Heartlifting Oni Story

    Just one more knife, and… there! I took a step back to admire the various pointy things from around the house surrounding the chainsaw I was using as a centerpiece on the dining room table. It was kind of a shame none of them were bent or rusty, but the missus took good care of them. As a last minute stroke of genius I added a few of my weightlifting trophies to the collection and stood a bit farther back. Yup, if I was going to take someone’s only daughter out to her Junior Ball and walked into her house to see a bunch of crap like that on the dining room table I’d probably piss myself. Perfect. Well, not quite, but since the local gun store was out of all the scary black shotguns this would have to do.


Sorry Rebecca, daddy tried.


“Deeear,” my wife’s voice floated from the stairs as as she silently padded down. She was freakishly quiet for someone that big.”Would you run into the garage and grab the scissors I keep in—nevermind, here they are. Do we have anything sharp that isn’t on the table?”

“I don’t think I missed anything.” The stupid sword I ordered on Amazon still hadn’t come in though. Two day shipping, my ass.

“What about the weed whacker?”

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“Honestly,” she sighed, picking up the tool in one strong, bronzed hand, “there’s no reason to try so hard to be intimidating, you already look like you could snap most people in half.”


     Says the woman that got us kicked out of our gym for emasculating everyone else in the place. Did she not realize how intimidating an eight foot tall brown oni with abs that could cut diamonds was? The white horn nestled above her piercing yellow eyes and the ash blonde hair I loved so much didn’t do much to silence those “please don’t eat and/or rape me!” thoughts most people had when they first saw her, either. Still, she was a teddy bear unless you got her drunk, in which case she was a teddy bear that liked to wrassle. You really had to love Zipangu women.


“Yeah, but I have to look like I want to.”

“Oh, Fine. I’m putting the weed whacker away though.”

“Yeah, okay.” I’d never really wanted the weed whacker out anyway, but in marriage you had to make concessions and if nothing else I was a team player. At least while she was looking.


“Mom!” Another voice, this time accompanied by much louder footsteps called out just as my beautiful wife walked into the garage. “Hey Dad, where’s—why’s there a chainsaw on the table?”

“Thought I’d pick up juggling.” I looked over my shoulder to see my daughter Rebecca plodding into the dining room still wrapped in a bib.

“Oooookay.” She knew better than to ask any more. “So how do I look,” she asked after snapping off the bib.


     Becca took a lot after her mother, though her hair was just a bit darker and she had my nose. As such she was absolutely drop dead gorgeous. The pale blue of the dress she wore complimented her skin, more of a mocha than her mother’s bronze and the sapphire necklace around her neck set off her eyes. The dress itself was a floor length backless number held up at the neck in front and completely absent in the rear until just above her hips. If she and her mother hadn’t spent days choosing it, her chest wasn’t completely covered and it didn’t show off the fantastic cut she had around her Lats I would’ve complained. Of course, with a backless dress a loose hairdo would be counterproductive; her mother had tied Rebecca’s hair into a bun, and that too was stunning and a beautiful change from her usual ponytail.


“You look amazing, Googly Bear.”

She made that face only teenage girls can make, like Satan himself had just stepped in dog shit and smeared it all over her dress. “Please don’t call me that in front of Josh.”

“Okay, Shnookums.” See? Team play.


But ‘Josh?’ Really? I hated him already.


The slamming of the garage door announced my wife’s return.

“Becca, what are you doing downstairs? I still haven’t finished your face yet.”

“Uh, her face?” I asked.

“Only her eyebrows and a little lipstick,” The missus sighed as she nudged Rebecca up the stairs. Phew.


    There was time to kill. I found myself rearranging my display, examining the house, basically pacing like a caged animal. I had cause to worry of course, any father would worry about his perfect little angel being used and abused by some teenage creep. I should know, I was exactly the kind of jerk I wouldn’t let anywhere near Rebecca at that age. So I had reason to worry, not only because I was her dad, but because I loved her. Moreover, Mamono didn’t get STDs ever or even pregnant if they didn’t want to so there was nothing to stop two teenage horndogs from going at it all night. Well, nothing short of an angry father with a shotgun, and I had no shotgun. I knew we should’ve moved to Texas. At least then I could borrow one or twenty. It was the kind of thought that’d make me rip my hair out if my head wasn’t already shaved.


