The Naked Father – Eric Thralby

The first time I saw my father naked, he shut the door.
When I saw him again he was sleepwalking.
Asleep, he pulled everything from our fridge and threw it on the floor.
I stepped on an egg. He turned. 
Look at me, he said.
He looked cut from stone.
Look at me, he said. I am your father.
The next man was in the shower, a shadow behind the curtain.
Dad, I said. 
What’s the matter, he said.
There’s a man, I said.
He’s a repairman, he said.
I washed my hands. The man did not part the curtain.
At night, I dreamt a naked man came in through my window and crawled into my bed. I could not find him.
My father confronted me once before school.
Do I terrify you, he said?
I had on my boots. I had on my pants. I put on my winter jacket.
He stood in the entryway as tall as the ceiling and naked.

Captain by trade, Cpt. Eric Thralby works wood in his long off-days. He time-to-time pilots the Bremerton Ferry (Bremerton—Vashon; Vahon—Bremerton), while other times sells books on, SellerID: plainpages. He’ll sell any books the people love, strolling down to library and yard sales, but he loves especially books of Romantic fiction, not of risqué gargoyles, not harlequin romance, but knights, errant or of the Table. Eric has not published before, but has read in local readings at the Gig Harbor Candy Company and the Lavender Inne, also in Gig Harbor.

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