She was shaking so hard that her body threatened to break into convulsions. Taking a deep breath, she steadied her hand on the gun.

“You don’t know me, you old pervert. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Now, you have five seconds to get out of this shed before I shoot you. One…”

The old man had the clearest eyes she’d ever seen. “Of course, I should have expected this. They always deny it at first. The need to get away suddenly becomes much greater than the need to come back.” He spoke in a leisurely manner that tested her patience.

“Are you deaf, you idiot? I – don’t – know – you. I’ve never even been here before. Two…”

“Open your mind. Listen to yourself. The truth is there.”

“Oh great, now you’re preaching. Well, suit yourself. Three, four, five!”

In the instant that she was about to pull the trigger, the old man opened his mouth and said something that stole the breath clean out of her: “Your father never meant to hurt you, Tara.”

Then the bullet escaped with the sound of a thunderclap.

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