The Beast of Montenegro

Mrs. Crane, like Mina spent her days repined inside the apartment, waiting for Mr. Crane to return. Mrs. Crane was a solemn figure dressed in a black dress, who reproached Mina with her eyes. Mina was afraid of her mother, but she was more terrified of her father. She too waited for him. Not because he might bring food or warmth, but, because when he came home hell would begin for them all.

When Mr. Crane finally came home he was often drunk and bellicose. It didn’t take long for him to start a fight with his wife. He would assault her leaving her bloodied and bruised, but Mrs. Crane was stubborn. She wouldn’t dare leave him.

When he exhausted his energies he would leave and not come back until the next day. Mr. Crane didn’t need to be drunk to be violent. There was something seething inside of him. Mina could see it in his eyes. His pupils were completely dark, lacking any human qualities to them.

Mina was afraid of her father and when he pelted Mrs. Crane, Mina stood by helpless. For some reason, he would spare his child from the beatings. In the Crane household, there was nowhere to run, nobody that cared to stop him. It was common to hear husbands hit their wives and it was common for nobody to get involved. This was life on Z street.

The days would lapse one onto another. There was never a change of routine. Her father would come home in the evening and sometimes never at all. If Mina was lucky she would find a piece of molded bread for dinner. When her father returned he would be infuriated for the lack of food. He often mocked Mrs. Crane and called her terrible names in front of his daughter.

“She’s not what you think she is,” he would say in a conniption. “She’s a monster. Don’t let her fool you.”

Mrs. Crane would accept the insults and beatings while Mina watched in despair. She wanted to stop her father, but she couldn’t. She feared someday he would kill her mother and that scared her even more. She never left her mother alone, hoping her presence would prevented him from harming her further.

As Mina got older, her father never became tired on preying on her mother. His rage only seemed to thrive and soon he would turn on his daughter. What changed, nobody could say? Mr. Crane was unpredictable and he did as he pleased. Despite the constant abuse, Mrs. Crane taught Mina to be obedient and loyal to the family.