They came to the door at sunup, November rain dripping from hat brims and shoulders. So many of them – neighbours, friends – eager breath rising like fog.
Father stood in their way, but one punch and he hit the flagstones, the wind and fight knocked from him.
The leader sent two aloft, the ladder creaking under them. Hay dust sifted between the boards, speckling father’s blood stained lip. He could only stare and wait.
A scuff of boots, a thump.
Then my brother Gabe, screaming, weeping for our dead mother, for Father, for me. An animal howl tore from his lips. I blocked my ears, praying God I could unhear that sound.
In moments they were gone – with Gabe, with the rusty blade he’d used two nights before.
Dust stung my eyes, ground between my lips and teeth.
Our father wept.
From a story prompt suggested by Patsy Collins over at Womagwriter Blog.
For any of you interested in writing for women’s magazines, Patsy’s blog really is THE place to go for magazine guidelines, submission tips and links. Absolutely invaluable.