# please help


“Will you be responsible if Mom gets caught by Lucerne?”

“Hey, are you scared of monsters? If we fight, I’ll beat them all!”

“How can you beat Lucerne? That monster’s teeth are bigger than a crocodile’s and he’s got twelve eyes!”


Marley seriously contemplated how to beat the monster Lucerne.

No, do they not know that the person who came to the house earlier was Lucerne?

When I thought about it, I didn’t think anyone had called Lucerne by name earlier.

The children imagining Lucerne as a monster with crocodile-like teeth and twelve eyes, was both cute and funny.
The part that broke the roof didn’t seem to be in the category of monsters.

In the end, Marley couldn’t find a way to kill the monster Lucerne and became nervous.

I don’t know, I don’t know! I’m hungry! I can’t stand it anymore! I’ve been hungry since this morning!”

“Shut up! I’m hungry because of you, shit!”

“You are shit! You eat shit!”

“Noisy! If you talk when you’re hungry, you’ll be even hungrier! If you’re really hungry, be quiet!”

Rie and Marley quieted.
Normally, they would fight and shout louder, but they were definitely hungry and tired.

Growl, growl, woo-woo.

The children’s stomachs alternately sounded.

I wanted to go out and get something to eat, but Rie wouldn’t let me go, so I couldn’t do anything, and I was restless.

Geo, who had been sitting by her side silently the whole time, opened his mouth.

“I’m sorry, Mom.”

“Huh? What?”

I tilted her head and looked at Geo.

Geo, who lifted his head slightly and met my eyes, turned his head away with a face that looked like he was about to cry.

“If I had made the house stronger a little faster, the roof wouldn’t have leaked.
If the door hadn’t been blocked, he wouldn’t have broken the roof.” 

“Aye, that’s what you’re talking about.
It’s the fault of the person who barged in without knowing the etiquette to enter in the first place.”

Geo still had a sullen face, so I patted Geo’s head and back with the hand that had been stroking Seti.

“It’s okay.
Geo did a good job.
Thanks to Geo’s efforts with the roof and wall gaps, we can sit on our beds in the rain now.
You’re cooler than a superhero!”

“Ugh, Mom…… Really?”

“Well, really, then.
Has your mom ever lied?”

“…… Yes, a lot.”

…… No, Astia.
What was she doing to her kids??!

I smiled awkwardly and apologized.

“Um… I’m sorry.
Mom won’t lie in the future.
Trust me.”


“I promise.”

I extended my pinky finger to Geo.
I linked it with hesitant Geo’s to stamp, sign, copy, and seal the promise.

Geo giggled the whole time, as if this was the first time he had made such a promise.

It was the first time I’d ever made a pinky promise.
The feel of my finger wrapped around his little finger was soft and warm.

We touched our foreheads and chuckled.

The main problem was coming.

The floor was flooded with rainwater, and the house grew colder.
The children who couldn’t change their wet clothes began to shiver.
Marley’s cough intensified.

“Boom! Kolok! Ahhhhh!!”

“Mom, it’s cold…….”

“Marley, stop talking.
If you keep talking, it’ll hurt more.
I’ll give you a hug.” Rie gave her a hug.

In the midst of this, Seti’s body became hot like a fireball.

A single tear rolled down from Seti’s tightly closed eyes.

“Uh, um.

“Seti… ….
It’s fine?”

“Eww… ….”

How is it? How… …!

There’s no way this small body can withstand the high heat.

My heart ached.
I was worried.
My hands trembled.

In reality, I was a person who barely managed to take care of my body.
I couldn’t even properly afford the hospital bills of my only family member, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

I wasn’t a person who could be in charge of anyone.

It’s been like that in the past and I know it’ll be like that in the future.

But now… ….

Seti’s hand, which had been white, was now flushed and red.
Seti squeezed my fingers with his weak hand, stained with dirt, dust and heat.

Rie clutched her stomach and whimpered while crouching.
The child’s arms were exposed through the clothes.

Marley hadn’t had a fever yet, but it was only a matter of time at this rate.

She bit her lip hard.

I took off the clothes I was wearing, wrapped them around the children’s bodies, and tapped Geo’s shoulder as he bowed his head with a dark expression.

“……Geo, I’m going to go outside for a bit.
Don’t go anywhere, stay here with the kids.”

“Uh, Mom? Where are you going?”

I’ll bring the doctor and get you something to eat.”

“But Mom.
It’s raining a lot.
Besides, it must be curfew.
If you go outside under curfew, Lucerne will catch you.”

“It’s fine.
Mom is… … .”

I have a sore throat.

“…You’re an adult.”

In the darkness, I could clearly see Geo’s lower jaw shaking.
We shared the promise we made during the day once more.

“I’ll promise.
I’ll return before dawn, so wait for me.”

“You have to come back.

Rie stretched out her hand that held her blanket.

“Mom… … You have to come back quickly.”

Don’t worry”

She squeezed the child’s limp hand.

She seemed to want to talk to Marley too, but her throat hurt and she couldn’t speak.

 I patted Marley’s head and finally stroked Seti’s cheek as she looked at me with her quivering eyes.



A word that makes me stronger than anything.

Did the mother who gave birth to me know the weight of this word? Did the weight of this word make her run away because it was too heavy?

Swallowing the sadness rising up, I shook my head.
Now was not the time to get sentimental.

It reminded me of the day when my Twinkle Star, who I thought was just a fat cat, became limp and weak.
I didn’t have money for a taxi, so I ran through the streets at night panting, holding the cat.

‘Door, open the door!”

‘Door, open the door! Mister! The cat is sick!’

The signboard clearly says 24-hour medical treatment, but why wasn’t it open that day?


