He clamped his hands over his ears, but it didn’t block the high-pitched screams from the barn. He knew they would stop. They always did. Yet the silence scared David even more, knowing Pa would seek a new victim next time.
Thud. Thud. Pa’s heavy footsteps echoed on the porch.
Clank. The buckle from Pa’s belt hit the floor.
Buzz saw. Pa’s loud snores shook the windowpane.
David grabbed his boots and with shaky hands slid them on. His small size made it easy to hoist himself out his bedroom window and shimmy down the trellis.
He did his best not to leave any footprints in Ma’s tomato garden. David made sure each night to leave the straw broom on the front porch leaning against the railing by the garden. He reached over the railing for the broom, and carefully brushed the dirt to hide his footprints, all the while backing out of the garden. Satisfied that he’d covered his tracks, David shook the dirt off the broom and placed it back on the porch.
If Pa found out what he was doing, he’d skin his hide for sure. David loved Pa, but he had to make this stop.