Helena was sleeping on the sofa when Ray came back into the living room. “Where is he?” he nudged her shoulder. “Helena, where’s Aiden?” he raised his voice and shook her awake.
She shoved his hand, making it clear she did not appreciate him waking her out of a sound sleep. “Get away from me, you ugly clown. I don’t have to tell you squat, he’s my kid, not yours.” Rolling onto her back, she attempted to ignore him. Her routine would not work this time; Ray had reached his breaking point.
“Where is my son, you cheap whore?” he screamed. “Answer me, woman!”
“What?” she sneered. “You gonna hit me? If you want to know where he is, it’s gonna cost you.”
He grasped her shirt at the neck with one beefy hand, lifting her effortlessly. “Tell me who has Aiden and where to find him, or so help me God, I’ll…”
“Let go of me, you big ape,” she screeched.
He shoved her against the kitchen table; she picked up an empty bottle and hurled it, missing his head by inches.
“I sold the little snot, and you won’t ever see him again. They can do whatever the hell they want with him because I don’t give a shit,” she broke out into a fit of laughter.
Those were the last words out of Helena’s mouth. In a momentary rage, Ray launched her tiny body against the bedroom door. The force of the impact caused it to rip off the rusty hinges, sending pieces of splintered wood around the room.
Austen covered his ears in an attempt to block the sound of the fight between his parents. He was wide-awake when he witnessed his mother sailing through the air backward into his room, landing on the floor with a loud thud. The child crept from the bed and walked a few steps; he stood next to her and looked down into her lifeless brown eyes. He felt a warm, sticky liquid pooling around his feet; it smelled like metal.
His mommy was dead.