So, without further ado, I wrote this up maybe a week or two ago to get the voice out of my head. I do have another book I'm in the middle of, after all. But here it is: Unnamed Sci-fi Piece.
I can never escape Mom’s morning inspection. She stands in front of me, her muddy eyes checking every piece of exposed skin. I hate it, but it didn’t take me long to learn it’s better than what happens if people see the bruises.
“Do you have any under your clothes?” she asks.
I sigh. “Mom.”
“Jet.” She puts her hands on her hips. The show of authority only comes out after he’s left for the day. “You have physical assessment today, don’t you? What if a boy sees one while you’re changing?”
“Nobody looks. It’s a guy rule.”
She tries not to laugh, but a little one escapes. “Still. Anything?”
I lift up my shirt, revealing the greenish bruise just under my ribs. It was a small error in timing—should have never gone into the living room on game night. Dad’s favorite team was already losing. “It’s almost gone. No one will notice.”
She frowns at it. “Maybe we should cover it, just in case.”
“I’m gonna be late. I have a way bigger chance getting in trouble for that.” I grab my shoulder bag, slip my shoes on. “It’ll be fine.”
“Okay, okay.” She lets out a long sigh, and I can feel her fears. She’s always afraid. Of Dad. Of losing me to Reform again. Of being alone with nowhere to go. We’ve lived on fear, breathed it in for so many years I’m tired of feeling it. Just one more year of school, and I can escape. If I can leave Mom here to face him without me, that is.