“No, no, no!” Hannah the noisiest, snottiest child in all of America cried to her mother, Samantha.
The single mother living in Placerville, California regretted her decision to procreate this now 3-year-old spawn of Satan, well, in this moment anyway. Samantha tried to resist all of her urges not to yell, God forbid, hit her child, who was now writhing on the floor, twisting her body into a fit of rage.
“Just breathe, Sam,” She thought to herself.
“Mommy, you ate the last cookie!” Hannah wailed.
Enough was enough. This child couldn’t get away with this temper-tantrum.
“Yes, I did,” Sam said, still maintaining control of her emotions. “We can buy you more Peppermint Patties later.”
“I want them now!” Hannah cried. The child’s arms and legs flailed up and down.
Thud! Thud! Thud! The kicking hit the floor, sending a pick-axe through Samantha’s skull.
“Hannah, Mommy will put you in timeout if …”
The intensity from the small child increased. The flurry of kicks moved faster, almost as if Hannah had trained for this exact moment to test Samantha. The mother put her parental instincts to the test. They were wearing thin.
“Hannah Jane Martin, you …”
Screech! A piercing blister of sound filled the entirety of the mobile home, paining Sam’s ears.
“That’s enough!” Sam yelled. Her anger boiled to the surface, flushing her face and hands.
Sam grabbed Hannah, but found herself facing the arsenal of a naughty little girl.
Kick! Punch! Bite!
Samantha pursed her lips. She needed to maintain control unlike before. Life had become so much more difficult after her husband Jack died. They never had much, but she was grateful for the extra $428.29 cents of income that his bi-weekly paycheck from his job at the hotel brought them. If only he hadn’t walked away that night. He didn’t have a good reason to drive.
“Waaahhh!” Hannah screamed. The girl maneuvered into a dangling animal. Snot dripped down her nose, and Hannah’s eyes were puffy from all the crying.
Hannah still fought. One of her kicks was strong.
The impact was brief, but Samantha felt the pain. That kick would leave a bruise on her calf.
“Ugh!” Samantha cried. “Why can’t you just act normal?”
Samantha plucked her daughter off the floor and threw her into the corner.
“You are in time out for 10 minutes!” Samantha screamed.
What happened? Samantha thought. “Why can’t I hear, Hannah?”
Sam turned around. Hannah didn’t move.
“No, I didn’t throw her that hard,” Samantha cried. “Hannah, wake up! Wake up, Hannah!”
Samantha ran to the floor and scurried Hannah into her arms. A droplet of blood slithered down the girl’s face. Samantha looked at the wall. A new red mark stood out against the pale white wall color.
“Come on baby! Mommy didn’t mean it! Let’s get you some cookies,” Samantha pleaded. “Peppermint Patties! Oreos! Oh, I know! Hopscotch Peanut-Butter Bumpkins. Your favorite!”
Samantha’s breath grew shallow.
“Hannah, wake the fuck up! Mommy needs you!”
Still no response.
The only thing Samantha heard was sobbing. It was her own tears.