Rick Balder is a fictional character in a novel series I’m writing.
Nurtured by one, abused by another, Rick grew up torn, thinking women were the weakest link and men were above them. Except he thought his mother to be strong for not showing fear when he’d flinch at the sound of his father’s heavy footfalls.
Daniel Balder, Rick’s father, was an abusive alcoholic and a smoker. If he didn’t have one on hand, he’d have another, thus creating a trigger for Rick to go into a panicked state whenever he hears a can being crushed or popped open, or if he smells smoke or hears the flick of a lighter. When nervous, he has the habit of running his hands along his arms, where slight scarring is from his father burning him with cigarette butts.
While young, Rick had been growing his hair out to have a shaggy look, but when he’d accidentally been caught holding one of Daniel’s alcoholic beverages, moving it aside to reach some cereal, he’d found what it felt like to have some of his hair ripped from his scalp. At that point, he’d kept his hair cut short, until finally shaving it completely.