The sun was headed down towards the horizon, its bright light shining down onto a single road. Forest and trees were alongside the road, a few birds could be seen in the trees; chirping happily and living their lives. The road led into a small town, but before it reached that town, there was a small building next to it.
This building was single story, and had a large front and back yard. Small playground equipment was displayed out in both of them. It seemed like a nice little place, maybe a daycare or something like that. But upon closer inspection, it was not as enjoyable as it had seemed.
It was an old, abandoned building. The paint was faded and coming off, the playground in the front was broken and old, and much of the windows were shattered. A few rodents skittered along, searching for a morsel of food that was not to be found.
However, even in the building’s decrepit state, someone walked towards it. This person was a man, around twenty three years of age. He had slightly long black hair covering both of his eyes, but a large scar could be seen leading down from his right eye and crossing his mouth. He held something under his black jacket, but it was hidden from sight. The man’s right arm was in bandages, and his hand was missing two of its fingers.
He walked up to the building, and stopped at the path leading up to the front door. The yard was overgrown and filled with weeds, bugs and insects crawled away and hid when they saw him approach. He walked down the path and up to the door, stopping to look up at the space above the double doors.
There had once been a message painted there, but the paint was faded. There had once been large words, the name of the building, painted there; along with a small message underneath it. But now, the only legible letters were the ones on the end; ‘-anage.’ The rest of the letters were faded and the paint chipped away. But the man could remember the caption easily.
‘Where every child is welcome!’
These letters had been painted in bright colors. Rainbows, clouds, and a sun had been painted around them; each with its own happy little face. Cheery cartoon rabbits and other woodland creatures seemed to be hopping around joyfully, as if the thought of orphaned children was something to be celebrated.
The man took another glance at the faded letters, and then let himself inside. The interior of the building had fared no better than the outside. The walls were old, several seemed to be ready to, or already had, fallen down; laving large holes looking into other rooms. There were only a few pictures on the walls, although all of them had broken frames and the picture itself was faded and worthless. The rooms were mostly bare, except for a few small items, as if the place had been evacuated in a rush.
The man walked into a larger room, there were several objects scattered on the floor; children’s toys; a doll, chewed to pieces by rodents and insects; a toy train, its plastic cracked and its stickers faded; a soccer ball, flat and bearing holes.
The man looked at these assorted objects. Suddenly, he was overwhelmed by deep feelings of remorse and guilt. This is where it had happened, thirteen years ago; thirteen years ago today.
* ~ * ~ *
“I don’t like this stupid place; I wanna go somewhere else!” A little boy complained loudly to his older brother. He wore a simply gray shirt and jeans, his hair was black and he had dark brown eyes.
“I don’t like it either Trev, but it’s all we got.” The older one looked down at his younger brother, wanting to comfort the pouting child but at the same time feeling the same feelings. He looked similar to his brother, although his hair had more of a brownish hue to it. He wore a dark blue jacket and black pants.
“Nate, one of these days we gotta get up and leave this boring place!” The younger brother got up and walked back towards the building in a huff.
These two boys were orphans. Nathanial, the older one, had only a faint image of his parents. Trevor, the younger one, couldn’t remember them at all. They had been abandoned at the Summertime Orphanage’s doors when Nathanial was four, and when Trevor had just been a newborn infant. They had been here for ten years; Nathanial was fourteen, and Trevor was ten.
Trevor, being at the age he was, wanted to go out and explore; to play and be adventurous. Many times he had asked the caretakers if he could go play in the neighboring woods, but they never let him go. After ten years in this same small building, both of them had gotten bored of the same old things.
Nathanial just wanted to be adopted with his brother, and have a happy family; like that flash of memory that he had of his parents. He wanted to be happy, like a normal kids; the kinds of kids you see on television and in movies. It’s not that the other kids were mean to them, they just weren’t really friends.
Trevor, on the other hand, didn’t have much of a desire for family. He wanted to stay with Nathanial, his only family member, but he wanted to go out and see the world. He hated having to rely on others, it made him feel weak. He wanted to be someone who could take care of himself, one who didn’t need supervision or caretakers.
Nathanial stood up and faced the building that was the orphanage. In the neatly kept front yard, children ran around playing games like tag or hide and seek. Nathanial walked back indoors to find his brother. As he walked through the hall to find Trevor, he looked around. He passed the children’s bedrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, the infirmary, standard rooms like that. And as he walked along and looked at these familiar rooms, he decided something: He was sick of it. He was sick of seeing the same things over and over every day. He was sick of the same talks with the caretakers, how ‘one day someone perfect will come along and adopt you!’ He was sick of the other kids, acting like everything was alright. And he was sick of seeing happy couples come and go, a few of them taking a grateful child with them; hardly even looking back at him or his brother.
