“Like Father, Like Daughter” by Will D. Patton

It wasn’t even that big of a deal really. I just didn’t like seeing my kid cry. I can’t just discipline someone else’s child, especially when his crime was as simple as breaking apart my daughter’s gingerbread house and shoving it into his spoiled, fat, rich-kid face. Really it was his parents who were in need of discipline. They were setting their kid up for disaster. They let him push around any kid who wasn’t a 190 lb. 8 year old even though they were fully aware of the fact that he was only going to take hostess products out of their lunch bags. They could have at least encouraged him to steal a goddamn salad every now and again. I was starting to feel bad for him.

No, he needed disciplined as well. I thought again of my crying, little girl. What right did he have to destroy what was hers? How would he like it if such a thing happened to him? His dog conveniently passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday. I watched their laughable funeral. They actually bought an authentic tombstone for that pink, writhing, tux-wearing worm’s dog. Ridiculous.

I entered the house that night with a bent, aluminum bat in my hand and marble dust streaked across my clothes. Still wide awake, my kid looked up at me from the couch with the most brilliant eyes, vertically expansive and lit up like meteorites. They matched her smile, which I was seeing for the first time in days.

“Hey kiddo.”

“Hi daddy. What were you doing?”

“Oh, it’s not important. You sure seem cheery. Tell me about your day.”

“I had a pretty good day. I borrowed some of your anti-freeze, I hope you don’t mind. It worked really well though.”

“What on earth did you need anti-freeze for?”

“I put it in Richie’s dog’s water bowl last night.”

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