Vic and Tom, Sons of Injustice
© Copyright 2018 by Pamela Bruschi
the darkness of a winter night, stars fought for recognition in the
bitter cold of a wall of fiercely
falling snow. Ice-covered roads challenged the best of drivers, even sober ones. It was close to nine
p.m. and with a false assurance of his driving abilities, the straight stretch of road ahead posed no
threat of danger to him. Whiskey and wine impaired his sense of caution but alcohol did not affect
him, or so his ego believed. He had left his house with the eight-year-old birthday boy beside him
in the front seat of the car. The laws did not apply to him, thus the reason for the forty-five-pound
boy being in the front seat instead of safely in the back seat of the vehicle. His hyperness had
driven him out into the treacherous road conditions on this school night, his excuse being that his
other boy needed the snow pants that he had left behind. Someone else may have rationalized
that the snow pants could be given to the boy the next morning. That boy, older than his brother
by two years, had been refusing to stay overnights at his father's (seldom, ‘dad' to him) for
reasons at this time unknown, perhaps not known consciously to himself.
Unaware that the car was no longer on the road, the little boy, small for his age, viewed from his
eyes the side passenger window which was half hidden by snow. The car was no longer in
motion. He was at this time not aware that he should feel frightened. He turned and observed his
father who was at first motionless and who then began pounding numbers into the cell phone
which he held in trembling hands. Tim would later state that his father appeared to be a little
confused and bewildered. Injustice (the father's name) was calculating what his best move should
be. He failed to glance at the little boy to see if he was okay. In a panicked-stricken voice, he
spoke to a friend on the phone and pleaded with him to come help him. Not 911, not the police,
not a tow-truck. His first thoughts were how to keep himself out of trouble; he couldn't afford
another O.U.I. charge like the one he had gotten in the past. That one had almost cost him his job
and now this, driving the company car on a night like this and the divorce had just been initiated.
He finally glanced over at the little boy. "Quick, slide into the back seat. If you're asked, tell them
you were in the back seat all the time! If not, you'll be the reason I'll go to jail"! The little boy knew
right from wrong but was painfully aware that he would do what his father told him to do.
Wordlessly, he nodded his head.
Tim was consciously aware of the lie he had been forced to tell and was plagued by anxiety and
guilt. He was in conflict about questioning the integrity of his father. This traumatic event would in
the future become a relentless battle within his soul. Truth was at the forefront of his conscience
and doubts had invaded his soul; the conflict of his father being the cause of this turmoil was
unfathomable to him. His brother, Vic, was fearful for the safety of his brother that night as he had
been a witness to the alcohol his father had consumed before his mother had picked him up. He
was well aware of his father’s behavior when he drank and was as traumatized as his brother.
They had learned to look out for each other. They would learn to keep many secrets together.
Their brotherly bond was a strong one, recently made stronger by all of the disruptions in their
An evil presence filled with coldness and darkness had invaded the innocence of their childhood.
They were being drawn through doors that should have been locked, leading them into a world of
fear and deceit and mistrust. An enemy was amongst them, a man without a conscience who
cared for no one but himself. The fighting between Injustice and their mother was escalating and
this environment was becoming increasingly toxic to the innocent souls of these innocent victims.
Changes in their demeanor soon came to light - their chatter was veiled with shadows of sorrow,
they became quieter, spent more time taking naps and experienced headaches and
stomachaches. Injustice was very adept at twisting the truth and painted a picture where he was
the victim and that the children were telling lies and were confused when they relayed to others
certain incidents that occurred when they were with him. He was a master at planting false seeds
of doubt about the emotional state of his children and his wife. He was a sleuth in looking for and
finding people's weaknesses which he could use to his advantage. His ‘chosen' people were only
those who could benefit him in some way.
Prior to the filing of the divorce, he had trouble accepting the fact that he might no longer be the
‘God' to his children that they had previously looked up to him as. He controlled them and his wife
with firm authority that left no room for negotiations; you did not question his authority.
In little voices, not more than whispers, we became aware that they were trying to tell us
something, tell anybody, what they had become fearful of. Expressions of fear and sadness
replaced their previously joyful and innocent countenances. Their laughter was no longer
spontaneous and their smiles did not quite reach the depth of their eyes. They were learning to
hide their feelings and fears, from themselves and from those around them.
frightening seed of doubt about Injustice's character had been
planted in my mind several years
ago, at what I believe was Vic's sixth birthday party. Injustice had become very drunk which we all
had become accustomed to (with reluctance and growing concerns). The boys were bubbling
over with excitement, racing around the house with peals of laughter, singing, and dancing, joking,
being mischievous; seeking attention and pushing each other with squeals of delight. They could
not contain their emotions and their joy was contagious and we welcomed it wholeheartedly.
There was some minor infraction by Tim; perhaps he didn't say ‘thank you' quick enough or was unable
to sit still. Injustice, with his impulsive and uncontrollable discipline style, started
screaming and yelling at him and grabbed him by his thin, little arm and dragged him upstairs.
Literally, dragged him and continued to shout at him that he would not be a part of the party and to
stay in his room until he said he could come downstairs. We witnessed Tim's pleas and could not
help but hear his convulsive crying. His sobs were so loud that he began to choke and almost threw
up. Vic’s birthday celebration had been torn from him. He was terrified, but mostly for his brother.
We, the witnesses, became silent and uncomfortable and the party was ruined. Injustice stood with
clenched fists and jaw. He was the master and would teach his son(s) a lesson. Tim was not the
same little boy when he was allowed downstairs. That one had been replaced with one that bore
the marks of helplessness and fear. Both boys were bewildered and humiliated and bore the
wounds of confusion, sadness, and desperation. They were powerless. I saw a vicious, twisted
grin cross Injustice’s face and I knew then that he was evil. I was sick to my stomach.