Nathanial found Trevor in their bedroom, which they shared with a few other boys. Trevor was sitting on his bed and staring out a window that pointed towards the forest. Past the backyard and the fence surrounding it, there was a large raccoon in one of the branches. It was eating something greedily, but then climbed away.
“He gets to be free in the forest!” Trevor shouted, pointing at where the raccoon had been. “Why can’t I!?” Trevor turned and looked at his brother angrily, and then faced the window again and crossed his arms.
“You want to leave really bad, don’t you Trev?” Nathanial sat down next to his brother.
“Like hell I do!” Trevor shouted, stomping his foot on the floor. Nathanial sighed, ignoring the fact that his younger brother had just swore. He thought for a moment, and then smiled.
“Then let’s go!” Nathanial grinned, excited and a little bit nervous. Trevor stopped pouting and looked up at his brother, a slightly confused expression on his face.
“You really mean it? You better not be kidding!” Trevor stood up and looked at his brother seriously. “Jokes like that are mean!”
“I mean it!” Nathanial assured his brother, “We can live on our own, like you always wanted to!” Trevor made a sound of pure joy and ran around the room.
“I knew you’d say that one day Nate! I just knew you would!” Trevor ran over and hugged his brother, and then continued running around the room joyously; making plans on what to do and how to live, although most of them were childish pipe dreams.
* * *
The next afternoon, all the children were playing as usual to pass the time. Trevor and Nathanial had devised a plan to escape. While all of the children were playing around, one of them would kick the soccer ball too far and then they would both run after it; but they wouldn’t come back.
They pulled off the trick without a hitch, and were soon running towards town. They had foolishly brought nothing with them, thinking that they were fine. Nonetheless, they were both laughing happily, finally free and on their own. Entering the town, they looked around in amusement. Nathanial had a few hurtful memories, as he thought he could remember this road, with his parents. But as for Trevor, he was filled with wonder and excitement.
They walked along like tourists or foreigners, looking around as if they were visiting another country.
* * *
It had been a couple of hours now. Trevor and Nathanial had walked around the streets; they were tired, but still happy. Trevor was starting to get sleepy, so Nathanial started looking around for somewhere they could stay. Suddenly Nathanial grew anxious and began walking faster.
“Trev, we gotta run!” He whispered to Trevor.
“Huh? Why?” Trevor yawned and looked towards where Nathanial was looking, and suddenly grew wide awake. “Let’s go!”
They both began to run away. They had seen someone from the orphanage, who was probably looking for them. Their suspicions were correct, as the person began to chase after them, calling out their names.
As Trevor is younger and smaller than Nathanial, he was having a little bit of a hard time keeping up. Nathanial noticed this and turned to look towards his brother and urge him to run faster.
“C’mon Trev! You don’t want to go back there, do you?”
“No! Never! I-!” Trevor tried to run faster, but then a horrified expression formed on his face. “NATE!”
Because he was looking back at Trevor, thus not looking where he was going, Nathanial had mistakenly run into the road. Cars were still going fast, but many of them screeched to a halt when they saw the boy in the street. There was mass confusion, and Trevor lost sight of his brother.
“Nate!? Nathanial!?!” Trevor called out fearfully into the street full of cars. There was another screech, a crash, and a few horns honking. People got out of their cars and began to yell, others were worried, and others stayed inside their cars to wait until everything calmed down.
Trevor called out to his brother a few more times, but received no response. He grew horrified, even more so when he realized that the person from the orphanage had almost gotten to him. Trevor quickly tried to decide whether to wait for Nathanial or not, but then he started to run again.
Going between a few small buildings on the edge of the town, he entered the woods. The person had lost him and had given up the chase; so Trevor was alone now. All alone.
* * *
Trevor had spent the night in the woods. In fact, he spent two days in the woods. He didn’t want to go out to the town again, in fear that the orphanage people were looking for him; but he was so hungry. He had to go find something, anything, to eat.
Trevor walked along the edge of the town, hiding in the shadows and alleys as to not be seen. He was mainly looking for food, but also desperately wanted to find Nathanial. However, after finding neither, he walked back to the words sadly.
However, his luck changed when he saw a cat. This cat had fluffy white fur and was slightly chubby; it was well fed, and had on a blue collar. The cat had apparently just gone hunting in the woods, as it had a large mouse in its mouth. Trevor ran over to the cat, desperate for anything to eat. The cat saw him running towards them so it picked up the mouse and ran into the woods. Trevor picked up a stick and ran after it.
The cat, being a house pet and overweight, gave up quickly. It hissed at Trevor, but dropped the mouse and ran away back to its dwelling. Trevor picked up the mouse and looked at it, unsure; but, it was edible.
