Archive for the ‘Domestic Violence’ Category

The little colored lights in Miranda’s bedroom window twinkled in the dark as she dozed off dreamily clinging to the warm feelings about Peter, her adolescent crush, and Christmas. Miranda always put up a string of lights in her bedroom. This way she could have Christmas in her room all December long. She loved to lay in the dark in her room with the lights twinkling, listening to her radio when the stations were playing Christmas music. As she floated off in that first stage of sleep she was suddenly startled by a loud bang. She sat up sleepily as her heart thumped and the knot gripped her belly. She felt the familiar warm rush of anxiety overtake her and held her breath to listen. No voices, no shouting. Just that horrible sense that something bad was happening and that awful silence. BANG, again, louder than before. Now whimpers and muffled cries. It is happening again, Miranda thought angrily. He was hurting her Mother and there was nothing she could do about it but hide under her pillow until it went away. BANG, BANG. What was he doing to her ? Miranda could hear her Mother crying now and the muffled angry voice of her stepfather. Miranda ? A small groggy voice could be heard behind the door of Miranda’s bedroom door. As it opened Kara the oldest of her younger siblings came in rubbing her eyes, followed by Kelly. “I am scared”, they whined as they moved toward Miranda’s bed. “It’s ok”, she reassured, knowing it was not. You can sleep here on the floor. She put down blankets for them and told them Christmas stories to keep their minds off what was happening behind the adjacent wall to where they huddled. It was at least an hour before the awful sounds of some unknown horrors behind her Mother’s bedroom door seemed to pass. Eventually the younger Joan had wandered in as she woke from the noises in the night. Only Cindi and Baby James had slept peacefully through it all. After the girls in Miranda’s room dozed off on the floor and all seemed quiet and safe again, Miranda started to drift back into slumber. Again she was awakened by a sense of someone’s presence and noticed the shadow of her Mother in her room. She opened one eye, but pretended she was still asleep. She saw her Mother cover Kara and Kelly, and lift Joan into her arms. As she quietly tiptoed out with Joan in her arms she closed the door behind her. Miranda drifted back into sleep as the Christmas lights twinkled on, like some contradictory symbol of “Peace on Earth” in the aftermath of a battle.

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