Cori thought she was bad. Bad like tough, cool, wicked. A hard ass. A tough bitch. She loved a good cat fight. That was what had gotten her kicked out of regular school to begin with. Cori was irredeemable. Or so she liked to think.
She didn’t feel so tough, though, when a bald man, more than twice her weight and size, busted into the house and stared at her from the top landing. Drunk, she thought, as she watched him grasp the handrail and weave to the left, stumbling down three steps before catching himself.
The urge to scream was stilled by the same fear that created the terror. She was alone. She was trapped. Even if the boys had locks on their doors, even if she could barricade herself in one of their rooms, there was little chance that such a big man wouldn’t or couldn’t break down the door.
She held her ground. It wasn’t bravery that glued her to the spot. It wasn’t fear or terror or panic. Something else came over her and as this stranger reached the bottom step she held out both hands, palms facing ahead, and she began to chant.