The suffocating stench of corn liquor filled the small room as Harlan Givins grunted and cussed his way to climax, his eldest daughter Mabel Marie, stick still beneath him. It lingered long after he’d hitched up his trousers, and the little ones had fallen back to sleep.
Mabel Marie lie awake for a long time afterward, the stink of stale sweat rising from her night shirt, her daddy’s man-spittle drying to a crust between her thighs, and thanked the same god she used to curse for her daddy’s attentions, for seeing fit to still steer him- to her bed -at least for tonight.
She had seen the way Daddy had taken to looking at her baby sister, Ella Lee. She had once been a young girl of eleven herself. Her own budding breasts just starting to poke at the fabric of her tee shirt, as she flitted about, just doing the things little girls do, and she remembered.
She remembered the way he rubbed his work worn hands up and down the span of his own thighs, the way he rocked back and forth on the hard wood of the kitchen chair those nights, early on, but most of all she remembered his eyes. How the sadness she had never before seen leave them, had been erased. How they twinkled, and twitched, and sparkled, as they followed her, drinking in her every move. Devouring her, just like they had recently taken to devouring Ella Lee.
As she lie awake that night, knowing what lay in store for her baby sister, knowing nothing short of murder would stop it, she knew what she had to do.
She had to get out. Out of this room. Out of this house. Out of this family. Before..
Before it happened. Before he passed her by one night, soon- stinking of corn liquor and sour sweat- and toppled into her beloved Ella Lee’s bed.
Before- she had to kill him.
I started out to write some background for a character I first came to know when I was introduced to her during the writing of a story called Ginny Combs as my response to one of Sue Vincent’s amazing #writephoto prompts almost a year ago. It had been my intention to include the three phrasal prompts provided by the OLWG #32. I never got past the first one.
Stories related to Mabel Marie and Ginny Combs can be found by following the Ginny Combs category header located in the drop down menu on the blogs home page.