Escape to Paradise
15-year-old Sophie Piltman tensed, back pressed against the wall. She could smell alcohol, and she didn’t like it. Closing her eyes, she bit her lip. Breathing in and out slowly she tried to relax.
A little noise beside her make her jump. Opening her eyes, she saw her little brother, Mason, tugging on her shirt. With his light brown hair and chubby pink cheeks, Sophie was sure he was the cutest little boy around. His big blue eyes framed his face, and his little nose completed the picture. Sophie forced a smile.
“What is it, Mason?” she asked softly.
He didn’t speak, but wrapped his arms around his little body, he rocked back and forth.
Sophie’s eyebrows furrowed. “What is it? Mason?” She knelt to his level. “Are you cold?”
The little fellow shook his head.
“Hungry?” Another little shake. “Thirs-”
But Sophie was interrupted by, “JOY! I TOLD YOU TO GET MY BEER BOTTLE… NOW!!!!!”
Sophie shuddered as Mason flung his arms around her neck and clung to her desperately. “You’re scared, aren’t you?” She whispered to him. She could feel him nod vigorously. Sophie sighed as she stroked her brother’s back. Why did…
“SOPHIE! GET OVER HERE!” Sophie shuddered. What did he want now? She never even wanted to see his face after what he did yesterday. Why did he even have to interpose on their lives. Why had mom married such a jerk?
Sophie had been only five when her real father had died. He’d died of terminal brain cancer, and as a result, Sophie hated all types of cancers. Mason and Sadie, Mason’s twin sister, were barely one at the time. Sophie’s two older brothers, Logan, 18 and a half, and Kenneth, 16, were only 6 and 8.
Sophie couldn’t help but smile when she thought of her older brothers. They were such a good match! Ken tended to be full of ideas, and all the energy in the world to carry them out. Logan, on the other hand, was thoughtful, slower going, and tended to think things through before he did them.
They were both very protective of their younger siblings. Once, when some of the older boys started to pick on Sophie, it was Ken and Logan who had come to her rescue. The five siblings shared a bond so close, it was one they couldn’t share with their step-dad.
After dad had died, mom married again like a year or two later. He seemed like a nice guy at first. He had a respectable, stable job as police officer, which resulted in a good income. He was hard working and dependable, and he seemed to do well with kids.
But there was a side of him Sophie and her family didn’t see until several months after he’d come into their lives. He had a drinking problem.
Nobody thought much of it at first. I mean, everybody drank, right? It wasn’t until he started to turn abusive, they knew they had a problem. His problem was that he drank to much. And they didn’t know what to do. There came to a point where he seemed to always come home drunk. And they hated it!
He only seemed mean at them when he was drunk. At least, until one night.
That one night, he’d come home drunk, as usual. Mom had made supper, and they’d all sat down around the table, their step-father high on alcohol. Mom had made scones and chicken stew, normally his favorite. But not tonight.
“WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU!” he’s yelled. “CAN’T YOU MAKE A STEW RIGHT! IT’S ALL WATER! AND LOOK AT THESE SCONES! THEY HARD AS-
“I know you’ve had a bad day and you’ve been drinking again, Hunter,” mom had said quietly, “but I made my stew as I usually do, and the scones are just as good. So eat up.”
“HOW DARE YOU!” He’d yelled back at her, “DO YOU KNOW NO RESPECT FOR YOUR HUSBAND!” Then he lowered his voice scarily soft, “Or does someone have to teach you?”
Sophie had gasped in horror when he’d taken his belt off, dragged their mother into the living room and started to hit her. As usual, Ken, followed closely by Logan, jumped into action.
“No! Stop! Stop hitting mom!” Logan had screamed at him.
He acted as though he hadn’t heard. Sophie hear her mother wimping pitifully, and knew, she couldn’t just sit there. She jumped up from the table, and ran over to her step-father.
“No! No! Stop! Don’t hit mama!” She latched onto his arm, trying with all her might to stop him, but he was much bigger and stronger than she was, and he threw her against the opposite wall.
Sophie scrambled up, and tried again. This time she jerked on his arm, yelling, “No! no! Not Mom! Stop! Stop! Mom! Stop hitting mom!” He knocked her to the ground.
Finally he became exasperated with her. Stopping what he was doing, finally, he turned threatening eyes upon Sophie.
“You,” He said, his voice in a threatening whisper raising to a climax, “You stay out of this… You need to learn obedience too, young lady!” He raised the belt, and Sophie knew what was coming. She braced her self. She saw him swing the belt downward. She closed her eyes and braced herself…