    The doorbell finally rang; it was go time. As I turned to answer the door a brown blur streaked down the stairs.

“Remember, best behavior,” my wife reminded me as she caught me by the arm. So much for my plan to slam the door in Josh’s face. Instead we answered together, my lovely wife draped around my arm. Or maybe I was draped around hers. It was hard to tell in this relationship.


    Anyway, we opened the door, and there was Josh. He looked like a ‘Josh’ with his spiky hair, shit eating grin and slim fit suit. He looked a lot like me at his age. I found myself angry and nervous at the same time, as that same look had totally gotten me laid on my prom night. Well, my bitchin’ moves probably helped, but still.


“Josh” took my hand after introducing himself to my wife. You know, you can tell a lot about a man by his handshake. The grip, shake, and eye contact involved were a measure of his soul, of the feeling he wanted to leave behind as a first impression. To test him you had to squeeze like you wanted to break his hand and shake like you wanted to rip his scrawny arm off.


This came easily to me because I DID.


     Josh stared dutifully at my chin as I took his hand and he didn’t even attempt to do anything with his free arm. More importantly, his grip was weak. It was just barely enough to keep me from collapsing his fingers, and his shake was even weaker, like he wanted this to be over and done with quickly. Not today, motherfucker.


“Listen up, Josh,” I began, still doggedly shaking the tiny little thing he called a hand, “when you find a girl as cute and special and smart and caring and beautiful and—”


“—And as perfect as my Snugglekins—”


“—You’ve gotta treat her right, otherwise her dad gets real angry and things that should be straight get bent at funny angles, got it?”

The Missus butted in. “Dear, I don’t think we need to threaten the guest, do we?”

We didn’t need to, per se, but we really wanted to. We liked it, it made us feel better. Crap, this “we” thing was good, it almost made it sound like I wasn’t the one doing everything. I’d have to remember that.

“Don’t worry Mrs. G,” Josh began, doing his damndest to ignore my persistent hand shake, “I’m gonna treat Rebecca real good. You can bet on th—owowowowow!”

“Okay then,” my lovely wife sang, twisting my hand away the dirtbag in front of me before I finished breaking his fingers, “why don’t you have a seat until Rebecca is done upstairs?”


    That was a mistake. I knew my wife; Becca would’ve been done ten minutes ago at least, this was just one of those things women did to… what, raise anticipation? Only a newbie would fall for that, any experienced man would entertain himself in the meantime instead of worrying about it. Anyway, it was a thing women did, and I knew before long she’d be upstairs squealing with Becca about her date. The mistake wasn’t the girlish excitement though, it was leaving me alone with an enemy of the state while I was at Defcon One.My wife was pretty cute for an eight foot tall bundle of muscle sometimes, but when she gets excited she slips up.


    I sat across from “Josh” after he found his way into the family room—completely ignoring my display on the way, the prick—pointedly staring at him. As it turned out, he had the entertainment thing down pat and completely ignored me while he diddled with his phone. Fine, new tactic.

“You like knives, boy?”

“Not really,” he answered without even looking up.

“Well back in ‘Nam-”

“You’re nowhere near old enough for Vietnam.”

“Back in Afghanistan, when I was an Army Seal—”

“The story’s already ruined, old man. Let’s just cut to the chase; you’re going to say something along the lines of ‘if you touch my daughter I’m going to string you up by your testicles and hang you from a phone pole,’ right?” That wasn’t a bad idea, actually. “Right. Look, I’m going to take her out, show her a good time and bring her home. I promise she’s in good hands.”


     I used almost that exact same line while I was trying to reassure my prom date’s father. I showed her a good time alright, and I brought her home after dawn. Still, I had to give the kid a chance.


“Fine, Josh, let’s be straight with each other. Do you have impure intentions for my daughter?”

