Cliche #19 The Coal Miners Daughter
I was warned not to speak of the horrors I had seen as a child. There were things that I had witnessed, and had done that had robbed me of my innocence, my youth. I was that odd child in whatever neighborhood I had lived in and oh yes, there were many neighborhoods and neighbors to judge me. We moved to pace to place until Father found Goodsprings. My Mother was a good woman but died year’s earlier from the cancer. It was then I realized that my father was not like others. I was but a girl of 14 years, but I was brought into a scheme that brought about things that most people never do throughout their lives. In those short few years, I lived a lifetimes worth of experiences, none of them any decent person would consider good. The ghosts of my past will haunt me until the day I die and even then I am unsure if I will escape them. If committing murder damages your soul, then mine is beyond repair.
For me it is the guilt of it all that which brings us here. Like I said before, my mother was a good woman and by doing the things I have done, I have done her a grave disservice. To explain it all, to actually explain it in a way that you might believe me, I will have to start from that moment. It’s hard to talk about my mother’s death. She had the cancer and that was that. It would eat her away and leave but a memory of the woman that raised me. Father was working in the coal mines then. The small town of Goodsprings was created by the coal company.
I didn't know my father well, for most of my life he had worked in the mine, only coming up for supper and a place to sleep. It was almost as if we were only a small part of his life, but that was how things were done. He had to support the family he had created. It wasn't until after Mother died that I seen what a burden it was on him. Or better put what a burden I was on him. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have made the choices I made.
During the summer of 1925 there was an accident in the mine. Three men were seriously injured. This kind of thing wasn't unusual except for the fact that it was apparent that my Father was to blame. To this day I do not know what happened down in that mine or whose fault was whose but I could never blame my father. The night of the accident, not long after father returned from the horrible day, James Sheep, the lead foremen in the mine came knocking at the door. He was a well-dressed man, or he would have been if his suit wasn't covered and stained with dirt and coal. Father seemed taken aback from his appearance.
“Oscar, this is very unfortunate. Jim has passed.” James said bluntly.
“I...” Father seemed to lose his color as he heard the news.
“ Weren't thinking?” James quickly finished Fathers sentence and continued as if he had actually said it. “No, I think you were just being lazy.”
“But...” Father tied to object but to no prevail he was again interrupted.
“No excuses! A man died today because you weren’t doing your job.” James, clearly angered continued. “You should know that you’ve lost your job and you’ll be lucky to make it out of here with just losing that.” James then looked down and spat at Fathers feet. He then turned and left the doorway.
Father turned away from the door and his eyes met mine. His crestfallen face said it all, something horrible happened and it weighed heavy on him. Without saying a word Father walked past me. Perhaps if I had said something and consoled him or showed a little love I would have been better prepared for the coming events. But looking to what ifs or could have’s a waste of time, especially in this case. Like Jim, Father would die that day. Nothing could have been said that would have changed the events that happened.
Hours after James entered our doorway, I was up past my bed time looking for something to eat because Father had forgotten about supper. That’s when I heard the front door slowly open, I hid under the dining room table fearing that Father would catch me up. As I peered through the darkness I could see James walk into Fathers room and then seconds’ later three shots from a revolver rang out. My heart stopped, and I held back a scream that would have been heard many houses over. Then, just as quickly as he entered the house, James had robbed me of my Father and left.
If I had gone to the police, reported what I had seen then perhaps this would have gone on no further. But as I approached my Fathers room and seen him dead in his bed with three holes in his chest, my heart was filled with hate. Black soot covered my soul much like how father came home daily covered in the coal dust. The sirens of the Police cars brought me out of the trance that I had fallen into upon seeing my Father corpse. I knew not how long I stood there and out of fear I fled from my home. I took shelter in the wooded area just outside my home not knowing that this was how I would spend most of my remaining days.
That night and the ones that followed it proved to be difficult. Each time I started to drift to sleep the shots that killed Father rang out in my mind and awoke me with a fright. On the third night, with having not slept or ate I decided to accept death so that I could be with my Parents once again. But as I stared to the stars wishing for death, my Father walked into view, standing over me. I screamed with a fright!
“Father!” I said aloud as my heart filled with joy and confusion.
As I looked upon him he still had the same crestfallen look upon his face as before when we had last laid eyes upon each other. Then, I could see the holes in his chest. Father always told me that your sprit lived on even after death. That he and Mother would always be with me, even after they were gone.
“Are you real?” I asked aloud.
Slowly he nodded. He then opened his mouth to speak but what came out were gurgles of blood that had filled his lungs that no longer breathed. Soon blood poured from his mouth and a sound stated to emerge.
Without hesitation I nodded my head and condemned my soul. I walked to the nearest house, convinced that this was the one that James had lived. The door was unlocked much like ours was the night that Father died. In the kitchen a sharp knife laid on the counter. Knowing what I must do I took the knife and walked to the nearest room. Inside, a man slept alone. He was of the same size and build of James but as I approached it became clear that this was not the man who had entered my home. So I turned away to leave this place but as I looked to the bedroom door, Father walked in. He raised his boney dead finger and again opened his mouth. The gurgling blood poured from his mouth and he said aloud.
Much like before, without hesitation I followed his orders. I plunged the knife into the man’s chest, pressing hard to make sure it went in far enough to kill the man. He let out a scream but that was all he could do as he quickly passed. A noise else ware in the home started me and so I ran from that place. As I entered their yard I could see the man I had just killed. He was standing in the yard with the knife still in his chest, blood still running from his wound and he was pointing in the direction of the woods near the home. Blood poured from his mouth but he did not speak. Only Father spoke the two words.
As I ran to the woods I had known not that this would be one of many companions that would join me through the years. Each town that I came upon had doors that were unlocked, at night I would continue to kill those inside. Each person that I killed, each life that I took, they would join me in my quest to kill the man who killed my Father. Like the grim reaper, their souls were what I collected and I would always see them standing before me.
The papers called me the Killer Coal Miners Daughter, but I paid that no attention. My many companions and I still roam the woods, looking and searching for the man who killed my father. Town to town, we find unlocked homes and search them well adding to the collection until I find him. Even after death I feel that I will always roam this cruel world. Like I said before, I do feel the guilt of what I have done, I feel so guilty that I had not… Killed him… yet…
Last edited by Trev; 11-12-2012 at 08:04 PM..