Using the stick, he managed to tear away the fur and strip off pieces of the mouse’s flesh. Trevor grimaced when he ate it, it had an odd taste; but it was sustenance. The raw meat made him feel a little sick, but thankfully, it pushed away the hunger for a little while.
Later, Trevor grew hungry again. He went to go look for more food. He looked around behind a store, hoping to find scraps from a lunch or something similar like that. But instead, he found a mousetrap. The mousetrap was a successful one, as a dead rodent was clutched in its steal jaws. As this was the only thing he could find, Trevor ate it in the same fashion he did the previous one.
He was still hungry, but oddly enough, he felt like more raw meat. Something about the bloody taste was just . . . addicting. Digging around, Trevor found another mouse trap, this one also held a poor victim. After consuming this one, he found a few other dead mice; but he didn’t eat them because they could have been poisoned.
After finding no more food there, Trevor continued his search. He found a few live rodents, but wasn’t fast enough to catch them. But then Trevor spotted a dog, it was attached to a pole by a leash, but it was alone. Trevor raised the stick he was holding and grew hungrier; the dog had much more meat on it then a scrawny little mouse did.
Trevor walked towards the dog, who was a Jack Russell Terrier. Trevor tried to attack it, but the dog snarled and growled at him, attempting to bite. Trevor saw that he was no match for the dog and ran back to the woods, the dog barking angrily at him.
Back in the woods, Trevor looked around for something else that he could eat. He saw something gray move behind a tree, it was small, but much larger than a mouse or rat. Trevor walked up quietly, his stick raised and ready to attack it. It might have been a cat, which might be easier to kill than a dog.
Trevor swung the stick hard down on the animal. It hissed and looked at him, its teeth bared. It was not a cat, but a large raccoon. The raccoon hissed again, angry and hostile. Before Trevor could react, the raccoon leapt at him. It landed on his face, clawing viscously.
Trevor began to scream and tried to pry the enraged animal off of his face. The raccoon seemed to be focusing on his right eye, clawing it furiously. Blood flowed into Trevor’s eyes, blinding him. Whacking at the animal with the stick, he managed to get it off, but it attacked again. It clawed and bit at Trevor’s right hand, causing more blood to be shed. Trevor wailed for the thing to get off of him; he felt the bones in two of his fingers crack as the raccoon shook its head ferociously. Trevor fell to the ground, still trying to shake it off.
There was a familiar sound; that dog, barking. Trevor managed to wipe some blood from his eyes and saw the dog that he had tried to kill running towards him. Its leash was trailing behind it, as if it had run away from a walk. Suddenly Trevor felt a sharp, immense pain in his hand and screamed. The dog barked after the raccoon, which started to run away. Someone was chasing after the dog.
“Jess? Where’d you go? Jess?” The woman, apparently the dog’s owner, jogged over; looking for her dog. “Jess? Why’d you- OH MY GOD!!!”
Trevor was bleeding heavily, but was trying to not pass out. He managed just long enough to see the panicked woman look down at him with her frightened face; but then he passed out.
* * *
Trevor woke up in a familiar room; the infirmary at the orphanage. He grumbled angrily at the sight of this place again. Trevor gasped in shock when he saw that his right hand was in bandages, and two of his fingers were missing. He felt the right side of his face, to find it covered in bandages as well. He looked to the side of the bed he was lying in and noticed that one of the caretakers was standing there.
“Trevor! I’m so glad you’re alright!”
Trevor opened his mouth to reply, but she started talking again before he got the chance.
“But that was very wrong of you to run away like that! You got hurt!” The caretaker continued to scold him, but then quickly changed the subject. “Oh but that poor lady was so worried about you! I simply must go tell her you’re alright!” She stood up to go out of the room, “There’s lunch there, eat as much as you like to get better, alright?” She left and closed the door.
Trevor looked to the side of the bed. Sure enough, there was a tray there with food on it. Trevor stared at it, it no longer seemed appetizing to him. He didn’t want this, he wanted raw meat. Trevor reached over and picked up the tray, although a little weary of using his injured hand. He dumped the food into the trashcan, and then looked around to see where he could find his next meal.
Trevor’s eyes landed on a tank across the room. The tank contained a single hamster. This hamster was kept so that sad children who had a cough or scraped their knees could be happy by looking at it. Trevor hastily got to his feet and stumbled a bit, but managed to walk over to the hamster tank.
* * *
The caretaker returned, but when she entered the room she grimaced. An odd smell was in the room; blood, ripped flesh, death.
“What’s that awful smell!?” She exclaimed, looking at Trevor, who sat innocently in the bed, reading a children’s book.
“Huh? I don’t smell anything.” Trevor said meekly; a lie.
