Maryanne’s fingernails gouged into her palms as she sat on the hard wooden pew with her teeth clenched so tightly together her jaw ached. Even a dog should not have been left alone in such a distraught state, yet Silas Watson claimed to be a man of God.
At least once a week, their father found reason to beat them on their bare buttocks. His clawed, birdlike hands were as strong as those of a blacksmith as he ferociously wielded his cane. Sarah stood there, watching it all, with that pious expression Maryanne loathed.
They must get away, but how? Could she perhaps get a position as a domestic? Slaving away in a
factory, living in some slum or even the workhouse had to be better than living
in a quaint little village that nurtured such evil. As soon as Fiona recovered
sufficiently, they would leave. I’ll do
anything to get us away from here. London
Maryanne, like a dutiful daughter, stood next to her father and Sarah while the congregation filed out of the church. Her heart felt so full of hatred and loathing, she wondered why it did not explode.