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Don't Mess with It

The sounds of sirens ripped Shiloh from her sleep. She stumbled down the hall in a dazed state as she rubbed her eyes and yawned. Her father sat in the deep leather sofa. He was painted shades of purple from the flashing lights of the police cars on the wall screen in front of him. He noticed her step into the living room and lowered the volume.

“What’s going on, Dad?”

Her father chuckled grimly. “Just the news.”

Shiloh sidled into the kitchen and returned moments later with a slice of chocolate cake and glass of orange juice. “What news?”

“It’s always the same news, kiddo. Nothing you need to worry about.”

“I’m not a kid anymore, Dad,” she said with a mouthful of cake. “I can handle the bad, scary news.”


The Noises that Quiet Makes

My nose is dripping and stuffed up at the same time. The sleeve of my nightgown is all gross and stringy. I have to pull my hand in and twist my nightgown to wipe my nose with a clean spot. Mommy always tells me, ‘That’s not very lady-like.’ 

It’s quiet downstairs now. Maybe, if I pull my blanket over my head and pretend to be asleep, no one will even bother to look in my room. The clock is shining a scary red light through my blanket. It’s so late. I have school tomorrow … I mean today. Mommy and Daddy would tell me I shouldn’t be up this late. Why does it have to be so loud? Why tonight? Why ever? I’ve never heard Mommy and Daddy yell like this. At least they aren’t yelling now. But I wonder what were they yelling about?  

This blanket is making it too hard to breathe. Someone is moving downstairs. It’s the same sounds I hear when it’s Christmas and Santa is putting presents under the tree. They are trying to be quiet, but quiet has its own noises. There is someone on the steps now. I don’t want them to look in my room. I just want to disappear until morning. 

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