You’ll Answer To Me
by Lizbeth Dusseau
A Pink Flamingo Ebook Publication
Copyright © 2013 by Lizbeth Dusseau, All rights reserved
When she was five she would have run for cover, scurried under the bed, closed her eyes, shut her ears with the palms of her hands and shivered in the stormy darkness until the violence passed – the thunder but a distant echo, the lightning vanished. But she was not five. At twenty-one and on the verge of womanhood, she was too rational to give in to the terror of a belligerent thunderstorm. What could have sent her scurrying for cover on this night was not the storm but angry voices, livid accusations, and raging bellows rising from the music room, which even with the storm were far too terrifying to ignore. The power in that sector of the city had gone out just as the door slammed shut behind Phillip Wittendon’s ten o’clock visitor. An omen, perhaps? The harsh exchange immediately followed. The first ‘You fucking bastard!’ to befoul the air hurt like a carving knife spearing her gut. She grabbed her belly, wincing at the noxious sound, but rather than flee to the closet or under the bed as she would have when she was young, she pushed back the immediate feeling of panic and kept her ear tuned for more. For her efforts, she got quite an education from the escalating verbal battle, for despite clamorous explosions and pelting rain, this heated quarrel demanded to be heard, and yet the identity of her father’s guest was unknown to her.
Phillip ripped into his guest with a flurry of allegations that finally drew the alarmed Rebecca from her room. She listened, praying for the fight to end and for the stranger to disappear. But as the tenor of his words became more strident, a horrible dread consumed her and she remained paralyzed by fear. She stood in the hallway trembling, afraid to take the first step toward the inky territory at the bottom of the stairs. She carried a flashlight in her hand – though it was hardly needed with flashes of bright white erratically streaking the air and illuminating the otherwise dark house.