‘Noisy! Who’s making a fuss in the middle of the night?’

I was afraid of the screaming, so I trembled, and then I searched for another hospital with my Smartphone and ran again and again.

‘No, my cat can’t die.


My body shuddered when I remembered what had happened, but I still had to get up.
I had to go fast.

Because I promised to protect the children.

Before getting up and getting out of bed, I kissed each of the children on the forehead.
I love you, I felt like I had to say this, but I couldn’t get it out of my mouth because it was awkward.

“……I will be back.”

I got up and walked across the house where the rain was dripping.


Geo said he had locked the door so it wouldn’t open, but the door really didn’t open.
It didn’t move even when I shoved it with my shoulder.

I wandered through the house looking for an exit, and eventually I picked up a chair and broke one of the windows.


Fortunately, the window was easily broken.
A cold wind blew through the broken window.
The thin underwear dress was quickly soaked.

Without hesitation, I pushed myself through the broken window.


The underskirt got caught somewhere and was torn.
My head, shoulders, waist, legs, and feet were cut and bleeding.

Limping, I arrived at an unfamiliar street and shouted.
Faint light leaked through the windows of the houses that lined the street.
Fortunately, there seemed to be someone still awake.

“Help! Can someone please help! My kids are sick!”


As if waiting, a huge bell rang out, and the streets were covered with darkness in an instant.

It was now curfew time.

I should have come out sooner.”

It’s already too late to regret it.

My legs stiffened as I was caught in the darkness.

The lights from the neighbors’ houses, as well as the dim magic streetlights that illuminated the street, went out.

Why is there a curfew in this world? Why is it that this moment is when curfew started?

My whole body shuddered because it was wet and cold, but I bit my lips thinking of fever-ridden Seti, Marley who was coughing, starving Rie, and little Geo who was taking care of his younger siblings.

I forcibly moved my legs and knocked on the door of the nearest house.

“Is someone there? Help! My kids are sick!”

Bang! Bang!

I knocked so much that my hand hurt, but there was still no response.
I peered inside through the curtained windows, but I couldn’t see anything.

Because of curfew.
Are you saying that everyone acts like they’re dead?

Or is it that they can’t hear my voice because of the sound of rain?

As I walked briskly along the road, I checked to see if there were any houses with lights on.
I sighed and shouted louder and louder.

“Help! Please! I need a doctor!”

However, the desperate voice did not ring far, muffled in the sound of pouring rain.

After running to the fork in the road, I stood in the middle of the road and looked left and right.
Fortunately, there were a few lit houses on other roads.
I sighed and ran.

“Excuse me! Could you help me? My children are sick right now!”

But as I approached, the light that leaked through the window disappeared again.
It sounded like someone was making a hissing sound.

All the other houses, which had been sparsely lit earlier, also plunged into darkness.

No matter how stupid I was, I knew what this meant.

People didn’t want to help me.
They abandoned me and my children.

‘If I go under curfew, the monster Lucerne will eat me!’

‘They said Lucerne would take them all if they went outside under curfew.’

It’s just not the children who is afraid.

Could it be that grown-up adults heard that and hid in their houses?

Late at night, the neighborhood where I was wandering while holding Twinkle Star and the current street overlapped.
Tears welled up from my anxious heart, and I was afraid that the children would become like Twinkle Star at that time, so I trembled.

“Help! Antipyretics, painkillers, anything is fine, so please help!”

I walked briskly, not knowing where I was going.
My throat was choked up, but I forced myself to keep yelling.

Hopefully, there will be a person.

No matter how long I called out, my throat hoarse and my legs aching, no one turned on the lights and reached out to help me.

“Help! Please help… … .”

I barely managed to squeeze out my voice as I looked around the houses lined up along the street, but in an instant, a house with white cloth curtains caught my eye.
The unfamiliar letters at the entrance were new to me, but I could read what they meant.


Without delay, I ran and knocked on the door.

Doctor! please! Anyone is fine, so please come out for a while! Children are sick! Help!”

I once read on the Internet that when a crisis hits, a message should be sent to a specific person to help, not to the general public.
Like right now!

Bang bang!

I pounded on the door with my fist.
The thin, small window on the door slid and clattered as if it were about to break.

I busily rolled my eyes and peered through the thin curtains.
A human shadow appeared in her eyes, accustomed to the darkness.
A shadow of a embarrassed person hiding behind curtains and walls.

I raised my voice.

“I know you’re hiding there! I can see everything! Do you think I wouldn’t know that you’re there? Hurry up and open this door! You’re supposed to help the ill!”

At my shouting, the shadow that had been hiding by the window and spying on me tried to sneak further into the house.

I was angry at the people avoiding me, and I was in a hurry to think of the children who were still suffering.
Without even thinking about it, I took off a shoe I was wearing and slammed it against the window.



The window that wasn’t thick was broken with my own strength.
Someone screamed and tried to run, so I threw my shoes at them.



The person who had been hit in the head with a hard heel staggered.
He was a gray-haired, middle-aged man whose expression twisted into a grimace as I climbed into the house through the broken window.

“Are you crazy? Breaking someone else’s window in the middle of the night?”

Surprisingly, the man’s voice was small and low.
As if he was wary of the darkness, he kept looking behind me and shrinking his body.

I hurriedly ran and grabbed the man’s hem.

“Are you a doctor? Or a nurse? Anyway, do you take care of sick people?”

“Yes, I did learn some medicine.
That’s right, lower your voice!”

He rubbed his chest and exclaimed urgently.

“Help me! My children are sick.
They have a fever, cough, and haven’t eaten properly all day!”

The man peered out through the crack in the broken window and shivered in disgust.

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