Prequel to "Number Seventy-Five"

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Chapter 2

Shawna stood in the kitchen, the early morning rays of sun streaming through the dirty windows. She glanced outside and saw a light dusting of fresh snow covered the ground. Memories of the times she had been forced to go outside in bare feet and fetch more wood made her shiver with disgust.

Setting the phone down, she went about preparing breakfast for her demanding father. Once the tray was set with a full meal of bacon, eggs, toast and coffee, she reached for her father’s medicine on the windowsill.

Sorry bastard. I’ve got just the pill for you. It’ll fix you right up. You betcha. That cold heart of yours will be thumpin’ in no time. Hopefully, for the last time.

Shawna grimaced when she heard the fracas in the living room. Poor Sam was in the direct line of fire as her father reamed him out for yet another absurb reason. She grabbed the tray and made her way to the living room. A bit of coffee sloshed out of the cup from her shaky hands.

Time’s almost up. Hopefully, this will be the last meal I ever serve you. Fucker.

"About damn time, girl. Whatcha tryin' to do, starve me? How do you expect me to take down a deer on an empty stomach? Stupid girl. Didn't learn a damn thing from your ma, did ya?"

"Dad! Leave her be. She just made you a fine breakfast!" Sam interjected.

Will turned and barked at his son. "I don't recall askin' for your opinion, or givin' you permission to speak, now did I? When I'm ready to hear your pathetic trap open and spew words, I'll let you know."

Without a word, Shawna set the plate of food down on the TV dinner tray next to the worn rocker her father sat in. What she really wanted to do was throw the entire tray of food on him. Instead of giving in to the temptation, Shawna scurried out of the living room and headed upstairs to her room. She had projects to tend to, and didn't need to be stressed to the limit while she worked on her client's websites.

As she bounded up the stairs, she winced as her father continued to degrade and demean Sam. The irony of seeing her big, burly brother, a well-decorated deputy with a quick temper and low tolerance for people who broke the law, cower like a whipped puppy in front of the old geezer, made her want to puke.

No, not puke. Kill. Yes, it made her want to kill.


Less than an hour later, Shawna watched from the bedroom window as Sam and her father drove off toward their campsite. Shawna said a silent prayer. She hoped Sam’s resolve to end their mutual nightmare didn’t waiver.

After all, Shawna did her part by dispatching their mother last year. Now it was Sam’s turn to take out their dad.

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