Her father was shouting again, but at least this time he wasn't shouting at her. Idira shuffled further back into the shadow of the doorframe, pressing her back against the rough planking of the wall. Cold drafts of wind thick with the scent of brine and fish gusted through the cracks, breaching her thin homespun linen tunic. She looked down at her feet and noticed her bare toes stuck out past the edge of the door. She curled them in. Now she was safe and Papa wouldn't be able to see her. Idira could hear him panting, and knew he was preparing for the big part, when he hit somebody or broke something, or both. She wanted to close her eyes, but it was too dangerous, he might come in and she had to be ready to run.
'Ye call this dinner? This isn't fit fer pig slop!' Papa yelled, his loud, angry voice filling the house, flying away on the wind, all the way to the sea. A crash. His wooden bowl, coated with the dregs of Myra's potato soup flew past Idira and bounced off the bedroom wall. It tumbled back across the uneven floorboards and smacked, hard against Idira's shin. Pain exploded in her leg, blossoming out in harsh, jagged waves. She clenched her fists and bit her lip to stop herself from crying out. She could hear her older sister Myra crying.
'Oh stop yer blattin',' Papa snarled. 'Ye need to toughen up, I'm educatin' ye, ye ingrate, preparin' ye for marriage. Westfall boyos like Benny don't like their wimmen weak-minded like them fools up Stormwind way. Ye think I don' see ye lookin' towards them city spires in the distance wit' a faraway look in yer eye—the city yer Papa spent years helpin' ta build? The city that betrayed him?' He made a nasty noise as he hawked up the phlegm in his throat. He spat it out onto the floor, and sniffed as he warmed to his favourite rant. 'Lemme tell ye the facts. That city is full o' greedy, grasping bastards, not one good man among them. All these years me and the others spent rebuildin' it and making do, waitin' on them ta fulfill their promises for the money we were owed. Money they never intended to pay!' Myra cried out, sharp. 'Ah shut it. A good hair tugging'll not hurt ye. Yer Mama, Light rest her soul, never needed disciplinin', she knew her purpose an allus kept her place, never once looked at them city lights. Not like ye and yer useless purple-eyed freak of a sister. Worthless, the both of ye.'
Another crash as he let her go sending Myra flying past Idira's hiding spot. Her sister tumbled into the table, knocking over the stools as she struggled to keep her balance. She cried for real now. Wailing like a mama cat who had her babies taken away to be drowned.
'I'm sorry Papa,' Myra sobbed, pathetic, desperate to appease him and make him stop. 'I don' wanna disappoint ye. I wanna make ye proud like Mama did. I will be better, I promise. I won't never look at Stormwind again, I swear it.'
Papa went real quiet, like he always did whenever he was winning. He sniffed again. 'Well. Good. Ye better clean up this mess ye made. Just remember ye're sending your Papa to the labourers rally without any dinner tonight.'
Over Myra's quiet sobs, Idira listened, her heart pounding, as her father moved around the outer room, collecting his things. She knew the routine, almost every night it was the same. First the dresser where he kept his papers, showing the enormous amount of money still owed to him, being tucked into his pouch, then the familiar hiss of his daggers being pulled from their scabbards as he checked them, and finally the rasp of leather straps as he cinched his scabbards to his belt. The door opened, letting a sharp gust of sea air into the room, Idira's thin tunic flapped against her bare legs. She pressed her hands against it, holding it still, praying her father hadn't seen.
The door slammed shut, making the windows rattle. His heavy booted footsteps crossed the porch, down its rickety steps and crunched over the broken pieces of firewood that lay scattered around the chopping block.
Idira uncurled her toes, cramping from holding them in for so long. She leaned around the edge of the doorframe. Myra sat on one of the stools, staring at the mess on the wall. The soup dripped down the raw planks, blobs of potato still stuck to the rough surface. In the middle of the floor, a thick gob of slimy green phlegm lay in a puddle of saliva. Idira gagged and averted her eyes, hoping Myra wouldn't make her clean it up like last time.
Idira crept over to her sister, keeping the table between herself and the nasty puddle on the floor. Myra ignored her. She glared at the wall, her eyes bright with tears. Idira touched her sister's leg.
Myra pushed Idira away. 'Leave me alone.'
Idira nodded and backed away. Myra was a lot older than her, thirteen years to be exact. Idira would be six in two months, and on the same day Myra would turn nineteen. Papa said if he didn't need Myra to take care of him, he would have already let her marry Benny Blaanco, a big, muscled Westfall boy from Moonbrook who had taken a shine to her pretty, blonde haired sister. Sometimes Benny came around with a fat wedge of Alterac Swiss and a bottle of Moonberry Juice. He was always nice to Idira, too. Benny talked a lot about Elwynn Forest, said he was saving up for a little farm of his own, that he would have enough soon and would need someone to share it with. Then he would look in a funny way at Myra and she would blush. While they weren't looking, Idira helped herself to a little extra cheese and wondered why adults acted so strange. Why they didn't just say what they meant?
Unlike Papa, Benny always seemed to have money, slipping a few silver pieces to Myra whenever her father wasn't looking so she could buy food, but Benny wouldn't ever say how he earned it. Maybe he had found treasure. It could happen. Sometimes it happened, Myra had said. Idira wished she could find treasure. She also wished she could go to Elwynn Forest, it sounded a lot nicer than the dried-out husk of Westfall.