The sounds of breaking glass and drunken slurs was nothing new on Saturday nights. It had been this way for years. Ever since he could remember. His father, drunk to the point of stupidity, his brother, combative and probably more than a little drunk himself, and his mother, just as drunk as either her husband or son, screaming her "mediation" over the cries of her youngest child.

That was the only thing that had changed in all these years. His little sister no longer cried. In fact, she never said much of anything anymore. To anyone.

He'd once taken a call from the school that she was going to be given out-of-school suspension for not talking in class when she was called on. He'd promised her that he wouldn't say anything to their parents, that he'd take care of it. But his plan had gone out the window the next day, when the letter came. Their father had flown off the handle, and the next thing he remembered, he was waking up on the floor an hour later with glass shards and blood in his hair. That had taken nineteen stitches to close up, and six months to fully heal.

The thin boy ran a hand through his blond hair at the memory, touching the scar and twirling his pencil in his fingers. He brushed the eraser shavings away from the drawing, sighing a little bit. He continued filling in feathers on the wings of the angel in his drawing, cleaning up the edges as he did so. Next came the folds in her skirt, her little hands clasped together...

That was when he heard the gunshots.

The cracks ringing in his ears, Kenny bolted from his room.

He skidded around the corner into the living room, and froze in the doorway at the sight of his family. Stuart was completely frozen against the far wall, two fresh bullet holes still smoking in the plaster. His gun, the one that was kept under the floorboard by the couch in case drug dealers came by, was clutched in Kevin's hands.


There had been three shots. Where was the third bullet hole.

"... oh shit... aw fuck..." Kevin dropped their father's gun, shaking a little bit. "Shit Karen... why'd you have to get in the way!"

"Karen?" Kenny whirled to face the same way as his brother. Little Karen was crumpled in a heap on the floor, holding her right shoulder. Her pink t-shirt was quickly running scarlet.

Kenny saw red. His hands balled into fists, and blind rage took over. His knuckles connected with his brother's face over and over, each blow connecting with a dull thud like meat being tenderized. Kevin's arms flailed, trying to knock his kid brother off, but to no avail.

It was the sound of Karen's crying that snapped Kenny back to his senses. He slid across the floor, scooping her up and glaring at their mother. "You just gonna stand there, or you gonna call a goddamn ambulance?!"