‘Look what you’ve done now you little shit! ‘, the incandescent roaring of her mother terrified her but she stood her ground as the large, stuffed turtle was thrown at her with all the strength that accompanies fury. The girl rocked back and forth, clutching the rescued animal to her chest, its warm velvety face looking up at her; desperately seeking reassurance.
After searching for the toy for hours, she’d asked her father if he knew where Chuckles was and so after short, fat, muffled words in the kitchen, he’d sent his wife to retrieve it from the dustbin where she’d thrown it in spite, and then he’d left for work without regret.
In the space between mother and daughter, a noise began to leak from between the gritted teeth of the child- hissing slowly at first but building and quickening as the force of that noise levered open her jaw in a long, low, feral wail. Her pain insisted on being heard before the twin lights of defiance and hatred found their way to the gallery of her eyes and prompted her mother to leave, making sure that she’d locked the door behind her.