The sound of the door being crashed open came like the sound of rolling thunder on a prairie. It was so loud and obtrusive that at first Amalia had thought she imagined it. But then she heard it again. The next thing she heard was the sound of her Father rousing from his slumber and leaving his room. Stealthily, she walked from her bed. Peeking out her bedroom door while her right hand reached for her baseball bat which silently signalled for him to take. He took the bat gratefully and gestured for her to stay in her room. He couldnt bare the thought of her getting hurt or mixed up in this.
Amalia was an only child. Her mother had passed away in child birth and her father worked like a man possessed to be sure she didnt lack anything. The thought of her being at mercy to the men downstairs was one he could not stomach.
Amalia's eyes narrowed significantly, she glanced at her father's back and sighed. She wasn't a kid anymore! She was 16 years old already! She could handle this! Thus she went tiptoeing out if her room to follow behind at a safe distance.
As she neared the top of the stairs she could hear the voices of the men below talking as they went through her families belongings. One of them picking up a photo of her family howling at the others jeering as they talked.
"Hey guys looky here!! Looks like theres a sweet treat just waiting for us!!" the one said licking his lips as though she was a meal and he had been starved for far too long!
"Yeah yeah! shes not bad eh Jimmy" answered thug number 2. " I can't see that boss would mind if we just had a small taste!!"
It was at this Amalia's father had just about descended the stairs and would have succeeded in his sneak attack had not a third man come out from of the adjoining rooms catching him off guard.
"Whatcha, for there eh Pops?" He said loudly enough the for the other two to hear him. There was no time now. Amalia's father did the only thing he could think of and swung hard, aiming the guys head.
Amalia had to clamp her hands over her mouth to repress her screams as she watched them struggle below. The third intruder smoothly dodging the bat and catching her father's arm behind her back. The other two arriving moments later.
Intruder 3 held her father in place as the other 2 landed hit after hit on her father, punching and kicking him mercilessly it was all she could do not cry out but in her urgency and terror she had taken a step back in surprise bumping into a hallway table upstairs. Before she new it all four men below had theirs eyes locked on her. Her father realizing she was there crying out in between punches: "Run!!!!! just go!!"
Tears streamed down her eyes as she went charging toward her room, looking for something anything that might help even the score between her father and those theives. She could hear the sound of feet on the stairway following after and in between the scuffling between her father and the other one below. It was the sound of her father's final cry that caused her to break. The third set up steps finally joining them on the hunt for her. Quickly she did the only thing left to do now, she hid. Locking herself in her closet, there was a small loose panel she could slip into she snuck behind it, pulling it tight and waited with baited breath for the men to retreat crying silently to herself all the while.
Some moments later they gave up the search. Took whatever valuables they could find and left. Amalia counted. 1. 2. 3. .and finally when the house was in silence she walked down stairs, tiptoeing and the sight that met her eyes broke the very last ounce of strength she had. What awaited her was her father's body bloodied and broken. Not breathing.
She sat there for an immeasurable space of time sobbing, in shock, her shoulders shaking as she struggled to breathe oblivious to the sound sirens approaching her home and even the curious gaze of the her neighbors.
In the aftermath of her fathers death, Amalia stood several weeks later in a small cemetery, staring lifelessly at the solid wood box that was her fathers resting place. The gathering was small, most of her aunts and uncles hadn't even bothered to call or send their wishes. There remained here, at her fathers final send off, only herself her grandfather and a small scattering of neighbors.
Her eyes were painfully dry as they lowered the casket into the ground. They stung with unshed tears. Her throat raw from the countless nights she'd already spent crying. Not that any of it did any good. None of it would bring him back. Her eyes glanced to the stone that would mark his resting place. Her heart breaking as she read the inscription:
"Here lay Luke Patterson. Beloved Father & Husband"
Her only consolation as they lay him in the ground was that at long last, he could be with her Mother whom he missed dearly. Almost as though the skies were mourning his death it inexplicably began to rain. As the drops fell harder on the ground the small gathering dispersed. The only one left to remain was Amalia, her clothes drenched and sticking to her skin. Her fathers favorite flowers clutched tightly in her hand.
"Goodbye Daddy. I miss you."