She stood on the porch, looking out and weighing her options, when a large, strong hand clasped her shoulder. “Brave words,” a deep voice growled, sharpened fingernails digging into her flesh. “I can always stop you.”
She gasped and spun around, seeing her step-father standing in the doorframe with a malicious grin on his face. His eyes shone with hatred, burning daggers into hers. She winced under his firm grasp, feeling his sharpened nails puncture her skin and a stream of blood flowing down her back.
“You can’t hide if you can’t run,” he cackled, digging his nail deeper into her. “You never were one for running,” he reasoned with a sneer.
She whimpered, the glint in his eye daring her to provoke him further. It wasn’t the pain in her shoulder that brought the tears to her eyes; no, she could take the pain any day, as she had. It was the fear. Fear of what he would do to her next. She had a life left to live, and she hoped that he wouldn’t take that away from her. But, with him, no one ever knew what he would or wouldn’t do next.
“You really thought…” He cut himself off with a harsh, barked-out laugh. His grip tightened on her shoulder as he started again. “You really thought you could leave me.”
Another burst of courage left her lips, along with the words, “I can, and I will.”
Although there was nothing humorous about what she said, he laughed again as he grinned hideously. He didn’t want to show how hard the words hit him, the feeling dropping like a stone in his heart. It wasn’t just the words, though, that stopped it quickly. His eyes widened, his clasp slackening over her shoulder as he gaped like a fish.
“Heart…attack…” he spluttered, clutching his chest and his eyes staring, wide and alarmed, at her. Panic engulfed her as she stepped away, realizing what a perfect getaway time that would have been. But, he was her step-dad…and…and…
His eyes closed as he fell backwards into the doorframe, his heart faltering and at last stopping, his breathing slowing, rasping and then cutting off completely. He was dead before he landed.