**Trigger warnings** (alcohol abuse, threats of violence, domestic violence, fire, and gun use)
It happened on a night like any other. We were at a church event having dinner. You weren’t there.
I couldn’t understand why you kept calling our parents, the phone ringing repeatedly before Dad silenced it. “He wants money,” Dad whispered knowingly to Mom. I was too young to understand that you’d done this all before: drunk texts and calls, expectations of payment, always late at night.
When we trudged up the driveway through the drizzling rain, we saw the first signs of sabotage. The handles of the front door had been tied shut with the garden hose and matches were on the ground.
In a panic, Dad un-looped the garden hose. Rain poured down on our heads as he struggled to muscle the hose out of the door handles. Mom pushed us little ones inside and up to our little brother’s bedroom.
We felt safe at home in the dark until you shouted at us. Threats about your “little friend.” Dad took that to mean a gun. I squeezed my eyes shut and covered my ears.
You yelled at dad. Mom’s hands huddled us kids together. The first flames licked their way up the garden trellis. Mom and Dad called the police.
Why did you try to kill us?
Need more fiction? Check out these reads by the MockingOwl fam.
- The Banquet – Fiction
- Sleep Paralysis Demon or Religious Trauma? – Fiction
- Tiffany Takes Flight – Micro Essay
- The Gun from the Unicorn – Fiction
Ammanda Selethia Moore
Ammanda Selethia Moore (they/elle) is a non-binary poet and writer who also teaches English at Norco College. Their poetry has been published in Synchronized Chaos, Literary Yard, and The Journal of Radical Wonder. They live with their partner in sunny southern California.