My Father Tears His Face Off

Nikolaus Maack
13 min readAug 9, 2022
A badly drawn head where the face has been torn off, leaving a red raw hole where a face used to be. It’s more of a bad cartoon than something horrifying.

I remember how surprised and frightened we all were, the first time my father tore off his own face. He did it because no one had done the dishes. He was angry. Both of his fists were clenched next to his forehead. His fingers dug into the flesh, just below his hairline, and tore open a wound. Blood ran down his face in streams. He pulled at the skin, and there was a ripping sound.

He roared in anger: “No one does anything around here! You are all spoiled! Lazy! Useless!”

His face came off like a ragged sheet of paper — forehead, eyelids, nose, lips, all the way down to his chin. He held his face in his hands like a rubber mask. The front of his head was a ragged red hole of blood, muscle, two lidless eyes, and shiny white teeth. We all froze in place, gawking at him, not knowing what to do or say.

With a roar, dad threw his face across the kitchen. The bloody pink lump hit the refrigerator door with a splat, and stuck there. Then my father turned around and stomped out. He went up the stairs to his bedroom and slammed the door closed.

Well, that’s it, we all thought. Now dad doesn’t have a face. But his face grew back, and surprisingly quickly. In two days, you couldn’t even tell he’d torn his face off. He was back to normal.

The face that stuck to the fridge grew too. Over the same two days, it sprouted tendrils at the edges. These ropey fingers burrowed into the steel surface of the fridge. The face grew eyes, teeth, tongue, a skeletal structure, and pretty soon it was looking around and talking at us.

It was just like our real father and it said the same things.

“You are all terrible! Making messes, leaving the lights on. You all cost me money. Having kids was stupid! Why did I have kids? What the hell was I thinking? Goddamn you all. You show me no respect. You are useless. You are garbage.”

None of us kids knew what to think of this. It seemed insane. We looked to mom, silently asking her what we should do. There was this face on the refrigerator, screaming at us. How were we supposed to feel about that?

In most ways, mom behaved like just another kid, trapped in the house with our father. When we looked to her for help, she only looked back at us, as helpless and…

Nikolaus Maack

I am a terrible person. I am on twitter as @lordjuiblex because he is the god of slime, sickness, and stupidity. Why don't you follow me? I am terrible.