He is seven years old, he has just been whipped savagely with a belt on his seven year old ass. This is not the first time and it would not be the last. His father just could not accept the fact that his son was liable, because he was seven, to forget that it was his responsibility to take out the trash. The garbage had been collected for the week so all there was left to do was to ensure that this never happens again. He is seven years old, and it hurts to sit down. He is locked in the bathroom with the kitty litterbox and is not to receive the privilege of dinner this night. He is only seven, but has learned from experience to stop at the Big V five and dime (the “V” is for value.) and pick up some provisions, never knowing what he may find at home. He sits now on the toilet lid with a necklace of candy beads, and starting at the knot in the string, he touches each one in sequence back to the other side of the knot, and eats the first one, and begins the cycle anew. Though he appears a catholic boy praying over his rosary, he is only a godless boy, pacing himself with his candy dinner, waiting for his cheeks to dry, his butt to stop stinging, and the clank of silverware and plates to cease from the kitchen beyond the bathroom door.