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When I had finally returned home, it was time to check my auctions. I let out a noise as I went through the completed sales.  First, I was surprised by how much money I had made. It was more money than I could have ever hoped to in a short period of time. Then came the bitterness of realizing it wasn’t enough. I spent the rest of the day packaging up the items. I barely had enough money on me to ship them out. The rest was tied up in the payments.

It came to just over $1000 altogether. It’d be another day or two before I’d be able to touch that money though. That was all the small gemstones, diamonds, and non-gold jewelry which I had sold as auction. I had set everything at $0.99, as I was determined to sell it. Thankfully, a lot of things sold and sold well. It was just, when all was said and done, it was barely enough to make next month’s payment.  

I had to remind myself that I still had the nicer looking cuts that the jeweler had pulled out for me. Those are the ones that were supposed to sell for more. However, whoever this person was who was supposed to call me, they never did. I stopped at the jeweler, but it was the person who hadn’t been helpful the first time I had dropped by. The other woman wasn’t there and when I asked, the rude one said they couldn’t give out that information before sneering at me.

After that, I went to the post office.  When I was finally done shipping off what I had, I returned home feeling a bit depressed. In another time, getting $1000 would make my year, but now, it just felt like not enough. I played with the Perco idly for bit as I lay in my bed. My eyes occasionally wandered over to the mirror. I wondered what they were doing on the other side. I could always just bounce over there for a quick look. No, every jump used about the equivalent of a large crystal. We couldn’t be too wasteful.

I went back to looking through the Perco’s abilities, wondering if it would be so bad to do a little bit of credit card fraud. Would there really be anyone who would be able to track down a Perco? I could hack a person’s computer just by walking within range of their wifi. I shook my head as soon as I had the thought. My mother would never be happy if I gave her money from ill-gotten means. Even the $1000 I had already earned I’d never be able to explain to her. It would be best if I paid off the debt to the loan shark directly, so she never had the opportunity to wonder where it came from.

Instead, I looked into my mother’s phone. I knew that it wasn’t appropriate to snoop, but I wanted to see if Gabriella had said anything more to her.

Aubree: Okay.

Gabriella: He took off… the brat!

Aubree: He’s just a young boy, Gab.

Gabriella: Hmph! Sometimes, I want to tie him up and spank him!

Aubree: Why does that sound familiar?

Aubree: Wasn’t that the theme of that sex fantasy you told me about?

Gabriella: What?

Gabriella: Don’t be ridiculous!

Gabriella: I don’t have sex fantasies about your son! In fact, he’s like a son to me!

Gabriella: Bree…

Aubree: I remember you read a lot of mother-son incest while you were in college.

Gabriella: That was years ago!

Gabriella: Please! I’m not going to have sex with your son! I promise!

I found myself leaning forward while I read this conversation, which had taken place already and was particularly juicy.

Gabriella: Please! I won’t!

Gabriella: Not until he’s 18.

Aubree: You’re so cute when I tease you.

Aubree: Wait! What do you mean until he’s 18?

Gabriella: Nothing!

Gabriella: I mean… he’s a legal adult… so what happens…

Aubree: …

Gabriella: I’m not saying I will, I was just saying I definitely wouldn’t! Unless it’s between consenting adults… I feel like you’re judging me. Please, Bree… I swear to you, I haven’t had a sex dream with your son involved in ages.

Aubree: You hoe!

Gabriella: Ah! That was just a Freudian slip!

Aubree: Naming it doesn’t excuse it!

Gabriella: Sorry! Please forgive me! I’m not worthy!

Aubree: *Sigh* Just remember to use protection.

Gabriella: !!!

Aubree: That was a joke.

Gabriella: I knew that!

Aubree: Hold up, I just got home. There is a group up guys by the door, they always harass me when I pass.

Gabriella: Okay, be safe.

Gabriella: Are you in?

Gabriella: Bree?

Gabriella: Come on.

Gabriella: I just called, you didn’t answer.

Gabriella: You’re freaking me out. I’m going to call your daughter.

That last text just popped up as I reached the end of the conversation, but I was already running out my bedroom door. I heard the ringing of my sister’s phone in her room which must have been Gabriella doing what she said. I didn’t wait, already running down the stairs of the apartment complex and heading to the front door. I rammed through the exit and then looked around. My eyes landed on mom’s car in the parking lot. She had arrived, but the text about her just getting home had already been five minutes ago.

At that moment, I heard a muffled cry from a nearby ally. I immediately ran toward it and as soon as I turned the corner, I saw my mother struggling as three men had hold of her. They were struggling to tie her up. One guy was shoving a gag in her mouth and another was wrestling with her arms to tie them behind her back. She had her clothing on and they weren’t trying to undress her, but it was still a scene that made me explode with rage. On top of that, I actually recognized one of the men.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? I paid the money!” I snapped.

