The following is an excerpt from the book, Danny's Grace. The book is available on Amazon for those who want to read a story of true grit and determination of one survivor of child abuse.
Did you hear that? Shh… hang on a second.
“He’s just a kid.”
“He’s a smartass and I’m gonna knock it out of him.”
“Daniel! Daniel! Get your ass down here, now!”
You better stay here.
Why are you following me? It’s trouble. It’s big trouble.
“What the hell is this?”
Ugh. Why did he get in the trash? He wasn’t supposed to see that. I was just goofing around. I guess he can’t take a joke. It’s kind of funny, don’t you think? See how I drew the flames coming out of my dad’s ears. Maybe he was more pissed off about the horns. What do you think?
“Well, what do you have to say for yourself?”
Satan is a mighty powerful force and I don’t suppose you will ever step up and save me from my own stupidity, so the only choice I had left was to give it to him with both barrels.
“Pretty good likeness, don’t you think?”
“I’ve had it with you boy. It’s always something.”
I would like to tell you that it all happened so fast that I didn’t really remember it. I can’t though. It was like watching a playback on Sunday Night Football. You know, slow-mo, and I was the quarterback who was about to get sacked. Especially that first hit. His hand was bigger than my entire head. And now half of my face could pass for a giant, red tomato.
I can't say it was nice to be introduced to the floor for the hundredth time in my life. If I were wise, I would just stay there. Not that I had much choice in the matter. The longer I sat there, the longer I had time to ponder. Was I dizzier than I was angry, or was it vice versa? I imagine it was vice versa, because suddenly, this loud groan came from the very tippy of my toes and out of my big, fat mouth. One that I am sure my father never expected and one that I didn’t know existed. I got up alright. I must implore you to close your eyes. You really don’t want to see this.
The next hit knocked me down so hard that I was sure pieces of my flesh would forever be embedded in the creaky, old floorboards. I never had a chance; he wasn’t going to let me get up again. I could see him hovering over me, it was dim though. Someone must have turned off the lights. I heard the paper crinkling up and before I knew it, he grabbed my arm and jerked me up off the floor.
“Think you’re funny do you?”
I would have been a smartass still, if I had been able to speak, but I couldn’t. Do you see what he’s doing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. He’s shoving it down my throat.
“You’re gonna eat it you good for nothing little bastard. That’s all you’re going to eat for a week. Ya hear me?”
He shoved it further and further until my gag reflex kicked in. Thank God for it because you sure weren’t any help. My throat fought back, but my father was winning. There wasn’t anything I could do about it. Trust me, if I could have, I would have, but there wasn’t. At that moment, the paper shot out, hitting him square on the forehead. I derived some sick pleasure out of it, as you can well imagine. I suppose he imagined it too because right after the pancakes, maple syrup, and bacon (the chunky variety), landed on his favorite ‘I’m the King’ t-shirt, he grabbed my throat. Maybe he thought that would stop the flow of vomit, but it didn’t.
I’ll never forget the feeling of his calloused hands wrapped around my throat. Yes, of course I was scared. If you tell anyone, ever, I’ll deny it. But I was as scared as I’ve ever been. He never did that before. Please, please close your eyes. You really shouldn’t watch this. He wouldn’t let go and he was squeezing, squeezing so hard that I thought my eyes would certainly pop right out of my head. Just as I thought I was taking my last breath, I heard a loud shriek. Did you hear it too? Was that? No, couldn’t be. She was only four.
I felt something hit my eye. Was it a fist? I’m not sure what it was. It was hard, that’s all I know. The only thing I remember after that is feeling my head crash into the mirror. I felt it, I heard it. The mirror broke, parts of it are still in my head. Anyway, I don’t remember anything after that.