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1648
    For some death in obscurity, unmarked but for the illusory earth.
   For some death for knowledge, to sate man’s eternal thirst.
  For some death in damnation, to pay the cost of an existence ill-gotten.
 For some life eternal,
The cruellest of the Fates.

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>>1705
Easy mistake, man. You've all got the same name!
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>>1704
Looking forward to it.
>>1704
>Would you mind terribly if I wove it into the quasi-continuity I’ve got over at >>752? That would spare me the effort of building everything from scratch.

I'd love that

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1640
(Inspired by, dedicated and all the thanks goes out to yours truly, Takuyarawr)


Some time, after a battle, Ran and Chen found that Yukari's health had declined and that she fell ill. Despite how weak she was becoming, she tried not to pay any attention to it and was enjoying her life. As her illness worsened, doctors treated her with the best treatment they could offer but, however, it did more damage to her body than it did repair. Knowing fate was being merciful and hostile to her, she didn't know how to break the news to Ran and Chen, so she told Reimu and asked for her to give them her parasol.

When Reimu broke the news to the shikigami, they were in utter disbelief and were immediately grief-stricken. "I'm sorry, Ran, Chen, she didn't know she could tell you herself, so she told me to tell you and she wanted you to have this." Reimu said, handing them the pink lace parasol Yukari loved so dearly. A few days later, Yukari fell into a coma and died in her sleep, from the last of the treatment that she wasn't strong enough to survive.

Her funeral service was long and full of tears from those that loved her. Even Yuyuko, as gluttonous as she was, didn't think to eat all the food. Everyone was dressed in black and/or purple. Reimu closed down her shrine for a month, grieving and out of respect for her deceased yokai friend.

Grief-stricken, Ran was trying to hold things together and often took to caring for the violet garden that Yukari left behind but found her health, too, had declined. Chen was hit the hardest and spent half of the day at Yukari's grave, wishing for her to come back.

However, Ran had the most of her problems, other than her mistress's untimely demise. She found her declining health had proved she was ill with a terminal illness that was incurable. She knew she couldn't ignore it but couldn't tell Chen. All through the summer, she hid her illness and, in the fall, after becoming so frail and thin, she went to a doctor to see how far it progressed. However, the diagnosis wasn't good and that the illness had spread rather quickly through her body.
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1188
Veterans, your stories go here. See the rules thread at >>/gensokyo/11756
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1249
She fell in love with him at first sight.

It would be incorrect to say that it was like any other day in Hakugyokurou, but until that moment, it would have also been incorrect to say that it was a unique day. That day marked a changing of the guard; after many years of loyal service, old Aoi had finally gone to join Tetsuo in the flocks of souls resting within her domain.

Just like every other time, the princess had already had her friend Yukari contact Aoi’s son from the minute her retainer had sagely noted the imminence of her passing. While the princess had felt a little sad, knowing she’d miss the little things that distinguished Aoi from all the other Konpakus before her – her unique habit of smoking flower pollens, her tendency to default to a throaty chuckle to fill silences in conversation, her drive to decorate every panel in the mansion with a unique painting, her treatment of the Hakurouken as a reluctant burden and symbol of position rather than a treasured family weapon – she had also felt a little excited, knowing that she’d get to learn all the inner quirks and idiosyncrasies of a new servant. And since he had already married, that meant the house would be lively once again; while it had been comfortably tranquil with just her and Aoi, after Tetsuo had passed away, she had been ready for a change of pace.

It wasn’t that she hadn’t known anything about him. After all, she had been Aoi’s midwife, and she had watched the couple raise their son into his teenage years, even helped them. But just like every other Konpaku born and raised in Hakugyokurou, he had returned to Gensokyo as soon as he had come of age, before his own service would be required.

