The Impotent Satyr
James Blithal said, "Hello, Hungry, I'm Dad," to his family for the last time on Saturday before loading up a Phish/Counting Crows Pandora playlist, transferring all beer and beef jerky from the house into his SUV, and driving the fuck off somewhere his family wasn't and would never be located. Margot Blithal, his wife, watched James back out of the driveway and leave with no explanation. She texted James, asking if he was getting groceries before picking up their son, Jake, from a friend's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. James stopped at a convenience store and texted Margot that he went out for cigarettes. She didn't buy it, but it didn't matter. He was free.
James swung by Chuck E. Cheese, parked, and went inside. He saw his offspring eating a fat slice of cheese pizza. James walked up to his somewhat surprised son and snatched the slice from him. James took a bite, savoring every drop of grease as well as his son's agape frowning mouth. He dropped the pizza slice onto the stained carpet--crust side up--and leaned down close to Jake. He moved his hands over his son's face. "I got your nose," he said, "and I'm never giving it back." He wiggled his thumb before flipping Jake the bird with both hands.
Now James was back in his vehicle. Margot had been calling him nonstop, and he finally answered. She pleaded with him to come back; she even put little Rebecca on the phone to get a good guilt-trip going. "Daddy, why is mommy crying?" she asked into the receiver.
"Mommy lost her updog," he replied, biting his lip in anticipation.
"W-what's her updog?" her quavering voice questioned innocently.
Rebecca couldn't see her father shaking his head. "You're why I'm leaving. Daddy out."
James tossed his phone out of the window and took a long drag from his first cigarette in thirteen years. "The shovel was a ground-breaking invention."