Slowly raising my head to meet her earnest gaze, I saw the stark terror in her heart. Where, oh where, was the defiant waif who only a few weeks ago had stood toe to toe with the beast? Who was this tortured soul standing in front of me imploring my tiny six year old mind to absorb the crushing reality before us? The air seemed to still around us and for a moment I could not breathe.
"Don't go!" Debbie hissed through clenched teeth. Involuntarily my head jerked around to confront this most unlikely source of support. "Let him kill us!" she breathed, her eyes squinted in steely determination. "Let him kill Mom. Let him kill everybody. You don't have to go!"
"No Debbie, she has to." Pam said tears now falling down her cheeks. "What about the baby? If he kills us who will take care of baby Brian?"
We stood there, a pathetic huddle of three small girls searching our hearts to find the sacrificial lamb that would assuage the passion of the beast. My little hands on my hips I dropped my head knowing for some ungodly reason I must go. I looked back up into their stark little faces once more to hear Debbie whisper shaking her head back and forth, "Don't do it. Don't go. Don't go...