I looked to the right—and, then I looked to the left.
“Nothing there,” I whispered to Ollie the stuffed elephant.
He wore attire akin to Babar, but I christened him Ollie after watching Orlando slay an Oliphant in “Lord of the Rings.” I crept out from behind my bed. I had pushed it away from the wall—leaving just a large enough gap for me to slither behind–with Ollie in hand.
“Ssshhhh, Ollie it’s ok. It’s almost over.”
Mommy and daddy were fighting in the living room, and it was making Ollie upset. I could hear daddy cursing. He was saying words I had never heard before, but I could barely hear them over mommy’s crying. I was brave, so I didn’t cry, but Ollie was scared and he wouldn’t stop.
“Ssshhhh,” I said again.
He stopped fussing for a bit, but I could still hear him whimpering. I heard a loud crash from the kitchen and suddenly mommy stopped crying. Everything was silent—even Ollie stopped. I scuttled under my bed and hid. The door slowly opened and the light from beneath the door spread throughout my room. I cupped my hands over Ollie’s mouth to keep him quiet.
“Bud…where you at?” my father said softly, “I know you’re here.”
This time I was scared. I slid further beneath the frame of my bed. The last time he talked like that I got hurt and now everything’s fuzzy if I think too hard and I don’t remember things too well anymore. My closet door groaned open.
“Bud, you in there?”
My pajama pants snagged on a loose nail in the floorboard and ripped. Normally the sound would have been minute, but with the tension in the room it sounded deafening. I automatically clasped Ollie’s ears. Suddenly my dad’s face appeared.
“There you are bud.”
He clumsily groped for me but he couldn’t see very well because of the blood on his face. I kicked in him in the face—hard. He groaned like the closet door and then cursed again.
“You little bastard. Get the fuck over here before I break your fucking legs.”
I screamed and lunged for the other side of the bed. I scuttled out like a crab, but scraped my back on the metal frame. I screamed again. I start running for the door with Ollie in hand. I made it out the door and stumbled into the living room. I looked over my shoulder and saw pure hatred. I tripped over mommy and fell into the kitchen. He smiled.
I flipped over and said, “Sorry Ollie,” and swung him out in front of me.
The little buttons on his vest raked across daddy’s face and he stumbled over mommy just like I had. At that same moment there was a loud ‘BOOM!’ and the dishes shook. Suddenly daddy’s chest started to turn red and he slumped to his knees and fell beside mommy.
I started crying. I couldn’t find Ollie. And, then everything turned black.
When I awoke all I could hear were people murmuring and the soft tone of a television. I was in an all white bed. My vision was blurry, but I sat up and began frantically searching.
And, then a nice man in a uniform handed me something soft.
“Ollie!” I squealed with glee.
“He was a bit of a mess, but we cleaned him up real nice for you,” said the nice man.
Everybody in the room was staring at us.
“Thank you—,“ I began to stammer out, “—but, where’s mommy.”
“She’s alright,” said the nurse that I hadn’t even noticed, “she’s in the next room. She just had a little bump on her head. Officer Ackles here made sure to take care of her while you were asleep.”
“Thank you Mr. Ackles.”
“Just call me James, son”
“Okay,” I said, drawing out the ‘a’ as I clutched Ollie.
I don’t remember much after that. I remember Ollie, I remember seeing the nice man again, and I remember seeing mommy, but everything was a haze as I fell in and out of sleep.
I was seventeen at the time. I’m forty-nine now. What I do remember is—is Ollie. That was the night Ollie the elephant killed my father.