How a man killed his father.

A heartbreaking, unsentimental story from the Edmonton Journal.

As Sandy screamed at him, Mat left the Bobcat and started heading past the bales toward his shop, running from his father. Inside the shop, Mat went straight to the cupboard at the back and got the combination to the gun safe. He wrote it on his hand, went across to the safe and punched in the code. It always took him a few tries to get the safe open, but this time it opened right away. He took out the .22-calibre Ruger pistol and pushed in the clip. There were three shells inside.

Mat was sure he heard the tractor running out on the road. Then the door flew open and Sandy was there, eyes burning hotter than the sun.

Mat squeezed the trigger once, nothing happened, then again, still nothing, then he realized the safety was on and clicked it off, and raised the gun once more. The pistol fired. He felt it kick in his hand. Sandy had already turned to walk away when the bullet struck the base of his neck. He crashed to the ground face down, heavy and stiff, like a tree falling.

Outside, a breeze rustled through late summer grass, tinkling wind chimes on the porch of the house.

After locking away the gun and ammunition, Mat stepped over his father’s body and left the shop. He walked the dogs, thinking it would probably be a long time before someone walked them, then grabbed a juice box and a granola bar. When his brother arrived, they sat together on the picnic table while Jason talked to the RCMP on the phone and made a plan for Mat to surrender at the end of the road.

– “Fear on the Farm” by Jana G. Pruden.

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