At bedtime, she would ask her mother to tell her scary stories and, afterwards, beg her not to leave because she was too afraid to sleep.
“Stop being silly. I’ve got to go to work,” her mum would answer. “Monsters aren’t real. Even if they were they wouldn’t bother coming all the way here for kids like you who never sleep.”
Soon after, she would close her eyes and let the hours pass, but, sometimes, the low creak of her door would wake her. She would smell him first, despite her tired senses, and see the shape of her father coming near.