Father scowled from behind his whiskey and wails. He ate supper with them but did little else, except alone.
His sons understood his laments against those who did him down each day an aching aeon but resented a pain they couldn’t cure and never forgave him his self-pity.
Mother, an indefatigable surgeon in a war, stitched their wounds until the anaesthetic and her goodwill ran out, as she did.
Then the boys woke up rib cages broken back and hearts raw, alone in the operating theatre with only stark surgical lights.