"Sal, it's late. Please be quiet. The girls are already in bed." Their mother, Sarah, pleaded.

Lana slipped from her bed and sat beside Isabel, her older sister by a year, who was seated on the floor next to the door.

"I don't care what time it is." Sal, their stepfather, yelled. "I want my dinner now!"

"I'll heat it up. It's in the fridge." Sarah said. She would do anything to keep him calm and quiet, which was nearly impossible when he was drunk.

"I don't want leftovers! Make me something fresh!" Sal called from the dining room. "And bring me a beer."

"Like he needs another one," Lana whispered to her sister. Isabel nodded in agreement.

"A steak. I want a steak."

Sarah sighed. "We don't have any steak, Sal."

He stood up, knocking over his chair, and strode to the kitchen. "I want a steak. Now!"

Sarah backed up into the counter. "I'm sorry, Sal. We don't have any. I haven't gone grocery shopping this week."

Sal threw his glass and it shattered against the cupboard beside her head. "You're a terrible wife. You never do anything for me! All you care about are those two lousy girls of yours!"

Both girls winced when they heard Sal's hand connect with their mother's cheek. Silent tears began to stream down Isabel's pale face. Lana bit down on her lip, so hard it drew blood. As their mother's muffled cries and Sal's angry cries grew louder, the girls clung to each other. They wanted to go out and put a stop to what was going on, but last time they'd tried Lana had ended up with a broken arm, and their mother had told them to not come out again.

After what seemed like forever, the beating finally stopped. Exhausted and terrified the girls climbed into Isabel's bed.

"I hate him." Lana said.

Isabel nodded. "How can he be so cruel? Mom does everything she can to keep him happy and he still hits her."

Lana clenched her jaw to keep from crying out. She wanted it to stop. She couldn't stand this endless cycle. "One day we'll escape, Isabel."

"I hope so."

Hi everyone! I hope you enjoyed this short prologue! I promise the chapters will be longer. Please review:)