“I only intend to do the same sorts of things you did after you met your wife.”


    Alright, see that entailed a LOT of impure things. Tons. The missus and I made rabbits look lazy the first few months we started dating. What do you say to that, though? ‘Do as I say, not as I did frequently and for like three days straight that one time I still brag about’ or something? I had nothin’.


“Okay everyone, we’re ready!” My wife bounded around the corner with my daughter in tow just before I managed to say something stupid.

“Wow,” Josh exclaimed, finally showing interest in something for the first time since he got here, “You look great, Becca!”


     I watched in horror as Josh pulled out the corsages. Both of them. One strained band held a bouquet around my Musclepoo’s wrist, another stuck onto the top of her horn. Rebecca absolutely beamed as she bent over to let Josh put it on.

“Oh my god, no one else is going to have one of these!”

Josh smiled too, but his was for a different reason. He was already in and he knew it. How dare he celebrate the difference between Rebecca and the other girls in a complementary and totally inoffensive way! That bastard!


     And then there were a bunch of other shallow compliments and bits of small talk exchanged. I did my best to stick with it and not wring the skinny little homo’s neck. It was a Herculean effort, but a man needs both a strong body and a strong mind; I managed to endure the urge long enough to watch the two of them get into a limo. I gave one meaningful rap on the window before the limo pulled away and Josh rolled down the window. I gave him my best best stern father look as I spoke.

“Take good care of my girl now, hear? And have her back by seven.”

“The dance doesn’t even start until seven.” The smug brat intoned.

“I know.” My wife daintily pulled me away from the window and leaned down to look into the window herself.

“Why don’t we make that midnight?”

“Midnight?!” I sputtered, “You can’t let her come home at the witching hour!”

Becca groaned from the other side of the car. “Is now the bitching hour? We’ll see you by twelve, Mom.” With that my daughter reached across Josh and hit the button that rolled up the window. No Rebecca,  don’t lean that close to his crotch! You’ll get cooties! Sadly, before I could get the warning out the window was up and the limo pulled away.


“They grow up so fast,” the missus sighed as we watched the car fade into the distance.

“Too fast,” I agreed.

“That’s true, but we coddled her long enough. We’ve taught her well, I think.”

“Yeah, maybe. We could’ve worked on her taste in boys a little more though. Did you see that kid’s arms? He doesn’t even lift! I refuse to let my daughter be married off to some puny little shrimp that can’t even carry her body weight.”

“Don’t you think that’s a little unrealistic? Becca’s a big girl.”

“I carried you on our wedding night, didn’t I?”

“Yes,” the jolly brown giant sighed, stepping behind me and wrapping her arms around my chest, pulling my head into her own. “I also remember you hitting my head against the door.”

“It wasn’t big enough for our love.”

“Awww, you’re such a sweet talker!” Damn right I was, if they gave out medals for that I’d be in the olympics. The missus was always good for a snuggle, but somehow even doing that wasn’t enough to calm me down today.

“My little Buttercup is sensitive, you know. I’m really worried about her. ”

My wife hugged me tighter into her chest as her voice took on that tone she had when she was feeling frisky. “I think I can do something about that.” Ah, she must’ve meant that thing we did when I was stressed out.

“It won’t help.”

“We’ll see about that.”



“Oh baby it’s so close! Come on!”

“Oh god, I can’t take it!” The words came through clenched teeth as I struggled to ignore the sweat dripping into my eyes.

“Harder, darling!”

Just… a… little… more!




     I seated the bar into its rest once I finally got it up. I’d just done an extra set with more weight than usual; normally that was enough to make even the worst day better, but not this one. My lovely spotter leaned over me and handed me a towel as I lay panting on the bench.

“Was it good?”

“Hell yeah.” It was, but another thought sprang to mind. “Becca’s been so busy getting ready today she hasn’t done a single rep, has she?”

“Oh, dear. She’s just being a girl, you can’t expect her to think about nothing but lifting weights all the time. You knew she was going to go out looking for a nice boy one of these days.”