What would he be like? There was no question that would take after his mother to some degree, as the half-phantom bloodline always ran true. Of course he would have white hair – unless he chose to dye it like Sancha had – and be accompanied by a phantom “half” in the form of a misty white wisp. But beyond those few guarantees, what would his personality be like? Would he take after his mother, staying up for days on
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When Yukari came to take Noa back to her village to be buried, Youki asked the princess if he and his newborn daughter could go with her. It was absolutely unheard of for a Konpaku to abandon their charge, but there were extenuating circumstances, after all.

Deep inside, she could not bring herself to deny him his mourning in private. Not when she was at fault for his grief.

She had thought a single day of waiting between servants was uncomfortable; but after ten, and then a hundred, she had revised her opinion of solitude.

It was not merely uncomfortable. It was torturous.

She tried to cook meals for herself to pass the time. It wasn’t as if she didn’t know how. After all, not every Konpaku arrived in her domain as an expert in every single field needed to fulfill their position as her servant. And while Yukari could always bring in tutors for things like carpentry or gardening, the one skill that the princess would have to teach herself would be cooking, as only she truly knew her own tastes in cuisine.

But without anyone to share the meal with, the food might as well have been ash. Her appetite shriveled to nothingness.

Could she have asked Yukari to keep her company? She could have, and knowing her friend she would have caved to the request. But doing so would mean asking favors But she grit her teeth and suffered through it, staring out at the endless fields of cherry blossoms that without a companion to appreciate them with seemed dull and lifeless.

Eventually, she gave up on the gardens altogether. She attempted to immerse herself in the works of former servants: paintings, sketches, ceramics, poetry, stories. But walking through the mansion only reminded her how empty it was, of the absence of people who had made each and every brushstroke whether on canvas, porcelain, or parchment, and the pain, the crushing loneliness, was simply more than she could willingly bear.
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The Hakurei Shrine doesn't get very many visitors. The stairs are long and steep, almost half a day's walk from the village. Of course, most people can fly. Strange then, how he, a normal human, regularly made the trip.

The sun was nearing its apex when he arrived at the shrine. He shivered at the lingering cold. Winter, it seemed, had not yet released the mountains from her icy grasp. Here, snow had not yet given way to flowers.

But that was unimportant. He wasn't here to complain about one of the bizarre weather patterns the Hakurei Maiden solved roughly once per year. No, he had come to see a girl.

Trudging through ankle-high snow, he deposited a few coins in the donation box.

"Weren't you just here two days ago?"

Noticing a bit of red poking out of the snow, he went over. "Good afternoon, Miss Hakurei. I'm here to visit-er, what are you doing?"

Reimu Hakurei, almost completely submerged in snow, replied, "Enjoying the last bit of winter. I had planned to make a snow angel, but the snow is really soft and comfy. I haven't managed to motivate myself into moving."

"Just how long have you been lying there?"
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712
“For those of you who do not know,
 You’re like to be very sorry.
 For this piece here is a tie-in
 To
Tenshi is in This Story.”

—Me, right now, “Satori is in This Short Story”

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I Wish I could hate you to death for not using sage
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>>1615

Become a Sith lord.

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1528
[Someone told me to put this here.]

---

"Yes?

"Yeah, that's me. I'm sorry, you know me but I don't know who you are. You're—

"A princess? Huh. You sure you've got the right guy?

"Yeah, sure, that is my name, but—

"Er—yeah, sure. Who am I to refuse royalty, and stuff like that. I hope you don't mind me eating while you talk, though, because that's what I was doing, when you knocked. Eating.

"What? No, nothing fancy. Just rice and a little fish. Mostly rice, but rice is fine. As long as your stomach's full, it doesn't much matter what it's full of, right? Well, I guess it does matter, but you know what I—
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Well that was intresting I actually want to see a more that last part with mokou made me laugh
I wish it was a little more coherent, but I suppose that's one of the restrictions of a work entirely made of dialogue between two people, and you only hear one side. Interesting, but I am not so sure I'd go so far as to say 'enjoyable'.
I thought it was well done though I had to read it twice.

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1414
Newbie shorts go here!
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On a dark winter night, a blue-robed stranger walked into a small village.

