The night was violet and violent and we were all but lost to the rain. A lightening bolt came down fast, striking the old oak on Old Man Jones’ property. The lightening came again, in strange sheets that crackled across the sky.

I had run off by choice, but the others…well, some had left like me, but others, they had been bought and sold and traded. They slumped at the back, holding hands and pressing their small bodies close to the person beside them.

I turned to the child beside me. He cradled a dead turtle in his hand. Its’ shell was shattered.

“My Papa did it,” he said.

I thought of all the blood that stained our kitchen floor and nodded, “my Daddy’s like that too.”