Ali crept into the kitchen. She nipped the nails on her shaking right hand. Her pale arms coiled around her chest, then uncoiled. Cooking dinner was torturous. The wooden spoons in their container caused her breathing to quicken, and her heart to pound.
'No, Mama, no!' Ali whimpered. 'Please! I didn't mean to break Great-Granny's doll! I just wanted to hold her! I'm sorry!' Ali begged. Her sobbing was fruitless. Her mother hauled her into the kitchen and grabbed a wooden spoon out of the drawer. She struggled as her mother threw her over the Formica counter. Her mother swore and bashed her with brutal force . She screamed for mercy until losing consciousness, fifteen blows later.
Ali blinked and her macaroni swam back into focus. "Thanks, Mom," she muttered, as tears rolled over the scars on her cheeks. She gulped a breath, grabbed a spoon and stirred the noodles.