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The mud brown bedroom door opened and Danny stepped out into the living room. He rubbed his eyes and groaned as he walked to the nearby, attached kitchen to get some breakfast. The kitchen was old, the entire house was, but his family could afford no better. As he opened the fridge door that was missing a hinge, his dad entered the room. Hunter, an overweight, drunk loser. He had shaggy brown hair that needed to be cut, a monstrous double chin, and eyes that were full of fire. He looked twice his age, but that was only due to the constant smoking and drinking. Danny could smell the alcohol as soon as he stepped into the room. He made sure not to look at him, for fear of being confronted by his drunk maniac of a father did not interest him on a day like today.
“Hey, you! I’m missing something of mine and you know damn well what it is so give it here” the drunk fool blubbered as he stood closely behind Danny.
Danny looked up slowly and replied “What are you talking about?” he said slowly enough so even his father could hear him.
The man chuckled and the beer belly he had acquired bounced up and down as if it was on a pogo stick. Then things changed. He grabbed Danny by the collar of his brand new shirt and flung him across the room where he slammed headfirst into the stove. He got up slowly as he wiped the blood from his lip. Hunter stumbled after him and grabbed him by his hair.
“You listen to me, If I don’t find my missing item back in my nightstand by the end of the day, there will hell to pay, boy, I promise you”
He put him down gently and went back down the hallway in which he came. Before he did, he pointed two fingers at Danny, together, and made a “boom” noise with his fat lips, like he shot him.
Danny grabbed a pop tart out of the nearby cupboard and took a can of Mountain dew out of the disgusting fridge as he hurried into the living room to check the time. The clock sat just about where the TV used to be. It read 7:30. Danny was relieved he had so much time before school started at eight. He sat down on the retail leather couch that had rips, tears, and countless stains and relaxed for a little bit. He looked around the room as he ate his food. he looked at the the musty, old carpet, the small table with the lamp on top of it that had no lampshade, and he stared at the only other piece of furniture in the room, an old blue recliner that had surprisingly had held up pretty well over the years. He hacked in disgust at how filthy the place was. The baby blue wallpaper was peeling, the single, large window in the room was cracked and halfway open, and the front door was crooked, showing a little crack of light of the outside world into the cold, desolate home. He was ashamed of this place. So was his grandma, who also lived with them. She just sat in her room all day, hoping to shut out the rest of the world. Danny wished he could be so lucky as to do the same.
“Hey Danny” said a tired little voice.
Danny whipped his head around to find his little half-sister Jessie walk into the room in her little, pink footie pajamas. She was seven years old. She rubbed her eyes and spread her arms out, waiting for Danny to hug her. So Danny stood up, walked over to her, picked her up, and squeezed her tightly.
“How are you doing this morning sunshine?” He asked her over-optimistically.
“I heard Daddy yelling, is something wrong?” She asked with as much as a concerned look as a seven year old could have.
“Dad was in a bad mood.” He reassured her quietly as to not wake the drunken slob.
“He hit you.” She whispered quietly as she touched one of her sleeves to his lip and wiped the crusty blood away.
“Dad’s having a tough time right now Jessie. You don’t understand....”
“No, my teacher told me that hitting is never the answer to problems. Daddy’s not being very nice. He can’t just keep hitting you Danny.”
“I know sweetheart, I know,” he replied quietly as to not disturb the drunk.
“I wonder how he’d like to get hurt.” she said raspingly. She clearly had a cold.
“Whoa there, sport, you don’t sounds too good” Danny said as he touched his hand to her forehead.
“Wow, you don’t feel god either, you should stay home today,” he said as he put her down and walked her to her room down the greasy hallway.
“Okay,” she said as if it wasn’t a seven year olds’ dream to go to school.
“ Ok, well I have to go. Go back to bed, and I’ll see you when I get home today.” He said, walking back down the hallway.
“Bye Danny!” Jessie shouted. “I’ll see you later”
Danny walked out the door of the old house quickly and shut it behind him. He walked over the garbage-riddled front yard and started pacing down the sidewalk to the Freshman building of City high School. He walked fast so maybe he could escape the broken home that he had just left behind.
Danny was on his way home when he noticed the red and blue lights of the cop cars. They were sitting in his driveway. Danny gasped and began to sprint to his front door, he thought maybe his dad had committed a crime or done something to Jessie, but when he reached the front yard, it was completely the opposite. He half-expected that Hunter was putting up a struggle against the officers at the very moment.
“HEY!” I said as I ran up. “What the hell is going on? Where’s my little sister?”
“Son, you’re going to need to calm down.” One of the cops told me. “Your sister is fine, it’s your father you should be concerned about.”
“What do you mean. Is he going to jail?” Danny asked in a somewhat hopeful tone.
“Maybe you want to see..” said the other cop with a saddened look on his face. “ Come in here.” he said as he led me into my living room
He gasped. There sitting in his living room, in the old recliner, was Hunter. Bottle in hand, and a bullet in his head.
“What happened?” he said stutteringly.
“Son, someone has murdered your father. We’ve talked to witnesses and they said that nobody has been in or out of this house all day. So we don’t exactly know who killed him. Any help?” The cop said it in a way he hope to receive a confession.
“The only people who live here with us are my little sister Jessie and my grandma.” I replied back.
“Thanks.” said the man. “Where is your grandma?”
“She lives down the hall, 2nd door on the left side.” he shot back in haste.
After the two cops went down the hall, Danny stood there in the horrible room, wondering who had killed Hunter. He looked up, whipped his head around and went in the same direction as the police, but went into the only room on the right, Jessie’s room.
He burst into the small nine by nine room expecting to see a small girl bawling her eyes out, but what he found was completely different. Jessie was still in her footie pajamas and cuddling her pillow, staring at the ground, sort of like the way Danny stared every day before he went to school. Danny walked a few steps and sat down on the bed, right next to Jessie.
“Did you hear Jessie?” He said quietly. “Did you hear grandma kill Dad?”
Jessie looked up at Danny and shook her head.
“Danny, Gramma didn’t kill him .” Jessie said almost too quiet to hear.
“What?” Danny replied in a confused tone.
“Danny, I’m thirsty, can we go get some milk from the kitchen?” She said, changing the subject.
“Sure sweetie, whatever you want.” He said as he got off the bed and opened the door for her.
She set her pillow down and walked across the room while rubbing her nose. After she walked right past Danny, Danny looked towards her bed. He walked over to the old, lime green mattress and comforter to match and sat down. He paused, took a few breaths, and grabbed the pillow in which she had been holding. It was heavy. He opened the case and inside, to Dannys’ dismay, was a small handgun.