This excerpt includes the abuse of a ten-year-old little girl. It can be triggering for anyone with abuse in h/her history. Please make sure you are safe before reading.


He said something funny then, “Did you know that going to bed can be fun?”
I didn’t know that. He nodded and his eyes got real big. “It’s a game. And it’s real fun. Grown-ups play it all the time. But…I don’t know if you’re old enough. You know what, maybe we should just wait until you’re bigger.”

“No! I’m big enough. I’m in the second grade. Show me the game.”

“Well…” He put his hand on his chin, like he was thinking about it. Sometimes that meant he’d let me do what I want. Sometimes it meant he wouldn’t. I wished I could have figured out which one it was now. I really wanted to play the game. I didn’t believe that bedtime could be fun. Finally, he put his hands on his hips. “Alright. But here’s the thing. It’s real, real important. Mamas don’t like little girls playing this game.
It makes them get mad if they find out because they want little girls to be asleep. Do you want to go to sleep?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“Then you have to promise you won’t tell your mama about the game. She’ll get mad and bedtime won’t
be fun anymore.”

“Okay. I won’t tell.”

“That’s my girl. You’re such a special girl. Go on to your room and put on your gown.”

“But—” I thought he was going to make me go to bed.

“Just do it. It’s part of the fun.”


Mama always put out my gown for me before she left for work. She lays it on my bed. Tonight, she left the red gown with the white hearts on it. I like it. It has long sleeves so I stay warm when I wear it. I put it on. I started to walk out of my room to go find Daddy, but before I could he opened the door. He looked funny—he wasn’t wearing a shirt. I started laughing. Daddy was always supposed to wear a shirt. “Oh, it’s funny, huh?” He leaned down and picked me up. He took me to the bed and dropped me on it. But he got on the bed, too, and laid beside me. Then he moved his hand down and under my gown. My smile dropped a little. I didn’t understand. He moved his hand up until he touched my chest. “You are really soft. I’m proud of you for being ready for the big girl game,” he said.

When I felt him touch my star panties, I tried to move away from him but he held me so I couldn’t move.

“You gotta be still.”

Then he took his hand away and I felt better. I started to sit up, but he shook his head and told me to stay
laid down. So I did. “I—I don’t want to play this game.”

“Oh, sure you do. You just be still.”

He took off his pants and his underwear. I felt really nervous now. I wasn’t sure at all about this. Mama says I’m not allowed to go into the bathroom if a grown-up is in one. She says I’m not allowed to come in
her room if she or Daddy isn’t dressed. I didn’t think I was supposed to see Daddy without clothes on. And his hand was hurting me. I just wanted it to stop. It wasn’t a game anymore. I just wanted to go to sleep. He wanted me to stay still but I couldn’t. I kept moving. I was crying, too. He said I was not being a good girl. I didn’t have anywhere to put my hands so I put them on his arms. His arms are hairy and big. He was breathing
funny now—real hard. I felt it on my face. I tried to turn my head, but there was nothing else to see but him. I was really scared now. I really wanted him to go away. I tried pushing on him. I asked him to stop, but he didn’t. He didn’t stop. He took one of my hands and pulled it down. It touched something hard, really hard. And big, too. I didn’t know what it was. It made me cry even harder. Daddy made a funny sound and the next thing that happened was something sticked me—it sticked me hard, where I pee pee. I screamed, but Daddy took one hand and put it over my mouth. He said something, but I couldn’t hear what he said. My head felt really bad now. My body did, too. I looked up and saw a crack in the ceiling. It made
me cry even more. I think I’d just cracked.

The sticking thing comes out now, and Daddy gets off me. I was shaking real bad. I was still crying, too. I
didn’t know what had just happened. I was so scared. Daddy leaves the room. I tried to roll over and when I did, I noticed something. Blood. It wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was blood. And it was on my legs. I screamed out and started crying real loud. I was hurt. I was bleeding. I was probably going to die now. I wanted my mama. I screamed that out, as loud as I could. “Mama! I want Mama!” The door opened. But it wasn’t Mama. It was Daddy again. “Anna, what did I tell you? Mama cannot know about this. She’ll get mad at you. If she gets mad at you, I’ll have to get on to you. It’ll be even worse than this was. This wasn’t so bad. You’ll forget all about it. But if you aren’t a good girl, it will have to get worse. Are you going
to make Mama mad?”

I shook my head. I started scooting back cause he walked up toward the bed. I wished he wouldn’t do
that. I didn’t want him to come to the bed anymore. “I’m just going to clean you up. That’s all.”
He had a washcloth in his hand. He put it between my legs. That made me jump. I could feel his hand even though he had the washcloth there.

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” I said. I just wanted him to leave. He told me to take my gown off and he’d give me a new one. I did, and I cried when I saw that it had blood on it. He gave me a new gown.

Then he smiled at me as he watched me put it on. “You’re not a baby anymore, Anna. You’re a big
girl now. Daddy’s girl. You remember that.”