2022 Writing Contest

"That’s saying something, you used to be like a rabid wolf. Now, your-" "A trained dog?" "Well, yeah. You are calm, and even got a stable job" "I got to stay on the straight and narrow, give my brothers a better chance at life then I have" Shawn chuckles before saying, "You really love those brothers, don't you? They must be happy as can be with you looking out for them" I say, "Yeah, they're really happy" "You know, if you ever need some money" I interrupt him, "I'm not going to ask for handouts. I work for my money. I only did a delivery, and I wouldn't have done it if I knew what it was" Shawn finishes up his cigarette, and waves goodbye so I do the same. I begin to make my way to my apartment, arriving and unlocking the door before entering. Ollie and Josh are sitting on the floor, stacking blocks. I smile before closing the door and locking it. When I turn back, they are looking at me, smiling. I take a seat with them and eventually ask, "Do you two want to come with me to get some groceries?" Ollie asks, "Can we get candy?" Josh is staring at me waiting for my answer so I give it, "maybe, but if we do get some it'll be only a tiny bit" As they get up, I say, "Let's check on mom" We head to mum’s room and go inside. She's asleep, so we each take her hand one at a time and kiss it. I go last and I kiss the back of her hand. one day, everything will go back to how it used to be. Till then, I'll keep you safe and them safe. I lead them to the door and unlock it before walking out together. We begin to make our way to the store; I make sure to lead them away from all the places they shouldn't know about. Eventually we arrive at the store and I grab a basket before we search for our supplies. It mostly consists of cheap food called kibble. Then I allow Ollie and Josh to get a piece of candy each. As we walk back to the apartment, I carry the groceries while they enjoy their candy. We cross the street when we near the tattoo parlor. There are officers on the scene. Luckily, they pay us no mind as we pass them by. Eventually we arrive at the apartment. I unlock the door and walk inside handing the groceries to Ollie and Josh before locking the door. We fill the fridge up, and I can't help but admire it all. I ask, "You two enjoy your candy?" Ollie and Josh both nod yes, so I ruffle their hair before taking a seat on the floor. I flex my mechanical hand, keeping the glove on. Ollie and Josh play with the blocks until eventually I stand up while saying, "time for bed boys" They clean up the blocks before rushing to get ready for bed, and then I get myself ready. Once they finish brushing their teeth, I brush my own. Staring into the mirror, I picture my hair shorter and clothes less messy a good daydream, once we get more money. I should cut my hair soon, and theirs. I finish up, and tuck the boys into their bed. Earning myself two hugs, before I head over to mum. I kiss her forehead, hoping she's in peace before heading over to the couch. Lying down on the couch, I reluctantly remove the glove from my hand. Staring at the metal reflecting the light, I get off the couch and turn off the lights. Doing so, the room is plunged into darkness. I know it well, so I find my way back to the couch easily. I feel my new hand. It's cold to the touch and feels wrong.