“Well . . . maybe it’s just me then. If you need anything, just ask for it.” She left, not noticing the mangled and bloody remains of a small animal hidden under the bed.
* * *
For the next few days, Trevor threw out the food that they gave him. To get his own food, he snuck outside to find mousetraps with rodents caught in them. However, because these were only small scraps of food, he was constantly hungry. He didn’t want to eat the food that they gave him; partially because he no longer found it appetizing, but mostly because he didn’t want to rely on others to get food.
But still, he needed more. So one day Trevor snuck out into the woods. He looked around for something, anything, edible. Suddenly, Trevor stopped and grew alert. There was an odd noise in the air, it sounded like metal or chains clanking together.
Trevor followed this noise to find an animal caught in a foot hold trap. He grew frightened to see that it was the large raccoon that had attacked him. He was afraid, even though it couldn’t get to him. The raccoon’s paw was bleeding heavily, and it was trying to chew it off. Unfortunately for the animal, this did not work; and it soon died of blood loss.
Once Trevor was certain that the raccoon was dead, he went over and pulled it from the trap, leaving only a mangled paw left. Trevor tried to rip it open with a stick, but it seemed tougher than the other small rodents he had eaten.
Getting an idea, Trevor returned to the orphanage. Checking to make sure that there were no children in the backyard, Trevor entered; holding the bloody raccoon carcass. Trevor walked over to the small shed that held things like toys and gardening supplies.
After years of in the orphanage and exploring around places he wasn’t supposed to go, Trevor had found out where they kept their less child-safe tools. He dug around until he found the box that held blades, and with some difficulty, he opened it. Trevor pulled out a large sickle. After replacing everything to where it had been, Trevor closed the shed door and started to use the sickle to cut up the raccoon.
However, the raccoon meat seemed tough and hard to chew. Trevor was frustrated, so he went inside to think. He entered his room through the window; first making sure no one would see him first.
Trevor looked around for something to help him eat the tough meat. He remembered something, and quickly went over to a drawer full of assorted items. After sifting through the objects, he found what he had been looking for; a nail file.
* * *
The caretaker entered the room to check on Trevor, only to be met by a horrifying sight. She let out a shriek at what she saw.
Trevor sat on the bed, covered in blood. Around him sat small piles of fur, gore, and bones. In his hand Trevor clutched a bloody sickle, and in the other he held a strip of flesh; which he was biting at.
Another thing that scared the caretaker was Trevor’s teeth; they were pointed and sharp. Apparently he had used the nail file to file down his teeth to points; it certainly did help him tear the flesh better. Trevor finished the scrap of meat he was eating and looked up at her. He had taken the bandages off of his face; a long scar ran vertically over his right eye, which was unseeing. His expression seemed somehow innocent, and at the same time, completely void of sanity.
Trevor stood up and walked towards the door, moving around the caretaker, who was frozen with fear. He closed the door, and then looked back up at her. A maniacal grin spread across his face, showing his sharp, bloody teeth.
“I’m still hungry.”
* * *
The other children were playing in a large, mostly empty room. They played happily and innocently, with their dollies and toy cars and other assorted objects. They didn’t notice at first when someone walked over and stood in the doorway, watching them. But suddenly a little girl screamed and pointed to the one standing in the doorway.
Trevor’s face still wore that maniacal grin, his sharp teeth bared. He was drenched in blood, and a few pieces of gore and flesh clung to his clothes. In his hand with only two fingers he held the large bloody sickle.
“I’m still hungry.”
* ~ * ~ *
And now, thirteen years later; he was back again. Trevor looked around the room. The feelings of remorse and guilt were still there; but they left as quickly as they had come. They were replaced by feelings of happiness and fulfillment. What did he have to feel remorse about? To feel guilty about?
Trevor looked around the room; he could remember it like it was just yesterday. Blood and bits of flesh stuck to the floor and walls. Children screamed and ran away. The sickle tore through flesh so easily. It was delicious. A beautiful bloodbath, no, a beautiful feast.
It was not a day to be remembered and dreaded, it was a day to look back on and be happy. Trevor took the item out from beneath his jacket; that same sickle. He turned it in his hand and remembered that day. It was the day he had learned how to take care of himself in the best way; taking what others had to make himself stronger. If they were weak, why not get rid of them to increase his own strength?
Trevor’s only regret was that he had never found his brother; it would have been so nice to share this newfound knowledge of power with him. He looked around the room, and then walked out. As he walked through the hall, he could remember the blood reaching over here as well; beautiful.
Walking outside and continuing down the road, Trevor was happy. He had gotten what he had always wanted as a child; he was free, he was on his own and fending for himself; and most important of all, he was independent.