Excerpt from Blackstone: Dahlia by Kate Davison
I was five when my father killed my mother in cold blood.
I’ll never forget that day. Even now, more than thirty years later, I can still hear the boom so loud in our quiet little house. I was in my room with all my crayons and plain paper spread across the desk, creating some world tucked deep in my imagination. The report shook me, froze me in place to listen. Waiting for what came next.
Fear crawled up my throat as if I knew the magnitude of that sound. As if I could actually feel the cleaving of my life into before and after.
The need to run and hide pushed me from the chair. My room was devoid of any good places to hide. Even at such a young age, I rejected shoving myself under the bed. I’d played hide and seek too many times to make that mistake when it really counted.
I stepped to the door and opened it. Looking down the hallway. I could hear someone crying. Not my mother’s voice. I’d heard her cry too many times over the past year to know the difference. This was lower, guttural.
I tip-toed across the hall to my mother’s bedroom and went to the closet. The space wasn’t big enough walk in, but spacious enough to hold an entire set of luggage. I slid the door open then slipped inside, closing the door as quietly as possible. There was only enough room to squeeze myself between the wall and the largest of the cases. I kept going until both that and my mother’s winter coats hid me from anyone opening the door.
I sat there and waited, listening as the sobs turned to shouts. Words I’d never heard before were yelled as my father started going room to room, searching. I supposed he looked for me.
The heat and fear made me sweat. I shook and rocked myself for comfort. Told myself stories to pass the time. And waited.
Kate Davison is one of many pseudonyms for MK Mancos. She lives and works from her home on the beautiful Florida Gulf Coast where she can watch the Blue Angels practicing overhead. She shares her home and life with her artist hubby, Dave, and their two dogters.
You can find her at