"There aren’t any nice boys. That’s why the only one she's allowed to love is her father. "

“Now, now,” my wife smiled as she reached down to pat my bare head, “I still love my father, you know. He’s even learned not to hate you as much these days.”


     The poor bastard was finally starting to go senile. I didn’t think I could ever get used to someone like Josh though. Seriously, who the hell names their kid Josh? It was like naming your son Marco and expecting him not to be a whore when he grew up. Oh God, Becca wasn’t working his corner right now, was she?! There was entirely too much of me in that charming fucker, he probably wouldn’t even have trouble talking most girls right out of their panties. Rebecca was my daughter though, I’d taught her all of the tricks, but had that been enough? Should I have told her stories about what I used to do to her mother to gross her out? Maybe I could’ve messed with some of her CDs so they said “boys are bad” when you played them backward? Too late now, there was nothing I could do but sigh and come up with increasingly worse scenarios for how the night could go.


“I hope he doesn’t take advantage of her.”

“Take advantage? If he tried she’d rip him in two.”

“She could rip him in two, but she wouldn’t. Sugarbear is too gentle... when her daddy isn’t involved.”

“Then mama’d rip him in half when she found out.”

“Then papa’d rip him into, uh… dimes!”

“Quarters, dear.”

“Yeah, that! I married you for your brain, you know.”

“Really? I thought you married me for something else that starts with a B.”

“Your biceps?”

“I. Mean. My. Breasts~” She leaned forward to give me a better view.

“Oh, yeah. Those are good too. Still in fine form, by the way.”

“You’re not too depressed to flirt, I see.” My wife grinned as she sat down next to me on the bench.

“Baby, only a cop could make me that depressed.”

“I think you’re thinking of arres—nevermind. Hey, wanna do that,” she asked as she wrapped an arm around my neck.


“Come on.” She pulled me down now, my cheek was touching one of those heavenly orbs. “Okay, maybe just a little.” I barely had to move to push my nose into the  soft lycra of her sports bra. After that all I had to was shake my head a little and... “ABUBUBUBUBUBU!”


     Motorboating was so fun! Even my daughter going to prom with a dickwad couldn’t stop me from coming up from that with a grin. My wife kept hers a bit longer, but I did at least manage to knock it off my face before long. the missus giggled when she saw my strained serious face.

“You know, if I didn’t know better I’d think you were trying to be upset.”

I grunted. “I’m going to go clean up the dining room and brood. If you need me I’ll be in the basement thinking dark thoughts and totally not crying.”

“Oh, fine.” She shrugged, then slid under the bar and casually lifted the weights I’d been straining under. At least she was being nice enough to not add any weight until after I left.


    Putting all those pointy things away was a long job. I stretched it out even longer by dragging my feet about it and polishing my trophies before I put them away. It’d only been a few hours since another man had stolen my darling daughter away from me and I was already feeling empty nest syndrome. At times like this I wished it was even possible for me to have a son so I could high-five him for the hot date instead of pulling my hair out all night. Oh well, I’d known that wasn’t happening when I married a mamono.


    I’d just finished waxing the bald head of my final trophy and was considering waxing my own using my tears when suddenly the sound of a key in the lock shook me from my  depression. It was only eleven! Was Becca home already?! I raced up the stairs and tried not to look excited as I watched my daughter walk in.

“Why are you home so early, princess?”



    Well that was dumb. Becca didn’t walk inside, she broke into a run, streaming tears and snot behind her as soon as she saw me. The door went banging into the wall and she ran into me so hard she knocked the wind out of me. She would’ve knocked me over if she wasn’t squeezing the life out of me before gravity figured out what the hell was going on.

“UWAAAAAAAAH!” Rebecca bawled into the top of my head. How long had it been since I’d seen her cry like this? How long had it been since I’d gone this long without air?

“Daddy can’t breathe, Sweetykins,” I managed to choke out as I furiously tapped her shoulder.

“WAAHHH, DADDY!” Right when I didn’t think it was even possible my daughter managed to squeeze me even harder. Thank god my life spotter came just in time.

“Papa’s tapping out, Becca. Let go.”


