I remember the first time I started to really realize how much of a monster my father was. As a rather young child, the tears on Ma's face and red of my father's face didn't make sense to me. I didn't know what alcohol was, what it could do to a person. He never made it obvious what he was doing to Ma and he didn't do it that often before Nate joined the family. I suppose that's why Nate was still able to join us. It hadn't gotten that bad yet.

I was about six years old. I was sick with some bad bug: one of the ones you get to stay home from school with and watch television all day but have a bucket sitting beside you the entire time. I knew it was around my bedtime and didn't like the idea of sleeping out on the couch so I'd gotten up to walk to my bedroom when I suddenly got nauseous. Before I could do anything about it, my innards were all over the floor and I joined them on all fours.

As the light headed feeling started to take over, I heard a terrible roar. A strong foot connected with my stomach and I rolled, pain now joining the all over ill feeling. Completely confused, I peered through teary eyes to see my father standing above me. His face was red, his eyes glazed, and his hair and clothes mussed. I'd never seen him looking so horrid and I didn't understand. Later I'd realize how drunk he must have been but at that time in my life I couldn't help but wonder what kind of monster had taken over my father.

It was hard to understand him through his slurred and gravely voice, but he made it clear through other methods that I was to clean up the mess I'd made. He didn't care that I was sick, tired and in pain and when Ma tried to come to my rescue, he simply smacked her hard across the face and bellowed at her as well.

To be honest, it wasn't long before I expected the treatment. However, I refused to let him hurt Ma and Nate if I could help it. When he beat up on me, I'd just curl into a non-responsive and protective ball until I grew up and learned ways to defend myself. It didn't change the fact that Frank Westen was the first person I learned to hate. He taught me that some people aren't human. Some people are monsters that pretend to be human. And it's a lesson I will never forget.

A/N: This is the beginning of what will hopefully be an epic. I've got a few ideas swirling around in my head and it's starting to really come together. For a while, however, updates will be spread out as I'm still trying to figure out the specifics of where this is going, I'm still writing Burn Collar, and I'm in school (and the semester's coming to a close). However, I hope that doesn't deter you from reading!

I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!