Like Father…

by John Dougherty

I guess I never really knew him.

He left after two years, with apologies but no explanations. I didn’t tell him I was pregnant. If he wanted to leave, I didn’t want him to stay.

When he left, the neighbours’ pets stopped disappearing. I didn’t make the connection then.

Four years later. The moon is a fat cyst in the sky, illuminating the mess on the nursery floor. A cat. I think.

“I was so hungry, Mommy,” my son growls.

He has his father’s eyes. They glint yellow from the shadows.

His father’s eyes and, oh God, his father’s teeth.


John Dougherty

John Dougherty is a Pennsylvania-based writer, educator, and dad. You can learn more about his work at:


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