Calista was a bright young girl and knew a great many things. She knew no matter how many times Mama promised it wouldn’t happen again, it would. She knew Mama loved her and she knew it was only the alcohol that made her so angry and so hurtful.
The brightly-painted chalk balloons beckoned, promising to take her far away from here, if only she would believe. Calista pressed herself hard against the hot blackness of the wall, hands straining upwards to the chalk strings. She prayed, for once, that what she believed might be more powerful than what she knew.