This story takes place a year after Leon's death...

Chapter One...

She ran down the dirt road towards the main highway, leaping over the short brick fence that surrounded the school and then falling onto her ass, staring up at the sky and thinking, "Why the HELL did it have to be me? Why did I have to be born into a family of druggies? Why did I have to leave Leon?" She sat there for a moment, breathing in deeply, praying that Mrs. Fiengull hadn't seen which direction she had run to, and then took off back down the road, a few yards from the main highway. "Almost there," she thought, darting through the trees that lined the edges of the swerving dirt road. Five more seconds now, and she would reach the road. Four...She leapt into the air, flying over a small turtle that was trying to make its way back to the small pond nearbye. Three...Legs flying up and down, as she tried to speed herself up. Two...nearly tripping over a rock that lay up in the road...One...Reaching the gravel only to be---jerked back! Damn! And she had been so close! Mathilda turned and stared angrily up into the face of Mrs. Fiengull. "Damn," she said to herself, reaching into her pocket. There it was, where she had kept it for a month after finding it out on the road near the playground. The switchblade. One swift movement and Mathilda would be free of this bitch.

"No women and no children," she remembered Leon saying. And she had to be true and faithful to Leon's teachings...but this woman certainly couldn't be a woman, could she? She was purely evil and selfish, making the small children that she kept at Happy Homes Orphanage do her chores, greet guests, and even balance her checkbook, etcetera. She was evil and if Mathilda would just go ahead and do off with her, she would put a lot of people out of their misery, including herself!

But Mathilda angrily glared up at the witch as she dragged her up to the large brick house by her ear, the whole time swearing that she was such a good woman and that she didn't know why Mathilda would be so damn rude to just try and run away when she was providing her with food and a roof over her head. A lot of children would be very much greatful to have such! Damn Mathilda to Hell if she couldn't be more greatful!

Mathilda felt the switchblade again, but realized it wasn't worth it. This was her only nice shirt. It wouldn't due to have blood all over it.

ONE YEAR EARLIER...

Leon leapt onto Jack Jackson, tackling him and throwing him off of the railing. The man screamed in horror as he fell to his death four stories below. Mathilda, who had been hiding in the corner with a small dagger to keep her company--and protect her in case of one of Jackson's friends decided to pay them a visit--peaked her head out from the corner, dark and scared. "How--how did you--"

"It t'is a trick, 'ittle Mathilda. I have built up my strength after years of training."

"But...Leon...you were so strong..."

"Ah, Mathilda, strong is not the answer..." Leon smiled. "You must be quick, sweeft, and cunning! Like me. Watch." He quickly and, as he said, "sweeftly", leapt up onto one of the beams up in the ceiling and swung himself up over it, then into a crouching position. "Ah, you see?"

"Yes, that is wonderful, Leon," Mathilda said. "But how will I ever learn to do that?"

"Practice," said Leon. "Practice. Now come, Mathilda." He leapt down from the beam and with a quick movement grabbed a brown sack from the corner of the hallway. "We must go."

"What is in the bag, Leon?"

"A secret, dear Mathilda." And he began to make his way down the steps.

They didn't see the peering eyes staring at them from the fifth story window. The man's cellular phone rang. "'Allo?"

"Ah, ye-as! This is Francis. Have you found the money yet?"

"Nein, Herr," said the German man. "Leon took die goots."

"Well STOP HIM!"

"He hat already gotten away!"

"I will deal with you later." Click.

NOW...

Mathilda was in her room, which she shared with Natalie, Beringa, Monique, Leah, Tara, Hallie, Jessica, and Flora. There were only two beds. The girls were forced to squeeze in tightly, those who could fit. The odd girl out, usually Flora, was forced to sleep on the floor. Mathilda was struggling to leap up into the ceiling beams just like Leon had done. "Practice," he had said. "Practice."

"What are you doing?" said a sarcastic Monique, who was currently flipping through a copy of US she had stolen from the bedside of Mrs. Fiengull.

"Practicing," said Mathilda.

"Practicing what?" questioned Monique.

"Nunya."

"Nunya? Gurl, it is so my business what goes on in here! This is my room."

Mathilda rolled her eyes. "It is my room too."

"Huh!" said Monique. "Gurl, I was here first."

"So?"

"I have rights!"

"So do I!"

"Not as many as I do!"

"Yes I do!"

"No you don't!"

Downstairs, Mrs. Fiengull was baking a cake--for herself. As soon as the "ticker" went off, she pulled the hot cake out of the oven--chocolate--and began to chow down, after rubbing on three cans of white icing. She was in the middle of her fourth piece when she heard a knock at the door.

"Damn," she said, sliding the piece away from her, standing, and brushing crumbs from her skirt. "Who the Hell is it now?"

When she opened the front door, she found that there were two tall men in dark coats standing there. She started to say, "What do you want?" But didn't get a chance. The man to the left, named Tom, shot her in the chest using a pistol he pulled from his coat. The man to the right, Gaston, shoved her lifeless body aside, shut the door, and locked it. There would be no escaping. They were here for a reason.

"How did you do that?" questioned Monique, referring to the backflip that Mathilda had just made, mainly trying to show off for Monique and the rest of the girls. The boys, hearing the girls' applause at Mathilda's amazing feat, ran into their room.

"What happened?"

"Mathilda just did a backflip!" screamed Flora, not out of fear, but excitment.

"How'd you do that?" questioned Andrew, the oldest boy.

"Practice."

"Can you teach me?" cried Toad, the youngest boy. Toad was his nickname because, when he was just a little baby, he had befriended a tiny toad that lived out at the pond. He was six now.

Suddenly there was a gunfire, and Flora screamed, not out of excitment, but fear this time.

Harry had been shot.

Another gunfire, and Jody lay on the ground in a pool of blood. Soon there was a fire of bullets and chaos and screams. Panic filled the room as children scrambled to escape. Mathilda, spying two tall men--who she recognized to be Tom and Gaston, two men who had confronted Leon and her a year earlier, grabbed Toad and Hallie and ran for the window. They were on the second story, which meant that they could jump and not be killed. She managed to open the window and quickly shoved Hallie out first. Next she grabbed Toad and jumped with him half in her arms, half dangling in the air. They hit the ground with a thud.

Mathilda immidiately picked herself up, grabbed Toad, and took off down the hill. Hallie wasn't far behind. When they reached the wooded area on the far side of the hill, Mathilda fell over in exhaustion, but immidiately picked herself back up. She looked Toad and Hallie in the eye and told them to stay here.

Several more gunshots, followed by more screams.

Mathilda wanted to go back, but she didn't have any weapons. But then she remembered the switchblade in her pocket and the gun that Mrs. Fiengull kept above the refridgerator.

So what if this was Mathilda's nice shirt?

She would get another one.