Chapter 3Mature

Nien savored the bread and cheese, nibbling off miniscule pieces at a time. Tom watched her, smiling the whole time. After a while, he started to giggle. Nien turned to look at the little boy. "What're you laughing about?"

"When you eat your cheese, you look just like a mouse!" He imitated her nibbling and fell to the ground laughing. Nien set him into her lap and covered his mouth. "Tom, you gotta be quiet, or Joe and Madge will hear you and come up here. And then we'll both be in big trouble. Okay?" Tom nodded his head, and so she set him down on the floor in front of her. Nien gazed at the food in her palm, but didn't take another bite of it. "Do you want the rest?" She moved her hand towards him, but he pushed it back with his own pudgy little hand. "No, 'cause you already got your germs all over it."

"Suit yourself." Nien began her nibbling process once more. Suddenly, the creaky door swung open and Joe and Madge barged in. "What the hell ah ya doin' in 'ere, girl?!" Joe shouted. Nien didn't reply. "I asked ya a question, I wan' an answer." Still, no reply. Joe leaned forward and kicked Nien below her knee, but Nien refused to answer his question. He finally gave up on her and allowed Madge, who was waiting impatiently by the door frame, to speak.

"Tom, where's the food?" She licked her lips, just like she did everytime she finished speaking. "Wha-what f-food, ma'am?" Tom stuttered. "The bread an' cheese you took from the kitchen. We know it was you, Tom." Tom's big eyes got even bigger. "No I didn't, I swear!"

"Don't you dare lie to me, you little bastard! Fess up, or you'll be in trouble!" Madge shouted, spit flying everywhere. "I didn't!" Tom was crying now. Madge started to move towards him when Nien said, "He didn't steal the food, Madge. I did."

Madge turned to Nein and kicked her. Joe followed suit. "How did you get the food?"

Nein clutched at her throbbing legs. "Like I'd tell you."

The End

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