“You will have to kill me before you lay a finger on our daughter!” she hisses, taking a step towards her husband, blood trickling at a steady pace down her temple from the gaping cut in her hairline. She has to take his focus away from Lia, bring it back to her, willing to do anything to keep her daughter out of harm’s way.
“Briseis sweetheart,” he grins, the sinister light in his eyes reflected in the spit forming in the corners of his mouth, “that can be arranged.” He grabs her by the hair, yanking her closer as his other hand, clenched in a first, connects with her cheekbone, the cracking sound reverberating through their living room.
“Mommy!” Lia’s frantic screams draws her father’s attention back to her and in that moment Briseis realizes that it’s now or never. She grabs the lamp standing on the side table next to the couch, her husband’s fist still firmly lodged in her hair as he drags her towards their daughter, and smashes it against the back of his head, the broken porcelain shards splintering in all directions.
Taking advantage of his momentarily dazed stated, she lunges at Lia, crouching in front of her baby girl, “Sweetpea, listen to me,” she wipes her three-year-old’s tears, trying to calm her as much as possible, “you have to run, go next door, tell them to call 911. Do you understand Sweetpea?”
With a shaky nod of the head, she clings to her mom, before running out the front door, her mother’s renewed screams reaching her ears as she knocks on the neighbour's door, her small voice desperate as she calls out, “Help! My mommy! Daddy is hurting Mommy!”