• I stared helplessly around as father led me to an old mattress in the dusty basement. “This is where you sleep.” He grumbled in his scary deep voice. My eyes widened. “Why?” I said in a quiet voice. He turned and glared at me. He grabbed my wrist with his giant hand, and squeezed it. “Because I hate you…” He muttered. The mattress had yellow stuffing falling out of it. It reeked, and there were stains of all sorts of colors on it. It looked uncomfortable. I stared at it. There were no pillows on it, and no blankets. This was different than the last mattress I was forced to sleep on that had one thin pillow and a very thin blanket on it. It also didn’t smell as bad. This looked absolutely dreadful. “Please, no.” I begged. I needed at least one blanket, and one pillow. It was freezing in the basement. Chills ran up my spine thinking of me sleeping on this. Dad held back his hand indicating that he was about to slap me. My eyes widened. In a blink of an eye his palm whipped my face hard. It stung, and I felt the area where he slapped me with my fingers. I tried to bite my lip to keep from crying. Crying made it worse. “You will do as I say.” Dad said in a harsh tone.
    I heard soft footsteps coming down the stairs to the basement. It was mother. “Is Laura giving you a hard time?” She asked in a soft devilish voice. Dad looked towards her. Mother had a small little figure. She was thin, and had long blonde wavy hair that reached her shoulders. She had devilish eyes that could go from a bright blue to black. She was short. I estimated about 5’2. Her lips could curl into devious shapes. She had freckles on her face. The only unattractive thing about her was her nose. It was too large for her face. It stuck straight out. “The little s**t is always giving me a hard time.” He muttered. She stared at me. She walked right in front of me. She grabbed onto my cheeks, and pinched extremely hard. She twisted them. I tried to hold in the tears. They were behind my eyelids, and trying to push their way out of my eyes. I closed my eyes, and looked up. “Look at me you little s**t.” She said in a soft voice that hurt my ears. She had this soft voice that liked to place games with your mind. I opened up my eyes, and I stared hard at her. Her eyes were black. “You will listen to what we order, and you will do as we say… Or there will be serious consequences.” She said. She pinched my cheeks harder. She was so close to my face that I could smell her sickly sweet breath. She let go of my cheeks, and stared hard at me. “Go to bed.” She muttered. I looked at the clock in the basement. It was 12:15pm. I knew that there was no use in arguing. Mother and father would make punishments worse if I did.
    I laid down on the mattress, and instantly started to cough. As I laid dust rose up, and started to choke me. The smell was unbearable too. I started to feel sick to my stomach from the wretched smell. I held my nose. Dad grabbed ahold of my hands making me not able to hold my nose. The smell rose into my nose, and I started to gag. Dad let go of my hands. “Good night.” He said. He and mother went up the stairs, and locked the door shut. Now, it was safe to cry. Tears fell down my cheeks. I never asked for this. My face still stung from when dad had slapped it. My cheeks still hurt from where mother had pinched them. I whispered in such a soft voice, “Please save me…”
    I tried to close my eyes. Sleeping made the pain go away. It was hard to sleep. The dust choked me and the smell made me feel nauseous causing me to keep opening my eyes, and sit up. I knew I had to get to sleep though. If mother and father knew that I was still awake I’d get a punishment of being beaten, or worse.