Since her father's death, April and her mother survive on tips. When her mother's boyfriend drunkenly abuses her, she runs away, only to find that she hasn't escaped her problems. She’s found more.
Mama and Pa fucked up. It's not like we were rich before Pa died, but things were better. Back then Mama bought me new dresses. Now we share everything, right down to her ill-fitting hand-me-down bras. Leaving Pa's home felt like leaving him. The walls I live between now are so thin that if we run out of toilet paper I'll just peel a strip off the wall and wipe my ass with this house.
“Lacey,” Earl bellows. “Finished m' last bottle.”
Mama's footsteps flitter past my bedroom. As usual, she's running so fast I imagine her falling over herself. I hear the plastic bag's crinkling rustle as she opens it. The drawer gives off muffled thuds as she tries to unjam it, then a loud crack as it slams closed. There's naught but a light tap as Mama picks up Earl's bottles and puts them in the bag.
The thunder of the trains going by used to keep me awake. After a couple of months it faded into the background. It's been over three years since Earl arrived, and the sounds from within this house are still as unsettling as a stranger's footsteps.