Malapert

Nora stomped down the stairs. The anger that seethed in her chest pressed against her ribcage, a surging wave that filled her lungs. She tried to funnel the energy into her legs so that her chest wouldn’t crack open from the pressure, but the anger was unwieldy and wet so that even though her feet slammed against each step with the force to crack the boards she couldn’t breathe. The anger drenched her throat and her sinuses, crushing her cheekbones and thrusting her tonsils into her ears. It flushed through her veins and pounded, wave after wave, at the crest of her fingertips, a torrent of outrage that made her cry.

“Nora,” her grandmother called, her voice clear and even in the face of the storm.

“Nora, act your age,” her father said, his voice thin and cold.

At her age, she might have been malapert, impudent, but instead she was soaked with rage, indignation, and fear.

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