I walked into the house, tossing my backpack into the chair, closing the door with my foot.
“Everyone! Hitoshi it home!” someone announced like a town crier.
I braced myself and I soon found a giant group of kids tackle me to the ground. I laughed looking down seeing all the little kids wrap their arms around me, holding me tight.
Since the fact that I was now “homeless” I decided to live in a huddle house. Which means, that most homeless kids that have nowhere else to go, they come here in search of a family. You could call it the rainbow of humans.
I was finally able to get up as all the kids raised their arms, trying to get me to pick them up. I guess you could say I was the “Dad” of the house. My “kids” consisted of Amy, blue eyes curly blonde hair, Kuro, straight brown hair with hazel eyes, Lisa, black hair, brown eyes, and Kris, red hair with ember eyes.
“Welcome home Dad,” a voice said from behind me. I turned seeing Flora standing behind me in the doorway to the kitchen.
“Hi, Mom,” I said laughing a bit feeling silly each time I said that. Of course, she was the Mom because she was the oldest girl in the house.
“I beat you home, Hitoshi! Your turn to cook dinner!” Shadow said walking into the room with a bag of barbecue chips in his hand.
I tolled my eyes walking by him snatching the bag out of his hand.
“Yay! Hitoshi is cooking dinner today!” Amy said cheering jumping into the air.
“What?! You don’t like it when I cook Amy?” Shadow said kneeling by her.
She smiled wide, looking as innocent as she could be and said, “Sorry Shadow. But, your cooking is horrible!”
We all burst out in laughter and I headed into the kitchen looking in the refrigerator, hoping I could see enough to make a decent meal for everyone. Only thing I could see was an loaf of bread almost a day old, some cheese with a small piece of mold, an onion, and a jug of milk with not even enough for a small bowl of cereal.
I slammed the door sighing.
“I gotta go shopping you guys!” I yelled digging my hand into my pocket pulling out my wallet.
I then heard another unison of cheers. I didn’t cheer this time, because all I had was a decent twenty dollar bill. It was crumbled and a little torn. This wouldn’t even be enough to get everyone one small soda.
“You think we can afford another trip to the store?” Flora said sticking her head into the door as I hid the twenty in my pocket.
I turned giving her a fake smile and laughed. “Hey, this it Hitoshi you’re talking about! I can handle this!” I said grabbing the car keys.
After leaving the grocery store, the kids begged me to take them to the Children’s Heart Toy Store for window shopping. I couldn’t help but let them.
“Do you think each of us could get a Beanie Baby?” Amy said with hope in her eyes.
I bit my lip feeling the small dime in my pocket.
“We’ll see,” Flora said pulling me into the toy store with them.
I sat near the door with my small black calculator running numbers through my head. With my simple job along with the expenses of keeping the house in order with water, gas, and food…I don’t think I’ll be able to support them next time. I was lucky to keep the twenty because it was a tip an old lady gave me for putting a giant piano in the back of her car. How she got it out and into her house, I don’t know.
I turned off the calculator putting it down in my pocket, watching the kids sit on a rainbow rug playing with dolls and trucks. They came here a lot because they enjoyed pretending that the toys were theirs.
“How much change did we have from the store?” Flora said sitting beside me crossing her legs.
“Ten cents…” I said looking at her.
She sighed looking down.
“Don’t worry, it will get a lot easier when Shadow gets a job next month after he turns sixteen,” I said trying to get her to smile.
“Yeah, but admit it. Shadow is the laziest out of the whole house! Amy is five and she does more chores than he does!” Flora said punching my shoulder.
I couldn’t help but laugh at her. She was telling the truth.
“Hitoshi! Can I have this?” Lisa said holding up a Zombie Girl doll. The hair was grey and the eyes were both yellow with a stitch crossing the one on the left. Her dress was purple and black and she had a lollipop in her mouth. Lisa pressed the arm of the doll and it went mumble mumble mumble.
I looked at the tag and it said $7.99. I felt the dime in my pocket suddenly become very heavy.
“Sorry sweetie, we can’t. At least, not today,” Flora said patting her head.
“Buuut, it’s the last one they have before it goes off sale!” Lisa said poking out her lip.
