The end of July heat was suffocating Brea. She tossed and turned, feeling smothered by the sheets, the room, and her own troubled thoughts. Sliding out of bed she walked across the room to the window, hoping for a stray breeze. Moonlight filled the night sky, twining its luminous beauty into the dark landscape of her grandfather's farm. Looking out across the pasture she watched moonbeams skip across the surface of the pond. The promise of cool water beckoned.
Why not? Grandpa was asleep and the heat was unbearable. She pulled on a pair
of shorts then tiptoed through the house without turning on the lights. The
screen door in the kitchen squeaked as she pushed it open and stepped out onto
the porch. Brea held her breath until the loud snort from Grandpa's room
returned to its familiar snoring cadence. She couldn't face another round of his
Brea touched her bruised cheek, remembering the back of Grandpa's hand as he
struck out at her. In her whole life he'd never struck her.
His words hurt worst than the slap. "Did you think I wouldn't find out? Did
you think nobody would tell me?"
Read more of "The Cinderella Myth" by Sandra Seamans.