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Challenge #02056-E232: Fudged-Up Normal

As an orphan you were adopted by the local crime syndicate, and we’re just adorable enough that they were determined to give you a better life.

You have just beat up someone from your school and a phone call has been made home for a disciplinary meeting. The school is about to meet “The Family”. -- Anon Guest

There's a phrase I've come to know well over the years. I couldn't repeat it in full before I turned sixteen, but the unedited version is "fucked up normal". As in, that's fucked up, but it's normal to the person experiencing it. Like - I spent my early childhood thinking that you got a window view for your birthday. Or 'health care' involved getting a gummy vitamin if you were good that day.

That stopped after I met my Godfather. But that's a different story. This story is how I learned that my adopted family was a crime syndicate.

My 'normal' had changed the day after Guido the Knife found me huddled in a doorway on one sleet-filled spring morning. I had a window view every day, and hot meals three times a day, and the softest, comfiest, warmest bed, and good, clean clothes. Every day. I used to call my Godfather 'Santa' because I honestly believed he was Santa Claus in disguise.

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