The Beast of Montenegro, Chapter 3

Several deer hunters in the north-woods area in the past week have been shot at by mistake for wild animals lighting cigars.–Lincoln (Neb.) State Journal.


The next morning, Mina got ready for school as quietly as she could to not disturb her mother. She grabbed her school books, crept down the hall towards the kitchen, and looked in the empty pantry for food.  There was never any food in the pantry or cupboards, something she was used to. She was used to the hunger that burned in her belly. Sometimes she wished she didn’t have to feel it ache.

This particular morning, she was lucky enough to find a piece of stale bread. She snatched the bread, hid it under her shirt, and hurried out the door. She hated pilfering from her own home. Life was bitter at home, nevertheless, school was a humdrum. A different struggle for Mina. Her only respite was the walk from home to school, at least she hoped.

It was a good day at school when everybody ignored Mina. In class, she stared out the window, woolgathering most of her day away. Ever since the incident with Vladimir the other children avoided her. Instead, she was getting a different form of attention when the rumors of tousling Vladimir swirled. There was something Mina didn’t like about the new attention. They were afraid of her. She expected it from the children, but when the teachers averted their eyes from her, it hurt her. She didn’t want them to be afraid, but the look in their eyes said it all.