    Air! As soon as the vice-grip on my sides loosened I swallowed as much of it as my burning lungs would let me. The only thing louder than my gasping was Rebecca’s bawling.

“What’s wrong, cupcake?” I managed to ask as my wife reached over me to clean Becca’s face with her gym towel.

“Josh was…” The 7’6” stack of muscle sobbed.


    I knew it! I needed to be in two places at once: by my daughter’s side helping her get over the hurt that asshole had brought on her and at the same time shoving my foot so far up his ass he tasted leather. All I could do for now though was pat her back while she told her story.


“I just wanted to go dance and have a good time, but Josh wanted to do something dirty and he said all the other girls were doing it and he doesn’t even lift but he was getting so pushy and he already had a hotel room so I felt like I had to because he’d spent money on it and he was acting so cool before!” becca paused just long enough to sniff and inhale before continuing. “Then I wanted to leave but he wouldn’t call the limo to take me home so I had to get a cab and it smelled like smoke and the driver barely spoke English and I was crying so hard I could barely give him my address and he was looking at me in the mirror the entire time! Tonight sucked!”


    My daughter’s story came out as a stream of complaints. I couldn’t really blame her though, I’d be complaining up a storm if that happened to me, too. It was hard to listen to, not only because I had to see my daughter hurting, but also because I was trying to listen to her talk while still thinking up creative ways to kill the asshole that did this in the first place. For example, how much rope would I need to string the bastard from a phone pole by his ballsack? Lifting the skinny little twat wouldn’t be a problem, but…


    My split thinking was interrupted by the missus peeling Rebecca’s arms off of me.

“Okay Becca, why don’t you go upstairs and change? We’ll talk about it when you come down.”

The shorter oni nodded and trudged up the stairs, leaving a trail of misery in her wake.


    My wife and I watched in silence until Becca was out of sight.

“Well, that was a disaster,” she sighed.

“No kiddin’. I’ll bet the asshole’s still at the dance trying to pick someone else up though, we’re gonna have a little talk.”

A strong hand clamped down on my shoulder before I even made it close to my shoes by the door.

“You’re not going anywhere. Your daughter needs you right now.”

“Yeah, but he needs my boot up his ass, too.”

“Dear, Rebecca needs you. My boot will work just as well for Josh.” The cracking of her knuckles really added emphasis on that last part.


     There wasn’t going to any argument here. She’d win anyway, but she was right. My daughter was crying, I couldn’t leave her right now.

“Fine. What are you planning on doing?”

“I don’t know,” my wife shrugged as she reached down for her shoes, “I’ll have a few choice words for him at least.”

“And by ‘words’ you mean ‘punches,’ right?”

“By ‘words’ I mean ‘words.’ At least.”

“You should’ve just let me slam the door on him in the first place. I knew this would happen.”

“Well, I didn’t think it would be this bad.”

“‘This bad?’” My eyebrow twitched. “You thought this was going to happen?”

“Well sure, but not like this. I thought Josh was going to deliver a gentler kind of heartbreak.”

“Why would you—”

“Every woman has to learn this lesson eventually, dear. Better now while we’re here for her.”

“But my little girl—”

“Shh. You trust me, don’t you?”


“Then keep trusting me. She’ll get over it. You can bet she won’t make the same mistake twice, either. I dated a bad boy or two when I was her age, I should know.”

“But you still married me!”

“Yes, I married you. Do you really think a man as worried about someone else as you are right now can be compared to that boy?” My wife smiled as she leaned down to kiss my forehead. “I’ll be back in a bit. Take care of Becca while I’m gone, okay?”


    I had no words; all I could do was watch my wife slip out of the door in silence. A learning experience, huh? I didn’t like the idea, but deep down I knew she was right, even if it hurt to watch. That part was over though, now was the time for healing. My time.

“Okay Papa,” I asked myself out loud, “what’re you gonna do?”

To start, I’d probably want to find my daughter.


    The door to her room was shut and she didn’t answer when I knocked. Normally I’d get yelled at for opening the door, but tonight… I took a risk and cracked the door wide enough to stick my head in. Rebecca was laying on her bed as facedown as an oni ever got with a pair of headphones covering her ears. Waving my arm got her attention and she looked up at me with bloodshot eyes.

