The five-year-old child watched with terror as her father came towards her.
"Whatta you staring at?" her father wailed in a drunken stupor.
"N-n-nothing," she stammered, afraid to say anything, but more afraid to say nothing at all.
"I'll teach you to talk back to me you ungrateful little bitch!" her father screamed.
The little girl knew what was coming, and although she couldn't understand the full impact of her father's words, she knew enough to say nothing more.
She shrank back as far into the wall as she could. But it wasn't far enough. When the first blow struck, she retreated into her own little world, where her father couldn't hurt her and where the blows that rained down on her felt like nothing more than figments of her imagination.

summary chapter 1