Friday, 8 April 2016


  Anna sensed the ugly on him the instant he came in the door. It wafted from him and surrounded him like fumes from gasoline. With Travis, it always involved the senses, from the vibrations of his movements to the loudness of his voice, from the heat of his temperament to—worst of all—the stench of his addiction. The reek of the alcohol he drank and the pungent chemical smell of an even darker dependency—the one that turned him from regular mean to savage mean—made him ugly, and turned home into a house of dread. It assailed Anna’s nostrils, her eyes, her ears, and her every nerve.

Travis was no more interested in the children than he was in the cat. He treated both in much the same manner, which was with minimal contact except to occasionally kick them aside with a dirty beige work boot should one happen into his path. 

Anna, with the fairness shown by most seven-year-old children, would admit to two things she did like about......

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