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A Severing of Ties- 2,000 Words

I thought I would, for the next few days, start sharing the first 2,000 words from my various titles with you-and exactly 2,000. If that ends in the middle of a sentence, so be it. I know it is always a big chance when you purchase digital books, or books from little know authors. I figure that by sharing these snippets with you, I may be able to introduce you to a book you may enjoy reading. If you like what you see, you can feel free to purchase the books at the links below. If you don’t like what you see, come back again each day to experience a new book you may just fall in love with!

A_Severing_of_Ties_Cover_for_Kindle

The neighborhood had what some people may call a tarnished reputation, perhaps even worse than that causes you to imagine, but certainly not better. People for miles around knew of the cops efforts time and again as they tried to drive the drug trafficking and the hookers out, but the lowlifes seemed to infest the place like rats would an old warehouse full of rotten, stinking, week old cheese.

The block itself had an unvarying smell that reeked of garbage, old refuse, and sewer. Very few of the block’s street lights were in working condition, casting a gloomy shadow over the neighborhood once dark decided to settle itself in. What street lights did occasionally work were prone to constant flickering, giving the general area the look and feel of something out of an old Freddy Krueger movie.

The apartment building, which stood in the center of Old Main Street- a proper name since the entire place looked old- was rundown and more than a little shabby. There was nothing overly remarkable about the place. It fit right in with its surroundings, and, like the rest of the buildings, was in a continuous state of disrepair.

A lot of the windows in this particular building had boards in them instead of glass; the paint was peeled off in more than one place, and was in the process of peeling off in many others. Some of the bricks had actually came out of the structure itself, leaving gaping holes where they had once been.

Graffiti decorated the side walls by the narrow alleys, separating this apartment from the ones on either side. Even the front was covered with the selfsame, free-lance ‘art work.’

The grass in the front of the edifice was almost non-existent, and what greenery there happened to be was more brown than green anyways. Besides, the few green spots were more likely to be weeds instead of grass. There was no grass hardy enough to live in this kind of offensive environment.

Inside of this building were beat up, dirty, one and two-bedroom apartments that were infested with rats and roaches, among other unpleasant things. The inhabitants of these apartments were, except for the rare case, included in these unpleasant “things.”

The carpet was balding and worn with age. The walls were thin enough that your neighbors would hear what you were saying, even if you whispered, and many of these walls had holes in them.

It was in one of those hellish apartments, lived Scott, Willow, Emilee, and Avery.

Chapter One

Willow sat in the tiny bedroom she shared with her siblings, trying to do her night’s homework. Her parents, once again, weren’t home. Both of her parents were just always gone, and it seemed like only on the rarest of occasions would one of them be home. It was an even rarer occurrence for them both to be home at the same time.

Willow, however, didn’t mind. In fact, she preferred it. In her young but mature mind, it was for the best. Her parents were savages, anyways, and the nights that they did happen to be home were spent cowering in her bed for fear of her life.

Besides, Willow had never had a lonely day in her life. Willow had always, for as far back as she could remember, had her brother and two sisters to keep her company. Of course, as far as her younger sisters went, they sometimes felt more like her responsibility than her peers. Willow assumed she felt this way simply because she was older. Therefore it was only natural. So Willow worried about her little sisters a lot when they went places or did things, especially in their neighborhood. What with all of the thugs and perhaps worse things out on the streets- not just at night, like some of the safer neighborhoods, but all of the time. Willow could not even begin to imagine what Scott, her brother, must feel like, seeing as he was the oldest of them all.

Scott, who was only twelve, had been working a small part time job since the day he had turned ten. He did this so that anything Willow or her younger sisters, Emilee Mae and Avery Jane, really needed, they would have. Not to mention that he was the one who paid the bills because their mother spent her money on drugs, and that he paid for the groceries because their father spent all of his money on alcohol. It was those things that their parents, who should have thought about it, simply never did. Scott had to grow up way before his time, and he had never once complained about it, while the Benson mother and father complained about the things they said they did, but never actually got around to doing.

The bedroom shared by the three Benson sisters and the one Benson brother was about the size of a walk in closet with a normal sized closet added on. In it were squeezed two bunk beds, one on which Scott and Willow slept, and the other where Emilee Mae and Avery Jane slept. There were also two dressers, also shared between the four, and not much else to speak of besides a full-length mirror. There wasn’t even a television in the entire house most of the time. When there was one, it had a short lived life in which it would get stolen, sold, or broken.

Turning her attention to the full length mirror, Willow examined herself as someone much older than she would. She noted her pale skin and bright green eyes. She saw her super curly hair that was both blonde and red, and she saw that, despite the curls, her hair was fairly long. She saw her skinny, flat-chested body and noticed that she really was quite short. Even for her age.

