The Man Up At the Miller Place
An American Novella.
“Do I havta go into town?” he asked. “What if I get scared?”
Amy turned her head and looked at the boy, frowning a little. “How do you mean, scared, honey?”
Alvin kept his eyes fixed firmly on the congealing oatmeal. “…of Daddy,” he said.
Amy paused a moment. Then she walked over to the table, and crouched down beside Alvin, putting a hand to his face and turning his head so that his eyes met hers.
“Alvin,” she said, low and firm. “You mustn’t be scared of your daddy. Understand?”
“You listen to me.” She took Alvin’s hand in hers. “Some terrible, terrible things happened to your daddy while he was away. Things you don’t want to know about. Things that’ve…” Her eyes flicked around the room, searching. “Things that’ve changed him. But he’s still the same deep down, Alvin. You understand me?”
Alvin said nothing – just looked into his mother’s clear green eyes and listened to his own breathing.
“He’s still the same, Alvin,” she said again. She squeezed the boy’s hand hard, and he winced a little. “He is. I know that. I know that for sure.”