"I hate you." Melanie stood in the doorway of her sister's room, her fists clenched. "You sold Mary Jane."
"Your heart is too tender, little girl," Caroline turned away from her mirror to glare, then returned to her makeup application. She just did not have time to explain to her sister yet again, and she was running late. It was payday, and many of the miners would be spending their money at Elvira's tonight. She carefully applied the red with a lip brush. Satisfied, she moved over to the bed to pick up her new dress, purchased with the money from the sale of their last horse.
"Look, Melanie," Caroline tried a kinder approach. "One day you will understand that this is how it has to be."
"You're lying!" Melanie crossed her arms, her voice rising. "Mama says lying is a sin! Mama says that you're a whore! Being a whore is a sin! Mama says that you're going to go to hell for fornic--"
Caroline had had enough.
"Grow up, girl!" She grabbed her sister by the arm and shook her, her teeth clenched. "And don't you let Mama manipulate you with all that bible thumpin', neither! We need money and Mama knows it. Mama is a damned drunk who won't work a day, and she knows that, too. Ain't nobody going to help us pay for this house or put the food on the table outta the goodness of their hearts, and it's high time you realized that!"
Caroline let go of a crying Melanie. She could see the marks of her hand on her sister's arm, but she steeled herself against hugging Melanie and soothing her tears. There could be no more of that. Caroline closed her eyes and prayed for the strength to do what needed to be done. Until tomorrow, anyway. She finished dressing and picked up her purse. Melanie shrank away. Caroline crushed the hurt feelings underneath her heel as she walked out the door.
The prompt is the third definition of the word MANIPULATE.