Jess stands in her bloody, torn nightgown, silently willing her hands to stop trembling, as she carefully aims the rifle. Her hands steady and her focus clears as she reminds herself that just one well-placed shot, fired quickly before he awakens, is all it’ll take to end his reign of abuse and her short-lived marriage.
A beautiful butterfly lands on Billy’s bruised cheek. Billy’s father staggers near and Billy cringes—the butterfly flies away.
Eight-year-old Amanda isn’t writing a letter to Santa Claus this year — she already has what she wants. She smears a message on the wall of her room, with unsteady hands covered in blood and mutters, “Daddy won’t ever touch me again.”