Growing up in the Chambers household is like growing up for a war zone. In a world that is short on money and with an abundance of alcohol, there is little chance of making without a few battle scars. It is a place of anger and violence ran by one of the meanest men of Castle Rock. Dennis Chambers is a dictator over his family. His word is law. Anyone who is foolish enough to cross it will pay a hefty price. Aside from whatever random set of rules Mr. Chambers set in place there is only one that has been created by the other family members, and that is to survive. It is every man for his self in this home; the weak will fall and only the lucky will make it out alive, hopefully as soon as possible.
It is no wonder that the Chambers kids are messed up. Having come from a dysfunctional family; it would be difficult not to. Everyone in town knows that they are trouble, particularly the two eldest. Richard, more commonly known as Eyeball, is a part of a small gang made up of other troubled local boys. Because very few of the boys have the urge to return to their not-so-happy-homes, they stay out late partying and causing minor but still destructive offences. At the age of seventeen Eyeball already has created quite the reputation for himself and is quickly catching up to his father.
Then there is Dixie, the eldest and only girl out of the Chambers kids. She is not the brightest crayon in the box, nor is she the prettiest girl in town, but her outgoing, nearly aggressive personality made her attractive enough to bring a few boys her way. Like her brother, Dixie refuses to stay at home long and spends much of her time with various boyfriends. Right before her eighteenth birthday her small figure began to swell, and a few months later she walked down the aisle to wed a classmate named Roy. They have now moved into a trailer far away from her childhood home and are awaiting the arrival of their first born child. In her spare time Dixie knits tiny, pink hats and socks in hopes that her baby will be a girl. After putting up with two brothers for so long, it would be nice to have a little girl in her life.
Chris is the youngest of the three. He is well behaved compared to his siblings. For the most part he kept to himself and did quite well with his school work. There was hope for Chris- was being the key word here. After an incident of vanishing milk money and Chris taking a mini vacation from school, there is little hope left. At age twelve his density has already been chosen. Everyone, including Chris, knows that he will turn out bad just like the rest of his family. There is no way to change it.
As previously stated, all three Chambers children try to spend as much time away from home as humanly possible. Dixie has no problem now that she has a family of her own to tend to. Once Eyeball's friends had gotten cars, he was free to leave the house more often and able to stay out longer. He does this as often as permitted. Chris, who does not own a bike, relies on his friends for escape. Since he does not have any mode of transportation he travels by foot, which often leaves him at stuck at home more often than his brother.
Chris does not like it when his brother leaves, at least not when he is left on his own. There are times where he is just near begging for Eyeball to stay. One December evening he finds himself in this position again. Chris is in the bedroom that he shares with Eyeball, sitting on the edge of his bed as he watches his brother as he prepares to take on the night. It is nearly eleven o'clock, and Chris is already in his pajamas. He should be sleeping now. His father could come home any minute now and find him awake. The outcome may not be good.
"I don't know why you have to go out so late," Chris says.
"It's not even late," Eyeball says as he pulls a white t-shirt over his head. "Nothing good ever happens until at least midnight."
Eyeball scoffs. "Nothing you need to know about."
"You're a kid, stupid. It ain't kid stuff."
Chris picks at the dingy bed sheets. "Well, if nothing good starts until midnight then maybe you can stay here for a little bit longer. Just until Dad goes to sleep."
"Not a chance. Who knows when the fuck that will be." Eyeball glances over at his brother and notices the look of worry on the boy's face. "Just don't say anything stupid or look at him and you'll be fine. It will probably be best if you stay in here."
As good as the advice may sound, both brothers know that in the end it may not being any help. There have been nights when their father returned home drunk and pulled someone out of bed to scream at him or her in a drunken rage. Now that Dixie is out of the picture and Eyeball is nearly too big to push around, Chris often becomes the target of their father's bullying.
A loud horn blares impatiently outside. The two brothers look out towards the window. There is Ace and the other guys; Eyeball must leave now. Chris sighs quietly through his nose as a feeling of dread kicks in. He has lost. He must spend the rest of the night on his own. Chris lies down in his bed, turning onto his side and pulls the blanket up around himself.
Eyeball watches his younger brother as he slips on his leather jacket. He does not want to leave Chris in this position, but there is no way he can stay in this house any longer. For a moment he lets his tough guy persona fall a bit. "You'll be fine," he says, his voice softer than usual. He roughly messes with Chris' hair as he passes by. "Stay safe, kid."
Chris does not reply. Eyeball hits the light switch and leaves the room, shutting the door quietly behind him. Chris waits in silence. He stares at the darkened walls, not ready to close his eyes. He can his hear his brother outside, loudly chatting with his friends. A minute later they take off, peeling loudly out of the driveway hollering. Chris is now alone, at least for awhile. He closes his eyes, hoping that sleep will take over soon rather than later. A prayer pops into his mind. His family has never been particularly religious, but in his younger years his mother would make him and his siblings recite this certain prayer before bedtime.
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Chris repeats the prayer in his mind several times. It is childish, but it brings some sort of comfort. Hopefully there is a god up there watching and these words are enough to protect him through the night. Everything is ok, Chris tells himself. Everything will be fine.
So, this is a pretty short chapter and there is not much going on. I do promise that it will start picking up after this! The next chapter will be much longer and will have more going on. It should pick up rather quickly, or so I hope. This is my first time writing in this fandom so I apologize for it not being too good.