“Mom? Dad?” Her voice was so small. She could barely recognize it herself where she stood in front of her parents.
“How much did you hear?” Her father’s voice was ice cold and angry. She was used to it, but it still hurt hearing her father speak to her like that.
“Nothing.” She cast her eyes down, like she had been taught, not daring to look at her parents when they were this angry.
“You dare lie to us?” She closed her eyes as her father took a step towards her. It was gonna happen again. She knew it would. She shouldn’t have said anything. She should have gone back to her room. Back to her bed and pretended to be asleep.
He took another step closer to her and she took a step back. She repeated this until her back hit the wall and she couldn’t go any further. She could feel her body shaking as her father stopped in front of her. She knew what was coming. She didn’t need to open her eyes, it was always the same result anyway.
She opened her eyes and sat up. Her body shaking and tears clouding her eyes. It was a nightmare she had had often. And she always woke up right before he hit her. As if the memory of the pain was what woke her up before she would feel it again.
She took deep breaths to calm herself down and dried the tears in her eyes when her breathing came back to normal. She quickly looked around her at her siblings sleeping around the dying fire. They were all asleep. She could hear their even breathing and she let out a small sigh of relief, glad none of them had woken up.
It was still early in the morning and she wanted them to sleep for as long as possible. When they woke up they had to keep moving. She looked around on the small clearing they had found a few days ago. They were on neutral grounds, so she wouldn’t have to worry about trespassing on someone else’s territory, but it also meant there were others like them close by. This was the third day since they arrived at this clearing and they couldn’t stay any longer. It was too dangerous. They had to move on again.
She slowly stood up and bundled the thin blanket she had covered herself with the previous night, and placed it back into her backpack that had worked as a pillow during the night. She decided to gather some more firewood and bring some life back into the fire before the others woke up.
She didn’t go far from their camp, making sure she could always see them from where she was picking up some sticks and twigs to throw on the fire. It didn’t take her long to gather a little firewood and bring life back into the fire. She would keep the fire alive until the others woke up, and then she would go and check the traps she had set the day before. She could only hope they had caught something so they could eat.