“Daniel! Go make your bed!” Audrey shouted.
Daniel stood, stock still, staring at his mother at the dining room table. Her face was red, her dyed blonde hair a mess, the half-empty wine glass in her hand magnifying the 9:15 on the clock behind her.
“Daniel? Did you hear what I said? Go. Make. Your. Bed!”
His mother’s words were slurred. They had been last night, too. Dad said it was okay, the Mommy was just being silly, but she really didn’t seem silly now. She was yelling with that note of anger she never used on him. The one she used on the neighbour when the neighbour had cut down the big birch tree thinking it was on his lawn but was theirs. The birch tree Mommy had loved to tie the hammock to. The hammock they had both stretched out in on many summer days, cuddled up and reading.
“Daniel! For the last goddamn time I said go make your goddamn bed! I’ll whoop your ass if you don’t!”
Daniel kept standing. My bed’s already made, he thought, but he didn’t have the courage to say so.
Audrey stood, and Daniel took off for his room. He reached the top of the stairs and stopped. She wasn’t following. He crept a few steps down and listened. It was quiet. He moved back up and closed the door to his room, to sit for an hour or two until she fell asleep.