Finish That Thought: 2-32


I could see her hiding behind the desk. Master was in the hall, his footfalls echoing off the bare walls. Master wasn’t screaming, which is why she was hiding. Screaming never ending in hitting. The quiet days were the scariest.

She wasn’t supposed to be in Master’s office, I knew. Her arm still ached from where Master had given her a separated shoulder because she’d laid a hand on the doorknob after tripping over her own feet. Master had a lot of rules, but there were two that outranked all the others. Be quiet – always quiet. And stay out of his office.

That I was ever allowed to enter the house was something of a miracle. She had been in the hospital for her sixth birthday, the recipient of a broken leg that was either the result of a mis-timed jump from a swing or Master picking her up and slamming her down on the ground after a mis-timed sneeze, depending on who you believed. The nurse, taking pity on the sweet little girl stuck in the hospital for her special day, had wheeled her down to the special room where I was kept. I had no fur, so I didn’t bother anyone’s allergies, and I had no vocal cords, so I couldn’t make any noise.

I was the perfect pet for her, though none of them realized why they all suddenly thought I should go home with her. Just because I couldn’t make noise didn’t mean I couldn’t communicate. My kind could survive in a vacuum, under water, or on land – of course we evolved to be telepathic. And when it occurred to Master (with my help of course) that giving her a pet for a birthday present would help make it look like he was the caring, worried father he was pretending to be, I became hers.

There hadn’t been any incidents since we’d arrived home, not until today. I’d been able to glean most of their past together while they were asleep, and slowly, my plan had come together. For everything to work properly, Master needed to be angry. Angrier than he’d ever been. He needed to lose control. She didn’t want to sing when she’d come home from school. And she certainly hadn’t wanted to sneak into Master’s office. But the time was right, and I didn’t give her a choice. It was for her own good, after all.

Master kept all his secret things in his office. The drugs. The pictures of him with children. The money.

And the gun.

When his steps stopped outside the door, she began to panic. When the doorknob started to turn, she started crying. And when the door swung open, Master’s bulky form outlined against the glare of the hall lights, she screamed.

But I was stronger than panic. And crying. And screaming. And her aim was true.


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