'Let me in Cindy!'
I curled up tighter on my bed, pressing my hands over my ears to try and blot out the sound of my adoptive father banging on the trapdoor that led into my attic. Isobel had clearly told Frank what had happened earlier and he was now coming after me to show me who was in charge.
'I swear if you don't let me in now Cindy I will beat you until you can't remember who you are. Let down the ladder now!'
I could almost picture the girls sitting in their rooms, sniggering as their father yelled up at me.
'Isobel! Get me the ladder.'
I let out a sob of terror, anticipating Frank's entrance into the attic. I wasn't scared of being beaten, that happened to me anyway, but I was scared of what else he might do. Frank was a powerful man, there was no way I would be able to fight him off me if he got an idea into his head.
I heard the commotion downstairs as Frank opened the ladder, probably watched by his wife and children. A few seconds later the floor shook as he tried to break his way through the trapdoor. I whimpered, trying to make myself disappear into thin air. If Frank broke in there was nowhere I could hide.
The fragile lock on the trapdoor gave in and the square of wood went flying across the room. Frank was immediately in the room, grabbing me by my long white blonde hair and dragging me off the bed and forcing me down the ladder and into the sight of Isobel, Madeline and Georgia.
'I am very disappointed in the way you've behaved Cindy,' Frank said, seizing my hair again. 'What do you say to your mother?' He hissed
'I didn't do anything wrong,' I said in a tiny pleading voice.
'That's not what I've been told. You've been a very bad girl, and bad girls have to be punished.'
'But I swear I didn't do anything.'
This earned me a slap across the face from Isobel and a tug on the hair from Frank, making me wince in pain.
'You lying little bitch,' Isobel spat at me. 'First you directly disobey me, then you lie about it to my face.'
'That behaviour is not acceptable. Apologise to your mother.'
'I said apologise!' Franks nails dug sharply into the flesh of my arm making me cry out in pain and shock. 'Say it!'
'I'm sorry,' I whimpered.
'That wasn't so hard was it,' Frank said, his voice still hard with rage and his hand still keeping a firm grip on my hair. 'Now get back upstairs.'
I was half pushed half thrown up the ladder and when I reached the top I fell sprawling onto the floor. I scrambled away from the edge but Frank grabbed hold of my ankle, pulling me back. I shrank away from him as he lay over me, one hand either side of my head, his body hanging over mine and his face threateningly close to me.
'Don't think this is over,' he whispered viciously in my ear. 'You're a sneaky little whore, just like your real mother and don't think I will ever forget that. I went easy on you now because I didn't want the girls to see how I should have treated you. But they can't come up here, so I'll be back later.'
Thankfully he rolled away from me and climbed back down the ladder, folding it away once he was at the bottom. I hadn't realised how fast my heart was beating until my room was silent.
I couldn't be here when he came back. I didn't know how I was going to get out without Isobel or Frank noticing, I just knew I had to get out.