“What?” She asked without moving. her voice came out muffled by the mattress.

“Hi, Sugar Muffin. Do you, uh, wanna hit the gym or something?”



    I lead the way to our cozy little home gym and set Rebecca up for some squats. I had to back the weight down by a hundred pounds after her mother used the set and I was still jealous of the stacks she had on the bar. As expected her form was still perfect through the entire workout, too. She wasn’t anywhere near back to normal, but some good exercise was at least enough to make her look less miserable.


    Becca headed for the shower after working up a good sweat, I headed for the kitchen while she was at it. At times like this a treat was called for, but I had no idea what. Rummaging through the kitchen I managed to dig up a bucket of chocolate ice cream and a bottle of the wife’s good sake. I broke into a cold sweat staring at the two items. We could share a bottle of sake between the two of us and an oni would barely feel it, but that would be illegal and there was a good chance the missus would kill me if she found a bottle gone. The ice cream was totally legal and no one would miss it, but at the same time it would kill her gains. Teenage alcoholism or a soft, unsculpted body? Lifelong addiction or useless flab?


Being a good father was hard.


    I waited patiently downstairs for the shower to turn off and the bathroom door to open. By the time it did the ice cream was at that perfect temperature where it was still cold but not rock hard from the freezer, either. To my surprise I didn’t have to follow my daughter back to her room, she actually came and sat down next to me on the couch.

“That for me?” Rebecca asked as she took a spot next to me and nodded at a bowl.

“That one’s yours,” I took the smaller bowl next to it. The much smaller bowl.


    We needed to talk, but it seemed like the best idea to let Rebecca take the lead. Except for the clinking of spoons on dishes we sat in silence until she finally spoke.

“I’m not going to prom.”




    Wait, no. Those are the words I wanted to hear second most, right behind “I’m never dating again ever,” but they weren’t words I should accept. Deep down even I knew that there had to be some guy handsome, smart, caring and responsible enough for my daughter. She might have to scour the earth to find him, but he still had to be out there. Becca deserved to find him, didn’t she?


Being a good father was haaaaaard.


“Don’t say that, Kitty Cat.” I mumbled through grated teeth, “There’s someone out there that’s right for you, you just have to be more careful finding them.” You can always send the scumbags like Josh to daddy though.

“It was awful though, I never want to feel that way again.” I’d spent most of my time breaking hearts, but I’d had mine stepped on enough to know how she felt.

“Yeah, it hurts, doesn’t it? When you fall off the horse like that you’ve just gotta learn from it and start riding again, though.”

“That sounds kind of dirty.”

“I was talking about actually riding actual horses. No centaurs involved.”


“Anyway, it’s all about the guy you go for. Josh was trouble from the start, guy was a bad boy through and through.”

Becca’s nose wrinkled. “So what am I supposed to look for, nice guys like nerds or something?” That was an ‘ask your mother’ question if I ever heard one, especially since the missus seemed to know a lot you didn’t on the subject, but here was my daughter looking to me to answer the question. Think fast, papa.

“Er, I wouldn’t go that far. You don’t have to go after some pale wet noodle of a man that wouldn’t know what to do with a woman,” though he’d better not know too much about handling a girl, “but you don’t want someone dripping with charm, either. It also helps if they spend most of their time not looking at your chest.”

“But Josh did that.”

“Or your thighs.”

“Well, sometimes he—”

“Or your butt.”

“That explains it.” Rebecca spun her bowl in her hands as she mulled over what I’d just said.

“Anyway,” I said as I wrapped an arm around my giant of a daughter’s shoulder, “I’m just glad you’re back where it’s safe. I was worried that scrawny little prick was going to steal my monkey away from me.”

She responded with a smile and an arm snaked behind my waist. “Oh Daddy, even if I do find a husband you’ll always be my favorite.”

Oh god, my heart! Keep it together!

“Dad, are you crying?”

