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SHE CLIMBED IN THROUGH THE WINDOW. She knew that if she entered through the front door, she risked being hit by whatever her father had in his hands. He would certainly be waiting; Officer Ryan had called his cell phone repeatedly until the man, drunk and irritable from losing a day's wages over a game of poker, answered and threatened to kill the policeman.

Once Officer Ryan explained what had occurred over the course of the day, he asked the man if he wanted to speak to his daughter. His only reply was, "I'll deal with her when she gets home," before he hung up.

The policeman drove her home, glancing at her every so often and, seeing the lack of expression on her face, offered to "talk" with her father. She shook her head and muttered a "Thank you," waiting by her door until the police car was out of sight. Then she climbed over the old cream-colored fence into their trash-filled yard, picked her way through the broken furniture and chicken bones, and hoisted herself up through her second-story window, using a shield as a boost up.

Once Kendria was safely in her room, door locked and window sealed, she sat on her bed and stared at the wall.

The reality of the situation, what it all meant, came crashing down on her, a force that made her breath hitch, if only for a second.

In one week, I'll be living in Japan, with an uncle I've never met. Hero school. I'll be in Hero school.

The thought of leaving America, her home, her father, did not affect her in the way she thought it would. Not even a twinge of sadness came at the idea of being away from the crumbling neighborhood. If anything, she was almost happy at the thought of living away from her father. If this uncle of hers was anything like her mother, Kendria wouldn't have much to worry about in terms of her safety.

And, if for some reason the flow decided that her uncle should be another worthless git, she would just keep her shield up. The method had been working for years here at home, surely it would be effective even in Japan.

Unless her uncle had a Quirk that could counteract hers. Then she would have to worry.

For the time being, though, Kendria did not worry. She pulled her headphones up to her ears, pressed "Play," and let the loud melody wash away all thought.


"I KNOW YOU'RE IN THIS HOUSE SOMEWHERE, BRAT!" The enraged shouts tore through the house, shaking the walls and causing the bird nesting in the broken chimney to fly away with a squawk of fear.

Kendria pulled her knees up to her chin and continued to pick out constellations in the sky, the sound of drums and guitar strings and on-key voices drowning out her father's screams. For the most part. She was still able to pick up the choice words he used to describe her, though she'd heard them so many times that the curses meant nothing to her.

What he said did not matter, because she did not care. Not anymore.

One week, she told herself. One week, and she'd be free from it all. One week, and then the flow would carve out a path for her to follow, a path that would lead her to a future that she could call her own.

If she went with the flow, everything would work itself out.


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