Hattie pulled the shoebox from its hiding place beneath her bed and opened it. It was filled with bric-a-brac gathered from around the farm over the past several weeks: some twine and pole nails found in the barn, a few shards of brightly colored glass from the root cellar, and a length of rusted barbed wire she uncovered in the cow pasture. Hattie fashioned the discarded items into a dream catcher, in the hopes it would trap nightmares instead. She hung it over her door, before she went to bed.
Hattie did not wake at the sound of plodding footsteps in the hall, his boots clumsy from too much whisky. But her eyes opened when an anxious hand opened her bedroom door, and bits of glass and steel rattled against wooden frame. Hattie reached for pawpaw’s pocket knife, which she had placed beneath her pillow before falling asleep.
Her mother’s voice sounded from the upstairs’ bedroom.
“Ray, honey, is that you?”
He quickly retreated from Hattie’s room, the sound of his footsteps growing fainter as he walked down the hall and up the stairs.
Hattie loosened her grip on the knife as she drifted off to sleep.
(c) gibson grand