A mountain of gifts and cards sits on the table. She stands before them in the quiet; her stare as blank as steel.
Movement startles her. Across the table, her father rushes to collect dirty dishes, piling them up one by one. Each dish one step closer.
She puts her fingertip to a gift—then retracts it. Porcelain slams against porcelain. Always closer. He sets the pile down then moves behind her, his breath on her ear.
As his hands crawl down from her shoulders to squeeze one each, she forces her cheeks to make a smile.
The mountain stays silent.