She forced her eyes away in subtle defiance. She wouldn’t be complicit in their malefactions — her possessions strewn across the floor, an inventory now ensuing, items deemed useless, dismissed as junk. What was left they twisted, cajoled, compressed and all done with no shortage of wild contortions, forced it fit into a few small boxes.

She could not cry for what she couldn’t see, but her stomach knew, for it was wrenched and knotted, a familiar plague of late for which she could find no remedy in a bottle or a can.