Feel free to read the first two parts as well.
The links are here:
Child of Fire - Part I
Child of Fire - Part II
Child of Fire - Part III
As he lit the frankincense on his desk, Rob heard the distinctive ring of his father’s Jack Daniels shattering on the ground. Rob quickly spread his Bible, prayer book and notes across the floor before sitting down and pretending he’d been reading since they got home.
“Rob,” his father’s fist struck the door before pulling the door open. “I’m going to the store. Do your work while I’m gone.”
“Don't you leave the house.”
His father disappeared from the door and the house was quiet again, except for the occasional shuffle of his mother’s feet from the living room. Rob closed his Bible and sat on his bed. By the time his father returned he would be too drunk to remember coming home. As long as Rob was sitting with his Bible, his father wouldn’t complain and he might even escape without being switched. Until then he could open his window and listen for her.
She didn't sing tonight. Instead of the hushed helplessness that echoed through her voice, his father's harsh baritone pierced the silence that had enveloped their home.
“They just caught that Miller girl,” Rob’s father spoke as he barreled through the front door. “Wasn’t at church. Found her hiding outside town.” Rob listened as his father rambled, caught up in his own excitement. “I always knew that girl was trouble. Only a matter of time until she got caught.”
“Got what was coming to her,” his mother added. Rob didn’t remember standing up, but realized his ear was actually pressed to his closed bedroom door. He couldn't help but think how easily it could be him instead.
“Rob still in his room?”
“Been working since you left.”
Rob’s father didn’t respond, but his boots thudded toward Rob’s room, inconsistent in their rhythm and volume. Rob jumped to the floor and opened his Bible, burying his face in his hands.
“Night,” his father slurred from outside his door. “Do your work,” he said giving the door a quick jab as if wishing it a rough good night as well.