From Little Big Boy by Max Power – chilling, tragic, funny and heart-warming ..coming to your local amazon store soon
My face hurt. It stung where my father’s big hand had smacked my little cheek. I looked up at him and silent tears rolled down my face. I knew better than to cry out loud.
“Tears are the weapon of the weak.”
That’s what he had told me. I didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know why he hit me or why it hurt inside more than it did on the outside.
It wasn’t him. It was the drink. That’s what Mam said anyway and she was always right. He grabbed my face placing his thumb on my cheek and then relaxed his grip. For a moment I thought he might say that he was sorry. He gently wiped away the tears from one side of my face with his thumb.
“Do you want a Coke?”
I didn’t but I was afraid to say no, afraid to be ungrateful. If I answered I knew I couldn’t hold back a sob so I nodded instead.
“Grand. You wait there. I won’t be long.”
He climbed out of the car, slammed the door and walked straight across the road and into the pub without looking back. It was still bright when he left but when he returned it was dark and the noise he made woke me from my sleep.
“Feckin’…. ” He seemed to be angry at something but was so drunk he struggled to be coherent. I lay still and quiet, huddled beneath a layer of old newspapers on the floor behind the passenger seat. I had been freezing and they were all I had for blankets.
I had no idea what had happened. I could smell the drink from where I was curled up and for me that smell always meant trouble.
Dad swore and cursed as he struggled to get the key in the ignition and I tried not to move. He’d forgotten I was even there. Now that I had woken from my sleep, I felt so cold and I began to shiver. I tried not to but it was impossible. If I could stay quiet, I could stay safe. But I was seven. I was tired and thirsty, hungry and cold.
I stretched a little and my dad noticed the rustle in the back of the car . He slowly turned his head and looked at me. I could see something in his face that I recognised. I saw anger. I saw something a small boy shouldn’t see in his father’s face. I saw his disappointment . But then, as he sneered at my little frame, all curled up trying to be quiet and keep warm, I saw something altogether more terrifying…..
… Little Big Boy, Max Power’s fourth book, will be available on amazon early in 2015.
For updates follow facebook.com/maxpowerbooks or go to amazon.com/author/maxpower or find max on Twitter@maxpowerbooks</em