Lifting her eyes from the mirror, she scrutinized in turn her two sisters. The two girls were both sitting on Avery’s bottom bunk, their heads in their respective books. Emilee and Avery both had the pale skin that seemed to define the Benson girls.

Emilee had startlingly pixie green eyes, and long brown hair that was the color of roasted Christmas chestnuts. It had some body and wave to it, though not quite the springy curls of her sister. Emilee, at seven years old, was already about the height of Willow, and just as proportionately skinny.

The baby, Avery, was only four years old, but just like her sisters, was quite the beauty already. She seemed especially beautiful in such ugly surroundings.

Avery had red hair like her grandmother, and like her sisters, she had pale skin and green eyes. She was normal weight and height for her age, giving her a healthy appearance. She had a very small sprinkling of freckles just around her nose that looked like a tiny fairy had danced about on her face.

In every generation of the Benson family, there was always a redhead, sometimes even two. The only difference between them and Avery was that Avery actually wore her red hair very well. More like their grandmother’s red-headed elegant looks then their father’s cousins, whose red hair made their complexions look ghastly and ghostly. You could already tell that Avery would become one of those all-American looking teenage beauties as she got older.

It was in the middle of her reverie when Willow heard a key in the front door click, and then the squeaking noise that meant that it had been pushed open. Judging by her sisters’ faces, drained even paler with eyes staring brightly green against the white, they had heard it, too.

Not too long after that dreadful click, the three girls heard footsteps and the slamming of a door somewhere inside the apartment. The only door that would be slammed would be their parents’ room. That could only mean one thing: One of their parents was home. Which one, the Benson girl’s didn’t know, since they had not cared to look.

Willow got up and quietly tip toed to the door and gently closed and locked it, as their brother had told them to do if their parents got home before he did. As soon as the door was safely closed and latched, Willow heard the ominous sound of the front door once again opening, and the other bedroom door slammed shut a second time. Then came the yelling they had known would be inevitable.

“What were you thinking, you dumb whore? You knew that you could never pull that kind of crap off!” The three girls heard their father screaming fiercely through the walls separating theirs from the other bedroom.

Immediately following those cruel words there came a loud crash from the bedroom, like something being thrown either to the floor or perhaps against the wall. The sounds scared poor, young Avery and she started sobbing uncontrollably.

As Emilee reached out to hold onto her, Willow took Emilee’s hand and led them all into the closet. That was where they hid from these awful horrors, in case this was another of those times where their father decided that he should take his anger out on the kids instead of their mother. Willow sometimes found herself feeling bad for her mother. Even at her young age, she pitied the poor woman.

But Willow knew that her mother had chosen to live this way, and so there was no sense in feeling bad for her. She could have escaped it if she had wished. You could not help those who did not want your help.

Hiding in the very back of the closet, behind a large piece of plywood that Scott had placed in there for protection from the words and the physical abuse, they heard the rest of the somewhat brief (by their parents account), but extremely violent (and as always, strictly terrifying) fight.

“I’m sorry!” Their mother’s voice, crying, frightened, screamed out. “I thought that I could, and I would have, too, if it hadn’t of been for you! You always ruin everything!”

“Don’t blame this thing on me! I’m not the one who thought up this screwed up scheme! You should have never done this crap in the first place, you stupid whore! How stupid are you, anyways?”

I’m not stupid! If you would have gotten a real job, I wouldn’t have had to do this crap!”

There was a loud smacking sound as flesh hit flesh, and Willow knew that it was her father’s hand against her mother’s face. The girls could always hear that noise on the few occasions their mother was brave, or stoned, or perhaps even drunk enough to stand up to their large, hideously abusive father figure.

This wasn’t the movies, and so there was no shocked silence for suspense. And so, immediately following the smack, there came the girls’ father’s voice again. “Don’t you EVER, EVER say that to me again. Do you hear me?” There was a small silence, and it was out of her father’s impatience that he repeated himself, unbelievably more harsh and severe than the first time, his voice stretching and straining on each of the words, “DO…YOU…HEAR…ME…?”

A very meek, and soft, “Yes,” came from their mother’s voice. Her already feeble will had once again been broken by their father’s harsh words.

Then once again, her father’s voice, “Just because you sell it doesn’t mean that you have to use it.”

No more words were spoken before the cowering Benson children heard what they assumed to be their father’s footsteps, loud, hard, and heavy, pace back across the living room, followed by the sound of the…

If you liked what you read, you can feel free to purchase the book on Kindle, Amazon Paperback, Nook, Barnes & Noble Paperback, Kobo,or OmniLit.

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