o one accused him of being the world’s best father. His kids had been in and out of therapy for years. He’d used them for his own experiments, it was true. And he’d almost eaten his son in a spoonful of cereal. But not on purpose.
It didn't matter that he tried his best. He always made the child support payments on time. They wouldn’t speak to him anymore. He left messages. He kept scrapbooks, meticulously filed, bragged about every one of their accomplishments to the neighbours. When they’d listen.
The university had pulled the funding years ago. It was a forced retirement. He’d expected, like from out of one of those old B movies, that some general would show up on his lawn in a Sherman tank and demand the plans for his machines. They’d blast the shrinking ray at whatever nation had the most oil, or make 50-foot soldiers. But it never happened. It was always easier to blow things up the old fashioned way.
All he cared about were his children. He thought, if I could only invent something to make them happy. Protect them from pain. He rehearsed the line, You were my greatest inventions, over and over, but he never got to use it. He still spent most days and nights in the attic, toiling away. Tinkering. Building up, breaking down, rebuilding. Every day was a new kind of ruin.
Remember when you were a minipop, and you saw that film, you know, the one you loved that never had a sequel? Well, let's say it did. And it was just like you imagined it, only a little bit worse.