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In the world of Liminal Chronicles

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Chapter 1

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10 Years Ago

From America, Mom calls sobbing that the doctors won’t let her attend Dad’s funeral. She asks how I'm holding up. I lie not wanting to distress her. Since she doesn’t have the energy to talk long, she insists her brother will come with a plane ticket for me. 

She’s trusting the family that wouldn’t acknowledge Dad?

And her health is worse than I’d been told?

At my father’s wake, I sit alone. His co-workers and the neighbors stop by. When a few dare to ask if someone will watch over me, my mute nod gives the reassurance they seek.

Two Days Later

The phone company disconnects service. Looking through the mail, I figure it must have been the final bill Dad allowed to slip. There aren’t notices from the new hospital yet, so I have no idea where Mom was transferred to.

My outlook is bleak. Because I’d dropped out of school the year before, the teachers and social workers wrote me off.

Weeks pass with no word from this supposed uncle. The landlord offers to take me to an orphanage. But I’m not an orphan! At least, I hope I’m not.
 
Unable to find a job at fourteen, because of child labor laws, puts me between a rock and a hard place. No amount of begging works. Even the host clubs turn me away. “Come back when you’re older. With your looks, you’ll rule the nightlife.”

Out of desperation, I lift the wallet from a salaryman who’s passed out on the sidewalk, using my ill-gotten gain to buy food. The stockpile doesn’t last long, despite stretching it out.

Bill collectors pound on the door. First, it’s the utility companies. Then threatening voices come. They turn the electricity off after that. At least the water works and I have enough blankets to keep warm at night.


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