Title: STARRY KNIGHT
Genre: YA SF
The last time I saw my dad, he whispered eleven words into my ear. Take care of your mom, Sage. She’s not strong like us. The nine-year-old me swelled with the responsibility. The sixteen-year-old me is sagging under the weight.
His words haunt me as I stand on the cracked cement of my front porch. Voices buzz through the door, growing like an approaching swarm of angry bees. Only dented steel separates me from the broiling fight inside.
My hand presses against the cool metal of the doorknob. Turn it. Open it. But my fingers won’t move. My eyes follow a spider skittering across the porch. It slips into a crack and I want to slip with it. But I’m stuck, cemented to this spot by the rippling fear inside of me. By the words in my head.
“What the hell?” Ken’s rough voice thunders through the door followed by my mother’s predictable whimper. I want to turn around, to walk away, to ignore the replay of my mother’s love life. Alcohol, losers, fighting, tears, more alcohol.
But then I hear the smack.
It rips through the air with painful screaming in its wake. My heart bounces in my chest as I push open the door, sliding my book bag from my shoulder. I cross the narrow kitchen that spills into the living room where lamps blaze and the television buzzes. Ken’s fists are raised over my mother who cowers on the floor with her face clutched in her hands.