“If she gets Zombie Girl, can I get Zombie Friend?” Amy said holding up another doll with black hair, stitched around the neck, wrists, and on the legs. This one had a black and white stripped dress on with a stitched open smile on her face. The one thing that scared me was the fact the doll had a bloody heart in her right hand. I pressed the arm on this one and it said Will you be my zombie friend? The Zombie Girl doll reacted automatically with a small nod.
“It moved!” Lisa said holding it.
“Do it again!” Amy said pulling the doll away from me.
“Hey, no fair! They get dolls! Why can’t we get the Emo Beiber action figure?!” Kuro said holding a Justin Beiber doll that had black hair, black eye shadow, and a knife sticking out of its chest. He pressed the wrist and it said Baby, Baby, Baby, No! Baby, Baby, Baby, Go! Baby, Baby, Baby, No! I don’t want you to be mine!
I looked at Flora for help and she stood up crossing her arms.
“You all know we can not afford these dolls! Now, go put them back! We’re heading home! Shadow! Get off the rocking horse!!” Flora yelled pointing almost looking like a dictator.
Shadow looked instantly embarrassed and got up heading out of the door.
I sighed going back to the car and got inside putting the key in the ignition. Flora got in, next came Shadow.
“Where are the kids?!” I said quickly taking off my seatbelt.
The back door opened as the kids climbed in, each one carrying their dolls.
“What are you doing with those?! We told you to put them back!” Flora said looking worried.
“A lady bought them for us!” Amy said holding her doll.
I couldn’t believe it. There was no way some stranger would give four homeless kids dolls that costs almost ten dollars each!
“Come on, we’re taking them back,” Shadow said opening the door getting the kids out the backseat one by one.
I got out following them. When we entered the store, I was surprised to see the alarm didn’t go off.
“Excuse me, we would like to return these dolls,” Shadow said placing them on the counter.
“No! We’re telling the truth! A nice lady did buy them for us give them back!” Amy said while her and the other kids tried grabbing them off the counter.
“Is there a problem with the dolls sir?” the cashier said smiling at him.
“Yeah, you see, we didn’t pay for these,” Shadow said laughing nervously.
“Of course you didn’t! The nice lady did!” Kris said punching Shadow’s leg.
“There is no way you’re going to convince me that some lady spent over forty dollars on you four!” Shadow said glaring.
“Actually sir, I did see a lady really purchase these toys for them,” the cashier said smiling at them.
“Wait, you mean they are telling the truth?” I said walking up to the couner.
“Yes, someone did buy these for them, that lady right here,” the cashier said pointing behind me.
I turned on my heel looking at the door. It had just closed. I stepped up to the door walking outside. I was shocked at who I saw.
It was Alice, she wore white ribbons this time, with a gray mini dress with gray and white stripped socks and white sandals.
“Alice?” I said.
She turned looking at me, blinking. In her arms was a panda plush doll with huge beady eyes.
“Hey, um, did you buy those dolls for the kids?” I said gulping feeling the demon begin to bug me.
She nodded and smiled as the kids ran up to her and hugged her holding their dolls.
“Thank you miss!” they yelled in unison.
“You’re welcome,” she said kneeling down hugging them.
“Don’t worry. I’ll um, find a way to repay you, Alice,” I said feeling nervous.
She shook her head standing back up and chuckled.
“It’s okay, I love kids. So, no repay needed,” she said winking at me before walking off her hair swinging behind her as she soon climbed into a dark purple convertible with a girl with long blonde hair and huge red glasses on. She was applying black lipstick on.
“Ready to go?” she said closing her compact looking at Alice.
She nodded hugging her panda tight.
“Hey where’s mine?!” the girl yelled poking out her lip.
Alice laughed pulling out a devil doll with a small black bat attached to it handing it to her.
The girl squealed putting it in her lap. She then looked up noticing me. She pulled her glasses down glaring at me. Her eyes were completely crimson.
I froze. The demon inside me yelled b***h! What are you doing here?!
I gulped hoping he didn’t have me saying that out loud.
The blonde rose her eyebrow before starting her car and then speeding off, heading around the corner.
I sighed with relief, before heading into the car with the others, driving home