When does a child learn to become an adult? When a monster seduces a child into becoming a monster like him, and that child thus assumes the life and mode of living as the monster, do we ever get to recall past moments when the child was nothing but a child? How do we feel when that happens?
Child No More
Blindfolded, his gaolers led him along a narrow corridor through a part of the building he’d never been in before. He moved with hesitant bare feet while hands continuously pushed him forward.
“Move, move I say,” someone yelled into his ear. “The master don’t like being kept waiting. War is on, you know, so move!”
His gaolers pushed him into a large room and made him to stop in the centre. The silence around him was deafening. He stood there frightened; he felt like running but with the blindfold around his eyes knew he wouldn’t get anywhere far.
Then came the sound of boots walking towards him – the master’s boots, no doubt. The fear in him was now overwhelming; his lips, every part of him trembled with what was going to happen. The boots came to a halt before him; from behind his fold his eyes took in the dark shadow of the Devil standing before him.
“Hey there child,” the Devil said to him, “you want to be one of my angels, yes? Nod your head if yes or die.”
His head rose and fell down in a sharp nod.
“All right. I want to give you something. Raise your right hand up.”
The boy obeyed, spreading his fingers wide as the Devil dropped something a little heavy into his palm. This thing was metal and cold – dead cold.
“Here’s what I want you to do,” the Devil came round to his side and whispered seductively into his ear. “I want you to wrap your fingers round that thing, put your finger and feel the trigger. Yes, that’s it. Bring your other hand to hold it … yes, just like that. Now raise it forward in front of you.”
The boy did as he was told, holding the gun with both hands stretched in front of him, his shaking finger touching the trigger.
“The safety’s off, child. There’s a target standing five feet away from you. Now what I want you to do is squeeze back on that trigger. Do that for me, and then you’ll become one of my angels.”
The boy shook his head. “N-n-no … I c-can’t … can’t”
“Do it, child,” the Devil yelled into his ear, making him jump a little. “DO IT NOW!”
He shook his head again, feeling tears slip from under his blindfold. “No … no … I can’t …”
Then he felt something cold press against the side of his head as the Devil cocked his gun. “You either pull that trigger now, or I’m gonna blow your tiny head away. That what you want? I ask again, is that what you want?”
“No, no … no,” the boy cried out while tears watered his eyes. “Please master, don’t kill me.”
“You don’t want me to kill you, then go ahead and pull that trigger. PULL THAT TRIGGER, CHILD – PULL IT NOW! DO IT, I SAY!”
And right then he did.
The gun bucked in his hand and again he screamed out from the sound of the gunshot, the way it bounced in his ear. He then heard the sound of something falling to the ground in front of him. He felt the Devil clap a hand on his shoulder, screeching harsh laughter above the boy’s head as he then untied the blindfold from behind his eyes, giving the boy back his sight.
There was a wide stain of splattered blood on the wall in front of him; lying haphazardly on the floor under the stained wall was the body of a dead man who as well had a blindfold over both his eyes and lips, and also his hands were tied behind his back. The boy hesitatingly approached the dead body, coming to kneel before it as he then took off both blindfolds off the dead man’s face. The gun momentarily fell from his hand and his eyes came wide open with heart-racing shock at the realisation of who the dead person was.
“Papa!” the child cried out.