Nighttime's the worst when her puddin's disappeared. She jumps every time the floorboards creak, when the wind whistles through the window cracks, when the lightbulbs sway untouched on dangling cords.
She sits up nights, eyes burning, nodding with the gravity of sleep, and huddles with her babies.
"Don't worry," she whispers to Bud, scratches Lou's ears. "Momma's gonna protect you."
With practiced motions, Harley cleans every gun, sharpens every blade, distributes every mallet, bat and crowbar within reach.
Harley's sick of waiting. If only her puddin' were here already, she could shoot his face clean off and find some rest.