I cut my foot on a sharp rock. It stung a little but I didn’t stop running until I got to the edge of the creek. I squeezed my little brother’s hand tight. “Be careful Bubba, Hold my hand now, and keep up with me” I said. The rocks along the side were covered in a green soft slime. I had to be careful or I would fall. I carefully slid my feet across the flat rocks until I could step down into the soft gushy silt at the bottom. I held on to Tony as he did the same thing. Then we ran again, he kept up and I ran as fast as I could. The water splashed up and on my legs getting the hem of my yellow dress wet. My hair was soaked with sweat, it clung to my head. I was glad it was not dark yet. We ran down the creek and under old man Coey’s bridge. It was dark under there. We slowed down a bit and went toward the bank. I grabbed an old gnarled grape-vine and pulled myself up into the weeds. I pulled Tony up behind me. I got to the top of the bank as a car came barreling down the road. We crouched down and watched until it was gone. It could have been Daddy. We ran across the road as fast as we could. The tar on the road felt sticky on my bare feet. We cut into Grandpa’s cornfield, first one way and then another in case anyone seen us. Daddy was drunk again. He was beating Mommy again. He had went crazy this time, saying he would kill her. He had a gun.
He was accusing Mommy of messing around. She had not done anything. We had all been home with her. Tony was crying as we got to Grandma’s door. I opened up the screen door and knocked as loud as I could. Grandma came to the door in her house coat and slippers. Grandpa said “Who is it?” I quickly told them what was happening. Grandma went to the phone and called the sheriff. Grandpa said “What will be will be, no sense confronting him with a gun.” Grandma agreed we should wait for the sheriff. I started to cry, I had left my baby sister under my bed. We had been hiding there and he had fired the gun. I tried to carry her, but I was afraid I would drop her. I grabbed Tony by the hand and shut the bedroom door behind us. I didn’t think Daddy would hurt the baby, just Mommy, but he didn’t want the Sheriff to come either. I told Grandpa if Daddy could just fall asleep he would get sober and everything would be okay. Grandpa said we should pray. Tony and I closed our eyes and held our hands tight together while Grandpa prayed.
All the sudden Mommy came busting through the door carrying my baby sister. Grandma took the baby and Mommy collapsed on the couch. She told Grandpa to take us in the other room so Mommy could clean up. We all went into the middle bedroom and sat on the bed. I could hear Grandma telling Mommy she should go to the hospital. then everything got really quiet. It seemed like hours had passed when we heard the sirens from down the road. Mommy never went to the hospital. She was pretty beat up. They didn’t take Daddy to jail. They told him to sleep it off and the deputy took his gun. He said he could pick it up when he got sober. The deputy told Grandma and Grandpa to keep us with them for a while. I heard Grandma telling my Aunt on the telephone after it was all over. We had crackers and ring pudding slices and cold milk. Then we got a bath, Tony and I put on Grandpa’s old white under shirts to sleep in. Grandma had things for my baby sister that she bought and had not given to Mommy yet. Grandpa locked all the doors and windows. He sat up in the living room and we all went to sleep. Daddy came the next day and talked to Grandpa. He kept hollering for Mommy to come outside. She didn’t go and he left. He came back later and brought us all some candy and Mommy decided to go home with him. He said he was sorry. We stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for a few nights. He always said he was sorry. Grandma would always say Daddy had the devil and the drink in him. He was a good Daddy as long as he stayed sober.