GENRE: YA speculative fiction
Cold potatoes sitting in a pool of butter. Echo pushed her plate away; she never had an appetite when her parents were fighting.
“Fifty dollars!” That was her father’s voice, coarse and angry. “You didn’t ask.”
Celeste was crying. “Ace, I—”
“FIFTY DOLLARS!” Something shattered in the living room. “You are never to touch my money unless I tell you to buy something.”
“I’m sick of it, Ace!” Celeste’s voice rose shakily. “I can’t even buy a stick of gum without your permission! We are husband and wife—”
“And the money’s mine!” Ace roared.
“So I’m not allowed to buy a dress that I—?” A slap, and Celeste cried out.
“I’m the head of this house.” Something that sounded disturbingly like a body hit the wall. “If you don’t listen to me, I will make you!”
Echo lunged across the table and grabbed little Coraly off the stack of books that served as a high chair.
“Look at me, Coraly,” Echo crooned, aware of the tremble in her voice. “Look at Auntie Echo! That’s my Sweet Pea.”
But Coraly wasn’t listening. Her eyes were large and frightened. “Gamp angry?” she asked, voice soft and tentative.
There was another crash from the living room and Celeste yelled, “Go away! Just get out of here!”
Echo squeezed Coraly tight and whispered, “It’s a game, sweetness. It's only a game.”