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She looked at her watch. She had only five minutes left. He would be there soon and would find out that she wasn't half finished even. She wrote with a feverishness that she had never felt before. She tried to get all of her thoughts down, even though they were jumbled in her head. She was afraid the next thought wouldn't be there for her to grab at, but then, alas, it was. She got to the end of the page. There were ink stains all over her fingers and she felt a bead of sweat come down from the temples of her head.

Her birthday had just passed. She was only ten years old, but she had the entire world on her shoulders.

She could hear his foot steps coming down the hallway, and then his deep voice.

"Anatoly, are you finished with your writing? I am waiting for you."

The words cut like a knife being jabbed into her small chest.

He believed that whatever she wrote would come true, so he made her write, day in and day out, tirelessly, always trudging on. For such a small person, it was such a large task.

He opened the door and looked the small girl.

"I have given you plenty of time. What do you have for me today?"

"I don't have much. I don't think I have anything you can use today."

"I will be the judge of that." He reached down and picked up the pages the young girl had been scribbling on.

With each grunt and sound that came out of his mouth, she shuddered. If he could


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