There was a fierce blizzard blowing, but the stranger walked unfazed to the nearest house.

If the village had a mage, he might have noticed the magic guiding the wind and snow. Maybe, just maybe, he would have realized the local terror had set its sight on the village.



But there was no village mage.


The stranger set a frozen hand on the door of the house. Ice spread quickly from its hand, covering the door, the door frame, the walls, the roof, and in an instant the entire house was trapped in ice.

The stranger walked to the next house and put its hand on the door.

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"Come on! Push harder! We're almost out!"

I strained against the wood cart, trying my hardest to push it out of a deep patch of snow. Gensokyo was beautiful in every season, but winter brought with her a heavy blizzard this year. Traveling by road was a difficult prospect but I had a delivery to make.

"You know, you could- help," I grunted at the lazy goddess sitting in my cart. Hina Kagiyama sat bundled up in warm furs, wrapped up in her own sense of superiority.

"It was your terrible luck that handed landed us in this mess, Reina, so you're going to get us out of it!"

"Terrible luck that you could rid me of within an instant, yet you refuse to."

"Well, if I were to rid you of your curse, then I'd lose my locus, and our little contract would be broken, now wouldn't it, Reina? And here I believed you to be an honest craftsman."

"Oh that's a load of bol- Just help me push Hina. Please?" I pleaded with her. This was going no where. The delivery was due at the Scarlet Devil Mansion tonight, and it was long road from my home to the village, and then through the woods to the Misty Lake.

"My my, asking a goddess to do such menial work, Reina?"
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I left the bank with lighter money pouch and very bored goddess in tow. The village bank exhibited the highest quality of bureaucracy. As in, it took waiting in line forever to get anything done. At least they were competent at their jobs, and competitive with the youkai banks as well. It was past noon by the time we reached the market and had a chance to stop for lunch at a small cafe near the outer edge of the square. I patted the pint of twelve-year whiskey stowed in my purse. I had bought it from a nearby liquor store; I had to say, the young man at the counter knew his alcohol well, and it'd make for an enjoyable New Years.

"Hey Reina?" Hina took a pause from munching on her roast chestnuts. A white-haired woman was selling them at her stall near where I had bought the whiskey. According to her, they were an old family recipe. I had nicked one from the goddess when she was occupied with staring at a sapphire brooch in a shop window near the fancier part of the shopping street. They certainly were good. A slight taste of vanilla and chocolate was mixed in with the flavor of the chestnuts. Hina seemed to love them. In the months I was stuck together, I had rarely seen her so fully indulge in anything as much as the chestnuts, bar my money.

"Reina, what's that large gate in the building over there? The one flowing with distant magic" I looked over. Hina was pointing to a large, official looking building, off near the western edge of the market. In the busy midday, I could see traders flowing in and out with their wares.

"That? It's a cross border portal Yukari set up with Reimu. Gensokyo isn't the only refuge for the fantastical. Reimu says that a lot of the forgotten youkai and gods formed their own version of Gensokyo to survive. That portal is something Yukari set up with some of them to encourage more trade within Gensokyo." It was a natural progression. Gensokyo was far smaller than some of the larger youkai planes, not to mention far less developed. “It leads to a giant trading hall of the sort between the boundaries. Dozens of youkai set up shop there and its how Gensokyo gets most of its imports.”
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1413
Veteran shorts go here!
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“What's Christmas?”

It was a cold day in the Human village, with fresh dusting of snow covering everything. Two men were clearing paths through the streets, talking as they did to pass the time. It was dull work, but not particularly hard.

“Ah... you haven't heard of Christmas? I guess it's kind of a new thing.”

Of the two men, one of them was from the outside. It was obvious not only from his clothes, which were made from some strange shiny material, but from his manner of speaking as well. Koishi knew that much.

“Well,” The man continued, “It's a holiday where you exchange gifts with people you care about, eat good food, and that sort of thing.”

“That sounds like fun. And it's a yearly thing?”

