Outside: Part Thirty-Two

This is the thirty-second part of a fiction serial, in 764 words.

He was rough with her that night. Turning her onto her front and not being very nice at all. Gillian was crying the whole time, and still crying when he left her and went back downstairs. And she was hungry too, with nothing to eat since breakfast.

Thomas sat on the sofa, restless and not at all sleepy. He had been angry at her, and hadn’t enjoyed what had happened. He wanted to give affection, and receive it back. But they didn’t understand, they never did. All they had to do was let him look after them, and everything would be okay. He poured himself a large Remy Martin, and sat contemplating his life.

Mrs Halloran had not been expecting to have a baby so late in life. Her daughter was already grown up, and had moved away when she was eighteen. A long way away. Kathleen Halloran didn’t blame Maggie for leaving though. Brendan was a hard man. Hard on her, and hard on his children too. Having a daughter had turned out to be a disaster, as he controlled Maggie the same way he had always done with her.

Violence followed by affection. Anger followed by laughter and gifts. No nights out, no friends in the house, other family members ignored untl they stopped bothering. A joint bank account so she had no personal control over any money, and Brendan taking her to work and picking her up after. Same with Maggie, doing the school run there and back, making sure she wasn’t talking to any boys and had no friends to walk home with.

He was free to do as he pleased. As a self employed carpenter, he could pick and choose the hours he worked in the large workshop at the end of the garden. Kathleen had become so sick of the smell of wood around him, she didn’t even like to have any wooden furniture. But she had no choice, as he made it all himself.

Once she was old enough by his estimation, Brendan started to go upstairs at night to ‘tuck Maggie in’. She screamed at first, and Kathleen sat with cushions over her ears to drown out the noise. The neighbours probably thought it was some sort of hysterical argument, as they never mentioned it.

But it wasn’t long before she stopped screaming and just accepted the inevitable. The day after her eighteenth birthday she packed a small case, and moved to the other end of the country after finding a live-in job in a hotel. She didn’t tell them where she was, and they never heard from her again. Then Brendan turned his attention back to his wife, and a year later she had Thomas.

Brendan saw his son as a protoge. Another male to be educated in the way of the world according to Brendan Halloran. Kathleen was sidelined as Brendan spent hours with him in the workshop, teaching him everything about crafting wood. And he was teaching him other things too. Awful things.

As she found out one night when Brendan brought him up to the bedroom, and left him alone with her.

After that, she rarely went out. Her employer got tired of her absences and fired her by letter. She started to eat for comfort, and had soon doubled in size. She hoped being so fat would put them off, but if anything it made things worse, especially with Thomas. It turned out he had a thing for fat women.

So Kathleen did the opposite, and began to starve herself. Living on sips of tea and cigarettes, she lost so much weight over the next two years, she no longer had the energy to keep the house tidy, or go shopping.

Then one morning, Thomas found his father dead in the workshop. The post mortem result was a brain haemorrhage. Kathleen was disappointed that he hadn’t suffered more. But it was her chance to escape, so she went to visit her married sister, and never came home. Thomas was alone at the age of nineteen, and about to embark on a series of events that would eventually lead him to Gillian’s house.

His dad had been a good teacher. He had told him exactly what to do, and how best to do it. As far as Thomas was concerned, he had been the best dad in the world.

Gillian was sleeping soundly by the time he went back up to the bedroom. He lay down gently on the bed next to her and stroked her hair as she slept.

46 thoughts on “Outside: Part Thirty-Two

  1. He hates when they struggle and when they cry. He thinks he is taking care of them, but he feels the need to to tie them up and make sure he leaves no trace…what does it mean? His father taught him that but morality is a personal thing. He had is mother. She could have been his idol. He chose to follow into his father’s footsteps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure he wants them to fall in love with him, but he secures them to stop them running away when he’s asleep. Conflicts with what his father showed him, and what he knows is bad.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes Pete, re: “but he does know what he is doing is wrong, and a criminal act, otherwise he would not plan it so well, and seek to evade capture”.

