Never Unloved

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When he raised his head, she could hardly recognize him from the bruises.

They bloomed like wicked flowers across his cheekbones, his chin, his forehead...

She had to restrain herself from crying as she knelt to her knees and gently placed her fingers on a part of the swollen flesh under his eyes and watched him cringe, as salty tears marked their path down his face. His shoulders were shaking as a choking sob emitted from his throat, and his entire body was racked with pain.

His eyes had a pathetic look in their watery blue, and she felt a familiar anger rush through her.

She pulled him close to her, and he buried his face in her neck while wrapping his hands around her shoulders, as she shut her eyes tightly in rage and sadness, and clenched her fists.

Her little brother. What had they done to him?

They.

"Who was it?" She asked him quietly in his ear, but he could hear the seething anger hidden in her words.

He didn't answer at first. He knew what his sister was capable of; seen it with his own eyes. And he knew she would do anything and everything to keep him safe from the demons that hurt him and kicked him like a rag doll.

And that made him scared. Not of the demons.

Of her.

Murder.

A single word, but dangerous enough to send a room into silence, scary enough to shiver when thought of.

He was only nine, but he had seen and heard too much.

And they all knew what his sister was.

*****************************************

Christopher was stuffing his bottle back into his bag, when he felt a hard shove and was suddenly pushed to the ground.

His breath was knocked out, and dirt got into his eyes, as he blinked furiously to clear his sight.

Someone swiftly kicked him in his ribs, and sent him sprawling across the ground. He felt a sting on his elbow and he knew he had scraped it.

He looked up weakly at his attacker, and dread coursed through his veins as he recognized the figure.

"Please." Chris begged, his voice coming out hoarse and trembly. "Don't hurt me."

The other boy merely laughed. "You make me sorry for you, you little punk."

He then brought his face close to Chris's. "How's your crazy sister? She not in prison yet?"

Dread was replaced by pure fury in Chris, as he spat out a glob onto his face.

The bully's face morphed from cruel amusement to a terrifying expression as he wiped away the fluid. "You're going to wish you were dead."

As the blows rained over him, creating spots of black and purple on his flesh, Chris wished he was.

*****************************************

"Wasn't anyone around to help you?"

"No."

"What's his name again?"

"James."

*****************************************

James sat at the cafeteria table, taking slow bites of his turkey sandwich, smirking as he looked over at a girl who had tripped and fallen because of her untied shoelaces.

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