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Closet

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It was pitch dark. She heard the china being thrown from the cabinets. They shattered into millions of pieces and cut into the wooden floorboards of her kitchen. She heard the muffled, desperate cries of her mother, the sound of a struggle, a gunshot, then silence.

The closet she was hiding in caused her to sweat. The air was so stale. She could have sworn that every breath she took caused there to be one less, and she would suffocate and die in this closet. By now she was heaving and full of fear. Footsteps were stomping up the stairs, coming closer, shuffling through every room. “Abby, come out now! Daddy won’t hurt you.”

She was shaking so hard that her insides were being jumbled around like the kernels of popcorn. Carefully, she edged herself way back into the corner, pressing herself so far against the wall that she thought it would crumble at any second, giving away her hiding spot. She shut her eyes tight, praying that the darkness around her would swallow her. Death would be better than this unimaginable fear that caused her to sit paralyzed while clothes softly caressed her forehead as they hung.

More heavy footsteps and then a sudden thundering crack. Her father’s thick boots kicked open the door. The smell of alcohol was so strong that Abby could almost feel it traveling through the creak in the closet, into her nose, filling her eyes with tears. They silently rolled down her cheeks, past her mouth, and finally to her chin, where they stayed a few seconds before dripping onto her knees.

She was petrified, for she could hear her father trying to silently open other closet doors. Her arms were starting to fill with cramps as she hugged her knees so close to her body, crushing her ribs. For a second, weakness overcame her body and she let go of a leg that ever so lightly kicked the edge of the door.

It was not like the movies where the killer hears a noise, but then curiously wanders into the next room. Her father heard her and she knew it.

Her heart was beating so hard that she felt it in her eyes and she could hear nothing but it. The room was filled with a rapid thud. Heavy hands threw open the door, a scream, a gunshot, then silence.





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