“Yeah, it sure is. It'll be happening in a few days, actually. Ah, but now I'm getting nostalgic for my mother's cooking...”

Koishi already knew what it was – all of that imagery was floating up into the man's subconscious, and like a sponge she sucked it right up. Candy canes, hot chocolate, bows, fat men in red suits... outsiders have the best ideas sometimes.
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Blizzards at the Scarlet Devil Mansion were probably, Meiling thought, one of the worst things she'd ever experienced. She had to stay outside in the cold, her carefully-tended gardens were dead, and she couldn't even count on visitors braving the cutting wind and mounds of snow. She sighed, breath crystalizing in the air and fading away.

Her job for the past week had, essentially, been to stare into the snowdrifts and feel her face steadily go numb. It lost its appeal after the first hour.

Still, at least it wasn't all bad. She was able to stave off most of the cold; steady manipulation of her chi saw to that, although being bundled up in several layers of warm clothing certainly helped. She'd also supplied herself with plenty of reading material, thanks to Patchouli having the foresight to ward each and every book she had acquired over her lengthy stay, the better for them to withstand almost anything tha

Of course, while the snow and rain sloughed off the books on contact, that still meant Meiling had to read through the aforementioned snow and rain, which proved to be unreasonably difficult. She clapped the book shut with a growl of annoyance and stuffed it inside the bag slung over her shoulder.

Looked like she was stuck with nothing to do.

Wait, in the distance...

There was a man coming this way?

She immediately stood ramrod straight, watching the interloper's steady approach through the blizzard. He was large and burly, certainly, his outfit leaving patches of muscled arm and leg uncovered. The rest of his clothing consisted of a golden tunic atop chainmail, a metal helmet concealing his features, fur boots, and some sort of two-handed weapon strapped to his back that she couldn't quite make out from here.
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Winter this year has been rough. Yesterday a blizzard hit and covered the entire mountain in a thick layer of snow. Around the foot of the mountain lays a solid coat, six feet deep; whereas around here at the top, it’s only about two to three feet on average. The trees got off a little better though; only a thin layer can be found in a few of the treetops since the midday sun melted most of it away. The temperature seems to be dropping again though; I can see the melted snow forming icicles along the branches in the shadows. As I race through the treetops, only the moist branches can take my sudden weight. Even then, lingering for a moment could cause my sudden and embarrassing downfall.

So far I've been lucky to have only four broken behind me; each of those served to buy me a bit of extra time to get away from her. I think it’s the extra force I apply when I jump off a branch that causes it break. Landing on them is a much smoother process since I can reduce the stress of impact. You wouldn’t really understand it if you haven’t tried it yourself. I won’t recommend it though, not without proper training first. I’ve been doing this for centuries already; it’s practically second nature to me at this point.

“I’m going to catch you sooner or later. Just you wait!” The shout from the girl in pursuit brings me out of my reverie. I take off from a branch with a long jump; long enough to allow me to spin around mid-air to catch sight of her. Her hair may be short, but it’s still dancing beautifully in the wind as she runs.

As I land on the branch that was ahead of me, I slip a little on the ice before quickly regaining my footing and launching off again. “Not last time; not this time!” I yell back at her.

I think we’ve been running for over an hour at this point. Neither of us are willing to give up the chase, and both of us have the stamina to continue running. Between the two of us, I have the greater endurance. I can outlast her in most cases, but she edges me out when it comes to speed though. She’s more of a sprinter type, so over a short distance pursuit, she has the
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1422
This is a proof of concept that I can – or could, potentially – write an AU story which isn’t a complete trainwreck and actually has a comprehensive plot. This will NOT continue. Enjoy at your own peril.
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>>1525
>We won't actually know that, now will we?
You got that right. You won’t.
>Again, we won't actually know that since it's not continuing.
That’s right!
>It proves that you can manage to start one, but it doesn't prove that you can write one. Any ass-hat can start a story, but it takes a special kind to actually write one.
You’re absolutely correct. Hence the pervasive “could” of my statements. You honestly expected me not to twist and play with words? You should know better than that, dude.
>>1530
It still doesn't really prove that you could write one though.
>>1531
Shush. You’re ruining it.

