Ferris' mother had passed Daniel a plate piled high with giant home made fairy cakes that had been dipped in hundreds and thousands. Daniel regarded them with abject horror before shaking his head. They were not intended to be inedible but since no-one had ever eaten one, it was the same thing. It was Sunday tea time and Daniel had become a fixture in Ferris' home. Provided he ate nothing, Daniel had found a place that was safe.
"What was my father like?" Asked Ferris.
Ferris' mother regarded her son as if he was an alien who had spoken to her for the first time, in a language she had no hope of ever comprehending.
"Your father was everything to you, he cooked every meal you ate, taught you to read and write, how to ride a bicycle, how to fly a kite. When you were ill, he was first with a diagnosis or solution, he tucked you into bed at night and took you to school in the morning. He was present during every one of your key developmental milestones, he held you when you cried, bathed you, dried you and taught you what he perceived to be the difference between wrong and not quite so wrong."
"And all of that was a good thing? Asked Ferris.
His mother picked up a fairy cake, it was the size of her fist, what was it - it certainly was not food by any definition of the word she was aware of. She raised her hand and dropped it onto the dining room table where it landed with a corpse like thud. "Once you were born you became his alpha and his omega. He gave up his scientific research, he gave up his friends, he ceased to be a husband or a man, he was defined solely by paternity. Your father left no space for anyone else in his relationship with you and so when he decided to die four years ago, we were cut adrift. I supported you both and yet, because of him, I was no more relevant to you than the postman."
"You allowed him to do this" said Ferris, "you allowed yourself to become a margin - a footnote."
"It is never as simple as that Ferris. You do not always know you have been overpowered at the time that it happens. Its often only in retrospect that you realise that you have been in a battle with winners and losers - that you have, somehow, become the defeated enemy."
"So how is it, for all of this, I have only a handful of memories of him, all of them negative?"
Asked Ferris. "I need more, I have a right to have more."
"These are the vagaries of the wiring of the human brain Ferris. We have no choice in what is indelible and what is erased. Even when we win the race it may only be the pitch black eyes of the loser's husband that we recall. Your father left us, he is still leaving us every day. He casts a shadow on our home that all the light in the world cannot illuminate.So you want to know what your father was like, he was a loving, caring, devoted and generous parent but more than that, more than anything and in perpetuity he was, a quite unique and quite unremitting fucking cunt."
Neither boy was phased by this, they had heard worse, experienced worse on a daily basis.
"My father hates me, he has been present at every important moment in my life to ensure that no-one made it any more enjoyable than it needed to be."Said Daniel.
"I have spoken with your father," replied Ferris' mother calmly, "he doesn't hate you, he wants you dead, it's not the same thing at all."
"How, how could you..." said Daniel.
"It was at one of Mr Bynes' open evenings for parents who have a, somewhat problematic err relationship with their ..."
"It's for parents who want to kill their children." said Ferris.
It was his mother's turn to be shocked.
"Don't worry, I know it isn't personal." Said Ferris. You have no idea what to do with me and you have been looking at your options."
"I have never actually contemplated, wouldn't really have..." struggled his mother.
"Can I show you something?" Asked Ferris. "It might not make you proud exactly but it may suggest to you a number of ways in which I could be commercially exploited."
At last his mother smiled at him. He was playing her song.