Crack… blood, a colour of scarlet rouge poured from her body. Her skin grew waxy as life flowed away in iron-scented waves. Stricken with emotions, my fingers curled inwards as they formed a fist over my mouth. I killed her… I had killed my own mother. That thought ripped into my mind cutting into my last defences. “Mum!” My voice cracked in terror as my eyes fluttered open. The four walls of my bedroom surrounded me. Beads of sweat slid down my forehead. I looked up as two lifeless brown orbs stared back at me. My hands immediately swung up and wrapped themselves around the figure. “Mum, don’t leave me…” I murmured into my mother’s shoulder, but all she did was unclasped my hands and stated mechanically; “Breakfast is ready” as she walked out the door not sparing me a glance, moving in almost too perfect movements. === I plunged into my breakfast at the dining table whilst my younger sister watched me in distaste. Slowly, using her chopsticks to poke into the Tamagoyaki(rolled omelette), she glanced at the onigiri( rice balls) on the side. A small smirk played on her lips. The seat slid backward. Yuko’s lips curled into a sinister smile with each step she took. Pinned down on her seat -helpless, mother held in a stifled yelp. Hands on her shoulders; Yuko pushed the onigiri(rice balls) against mother’s sealed lips. To no avail: Yuko’s plan did not work. The woman didn’t eat. Anger and frustration flared in her eyes at mother’s refusal. Crude words slithered out from her mouth and stung her prey. She lunged forward with her claws out- ready to kill. Stepping in to intervene, I felt a sharp slap across my cheek. Silence descended upon us. Colour drained from her face and glimpse of regret flashed in her eyes. Hesitant hands reached out to my reddened cheek. But I turned away. A tear rolled down. “Maria isn’t mother. You should just move on ” Her soft words left hanging in the air as she turned to grab a bottle of Suntory whiskey before heading out the door with a firm thud. I bid my mother goodbye, before chasing after Yuko. A light breeze greeted me at the door. Autumn had arrived. Slipping on a light jacket, my eyes searched for my sister. THERE! Joining the currents of people flowing in and out of the buzzing streets of Tokyo I was determined to catch up to her. I watched as my sister stood before father’s shop. Creased lines formed on her forehead as h er eyebrows furrowed together. The hologram display board appeared before us. „The new and improve love-me-bots. Design, create and enjoy. Your perfect lover, spouse or child is just a button away. Get them now for a special limited time offer.‟ A bitter chuckle escaped her dry lips before she kicked the once popular Tamagochi onto the footpath. The hopeless object rolled and tumbled into a drain. She grudgingly shoved pass the swarm of people rushing towards the store. Finally, making it to the lesser half of the city, I heaved out a sigh of relief but held it in again at the sight before me.

Occasionally. The car honk woke me from my daze and on reflex I turned and looked back. Asserting more pressure she clutched a handful of my hair. *** “Why can‟t dad create human. drinking herself to oblivion. Everything stopped. she forced me to my knees. My excuses were swallowed by the wind. And there…There by the tombstone was my sister. Following Yuko’s tracks. “Mum. Yuko made no effort to move. Shards splattered in all direction. She cocked her head my way and…BANG! Glass collided with granite. where something had been flung. The rotten stench of overdue petals creep me. “Maria is not MUM. so look closely. Grabbing my collar. She pulled it back. Eyes moistened. I gulped down a lump of fear. I flailed. My skin collided with the cold concrete pathway. who killed her. My eyes averting to the tombstone behind her but refusing to acknowledge the name imprinted on it. robots? It‟s a good idea!” My fingers furiously punched against my touch screen – texting as I argued with my mother. Guilt surged through my body and the unwanted memories unleashed themselves. All noise collapsed to mute. Her lips often quivered and a river of tears cascaded down when she talked to the impersonal object. not for her to replace our mother. Drops of bittersweet whiskey danced between us. *** “We should go home. There in the middle of the road covered in a pool of crimson blood was a body lacking the colour of life.=== The howling wind and crackling sound of dead leaves were my companions. This is our mother!” Her finger directed my eyes to the earth beneath the tombstone. as I believe that it was I. Her glassy red-rimmed eyes bore into mine. I found myself before a tombstone surrounded by naked cherry blossom trees. The amber liquid swirled as Yuko’s fingers loosely wrapped themselves around the neck of the bottle. And the truth was written over my lies and my guilt. Yumi. “No… No… ” I retorted. “Yumi. she shot back a humourless laugh and spat through clenched teeth.” I murmured. Watch out for the …” Her voice trailed off and before I knew it a significant force had pushed me off the road. She’s a multifunctional anthropoid replacement individual automation! Dad makes her for income. her fingers rest against the words engraved on it. Mum will worry.” It read. Who is that there?” My hand reached out. . There lay my mother dead… and I was her killer. Lips pursed. “It’s your first time here. Tears fell.

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