“Mom,” Annette called out. 

Walking into the kitchen she saw her mother and her father standing there. They had long since divorced, but they were still active members of each other’s lives. 

“Hi everyone,” Annette said slowly. 

“Hello Annette,” her father said, gently putting his hand on her mother’s shoulder. Her mother didn’t leave her seat at the table. Usually she ran over to Annette to shower her in motherly hugs and kisses, even at twenty-eight. 

“Your mother tells me you have a joke,” her father said stepping out from behind her mother’s chair. 

“Uh,” Annette blew a breath out of her mouth, “I did. It was more of a funny story than a joke. But to be honest, I don’t really remember it now. I didn’t realize you were coming over.” 

“I am. Obviously. I belong here. It is our home,” her father said an edge cutting through his tone. 

Annette wanted to look at her mother for help. But every bone in her body said not to. Just say closer to the door, Annette thought to herself, something is not right. “You know, I think I forgot something in the car,” Annette said as she began to frisk herself. “Let me go grab it.” 

Within seconds of turning around a sharp pain ran up through her spine into her head and down the rest of her body. Stumbling forward Annette plunged chest first into the island, falling backward onto the floor. The wind had been knocked out of her. Her father was screaming. She could see it. She could hear the muffled noise, but she wasn’t able to understand the words. It all just sounded like rage. 

Trying to not panic, Annette clung to the island and tried to stand up. A pain pierced her stomach knocking her back on her ass once more. At least this time she could see what was coming. Her mother sat there. Scared and timid. She looked back and forth between her husband and her daughter. Catching Annette’s eye, her mother mouthed a word at her. Nodding her head ever so slightly it looked like she was nodding toward the door. Annette blinked. Again her mother moved her lips, “run.” 

That was enough for Annette. While she didn’t want to leave her mother behind, her father seemed to be focused solely on Annette. Perhaps her mother would be okay. Annette watched through a flash her mother’s head fly sideways. A loud smack reverberated through the air. Annette had been mistaken. She couldn’t leave her mother behind. As her father shoved her chair backwards, throwing Mary unto the floor Annette picked up a plate from from the island and charged her father. 

Hearing her, he turned around and threw her into the table. The plate falling from her hand and shattering on the floor. Annette tried to sit up. Her stomach was damp. She watched as light reflected off something her father was holding. It was a bloodied knife. Doing her best to lift her legs she kicked her father backwards. He still had the knife. Annette charged him again, this time with a large decorative something from the middle of the kitchen table. Bringing it down over his head, her father fell to the ground. 

Liquid splashed into Annette’s eyes. Something clanked onto the ground. A large man pulled her backwards. When they would review the security footage later, it would be determined that no charges would be pressed on their side. Unless Mary wanted to pursue them, Annette would be released. She had been aiming for the shoulder when her father lunged at her sending the blade through his cranial cavity.

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