Anna’s Story

Old don’t like disturbing Anna realized as she pushed aside the decaying wicker baskets and their crisscross weave jabbed out.  She continued crawling along the dirt floor.  Clumps of mummified vegetables rolled beneath her knees, letting out a foul-smelling swoosh.  Tucking herself under the splintered remnants of wood shelving that lined the wall she hoped farthest from the entrance, wiry arms coiled around bare calves as she tightened herself small.  Spiders and mice crept from her imagination and became real enough to feel.  She didn’t move, dared not.  Her daddy, when he was like this, scared her more than any unseen creepy crawlies she was trespassing on.  Clumps of blonde, long and tangled, fell over her scuffed knees, and the fetal-like position offered some comfort.  The old root cellar reeked of putrefied vegetables and it rotted the air, clinging to the back of her throat making a rattling sound when she breathed.  Above her, his voice boomed louder, which meant he was getting  closer.  He must be in the kitchen now, she thought, above the basement, above her hiding spot.   The cellar door creaked open and Adam Martin threw an empty beer bottle down the stairs into the darkness.  He waited for a response.  After stifling a scream, her hands  flew to her ears, and the wicker’s finger-like claws took advantage of the movement, tearing into her skin.  She squeezed her eyes shut so the tears couldn’t get out and mouthed the only prayer she knew, though not remembering how it made its way into her memory.  “Four posts around my bed, four angels around my head: one to watch, one to pray and two to keep the devil away.”

(To be continued)

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