The call came when I was driving home from work.
“Daddy, I’m scared! Help! I’m scared Daddy!” It was Sean, he was terrified.
“Settle down honey, Daddy’ll be home soon. Can you put Mommy on the phone?”
“I can’t. I’m scared Daddy! Mommy’s hurt and she won’t talk to me. I’m scared Daddy, I’m…”
“Okay son, tell me where you and Mommy are. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” I pushed the accelerator.
“In the house! In the house! Mommy’s hurt, Daddy and I’m scared! In the house! In the house…” He just kept repeating it over and over.
“Daddy’ll be there as soon as he can okay? You be a brave boy and I’ll be right there, okay?”
“In the house! In the house! Mommy’s hurt, Daddy…”
I called 911. With a 5 minute response time I’d be home before they got there. I peeled into the driveway and burst through the front door.
Margaret lay face down on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. Sean sat next to her, his tiny hands smeared with red. This wasn’t happening. I fell to my knees and the blood soaked through. I turned her over and her head lolled on her neck. Beneath her chin was a long ragged red gash. Her eyes were empty and lifeless.
“God, Sean, what happened?!”
“In the house! In the house!” He cried, over and over again.
“Yes, Sean, Daddy’s home now, Daddy’s in the house. Help is coming. Daddy’s here. What happened to Mommy?”
“In the house! In the house!” he cried. “The man that hurt Mommy’s still in the house!”