My new book The Abused is a dark psychological thriller about eight patients who go to rehab only to find themselves in danger when someone starts murdering the patients.
Her father loved the kittens more than his own daughter.
Merry had learned that lesson the hard way. She and her sister Carrie were sitting on the crumbling back stoop of the old 40’s style stucco blue house. Their gray tabby cat Fluffy had just had a litter of kittens – two black ones and a perfectly white one. Carrie, a precocious eight-year-old with dirty dishwater blonde hair and steely gray eyes, was taunting the white one with a stick. She picked up the kitten that softly mewed.
“Catch,” she suddenly said to Merry.
Merry, a sweet and frail-looking four-year-old with golden hair and light green eyes, looked up in surprise. What was she catching exactly? And then suddenly a white fur ball hurled toward her face. She managed to catch the kitty that now mewed rapidly in fear. She was holding it when she heard the backdoor suddenly slammed open. Little Merry’s big green eyes looked wide-eyed at a pair of navy-blue Converse sneakers standing in front of her. Before she could say anything, a hand reached down and yanked her by her tiny upper arm. She cried out as that same hand began to drag her into the garage.
“Dadddddyyyyy,” she screamed.
Darrell, her father, a lean and lanky man with dark red hair, pulled his little girl along the rough cement, scraping her calves along and scratching them up. While she cried and protested to stop, she was pulled over a curb into the dark, dank garage that was loaded with years of clutter and oils stains all over the cold cement floor. Darrell stopped right in front of an old, white Maytag dryer, yanked open the front door, and shoved his yowling and flailing little girl inside.
“Noooooo,” she cried and screamed.
Once inside she scrambled to try and escape, but the door was slammed shut. Now screaming at the top of her lungs, she hurried trying to pry open the door with her small fingernails. She pounded and pounded on it all the while sobbing. She couldn’t get it opened, and then she heard the familiar twisting and clicking sound of the knob. She paused and realized he was going to turn it on. Now she was panicked and utterly scared to death. She screamed and screamed and then heard him through the walls of the dryer speak.
“You want to throw kittens around?” he snarled. “I’ll show you what that feels like you little brat.”
“No Daddy no … I didn’t do anything,” cried the girl.
She became still for a moment as she lay at the bottom of the dryer curled up in a ball like a fetus. Her green, wide eyes drifted to the top of the dryer where she could see light emanate from a screen that vented the hot air to the outside of the house. Frightened in the dark, she cried some more. She heard the button compress. And then she began to feel hot air as her fragile body began to twist and turn round and round – thump, thump, thump.
“Let me out! Let me out!” she screamed and pleaded.
But she kept spinning in circles with her neck curled up and her chin shoved against her chest. She closed her eyes and sucked in hot air only hoping the torture would end soon.