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Arthur literally quakes in his snow covered boots.

Tears slither down his shiny red cheeks, around a teeth grinding frown and off the chin. They drop passed a blue torn polo with brown stains, faded jeans with orange stains and splash red right between his boots.

His grip is tight, firm, nothing will loosen it. If he gives in he’ll go off edge.

The deafening ring in his ears lingers infinite stretches of time before they gradually fade revealing drowned out scream, cries and pleas.

Whimpering resume, he sniffles globs of mucus to the back of his throat before swallowing and whimpers more.

“I-it was y-y-you wasn’t it? IT WAS YOU!”

Finger on the trigger, his eyes look as if they’ll take the shot themselves. They’re fixed straight ahead aiming down the iron sight.

Miriam’s horrified staring down the gun’s barrel. Necessity calls forth her strength and she puts on her poker face. She needs to be brave. Or at least give the illusion of strength. And she needs to not be scared.

Doing all she can to stay composed proves challenging. Miriam’s too concerned with why it’s happening instead of what’s happening. The confusion is too vast.

This man showed up at the door. He broke in and pulled that gun out. He waved it around the house. He got violent. He got sexual. And now he’s accusing her of something she doesn’t even understand. Unpredictable situations of this nature need to be handled with utmost care. One never knows how a psychopath like this can be triggered.

Mom keeps saying, “Be quiet and close your eyes, baby,” so Rebecca does just this. She sings her favorite cartoon intros in her head. And she hugs mom tightly, never letting go.

“THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!” the strange man yells.

A loud explosion of paint “made your mom sleepy,” the man says. And then he asks if Rebecca wants to go fight monsters in the woods with him. Of course, Rebecca being the heroic type instantly smiled in excitement, says, “Yes!” and reached out to grab the man’s hand. People who fight monsters are good guys and mom always taught her to listen to and rely on good people.

Rebecca is excited for when mom wakes up. She’ll tell her of all the monsters she fought and how she partnered up with the monster fighter to save the world.

And so they take off into the woods to fight monsters.

Maxwell looks through the report at the precinct: Male, 44, found hung from the backyard, naked and stabbed multiple times. Female, 39, shot point black to the head, evidence of sexual assault. Male, 7, stabbed multiple time, evidence of sexual assault. One of the children is still missing, no leads to the whereabouts, no suspects.

David flips through the pages of the daily newspaper. Nothing interesting except this strange instant of a woman gone missing at the age of four, twenty years ago, after her family had been slaughtered. She was found recently dead in a shallow grave by the park. No one knows where she’s been this whole time.