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The Promise

The winged creature is there again
A silhouette of wing and claw
Sharp teeth shadows through the window.
It does not leave.

I hear the monster wearing my father’s flesh
Scream at my mother as the sound
Of dishes crash against the wall.
His breath will smell of liquor and lies.

Whispers in my mind of promises
Hissing their temptation as the creature’s
Red eye seeks me through the dark.
I need only give permission.

There on the windowsill
My salvation and damnation wait
Guardian angel and deceitful demon.
I need only ask.

Mother cries and not-father’s hands are loud
Telling her it is her own fault
A nightly repetition.
The winged beast knows.

A scream, a cry, a pleading wish
A sound of hell’s gates
Opening their fiery maw.
I give in.

He is gone the next day,
Mother knows not where,
But I do.
A black feature rests on my pillow.

Promise kept.

--Jalana G., Adult