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1270
If I didn’t say I was a teensy bit nervous at the moment I’d be lying.

Trudging our boots through the second floor when we only planned for one. (“As long as we have a warp wire we should be fine). It was a little bit darker, The trees were thicker and less light managed to trickle in through the leaves and branches. But I couldn’t break the suspicion that we weren’t alone in this forest underground…. In spite of that my thoughts turned to this morning.

When Sakuya sent me to fetch supplies for a full day in the labyrinth she left me on a tight budget to say the least.

“We’ll need all the necessities, Medicas, Theracias, Nectars… We don’t have a medic so it’ll be up to me to make sure we all keep healthy…” She gave me that lecture early this morning. Patchouli and The Mistresses were off at the pub gathering information, so of course it falls on me to do the Grocery shopping.

“...And of course you mustn’t forget to buy a Warp Wire! Thats our last lifeline out there if things go south so don’t go forgetting it Meiling!” and of course I didn’t forget! I may do a lot of things but even I can fill a grocery list.

But that's the thing though, even though I know I bought it, when I last checked the bag (Poisoning. We had gotten Ambushed by a group of Venomflies when the Mistress insisted on taking a nap in the clearing) It was gone. Theres no way I didn’t buy it, I even took some money out of my own pocket to cover the 1000 en on top of everything else Sakuya listed for me. Where could it have gone?

Besides the venomfly ambush its been a smooth crawl throughout the day. Patchouli Alchemist would blast everything, Boss Remilia Dark Hunter would redirect things my way while weaving in and out…, Sakuya Survivalist would fill in the gaps, and while admitt
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======= Somewhere on the other side of town =======


[i]
“Governor-Sama, I-I beg of you!”

A man who appeared in his late 30s held his head low and bowed upon the ground.

Before him was the Governor of the surrounding prefecture, saddled up in his human chariot.
Surrounding him were several armed bushi. It was clear what was going on here.

Extortion.

“I’ve gotta keep this construction job! My family would die otherwise! Please, sir! PLEASE I BEG OF YOU” The man was on the verge of tears. As if he thought he would appear more pitiable he dug his face further and further into the dirt. If he did not throw away his pride, his family, whom he had been blessed to to find again in this world, would die before his eyes once more.

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======= Back at the Restaurant =======

After a short scolding by the Cafe Owners I was let back onto my shift. It seems no matter how much these guys misbehave we can’t really kick them out or treat them badly.

What a bother.

As my thoughts drift along I hear the bells of the entrance ringing.

“Ah, irrashaimase.” I greeted the person before they peeked their head in. Customary, according to the Owner’s wife it often pressures them to come in even if they didn’t mean to ring the bells. Ah-

This one looked like trouble too.

Could that raggedly ball of of grease and fuzz even be called hair? What’s more, she(?) carried a blade on her back and wore loose clothing. A beige tunic with a dark red… jacket? She wore shorts that ran down right above her knees, A style uncommon to this area. But most peculiar were her feet. Sure enough she wore ordinary wooden sandals but around her ankles.. It appeared as if there were some blue markings. If one looked closer you could see the skin bulge out around them… were they scars of some sort?

Ignoring my lucid stare, sat herself down on the serving bench and made her order. If I wasn’t paying attention, I would have missed the way she eyed the other men seated… could she be one of those loosy-goosy travelers I hear so much about!?
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======= Back at the Restaurant =======

4 of them rushed him at once, I’m pretty sure I saw the others flee. All that tough-guy attitude and they’ll run away from a fight like this?

Although, you have to admit. This girl sure was intimidating. She was more like a wild animal than human.

