold with
the filthy frying pan. Just then, Toby came in with the lawnmower

Match lit.

Toby, Trent and Dani walked County Road 508
for thirty minutes before they returned. They talked about what
town they would move to next. They talked about what church would
be like in the new town. They talked about going to private

It was all fantasy, and even little children
know the truth, before adults strip it away from them, only to
replace it with a bunch of confusion and responsibility and

But tonight, the kids ran the house.
Tonight, they had their way. As Kenneth McAdams, engulfed in fire,
cried out, they rejoiced, not caring what they had become.



Dear Hawthorn:

Goodbye. So long. Nice to know you. You’re
all idiots. The end hasn’t come yet, but it’s near. Daddy Redmond
says it’s because of our own doing. He’s right. We didn’t invite
magic to take over. We stood by while it conspired to quietly
overcome us. I would like to think in my remaining moments that I
beat it to the punch. Please let me serve you, not a manifesto, or
a diary, and don’t you dare think of this as a hallucination, but
as a prediction. Every time the weatherman calls for a tornado,
know that your number could be up. Trees will be uprooted, and so
will what’s left of your minds. Your homes will evaporate. Wal-Mart
parking lots may even go empty. Wish it wasn’t so, but you didn’t

You could still turn it around.

Lean outside your porches, and put your ear
to the wind. Listen to the cries of your town’s heroes. Know how
they suffer. Know that they suffer so that your vicious, hollow
heads could be enlightened.

I’m leaving you now to your own devices.

Break the circle, Monkeys. And leave it
broken, or die. It’s up to you.


Eric Redmond


Jarod Powell is a native of
Saint Louis, Missouri, and has written three books, as well as
directed and produced several films taking place in his home state.
He is currently writing and is set to play the lead role in the
feature film
which is a fictional film based on the recent events in
Ferguson, Mo.

Find out more, and interact
with Jarod at his public Facebook page:

BOOK: Boys in Gilded Cages
6.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Tudor Reunion Tour by Jamie Salisbury
Breakfast with Mia by Jordan Bell
Lord Loxley's Lover by Katherine Marlowe
The Trouble With Love by Becky McGraw
Exiled: Clan of the Claw, Book One by S.M. Stirling, Harry Turtledove, Jody Lynn Nye, John Ringo, Michael Z. Williamson
Faery Tale by Signe Pike
Remember Love by Nelson, Jessica