Copyright 2013 Douglas T. Vale
Cover image courtesy of Stiven / StockFreeImages.com
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His father backhanded him across the face. Grunting, he turned aside. His face stung, and his blood began to boil. But his old fears checked his anger. His father was a large man with dark brown skin and fierce black eyes.
"You remember what I told you would happen if you failed another test?" Father shouted. His voice boomed with bass tones. Albert straightened, clutching a hand to his cheek. The stinging there had blossomed into lines of fire.
"The test is wrong," Albert said. "I'm--"
His father jabbed Albert's chest with a meaty finger, and kept poking to punctuate his words. "Do... You... Remember...What I told you... Would happen... If you failed another.. Test?"
"But I didn't--"
"DO YOU REMEMBER?" Father grabbed big handfuls of Albert's shirt and pulled him closer, shaking him. Spittle flew out of his mouth. His face shuddered as he attempted to control his own temper. "Do you remember?" Father whispered. The shift in voice tone and volume threw Alfred's train of thought out of whack. It wasn't good when father fluctuated like that. But Alfred couldn't just let an injustice go unremarked.