Jun. 25th, 2012

[identity profile] haraphen.livejournal.com
“Are you listening to me boy?” a rough firm hand clips my head and breaks my reverie. I was thinking about ice cream. We saw a boy the other day with a cone filled with it and it looked nice. I’ve never tried any before, never had the time. I wonder what it’s like. Sweet? Cold? would it hurt my teeth? I don’t know.

“Yes Papa.” I reply. and with that he knows I’m lying. Tony Adams is my foster father but he would never let me call him that. It was always just Tony, or Mr Adams. So he smacks me again.

“Focus boy!” He passes me the weapon his hand easily hold it still but it takes two of mine to hold the point steady. He pushes me towards the kitchen table his warm hand on my shoulder steadying me. “What are the first two rules?”

I stand up on a stool and look down at the figure on the table. His limbs are tied to the legs of the table and a balled up rag stopped him from screaming out. His breathing was erratic and his pupils dilated with fear. My voice responds to Tony’s question but the words echo hollow in my ears. “The second rule is ‘The heart or the head. Destroy one quickly then the second to be sure.’” The wood in my hands began to feel damp with sweat.

“And the first rule?” His voice grew agitated and impatience.

And the lessons sink in. The captured man's breathing is too shallow to be of use. His skin too pale and the look of fear wasn't rational. It was primal. It wasn't human. My hands now feel dry and steady. I reverse my grip and hold the point over the man's heart, I utter the first rule like a religious mantra. “‘Never falter.’” Tony slams a hammer down on the base of the stake and the sound of ribs break as i'm sprayed with blood. The man falls still and we get to work.

The next part was just routine. Grab the gas can soak the body and the room. Let the gas oven fill the kitchen with a cigarette left burning in an ashtray of the next room.

Latter in the murky street illuminated by the burning building. Tony smiles at me happy with the work we've done and I decide to take a risk. “Tony?”

He grunt recognition as he secures the bag of tools on his shoulder. “Good work tonight kid. Real good work.”

I swallow involuntarily and my throat is dry, probably from the smoke. “Can we get some ice cream?”

He stops and stares at me. He’s backlit by the fire so i can't read his face. for a second i think he’s going to hit me for being stupid or selfish. But his eyes start to glint. To shine a wet fiery orange. I convince myself they can't be tears but i think he sees me now. Not as his pupil. Not as someone he has to protect. Not as someone he’s teaching to kill. But as the 10 year old boy i am.

We stay staring at eachother for a while until he finally clears his throat. “Sure Son. You earned it.” And I’m not sure what makes me happier. Him saying ‘Sure’. Or him saying ‘Son’.

[identity profile] lucifermourning.livejournal.com
She had to wait until Becky fell asleep. Properly asleep, so she wouldn't see. It took a while, listening to the rise and fall of her breathing, but eventually Scarlet could wake up.

She was meticulous. Her bag was packed, everything stolen piece by piece over the months and hidden under the porch. Food, clean underwear. She didn't both with spare clothes though. She'd need to get new ones anyway, quick, or people would notice her in her long skirts.

As she crept outside, the mud squelched under her feet. But the moon was full, and she could see the way. She liked the quiet of the yard as she moved through the shadows.

Carefully, she pulled the doors open. The cows were sleepy as she opened their pens. She made sure everything was unlocked before leading them, one by one, out through the yard and into the field, then went back for the horses. They looked around, sleepy-eyed, and started wandering off.

Quick and quiet, back through the yard, into the house. Scarlet wiped the mud off her feet before returning to her own room and shaking Jane awake.

"Jane...Jane..." she whispered.

"Hmm...?" her sister answered sleepily.

"I...I heard noises...and...when I looked outside...I think some of the animals have got out..." Scarlet let her lower lip tremble, her eyes wide with fear.

Jane's reaction was exactly as expected. Decisively, she ordered her little sister to wake the rest of their siblings, and their mother, but to make sure not to disturb Papa. Scarlet nodded and followed the instructions exactly.

By the time everyone was awake and rushing about, it wasn't hard to hide unnoticed in the kitchen cupboard.

The house was oddly quiet, with just the distant sounds of people giving orders and chasing animals in the field. The floorboards creaked as she moved down the hall, but she knew how to avoid the worst ones.

It was surprisingly easy. Papa was fast asleep, so when she climbed on top of him he only just woke up long enough to register her face before she got the knife into his throat. He looked like he was trying to speak, but blood kept spilling out as he gurgled. She stuck the knife in his chest a couple times too, just to be sure.

Then she climbed down from the bed, and took the cash from under the floorboard where he kept it, because you can't trust banks.

Back to her room, clean clothes (hiding the old ones - the longer they thought she was kidnapped, the better), then the bag from under the porch.

By the time everyone came back inside, exhausted after hours of rounding up the animals, Scarlet was buying her ticket for the northbound bus, humming to herself quietly as she watched the dawn break over the cornfields.

She was fourteen years old.
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