• 10-year old Eliza was humming a tune while she cooked. With her current family situation, she was in charge of the kitchen. She didn’t understand what exactly was going on, but she did know she was in charge of meals.

    She turned off the stove. Dinner was complete. Walking over to the sink, she turned on the tap, and slipped her hands underneath the running water. Rinse, rinse. In just moments, she was sparkly clean. Well, the closest she could be, anyway.

    "Mother! Dinner's ready!" Eliza yelled upstairs to her mother. Her mother had been angry at her this morning, screaming at her for what felt like forever. She had even left a clear bruise on her daughter's cheek. Eliza felt bad for angering her, so she took it upon herself to make her mother a bit more cheerful. She was always in a better mood after eating.

    She went back to washing the pots and pans she had just used to cook, along with other materials. After 10 minutes, she was done, but her mother still hadn't come down. She was probably still too angry to talk to her. Maybe she’d better bring the food upstairs.

    After drying her hands, she took out a tray and placed all the food on it. Gripping it tightly to make sure the food didn’t tip over, she made her way to the foot of the stairs leading up to the second floor.

    "Mother, dinner's ready!" she called out again. She waited. Nothing. Was her mother showering maybe? No, she could hear no running water. Damn. She must be more pissed than she thought.

    She made her way upstairs, taking extra care to pound her feet loudly as she went up one stair at a time, to warn her mother she was coming up. Standing in front of her bedroom door, she took a deep breath before knocking lightly on her bedroom door. Knock, knock. There was still no response.

    "Mother, are you in there?" she called out softly. She wrapped her hand around the doorknob and slowly turned it. Cautiously, she pushed the door open a crack, enough for her to see inside. "Mother?" she tried again, this time using a softer voice. She didn’t want to get her mother angrier than she already was. She should seriously just get over it. she thought bitterly, starting to get a bit annoyed.

    Her mother was on the bed, sleeping it seemed. She was on her side, with her back towards her. Eliza sighed in relief. Great, she’d been sleeping. She hadn’t been ignoring her. "Mother, dinner's ready." yet said yet again, as she pushed the door open a bit wider so she could get through to the room.

    She walked over to the bed and sat next to her mother, placing the tray at the foot of the bed. "Mom, come on, the food's gonna get cold." Her mother showed no sign of waking. Well, she had always been a heavy sleeper. No surprises there.

    She sighed once more, and put her hand on the other side of the bed. She touched her mother's cheek. "Mommy, wake up." she whispered.

    Suddenly, she felt a wet substance against her hand. She quickly pulled her hand away, and up to her face. It was covered in some sort of fluid. What was it? She couldn’t tell. She couldn't even think straight. Eliza's heart started beating. Thump, thump, thump. It wouldn't stop. Anxious, she flipped her mother over to take a direct look at her face, and the blood-curling scream that escaped her lips never fully left her.