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Two more years.Ominous, right?

By that time, the little 2-3 years old kid became 5 years old one

Sara was grown enough she could count to 30, read some words, and talk like a normal 5 years old kid. I would say an average 5 years old kid, in general, but under the circumstances she was raised, it was pretty good I guess. She finally graduated for been on the level of a monkeyMaybe a dolphin now?they are pretty smart I heard

Maybe a dolphin now?I heard they are pretty smart

She still lived with her big brother max, and around 7 or 8 years old kid that was practically her parent at this point. And besides her big brother, there were also her little brother John, that was a little younger than her, and her sister jess, that was a little older. Like her, these two were around 5 years old and begged for money on the sidewalk

All four of them lived in a corner of an abandoned factory with other people all around them. Some were kids in the same situation as them, others were old homeless people with nowhere to go, and from time to time,  some people that came to make a “deal” or stuff like that

The factory used to belong to a factory that got close down after a smart super(usually called thinkers) found a way to make their product cheaper and better.Soon after the factory declare bankruptcy and sold everything they could

It was big and steamy, and since it would cost more to put down the building than the cost of the land some place else, it was left alone

It was a perfect place to live under for people without a home, so it didn't take long for the place to be filled with people like them

Like the rest, they started living in that factory since it was quite hot thanks to the steam. It wasn't exactly free since they did have to pay rent to the mafia, but it was cheap and "nice". Luckily the four of them got along nicely among them and the people around them, so there wasn’t much trouble each day. And even though the 4 weren’t actually blood-related, they were like a big family

Soap story I know, sadly, that's the story you get. Besides, it is a common story, like it or not

There are lucky kids that born millionaires, or with super  powers, or even born in perfectly normal families

On the other hand, why do you think a 6-month old kid is crying in the slum? because he is having a mid-life crisis

dark joke, I know, but also true

That's how the world works, don't ask me why

And I guess you are wondering about the two years thingy, right? I even skip ahead two years, so you are probably expecting to tell you what happened?

Did the big brother run away, was he kidnapped, did he suffer some major injury, did he just disappeared? Lots of possibilities, one answer

But let's just not jump ahead

Let's start at the day it happens. Why "it"? well, if I just went out and say what "it" was, you would miss the impact when "it" happens, so play the pronoun game with me for a little while

It all started on a typical night after a "comfortable" day of begging on the streets. Like most nights, Max was teaching the three kids and some of the neighbour kids some letters and reading something to them. From time to time some of the other kids would give Max candy as thanks, so he didn't mind them joining

Some of the old guys would watch as an amusement and others would do their thing, probably lamenting how their life turned out or stuff like that

And there were a little more people than usual there thanks to the "deals" that happened in the factory from time to time

The place belonged to the mafia so they couldn't complain, and the real reason they left kids and old people to live there was to use them as a shield during those "deals". With them there, the "heroes" couldn't use big attacks since it could hurt the innocent bystanders

If the police came, they would just use one of the escape routes and use the bystanders as a diversion. If heroes came, they would use the bystanders as shields or camouflage and use an escape route to get away

So heroes and the police usually left them alone since it wasn't worth the risk

Usually

You could say there were two kinds of deals, the average ones that happened two-three times a week, with little to no escort and rarely good interrupted

Then there were the especial deals, with a lot more people involved and some supers. Those happened 2-3 times a year, and Sara only saw them getting attacked one time before

It was a compleat mess, but luckily they got out unharmed

And as you can probably guess, these time, it was the special deal, instead of the normal one. Besides the increased number of armed guys, you could feel the tense air all around them

That is why Max decided to read a book to the kids since it would help calming everyone down

Besides, they couldn't leave. Part of the deal for staying there was that they couldn't leave during "deals" or they would get kick out. In exchange, they got reduced rent for every deal it went, and for the special kind, they would get a bonus

They didn't even had to pay rent for 3 months when sh-t broke loose the first time, for those that were there that time and survived

It worked as an incentive to stay even if you have to risk your life a little.Besides, if you didn't do it, you would get kick out and have to find a new place to live

And even if the mafia didn't care enough to see who stayed and who didn't, those living there did care, and would tell who run away since it was unfair for them to receive the same the reward than those who stayed

So almost no one leaves the place no matter what kind of deal was going on

It could be said it was the only option they had, so it was the right choice or, at least, it would be in any other case

Sadly, in a year from there, a new factory would be built there, since the land was cheap thanks to not having to pay for the demolition cost....
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dogber7

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