“No, I just… my eyes are sweating.” That sniff in the middle did nothing to make my weak cover any more convincing.

“Aww.” Rebecca leaned her head against mine and snuggled in closer to my shoulder. I don’t know how long we stayed like that, but by the time I heard the front door my daughter was gently breathing on top of me, out like a light.


     With some stealth and a lot of well applied muscle I managed to move out from under Becca without waking her. After tossing a blanket over my daughter I crept down the hall to meet my wife.

“So?” I asked as my wife slipped out of her shoes.

“We talked. You know, about girls’ feelings and how to treat a lady, that kind of thing.”


“And he acted like he was just agreeing to get rid of me, the little prick, so I threw him in a dumpster.”

Okay, she’d added a step by bothering to talk, but she’d still gotten to the important part. I nodded in understanding.

“You threw the bar so he can’t open it from inside, right?”

“I did one better.” Her face broke into a smile as I waited for her to continue. “I flipped the whole dumpster upside down instead.”

I winced. “Ow.”

“Oh come on, it was mostly empty, it’s not like I hurt him or anything,” the missus protested, her smile growing even wider. “I hope that suit of his wasn’t a rental though. Oh, and I took his wallet while I was at it.”

“Why’d you steal his wallet?” I asked with a cocked eyebrow.

“Why would I go through all that and not steal his wallet?” the oni practically glowed as she spoke, probably thinking back to her glory days in high school. She was a wild one back then.

“Whatever, I’m just glad this is all over.”

“Come on, wasn’t it fun?” My oni wife took my arm as she laughed. “Let’s make another one.”

“I’m okay. I don’t think I can handle going through this all over again.”

The world spun as a pair of strong arms swept me up into a princess carry.

“You’re going to try anyway.” The smile on my wife’s face took on a new meaning as she uttered the words. I still had an ice pack in the freezer, right?


    A year passed. Rebecca and her mother had a bit of a falling out after my daughter found out about the embarrassing things her mother had done to her date without her even asking, but like most parental transgressions she got over it. Her hurt heart healed and Becca made more stumbling steps towards finding that perfect guy. Daddy had to watch on every time she fell, but she always got back up a little stronger. That time came around once again. The night of Senior Prom. At least this was the last time I’d have to go through this with some high school punk.


     I took a step back to admire the various pointy things from around the house surrounding my centerpiece. With my wife lurking about I hadn’t managed to make any of them bent or rusty, but but with my new centerpiece that hardly mattered. As a last minute stroke of genius I rearranged my weightlifting trophies into a sparkling golden cradle for the new shotgun I’d managed to pick up this time around. Damn, I was good. After all, I may have decided it was finally okay for my daughter to date, but that sure as hell didn’t mean I wasn’t going to give anyone else with a dick within a fifty yard radius of her a once over.


“Are you doing this again?” My wife’s voice came from behind me. Christ, she was way too quiet.

“It’s a tradition, honey,” I answered as I turned to face her. “It’s as timeless and important as chasing naked boys out of bedroom windows and shotgun weddings.” And I totally had the equipment for that last one now; even if the gun shop wouldn’t sell me any ammo I could bluff.

“If you say so. Scissors?” I handed them to her. They hadn’t even made it onto the table this time.

“Hey listen, about that dress…”

“No more discussion, dear,” she snapped before heading back upstairs.

“But it’s so revealing…” I grumbled to myself. I still hadn’t gotten any say in choosing it, either. That’s not team play at all.


    Once again I preened my collection of fatherly bravado until the moment of truth arrived. I’d shoved a pair of socks into the doorbell chime a week ago so it didn’t make anywhere near as much noise as it normally did. There’d be no way my wife or daughter could hear it go off from upstairs. So why did it go off at the normal volume when it rang?!



With my surprise advantage gone I’d have to do things the old fashioned way. I bolted for the door, but not fast enough. A few hundred pounds of muscle and horn barrelled down the stairs and caught my elbow before I even made it close to the door. She lifted so I was standing on my toes as she smiled.

“Dear, did I tell you I found some of your socks in the doorbell the other day?”

