Pa stumbles through the front door, stinking of whiskey. I catch a glimpse of his shaking hands in the candlelight; they are caked in dried blood.

“The Thompson family is dead. We went to their farm and slaughtered the bastards like farm animals,” Pa slurs as he paces around the kitchen, absently rubbing his hands together.

“They were a poison in this town,” he continues. “A plague that would have destroyed everything we have worked so hard to build. They were monsters. Violence, theft, even witchcraft!”

Ma whispers to Pa as he rants about the Thompson’s devious deeds, and he finally relents and sits at the dinner table. Ma brings over a bucket and Pa scrubs the blood off of his hands. We pass around the potatoes that Pa swiped from Farmer Jacobson’s field, and we pray to our god for love and mercy.