"So, what'd you learn in school today?"
"We learned about the Eight Rules to Survival!" The little girl beamed.
"O-oh? And what are those?"
"Rule one, don't speak. Rule two, stay still. Rule three, don't be seen. Rule four, don't stare. Rule five, don't comment. Rule six, head... down. Rule seven, don't make eye contact. Rule eight, always, always be wary."
"Oh, Zii." The woman stopped and bent down, embracing her daughter in a warm hug.
"Mama? What's wrong? Why're you crying?"
"It's nothing... Don't worry about it, my little angel..."
The girl hummed, contemplating. "Okay!" She wriggled out of her mother's arms, running on ahead. "Say, mama? What do you think of the Eight Rules to Survival?"
"Oh, they're, um... They're good. Very helpful."
"Yeah? I think so too!"
They continued walking in silence before Zii spoke again. "Mama?"
"Why'd they say it's for Birds and Rats only?" She stopped, looking up with bright, curious eyes.
The woman looked back, giving her a sad smile. "I'll tell you when you're older, okay?"
"Hmm... What if I don't want to wait?"
"Well, you'll just have to then."
"Aw, no fair!" She pouted.
Her mother chuckled. "Yes, you're right. It's not fair. Hurry along now. It's getting dark out."
"Okay!" She continued skipping back to the house, not a single care in the world.
Oh, how nice it is to be a child—to be innocent. Shame that type of peace can't last forever.
And then, it was black.