"Where's my dinner?" He grumbled.Sadie pointed to the table. Warren hobbled over and sat with a thud that shook the whole house. He swiftly grabbed his glass and chugged the whiskey down, all while reaching for the bottle to pour another. The girls made themselves comfortable next to him. Just as Sadie was about to eat, Warren slammed his fist down on her perfectly cooked biscuit.
"Oh no you don't." He said, raising a finger to the door. "You go put Pearlie away."Sadie turned to Jill, who was happily chomping away at her plate. Reluctantly, she slipped out of her chair and took Pearlie back to the barn.
Pearlie was an ancient horse. She had been around for as far back as Sadie could remember. She was called Pearlie because of her white coat, which was as shiny and pure as a pearl. Of course, this was years ago. No one took the time to bathe the mare, and her coat faded to a gloomy gray color. Sadie led the horse into her stable and gently stroked her back, which cause Pearlie to shake and release dirt into the air.
"You filthy beast." Sadie coughed.When Sadie returned to the house, all the lights had diminished except for the glow of Warren's pipe. She heard another pour of the whiskey bottle. Beneath the dull glow of the pipe, he stared menacingly at her, while a slow grin formed across his face.
"So," he began. "I heard you took another little trip to the woods this afternoon."Jill. Although she was good company, she wasn't an expert on keeping secrets. Sadie took a deep breath as Warren stood from the table and slowly made his way toward her.
"I was just prepping some firewood. I wasn't gone long." She replied.Her stepfather let out a sarcastic "Ha!" as he continued to approach her.
"Like I haven't heard that one before. Aren't you getting tired of all this, Sadie?" He asked maliciously. "Always disobeying your guardian?"He now had her against the fireplace, embers still glowing orange.
"We can't have you off frolicking in the forest, all while my precious little girl is left here, all alone and defenseless."Like a flash, his hand came up and swiped Sadie's face.
"She needs to be protected.."
"Protected from what!?" Sadie burst. "We live in an old shack in the middle of nowhere! If you cared for her at all, you would be here, spending time with her. Not stumbling around town making a fool of yourself with your drunken friends and whores and..."A cold, firm hand clenched her throat and ceased her shouts. Her neck began to shiver, spreading down her whole body.
"You think you can speak to me in that tone?"His breath stank of a dozen liquors. Sadie gasped for air as she was thrown to the floor. He towered over her, eyes livid with hate.
"You wouldn't even be alive if I weren't here. I provide everything for you girls. That is my job!"
"Drinking is your only job.." She muttered.A wild kick to her spine caused Sadie to cry out in pain. Warren reached for his leather belt on the mantle of the fireplace.