The Beast of Montenegro

Unable to withstanding her father’s shouts she hides in the closet. For next few days she was able to avoid her father, but she wondered for how long. Her mother would avoid her, barely saying a word. Mina’s stomach would twist and turn from the anxiety. Her father’s hate tore her apart. Mina wanted to disappear.

One afternoon, when it was too cold to stay outside and not longing to go home. Mina lingered outside her building. There was an impending snow storm nearing Montenegro. The town was accustomed to these storms, and as it was anticipated, people were running inside for shelter, except Mina. She stood outside her building and looked up at the dark windows.

As it was getting colder, Mina didn’t want to go inside. She wondered if her father was home. These days he wandered less the streets than normal. Her mother never left the apartment. She was probably up there waiting for Mina too.

Eventually, Mina went inside feeling the chill through her thin coat. Inside, the familiar smell of boiled cabbage wafted through the air. Mina heard someone complained about having boiled cabbage every day. Mina wished she could have some even if it tasted horrible. She noticed smoke coming from underneath the door of one of the apartments.

“Alena, there’s smoke coming from there,” Mina pointed. “I think I hear someone in there.”

“I hear it too,” Natalia said.

“We need to do something,” Mina said.