Mom looked at me with a terrified look, but she couldn’t say anything now because the guy had succeeded in stuffing something in her mouth and was tying it around the back of her head. It was then that I noticed they were trying to get her into a van which they had parked in a small alcove in a way where I didn’t even notice it from the alley mouth.

“Oh… it’s the brat.” The one I recognize grinned.

He wasn’t the main loanshark, but just one of the goons. My assumption was that they were trying to collect on the outstanding debt. That was to say, they were trying to rape my mother!

“Baby! Just run!” Mom cried out, having managed to spit out her gag.

“Yeah, baby boy…” One of the men said mockingly. “Bugger off. We’re helping your mom with a job. Even though we went to this effort to find something she can do, she decided to be ungrateful. You’re not going to be ungrateful, are you?”

My face tightened as the rage inside slowly grew. “You’re not with the loansharks? Sex traffickers?”

The men’s faces all turned ugly. “Boy, get going. Boys who are too smart get killed.”

I lifted my Perco, immediately snagging the signal from each of their cellphones. It was actually pretty easy to identify them once I gave the Perco the order.

“Casey Walters, Scott Harper, Caleb Stone…” I named off the three men.

As soon as they heard their names, each of their expressions turned even more sour. One of the men grabbed onto my struggling mother, it was Caleb, who was also the one who worked for the loan shark. The other two men walked out into the alley while giving me dark, murderous looks. One of them pulled a chain from his pocket and rolled it up in his hand, and the other pulled out a pocket knife, flipping it open with a click. They sneered menacingly as they approached me, confident in their steps.

“Looks like you’re as dumb as your mom.” The one named Casey said.

“Daniel, don’t!” Mom managed to get free of the man, but he struck her in the back of the head and she fell to the floor.

Seeing him strike her, the anger bubbling beneath exploded. I broke into a run toward the two men. The one with the chains stayed back while the one with the knife lunged forward. I ignored his knife, even as he plunged it in to my shoulder. He was shocked as I ignored the damage he delivered. I ripped the phase knife from my pocket, flicked the switch, and then sliced across his neck. He didn’t even have time to look surprised.

The pair of us stood like that staring at each other. A clean cut started to form across his neck, so sharp that it took a few moments to appear. His eyes widened as he tried to figure out what happened. His eyes fell on my shoulder, where his knife stabbed into my shoulder and blood ran down his hand. His expression filled with disbelief that not only did I not care about being stabbed, but that I took the initiative and made a killing blow. Ultimately, it was his mistake. I had already been in kill or be-killed situations, and I had also hesitated. I wouldn’t again.

The other two couldn’t see what happened, but they could see their friend suddenly collapse to his knees. Then they saw blood shooting out from his neck with a spurt, splattering across my face and shirt.

“Y-you…” The guy with the chain didn’t know how to respond to seeing his friend die, but his face twisted in to a look of rage and he took five large steps and threw his chained fist at me.

I stabbed out at his fist with my phase knife. It cut right through the chain, as well as the fingers underneath. His hand shot back as he let out a scream. I moved quickly, stabbing his neck before he could let out more than a squeak of a warning for anyone else to see. I grabbed the back of his neck as I stabbed, forcing the knife through. It didn’t just destroy his trachea, but it also cut his spine like it was cutting through butter. There was a light sizzling sound as I pulled it back out.

As he fell to the side, I looked up, my eyes meeting the final guy, Caleb.

“Oh, shit…” he spun and ran to the car.

I sprinted after him. He didn’t even get the keys turned before I smashed open the window, grabbed him, and yanked him out of it and onto the ground.

“No! No! Please! Don’t kill me!” He screamed.

I held the knife to his face, slightly invisible and as thin as glass, “Tell that loan shark boss of yours I’m coming for him next!”

The man’s eyes flashed with confusion and then he shook his head. “I’m… I’m not… he fired me! Said I was untrustworthy! That’s why… That’s why I remembered the girl!”

“He had nothing to do with it?” I snapped.

He shook his head. With an irritated sound, I struck the guy in the head with back of the blade, knocking him out. I then turned around and went to my mother. She was unconscious, but I was relieved to see she was breathing. She also didn’t seem to have much damage other than a bump in the back of her head.

I picked her up, and realized that I could do it with ease now that my strength had been boosted with the Allmighty. I carried her out of the alley and brought her into the apartment building. As soon as I walked in, Hazel let out a cry and ran toward me.

“B-brother! What happened? Mom!”

I put Mom on the couch and then grabbed Hazel, who looked half hysterical.

“Call Gabriella. Tell her mom is hurt and needs someone to check on her. Okay?”

“I will!” She then looked down on me. “B-blood. Brother… what happened? What did you do?”

I shook her shoulders. “Hazel, I need you to go to your room.”


“I said, go to your room, call Gab from there. Do not come out until I say so.”

“Brother… what’s…”

“Listen to me! You stay in there, no matter what you hear, do you understand?”

She seemed to see the seriousness of the expression on my face. She nodded.

“I will do what brother says.”

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