Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
As Celeste banged on the front door of the ranch-style house in the quiet suburban neighbourhood she left bloody handprints on the white paint, visible in the light of the single bulb beside the door. Her hands were bloodied and sore from the blows against the door and curled into fists that she couldn’t unclench if she tried. She hammered on the door – left, right, left, right – but made no sound with her voice. The only sound the thumping of her fists against the metal door. Then the light beside the door went out and she stopped.
She dropped to her knees, her hands hanging limply by her side, as she looked up at the peephole on the door. Her dark blue eyes were almost black in the dim light cast by the streetlights.
She whispered in a soft voice, “Mom?”
The distant sound of traffic was the only response. The street, sparsely populated amidst a rising tide of unemployment and foreclosure, was quiet. The tears were silent with the only noise being the dripping sound as they fell from her chin onto the porch.
She was still there ten minutes later when her neighbour Mrs. Kirschner, came back from walking her dog and saw her on the porch. Evelyn Kirschner had been a nurse before retiring and the blood on the door and Celeste just sitting on the porch in front of that door galvanized her the same way a trauma entering the emergency room had done five years ago. She rushed to Celeste’s side, determined to find out if her young neighbour, a girl whom she looked at like a grandchild, was okay.
“Honey? Celeste, dear? What’s wrong? What happened?”
Celeste looked at her with red swollen eyes, the tears having left tracks down her face, and whispered “She doesn’t understand. It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault.”
“What’s not your fault?” Evelyn continued to check out Celeste as quickly and as efficiently as possible but the only injuries she could find was the damage to her hands.
“She’s scared the church will find out. She threw me out of the house because she doesn’t want the church to find out.”
The sound of the shotgun surprised them both.
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