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The Severing

by Rob Morris

 

The man's question was cut off along with his head. His murderer knew she had a day or two at best before either the family's absence or the smell was noted.

"All of Kanto must like spoiled milk! Maybe they have cocoa powder to mix it with?"

No cocoa, only strawberry. The powder was the same color as her hair, and always giving her this had been a joke to the orphanage attendants. Lots of things had.

"Yeah. I should have tripped the gas main or something, before I left. But then, I wouldn't have met him, would I?"

She actually tried to feel bad for these people. They had done her no wrong--at least in part because she hadn't given them a chance to, but still.

"Too bad, but there's no way they were like you are--Kouta."

In fact, the girl was forced to move early the next morning, and thought little to nothing more of the family she had wiped away.

Others were not so lucky as to forget.

In another home, connected to this one, another girl, younger than the killer, tried to rouse the sister of the man the killer had beheaded. Finally, she gave up and sought out the wisest man she knew.

"Papa? Mama will not move. I don't understand. I don't understand why she has become so quiet. Maybe Uncle can make her smile again? Uncle always knows how to make Mama smile."

The man held his little girl, who really could not understand why Uncle and his family weren't already there.

"Uncle won't be coming over soon, honey. But Mama will be better again. She's gotten like this before, remember?"

The man was being euphemistic. His wife's mental problems, her withdrawal and coldness, had been well in evidence before her beloved older brother had been taken from them. Now, he feared, her tendency to think first of her own comfort and well-being would threaten their marriage, and maybe even their daughter.

"I want Mama to be well and happy again. I promise to be extra extra good if Heaven will grant this."

He smiled and shook his head.

"Baka! How can even my Mayu-chan be any better than the gold she is?"

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