What can YOU say in six sentences?
They were crouched on the front porch and Theo was crying, pulling at her sleeve, verging into hysteria: "Come on, we got to go, we got to get help, we can't--"
Laura put a gentle but firm hand over his mouth and said, "You know what I do when I get scared?"
Theo shook his head, his eyes bugged out, and Laura said, "When you get scared you got to go quiet on the inside, so that voice that's screaming like a little baby will calm down and you can think straight, and that's what I want you to try and do for me right now."
She held him with her eyes and even if she didn't tell him about the times when she got scared--like when the girls from the decent side of town mocked her and called her slut and tramp and she saw her life unspooling just like her mama's to where she'd be beat down and half hopeless before she even turned thirty, or when her bedroom door opened in the middle of the night and daddy was standing there, swaying, or the time she got caught shoplifting that bracelet from the store and the manager closed the door to his office and said, "Well, maybe we can work something out," with that look in his eyes just like daddy in the doorway, or how she'd been so scared when Owen Nelson kissed her that time but it was a good scared, an excited scared because he was gentle and awkward and kind--even if she didn't tell Theo any of these things now on Halloween night here in The Acres it was all right there in her eyes and he saw it and slowly his breathing calmed and he went quiet.
When she took her hand away his eyes had changed, too, and there was an anger there and he asked what they should do. Laura said, "We need to find us a weapon so we can go kill this sonofabitch before he kills our friends."