It was supposed to stop after that summer. My mom told me it would, and when she told my dad about it—him just home from third shift, his whiskers all grown back in already, eyes hungry for something none of us ever had for him—he just licked his lips and told me to get on back in there. That he wished he had the luxury of being scared. Because my mom couldn’t help me then, because all she could do was sit on the couch, I’d do it; I’d walk down the hall to my room. Or, our room then, mine and Nicholas’s, my little brother.
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