Son and Father

“Son is happy when Father plays with him” said Son while dragging Father by the index finger along the dark corridor, an endless tunnel of darkness from his perspective, the light of his room shining at the end of it.

Turn the light off when you exit a room, the rule stated — energy saving, of course —, but not before turning the light on in the room you are entering, Son amended, afraid of the dark.

Tonight, however, he had violated both the rule and its amendment when he had left his room running to welcome Father back from work.

Now, his tiny hand clung to Father’s huge forefinger, Son was conducting Father out of the darkness, wondering if Father was afraid of darkness, because, when Father was with him, he was not afraid of darkness; but what if Father was afraid of darkness?! Should he then be afraid of darkness too?

Father interrupted Son’s spaghetti-thought replying “Father happy too when playing with Son” in that unique idiom of theirs, hoping to be convincing enough.

And Son realized that Father would never be afraid of anything, and they would walk together towards his room wherever it may be.


“Look, dad! Skeletor captured He-Man and imprisoned him in the dungeons of Snake Mountain!”

“No way!” — Damn! I had almost forgotten about tomorrow…

“But Man-at-Arms is gathering the most powerful warriors of Eternia to attack Snake Mountain and rescue He-Man!”

“Sounds like a good plan!” — That means I must complete that fucking presentation tonight!

“They will attack with all the available vehicles, dad, you see?”

“Of course! Of course!” — Your mother is already wearing her red gym suit of the special occasions anyway, and those blue beach-and-home slippers that would abort the erection of a convict watching porn.


Father was sitting on Son’s bed, deeply focused on whatever was troubling his mind, while Son would want him to kneel on the floor and interact with the action figures.

That was so frustrating!

Bored, Son left, walked out of his room.

He did not even care to turn the light off because Father was still there. His presence gave him strength. If Father had been with him, he would have walked the corridor in pitch darkness, but that was not the case: Father was in his lit room behind him, and Mother would be welcoming him at the other end of the tunnel — he could hear her dealing with pans or pots, making dinner.

Mother was beautiful. His middle school teacher was pretty, but Mother was prettier. When she was wearing that red gym suit, making her slim body look puffier, she emanated the joy of a Santa Claus.

Only Alice was more beautiful and graceful than Mother.


He made up his mind: he was going to take the car and go to Alice!

Of course, he did not have any car. He would have to drive Father’s car, if only he could reach the pedals and be able to keep his eyes on the road at the same time.

He would drive the car backwards, out of the garage, looking in the rearview mirror, like Father does.

He would carefully close the doors of the garage, and push the heavy iron gate until the lock would click — no one must know that the gate can be unlocked using just one finger, another rule stated.

He would drive along that steep road, barely able to see it, scarcely illuminated by the old car’s headlights. Turn after turn, he would climb up and up, just like Father would.

Would Alice wait for him on top of that hill?

Son had never taken into account the possibility of leaving Father and Mother behind in order to pursuit a personal ambition.

If only he had taken a last look into the rearview mirror while leaving, he would have seen Father and Mother waving to him in support.

Would he remember them, should he come back?


He’s back.

His home has been rebuilt, completely redesigned, but still somehow it looks the same.

It shines in the sun: geometrically harmonious shapes surrounded by a perfectly trimmed lawn, the greenest of all.

On the lawn lies a rotting body.

He looks closer at the corpse and shivers: the features are unrecognizable, but it’s wearing Mother’s red gym suit, now crumpled and full of stains, and those blue beach-and-home slippers now falling to pieces.

He does not have time for this Mother. He has to move on. Another young and beautiful Mother is waiting for him inside. Neither gym suit nor slippers for her.

She jumps and hugs him with arms and legs, and kisses his whole face.

And she yells with joy: “Hey, Son, Father’s home!”

And Son shivers, watching Father as he comes, while he’s still playing with Father in his room.


Fabio Scagliola,