2022 Writing Contest

It feels wrong to have a machine for my hand, instead of flesh and blood. Speaking of this hand, how much is it going to cost? Will they make me an indentured servant? Maybe they'll force me to work for them for years, which would be horrible. No one would be here to keep them safe. They'd be taken away and sent on their own. No, I can't let that happen I tug the glove back on. This hand could be used to hurt him. Wouldn't that be ironic? The hand that takes him down, is the one chopped off I chuckle before closing my eyes, it's time for some rest. I wake up, rubbing my eyes with the back of my hand. Still groggy I get off the couch, and begin to prepare the boy’s breakfast. After which I wake them up. They get up easily and get to eating their food as I make my own. Once they finish their food, I begin to eat my own. While I eat, they get ready for the day. Once I finish eating, I get ready for the day as well. I hide the money in the bread box before finishing up-and once we all are ready for the day, I escort them to the school and head to work. Time passes like this, day after day, till the end of the week when I head back to the warehouse after work for my hands checkup. The place doesn't seem overly busy, but it does take some time before Doc notices me. He waves me into the back area where a table and two seats are set up. Taking a seat across from him, I slip my glove off. Doc takes some time examining it before asking, "How is the hand holding up?" I answer, "Its fine, nothing unordinary" "That's good, you adapted to it easily enough" "How much does it cost?" "More than you'd ever make, so you'll be paying back with labor" "And what labor will that be?" "Primarily working and helping me in my job, though that includes multiple different things" "So, what's the first thing I have to do?" "Today nothing, from now on after your normal job come here and work for me until I see fit for you to leave" "Oh, ok" So we say our goodbyes, and I leave the warehouse. Heading towards my home this is ridiculous. I'm stuck in debt to a guy who runs an illegal clinic. My life couldn't get any worse, no it could. Things can always get worse. I have an ok life for now. I have a stable job, decent apartment, and happy family I lean against a nearby building and stare at the passersby and streets. I look at my hand, the silver gloss reflecting and warping my face. I put the glove back on, before making my way home. On the walk home I think, everyone around here, do they know how bad the world is? Would they even care? I stand before the apartment door and press my head against it. I wish, things could go back to normal. I wish you were back, it's hard to take your place. I unlock the door and walk inside. Ollie and Josh are working on homework as I lock the door. I go over and begin to help them with any questions they have. Luckily, they aren't having much trouble but when I ask them how school was, they don't tell me much. Josh slowly says, "Schools the same thing every day" Ollie agrees with Josh's statement, so I don't pressure them. But after a few moments Ollie asks, "Can you come to school tomorrow?" Apprehensively, I ask, "Why?" Josh states, "Parent teacher conferences" “Oh, I'll find time to go with you two"