    Well, of course he knows what he is doing is wrong. This behaviour, (hiding what one is doing) is a cornerstone concept of knowing when we are doing ‘is wrong’ as humans.

    Hence, he is not a sociopath, but rather just another knowingly ‘evil’ creature. Carry on then. . . 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (1) According to a family counselor who dabbles in etymology, Maggie is a poorly cultured pearl.
    (2) After being “discovered” by an intendant staying at the hotel, Maggie rose to become a star in Rossini’s opera, La Gazza Ladra. Because she was paid in silver for her performances, she was able to build up quite a nest egg.
    (3) My neighbors have a joint bank account. It was set up specifically to pay for cannabis cigarettes.
    (4) “Here comes my tuckin’ creep of a father!’ (Maggie Halloran)
    (5) Brendan was a self-employed carpenter who had a woody for his daughter.
    (6) One day, Brendan was gathering up all the wood chips scattered about the floor of his workshop. Suddenly, he had a brilliant ikea: “What if I started a furniture business using particle board instead of solid wood?”
    (7) Thomas liked to watch “The Kominsky Method.” It turned out that he had a thing for fat women like Kathleen Turner because she reminded him of his mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 7) I have never seen that series, but I am partial to KT. (Despite her weight gain, or maybe even because of it?)
      3) One I thought you might notice.
      2) I don’t know that opera, so this went completely over my head.
      Best wishes, Pete. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, that chapter explains a lot Pete.

    As I read the other comments the words on a small painting in my mum’s house kept flashing through my brain:

    “Know God? Know Peace”
    “No God? No Peace”

    There is evil in this world, and it is by design. And yes, anyone who has been introduced to functional morality should know the difference between Good and Evil as our purpose here is to choose between the two, thereby proving our character to the power that created us and the universe we live in.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. For readers to understand his thought process, and the eventual actions that led him to Gillian’s house. He has a completely skewed view of how to treat women, but he does know what he is doing is wrong, and a criminal act, otherwise he would not plan it so well, and seek to evade capture. It is one of those dilemmas faced when dealing with such offenders. Nature, or nurture? Born evil, raised to be evil, or choosing to be evil? I let the readers draw their own conclusions and have their own opinions.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. In A Fish Called Wanda, Curtis tries to rationalize Kline’s behavior by saying Kline had been abused as a boy; and Palin stutters, ‘Ga, Ga, Ga, Good.’
    Please excuse my attempt of introducing a little comic relief, Pete; but this ranks right up with your serial killer writing. I have to come up for air every now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my. This struck far too close to home. The damaged child inflicting damage on the next generation. Gillian doesn’t seem to have had much of a childhood either. Perfect match? But what sort of childhood would their kids have? This is how the world gets screwed up.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To others, his childhood is very disturbing. However, since he was never exposed to what we consider normal, he believes his childhood was wonderful!
        Still, I feel like the plot is taking a slightly sinister turn… lol

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am known for writing about unsympathetic characters, Kevin. I base them on my life experience, as I met very few sympathtic people. But given the way his father brought him up, can he be blamed? Always the dilemma, with such offenders.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we are all ultimately responsible for our own actions whatever our backgrounds. So I can understand people like Thomas, but not absolve them from blame. Not everyone who has a horrendous childhood does wicked things to others. So yes one can “blame” Thomas/hold him responsible for his actions. Where someone is severely mentally deficient, that is a different matter. Having said all that, people like Thomas do need help to deal with their behaviour (and that it is putting it mildly). Do you believe in the concept of free will Pete? Best. Kevin

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t excuse people like Kevin in real life. If they know enough about human behaviour to run a business or hold down a job, and understand they are being devious and manipulative in their actions with people like Gillian, then to my mind they are nothing more than dangerous criminals. When similar offenders have been released early on the recommendations of doctors and social workers because of their ‘background’, they mostly offend again in a very short time.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 2 people

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