I was a good kid, never got into trouble, straight-A student with perfect attendance. I was the eleven-year old that everyone wanted, the perfect child for the sanest parents. Little did I know, all that was about to change.

It was the summer of 2001; the air had a soothing chill that was just enough to make a hot day feel cool. I was lying on the cushioned bench that rested on the old wrap-around porch of our house, reading a book. I was surprised in myself. I read a lot of books. Usually kids my age don't like reading as my mother says. She's proud of me knowing I'm going to have a good future, probably in the English department.

I turned the page of my book, my interest slowly falling away as I heard the phone ring. One ring.two rings.that's it, I was going to answer it. I dropped my book and threw open the screen door and reached my hand out for the phone, when someone cut in front of me and grabbed it before I did. It was my Dad. He picked it up and swung at the air with his hand, motioning me to leave. I shrugged my shoulders and skipped back out of the screen door to finish reading. I sat myself down and buried my nose in my book. Suddenly, I heard shouting from my Dad. I dropped my book again and peered through the screen trying to listen. All I heard were muffled curses. I walked down the wooden porch steps and walked around the house through the weeds to the open kitchen window. I sat there listening to my Dad's conversation.

"You better stay the hell away or I swear to god I'll call the cops!" He shouted, raising his hand in the air with his index finger pointing. He always did that when he was giving a lecture, trying to make a point. I heard a hidden voice speaking from the phone that I couldn't quite make out what it was saying. Then my Dad spoke again.

"No-but-"He muttered. He took the phone from his ear and stared at it blankly. His face was drained of all color as he hung the phone up. I was guessing the guy hung up on him. I wondered what they were talking about. I ran quickly back to the front porch and hopped on the bench where I had been sitting just as my Dad opened the front door. I looked towards him and smiled innocently.

"Honey, come inside now. It's starting to get dark." He said, his face still pale as a ghost. I glanced down at my digital watch that was buckled on my wrist.
" But it's only 5:00. It gets dark at 9:00PM, Dad." I explained intelligently. His eyes flashed once at me and a vain stuck out on his neck.
" I said NOW!" He shouted. I cowered down for a minute. That was the first time my Dad had ever yelled at me. He saw me hesitating and noticed what was wrong.
" I'm sorry I yelled. Just get inside, please." He said more softly. I nodded my head and pulled open the screen door to walk inside. I ran up the carpeted stairs and hopped onto my bed to continue reading.

About an hour later, I heard a loud banging on the front door coming from downstairs. I walked up to my door and peeked through the crack of it to spy on what was going on. My Dad walked over to the front door and reached out to turn the knob, but then froze in place unable to move. He turned towards where I was standing up towards my room probably hoping for me to hear him.

"Tori hide!" He screamed as he ran back into the kitchen. I sprinted down the hall and pulled on the string that was dangling from the attic door. The steps unfolded down, welcoming me into the attic. I turned back to see my Dad running up the stairs dragging my mom behind him. I heard a muffle of shouts coming from downstairs and the shattering of glass hitting the floor.

"Dad, what's going on!?" I shouted.

"Listen, you're going to go up those steps. You're not going to have to go through this. We love you." My Dad said as he shoved me up the wooden steps. I looked back at my parents standing there arm in arm watching me with glossy eyes. That image would sear itself in my mind for the rest of my life. I grabbed the string and shut the door with the steps. No one could get up here now. I was safe. My parents weren't.

I sat there with my ear to the door. I heard muffled screams from my parents and deep, dark voices that yelled orders at them.

"Please don't hurt us!" I heard my mom scream.

"You should have thought about that before you wouldn't give us the money." A deep voice replied. Suddenly, I heard gun shots pierce the walls. My parents screamed until there was no air left in their lungs. I covered my ears and sobbed deep heavy sighs. I couldn't believe I was witnessing this. All of a sudden, the man with the deep voice said something that shut me up.

"Didn't this soppy couple have a daughter?" A squeaky voice questioned.

"We'll find her sometime later. Come on let's go before the cherry toppers get here. Grab his driver's license. We're out." He hollered. I listened to them run down the stairs in a scurry and slam the front door. I sat there, recapping what had just happened. I was afraid to leave the attic in fear they would change their minds and come back for me. I stood up and tears once again fell from my eyes. I collapsed onto the floor and rocked back and forth crying. I buried my head in my arms and just cried and cried.

REMINDER: This story is NOTHING like Foster Child, just to let you know. R/R!!!