Tiny red veins speckled his cheeks; his
forehead gleamed with perspiration. Katie moved away from
the upward shove of his shoulders. Backing herself against
a closet door, she said, “I was only gone an hour. ” He
slapped his hand to the sliding door just above her shoulder.
Ducking under his arm and maneuvering around him she heard
his heavy feet behind her as she made a dash for the staircase.
Halfway down the stairs, she heard the thud of a shoe smacking
hard against delicate banister poles. She let go of the
railing, reeled around and stepped back from the sound of
old mahogany cracking and the smell of wood being torn apart.
Now flattened against the opposite wall, she looked over
her shoulder at Jeff whose knee was already bent and raised
to land another blow sideways with the sole of his shoe.