Thanks to Quill Shiv.
“I heard it too,” she whispered.
“I didn’t hear anything –”
I held myself, gluing my lips together. I waited, listening.
“Hey, in here,” she heard it now, a muffled voice, low and aggressive like a criminal.
My mother held tight to my arm now, scared, clinging to me. So much for the brave, protective mother; I was protecting her, it felt like. And I didn’t know what to do either, except to keep hidden and quiet.
The rustled through the kitchen. The living room. Please don’t make them check the bathroom…
The door burst open, gun blazing. They got my mother first. I used her as a shield, petrified. Couldn’t let them catch me — I charged at the man in the doorway. I grappled with him on the ground, trying to snatch up his gun, my only remaining protection. It was a terrible risk; if I failed, they’d kill me on the spot. But if I didn’t, they probably would kill me anyway.
Too late. The other two were attracted by the sound, overpowering me. Shouldn’t have been so loud…
They took turns pounding me in the stomach, winding me. They kept their guns at me then, ordering me through their burglary. This could be worse, at least, I thought to myself. I could be dead.
I sat tied up for days, starved, before anyone found me, bloodied, raped. I should be dead.