With one mans slash she sifted to the side. Bolting past the next guy she pushed the noggin of the unfortunate man behind me down. Using that momentum, she did a flip in the air and landed right next the last guy. As that one motioned to cut through she backstepped. It looked as if the guy behind him had her, but she ducked low and scooted around by his side, The blade managing to slice the top of her poofy hair.

.. .Did she just stab the guy’s heart from the back with a hidden knife?

Bah. You won’t look a gift horse in the mouth at this point. If there’s a lull in the battle after the first kill you bet I’m getting out of here!

I’m able to make it outside where the owners are standing. Feebly spectating the violence inside their store. Well, if they’re going to stay, I’ll stay too. I owe them that much at least.

Besides. I don’t wanna get on this gal’s bad side. She’s a lunatic!
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-Friends Like No Other (Part One)-


Alex sits down on the bench, opening the photo album for the first time since he moved into his new home, which proves to be a strange experience for the boy. He actually has a few, but for some reason he chose this one, the one full of the two best friends of his old life. It is full of good times, bad times, and days in between. The very first page happens to be one full of pictures from their first meeting. Just looking at them brings a smile to his face. Thanks to the pictures, he can almost clearly remember that day. It isn’t difficult for him to tell his audience of one about his life, at least not at first.
**********
It was the end of summer in the year two thousand one. Not many people were at the orientation for aspiring first graders when he and his mother arrived. There were only three families still waiting. His best friend Tenshi was with them, but he didn’t know who the two girls she was talking to were. They rode his bus, but he was always driven by his mom so he never talked to them and didn’t even know their names. All of them had met the teacher already and decided to head into the playground while their parents talk to Miss Foster.

The boy used to be very shy, it was so bad that his mom had to force him to make friends with Tenshi! This was another point where “Mom knows best” as she walked him out to the playground and told him to go play. He looked absolutely terrified, or at least that’s what Tenshi would tell him whenever she brought that day up. Not that he denies it or anything.

Tenshi quickly introduced him to the blonde and brunette. Renko and Maribel, two people who would be invaluable friends in the years to come. He couldn’t help but wonder why Renko was wearing a black hat with a white ribbon on it when it was far too large for her. When he asked she told him it was because she found it funny when people asked her about it. Maribel was shy too, but not to the extent he was.
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1306
It was early in the morning, probably two whole hours before he had to go to school. It wasn’t unusual for him to get up so early, he needed the time to wake up and get some chores done. He had gone about his normal routine of making his bed, packing his backpack, putting away his CDs, and making sure his alarm clock wasn’t going to go off again. His room was bland and had the bare minimum when it came to furnishings. It wasn’t his choice, if it was he would have posters and pictures hung on the walls. No, he couldn’t afford such things. Not with his mother’s medical expenses.
**********
Once again she spent another night wide awake. The only reason she knew that the day had changed was the alarm clock buzzing from her son’s room. The woman laid in bed as her son walked through the house, cleaning as usual. Her immune system was shot and she didn’t have the energy to even walk. The only room that needed to be cleaned was hers and the master bathroom that was adjacent to it. It was almost an hour before her son slowly opened the door. As she did every morning she pretended to sleep.

“Mom, I’m leaving. Misses Hearn will be by later to make you breakfast.” He said those same words every morning. Not a single word was different, and yet, his voice brought the woman to tears. But she kept quiet; she didn’t want her son to know her pain. She wanted to remain strong, for his sake.
**********
The boy closed the door and walked through the sparsely furnished house one last time before he would walk to school. Most of the furniture had been sold to pay for the first set of bills. Since he was still under eighteen, they were getting money from social security because his father passed away years ago. But, that was their biggest, should have been, their only source of income. The boy worked hard after school at a convenience store in the center of town. His mother had forbidden him from getting a job since she wanted him to focus on school, but he knew they couldn’t live off of the money they were already getting. At the end of the month, they barely had enough to pay the bills, not to mention his mother’s medicine was getting more expe
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>>1306
Don't worry about it, i'm a terrible person too, and your shorts put a smile on my face and a lump in my throat.

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