Leigh huddles in the corner of her bedroom, hugging a pillow, knees drawn to her chest. Even the rain pelting the window and the rolling thunder couldn’t drown out the storm raging inside. The fiercest storms always come around midnight.
“She’s my secretary!” Dad hollers.
“Why did she come here?” Mom screams.
“None of your damn business!”
“Go to Hell!”
The words feel like punches in her gut. They had talked about Hell in church that morning. Why would Mom want Dad to go there? Leigh hopes it’s something she’ll learn when she turns seven. Mom always says, ‘you’ll understand when you get older.’ Is seven old enough?
Glass breaks. Mom yells. The walls shake when the front door slams. Leigh’s Holly Hobbie music box tumbles from the shelf and lands with a crack. Two notes of music play. Lightning flashes. The bursts of light illuminate the broken ballerina on the floor. A clap of thunder makes the house tremor.
The front door slams again. Pictures on the wall bounce. Dad’s angry shouts make Leigh cover her ears and bury her face in the pillow to muffle her cries. She prays God will make it stop- all of it- the hate, the yelling, the tension, the tightness in her chest.
Leigh startles when the thunder of gun shots rattles the windows. Too many to count. Lightning flickers and then the room goes dark again.
Raindrops quicken and thump with more force, just like her heartbeats. The cadence is broken by the skidding of tires out of their gravel driveway.
Her stomach feels heavy.
Is this how answered prayers should feel?
Unless inspiration strikes and insists a story be written, this will probably be my only Trifecta weekday challenge entry this week. Busy week with scouts, football, and family – every night til next Monday. Our last scout meeting before the summer break is on Thursday – yay! It’s fun, but I need a break 🙂
thun·der noun \ˈthən-dər\ – bang, rumble <the thunder of big guns>