Some Weird Sin

By Cameragrrrl

Disclaimer and some such:
I do not have the rights to use any characters 
officially associated with The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen 
television series. I am using these characters without the 
permission of FOX, 1013 Productions, Chris Carter, or 
any other copyright owners. Of course, this is intended for 
[non-profit] entertainment only, and no 
infringement on copyrights or trademarks 
was intended by the author.

Any similarities to people, places, and other works of
fanfiction are purely coincidental.

All other characters not officially associated with 
The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen (including, but not limited to, 
Smithee and Ellroy) are property of the author 
and should not be recycled into another story without

No animals were harmed during the making of this fanfic, 
except for two mosquitoes and one waterbug.

Cost of coffee drunk while writing this: $15.82
Cost of paper used to print out draft copies: $2.38
Cost of Anne Hawley's beta-reading skills: PRICELESS

The 'present' of this story takes place a few years 
before The Lone Gunmen series timeline.

* * *

Every year, my father dragged us down to the 
Elgin Walmart for a family portrait. He had 
them all framed and hung in ascending order 
leading up the stairs. I used to stare at them
whenever I walked to or from my room - going 
forwards or backwards in time with the pictures. 
There was a strange evolution from shot to shot: 
Each year, we smiled less; each year, my parents 
looked more uncomfortable standing that close to 
each other; each year, I inched further away from 
my dad. By the last picture, we all look stone-faced 
and pained. I was thirteen in that one - the year my 
mom left. We didn't go back to the portrait 
studio after that.

The evolution of a dysfunctional family. No, the 
de-evolution. I have to laugh when I think 
about it now - because if I don't laugh, 
I'll go crazy.

There was only one good picture of all of us - the 
very first one. We're all smiling and optimistic. 
Before any bad shit happened, when my birth was 
still a celebrated event, when my parents still 
sort of loved each other and had newly-forged 
hopes to raise a family and live happily ever after.

She took that one with her. 

I didn't even notice it was missing until almost 
a month after she was gone. Which was strange, 
because for a while right after she left I kept 
combing the house for traces of her, something 
she might have forgotten that she'd need to 
come back for - I didn't fool myself into 
thinking she'd come back for me. But I really 
didn't notice much of anything that first month 
after she left. I didn't feel anything. 
I walked around in a daze, hardly eating, 
leaving my chores unfinished. I forgot day-to-day 
details, like tying my shoes or 
putting my glasses on before I left the house. 
No one seemed to care, or tried to make me snap 
out of it. They just felt bad and tried not to 
mention her name in my presence. Even the bullies 
at school left me alone.

And then I went through this phase, for a 
long time, where all I could see was the one 
thing I didn't get to have - happy mothers 
and their children, together, laughing and 
cuddling, everywhere I went. It was one big 
long distance commercial hallucination, which 
made me alternately insanely jealous or insanely 
disgusted. Sometimes both.

I hate remembering that time of my life.

So I was shuffling up the stairs to my room,
probably coming home from school, when I 
finally noticed the empty picture hook and 
the less-faded patch of wallpaper. I ran 
outside, where my father was weeding his 
small garden in the front yard.

"What'd you do with it?"

He looked tired. "Do with what?"

"The picture. That picture of us -"

"I didn't take any picture."

"But there's one missing from the stair -"

He grabbed me by the jaw and pulled my face 
so close to his I could smell the whisky 
on his breath when he growled, "I said, I 
didn't take any damn picture."

He let go, and I fell forward, smacked 
palm-first into the dirt. He started 
walking back to the house. Just before 
he opened the door, he yelled without 
turning around, "Your mother took it, 
Ringo. Now leave me alone."


I retreated to my tool shed, turned on the 
Ramones as loud at my player would go, 
plugged in my soldering iron - and whatever 
numbness I'd felt was sucked away by a 
sudden, searing, wall punching, radio breaking,
sobbing-until-my-throat-stung tantrum of the 
nth degree. My body snapped out of whatever 
state of shock it had been in for the past 
month. All of Ellroy's presents were ripped 
to shreds. My knuckles were bleeding and sore, 
fingernails torn. They hurt like hell - and 
I was just so relieved to feel something that 
I didn't care.

I wiped my eyes and went back to the house. I 
found my dad passed out in the living room 
in front of the Zenith, empty bottle at the 
foot of the chair. Dragging him to bed had 
been my mother's chore. I tried to lift him, 
but he was too heavy to move.

Fuck it, I thought. That was really the 
beginning of the end for our relationship; 
I just left him there. 

* * *