This piece is part of  my “Rejected Stories” collection. Click here to learn more.

Knock knock!

Tanner and Cody turned to Mum between bites of freshly buttered toast.

“You know we don’t answer the door when Dad’s not home,” she said in a hushed tone. Her messy red curls bounced as she motioned for them to finish their food. “You’re still not dressed for school.”

The knocking grew louder, insistent.

But Mum picked up Justin from the floor. She sat next to them at their small square table. Ran her thin fingers through Tanner’s sandy-blond hair. Fed Justin his bottle.

The knocking became a deafening bang, like a round of bullets.

Mum let out a nervous breath. “Now, don’t you move until you finish your breakfast!” she said firmly. Balancing Justin on her hips, she headed to the living room.

Tanner grabbed another piece of toast. The salty butter tickled his tongue, the sensations warming his stomach.


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