b'Black Glass BottleBy Nick Gauthreaux18Jewel edged the door closed behind her slowly, careful that it wouldnt creak. The cold air out-side tugged once more at locks of her auburn hair, trying to keep her back. For a moment she thought she might listen. She could always spend the night with Onyx again. The dark metal doorknob left a chilly imprint on Jewels hand as she slipped her shoes off her feet. Socks hit the tile of the mudroom floor with a muted thump, careful not to make too much noise. Hopefully Dad is asleep by now. He usually is.She suddenly felt pulled, driven to venture further into the shadowy corners and creaky floors of the Bryan home. She drifted into the kitchen, which was lit only by the light above the stove, which flickered on and off in neglect, despite Jewels pleas to have it fixed. It bothered her for a reason she couldnt quite distinguish, and tried to avoid looking at it. Jewel noticed dimly that the refrigerator in the room, a simple white thing, that didnt even have any cheesy magnets adorning its surface. The freezer didnt even work; she knew it to be little more than a slightly stronger fridge than the one below it. Her attempts at stockpiling ice cream had been fruitless in her youth. OverthekitchencounterJewelcouldbarelyglimpsethelivingroom,whereherfather no doubt snoozed on the couch. She had to stand on her toes to get any kind of idea what was actuallyintheroom,sinceshehadntinheritedherfathersheight.Orhisweight.Orhisalcohol addiction, thankfully.Giving up after a moment, Jewel assumed the coast was clear. She started forward apprehen-sively, careful not to make a noise. As she rounded the corner into the living room, she took in the dull whir of the TV that faced away from her. The screen didnt seem to be flitting between whites, blues, reds, and greens, like it did when her dad was watching TV, but it remained a steady, static blue. It painted the whole room with its numbing plainness, the colors cast across her sleeping father bathing him in an uncharacteristically clean light. The man snored on the stained sofa, the one he claimed as his territory. Three bottles of Bud Light accompanied him there, one still a quarter full in his pudgy hand. The other two lay a ways off, as if they were tossed aside like he would an annoying child. Thank the Lord, Jewel thought. Hes asleep.She continued forward warily, knowing not to even turn off the TV in front of him. As she slipped behind the sofa, she heard him belch suddenly, and watched in horror as his head shook off a daze. Okay, hes still waking up, maybe I can make it to - As she thought, a forceful hand reached over the couch, seizing her at the wrist. The familiar | 8 |'