| Goru Oshido was ten, so were his sisters, Ibu and Inu. They were vey nearly identical. The three of them were triplets. They shared everything, including the horrors of surviving their mother. They were standing outside of their apartment. He smiled hesitantly at Ibu and Inu. They were late coming home. They were supposed to be back before four, that was when their mother usually woke up and began searching the apartment for something to trade for drugs. There was a chance that she would take what little Goru and his sisters had scrounged for themselves in the way of personal possessions. The alternate outcome was arriving to interrupt her frantic search. It was by far the worse alternative. Her frantic aggression would turn from the search to her children. With a sigh, Goru palmed open the door. The small three room apartment was ominously quiet. That being said, Goru knew to react to whatever he found on the other side with pessimism. He gestured for his sisters to wait. He stepped inside and let the door close. If he didn’t give them the all clear, they would make themselves scarce until they were sure their mother had left for the night.
There was the sound of a muffled thud down the hallway leading to his sisters’ bedroom. Not good, Goru headed down the hallway resolved to finding his mother tearing the room apart. He peeked through the doorway. His mother spun on her heels, “What happened to those necklaces your sisters had last week? I could get a couple of hits for them.”
“You already traded them...” Goru answered softly.
“That’s right… do you still have that pair of sneakers? Where are your sisters? Maybe I could trade some of their time...” Goru’s mother snarled.
Goru shrugged. He had never allowed his mother trade his sisters’ for drugs, and he never would. By now they should be halfway to the library on the corner.
Goru’s mother stared at him with fury in her eyes, “Where the fuck are they?”
“I don’t know mother,” He lied. Goru carefully covered any thoughts on their location with arithmetic tables. His mother was a telepath, a poor one, but sometimes, on rare occasion, she could break into his thoughts.
“Fucking moron, give me your allotment vouchers!” she loomed over him.
Goru stiffened, he had two vouchers left for the whole month and he was saving them for his sisters. He could feel the crinkle of the hollographically printed paper in his left shoe. “I don’t have any. You took them all.”
With faster than human reflexes Goru’s mother slapped him across the face, and shoved him over. She began yanking on his shoe. Goru fought her. She had him by the ankle. He kicked at her with his other leg. She slammed it aside, managing to torque a muscle in his groin. In pain already Goru couldn’t keep from thinking, “Please don’t let her decide to kick me in the nuts!”
His mother paused in her attempt to remove his shoe. And did just that. The pain that seared through Goru was debilitating. She kicked him in the side for good measure and then easily removed his shoe and took the vouchers. Goru coughed and gagged. The pain was making him nauseous, or was it being kicked in the gut. It didn’t matter he’d lost the vouchers. His mother stepped over his curled form. Goru heard her leave the room, and the apartment. He knew he had several new bruises to add to his collection, hopefully his sisters were safe.