"Where the hell is it?" Ben hissed, his faced inches from Chris'.
"Where's what? Let's talk abou..." Chris' voice came in a weak whisper, but ended on a choked gargle as Ben caught him by the throat and slammed him into the wall again. He knew what Ben wanted but he was not about to give his brother a week's pay so that he got shoot it up again.
"Don't play with me you self-righteous son of a bitch. WHERE IS IT? You got paid today. I need my fix!" Chris was slipping in and out of consciousness. This was not the first time Ben had come in ranting and wanting money. The truth was, he had used the money to pay for groceries and had hidden what was left of it underneath the left insole of Danny's baby shoes. The wad of savings in that shoe had been getting thicker as he scrimped and saved for the kids.
He fell in a crumpled heap as Ben let go of him to look for the money elsewhere. Thirty minutes later, Ben had turned the entire trailer upside down but still had not found the money. He was too out of it to think of looking inside the small box that housed the kids' baby things. Furious, he stormed out of the trailer and headed out of the trailer park.
Next door, Max Bachman woke with a jump. He had fallen asleep reading a tattered copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. He was on his way to refill his coffee mug when he heard Chris' door slam violently and saw Ben's powerful frame stagger out. This does not look good. The old man made sure that Ben had left the trailer park before he opened the door and hurried towards Chris' heap next door.
"Chris? Chris? Is everthing alright?" He whispered in a slight German accent. The trailer was a complete mess. Debris that used to be furniture was strewn in all directions; broken glass, all over the small kitchen area. Chris lay in a crumpled heap on the kitchen floor. "Mein Gott! Chris!" With trembling hands, Max turned him over and checked for a pulse with trembling fingers. He heaved a sigh of relief as Chris gave a weak moan. Max scrambled up and ran to the single payphone in the park and dialled 911.
At the hospital, he was brought to Chris' bed. Max bit his lip. Chris' face was black and blue. His left eye was swollen close, and his lips were split and puffed up. He had three broken ribs and a broken wrist and 2 fingers smashed. "Oh, my boy. When is this going to stop?" He whispered to noone in particular.