She sat there, at the top of the stairs, listening to the screams and shouts of those that were supposed to be her adoring parents. They were supposed to have her best interests at heart - but, who cares about things like that when you can drink 'til your livers' swimming and drug yourself up to the eyeballs? Priorities people, priorities.
She crept down, balancing on the pads of her feet, she'd always been a bit wobbly on her legs - avoiding the creaky step - and peeked through the bars of the banister. Her tiny hands gripped them tight, her knuckles white and her eyes wide -
"You lying, cheating who-", Harry gripped his wife's head by her hair, and was doing his best to crush it against the wall.
Carol clutched the empty bottle of vodka as if it were something precious, and swung out blindly - there was a thud as it connected with flesh, startling out a noise of distress - she scrabbled frantically with the hand still in her hair as she continued to strike with her make-shift weapon.
"Stop it - stop -", The bottle slipped from Carols' hand, shattering, and she was dropped among the jagged pieces - blood ran down the side of his face as he loomed above her. Out of the corner of his eye he spied what he'd been looking for, the cause of their final argument; a used syringe lying upon the kitchen side. He snatched it clumsily.
"You're s'posed to be her m'ther," his words were slurred, as if they were a weight upon his tongue, dragging it down, he struggled to focus his eyes as the alcohol in his system ran rampant, "If i'd known i'd married such a, such a sleazy piece of trash - " The needle dropped from his hands.
She'd moved from the stairs, now watching from behind the kitchen doorframe. Harry, still having his back to her, didn't see the last bit of innocence leave his eight year old daughter's eyes as his wife let out an unholy screech, leapt upon him and thrust a large shard of glass deep into his ribcage. His acknowledgment of the assault was a cry of outrage as his meaty hands closed around her neck, crushing her wind pipe - her movements grew frantic, turning into jerks and spasms. As she struggled for breath, her vision dimming, the last thing she saw were the dull eyes of her unfortunate child staring back without expression.
Harry stared at the far too still to be healthy body in front of him. His mind fuzzy and his vision blurry, he stumbled backwards until he came to rest against the fridge. His concept of time nonexistent as he stood there for God only knows how long, watching as best he could as the colour faded from the cheeks of his once love - the lights of the kitchen were harsh, bright and unforgiving. He started as small hands grasped at the legs of his trousers.
His daughter. His Danny.
His child that had stood there and seen...and seen...Just how much of it had she seen? All of it? Or just his transformation into a murderer? His father was right, he wasn't fit to look after her, he should've given her up just like he had with her brother. He slid down to the floor, wincing as the change in position tugged at his wound.
Danny climbed onto her father's lap. She hugged him as he cried, as he bled out onto her favourite pj's - the ones with the cats, she loved cats - as he stroked her hair and made it clump and stick with red. She hummed as he lost conciousness, as his breathing became shallow.
She fell asleep at 12.36 AM and missed her father's last rasping, mockery of a breath.
Penny, a 40 yr old housewife, woke up on the 23rd of April at 7.08 AM and followed her routine as she would on any god given day. She slipped out of bed, quiet so as to give her husband an extra half hour of sleep before she had to wake him for work. Slipping on her obnoxiously bright yelllow dressing gown, and slippers that did nothing but make her feet cold and sweaty - she trudged downstairs, into her pristine kitchen and set about making breakfast. She hummed, content, a good feeling about the day settling low in her stomach when there came knocks from the front door - and she'd remember later that there were three knocks, in fact she'd remember all the details of that particular morning for the rest of her life; because as she opened the door, as she turned the key, as she pulled the handle, nothing could have prepared her for the little girl with the dead eyes, covered in red and swaying on the spot.
Penny's husband jumped awake to the sound of his wife screaming for help.