“Haha, no, I wonder how those got there?”

“I don’t know either, but it’d make the bell so much harder to hear with those there, don’t you think?” She asked as we walked to the door together, Becca’s foot steps down the stairs falling in time with ours.

I grumbled, but still made sure I was the one opening the door.


    I did not immediately feel the urge to strangle the young man standing at the door. Not immediately, anyway. He was clean cut and savvy looking, but without any of the greasy sex appeal Josh had carried about him. He wore a black suit with two bouquets under his arm. His body said he took care of himself, even if he didn’t spend all of his time in the gym. Surprisingly he was almost tall enough to look me in the eye, too. That still left him quite a bit shorter than my daughter, but that was to be expected.


“You must be Brandon,” My wife said after allowing we a few seconds to stare the guy down. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“The same to you,” he said as he took her hand and shook it lightly. Hmm… I introduced myself and stuck out my hand.

“Brandon,” the boy repeated as he took my hand, looked me dead in the eye and gave me a good shake with a grip like a gorilla’s. Not bad…

“You know,” I said as I slipped my left hand around his into a double clasp shake, “I haven’t heard your name much, did you and Becca just meet?”

“Not at all sir,” he said with a smile as he reached for my forearm and shook even harder, “We’ve known each other for a while.” Gettin’ kinda ballsy there, kid. I clapped a hand on his shoulder and squeezed as hard as I could. His hand still didn’t cave.

“In that case it almost sounds like she’s been hiding you.” The statement could’ve been taken as a joke, but no one would miss the edge in my voice. Brandon didn’t even break eye contact as he responded.

“I don’t know why that would be.”


The handshake intensified as we locked eyes with each other, my hand clamped on his shoulder, his wrapped around my forearm. The kid wasn’t satisfied to let it fizzle out that way though. Almost in slow motion I watched as Brandon let go of my arm, reached up, and rubbed my head. There was a sharp intake of breath as both of the girls waited to see what I would do. I turned to see my wife still smiling impassively, but sweat was beading up on her forehead. Behind me my daughter stared on in wide-eyed horror with her mouth dangling open. I nodded to her.


Ya done good, Rebecca.


I turned back to my daughter’s date for one more look, then gestured inside with my head.

“Come on in, son.”



    As it turned out, there really wasn’t much need to invite him in. The missus already had Becca done up and ready to go. He came in anyway though, and I got to glower as he handed my daughter a bouquet and both of them blushed furiously as he slipped a corsage around her wrist. There was still that second bouquet to deal with though, that one he handed to my wife.

“They had two of these left,” the kid said without looking at the woman he was talking to, “so I thought I might as well take them both. You don’t mind, do you?”

“Not at all! It’s been ages since anyone got me flowers!” My wife shot me a glance as she spoke. Alright, alright, point taken. Anyway, I had to admit, the kid was smooth. No, not smooth... sweet? Sweet was a good word. All the moves, none of the bad intention.


Josh had been miniature, scrawny me but Brandon was like a younger me if I wasn’t a horndog. Geeze, the kid was perfect, wasn’t he?


    My display ended up getting ignored again, but somehow I didn’t mind as we walked Brandon and Rebecca out to the limo where Brandon opened the door for her then climbed in after her. I knocked on the window once the door was shut and the boy rolled it down. I gave my best stern father stare as I spoke.

“Treat my daughter well, got it?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And have her back by ten.”


My wife bumped me aside and leaned down to the window herself. “How does midnight sound?”

Brandon looked from my wife to me, back to my wife, back to me.

“For cryin’ out… midnight is fine.”

“Thanks, Dad!” Becca beamed, and her date nodded at me.

“I’ll have her back by 11:30.”


    With that the window rolled up and the limo pulled away.

“Well, there she goes again,” my wife sighed.

“Yup.” I turned before continuing. “I’ll be figuring out how to clean that stupid gun if you need me.”

“I don’t think you’ll want it tonight, dear.”

“I know, but I have to look like I do. I am her father, after all.”


And I always would be, even if Rebecca did find a man that deserved her. I could take comfort in that.





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