My fanfiction and other random ramblings

my thoughts on how to write (or not)

Splinters 02 – Into the system

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The orphanage – nobody cared what it was called officially, as the locals were more of a “call a spade a spade” kind – was nice. And cosy. And it was actually a good place, with good people staffing it and even a few actually caring for the small inhabitants.

He was given his own bed the moment he was let out of the tiny infirmary, instructed on the general rules of making his bed and putting his stuff in order, handed a new toothbrush and a set of soft, cotton pyjamas He looked at both the garment and the toothbrush with curiosity, making the nurse groan.

“One more eco-crazy hippie kid. Come on, boy. Time for some hygiene.”

It was a weird, slightly discomfiting experience, but as he witnessed five other boys undergoing the same kind of cleaning, he obediently brushed his teeth, took a shower, washed his hair with sweet-smelling goo and put on the slightly worn set of pants and t-shirt.

“Now, to your bed. Tom, take August to your room. And let him sleep, no ghost stories or other stupid stuff. He’s just got better and we don’t want him to be sick again.”

First night was quiet, probably because Mrs McConnaly was patrolling the corridor and checking each room for disturbances. On the second night, when it was the turn of Mr Waters, Owen (who slept by the door) declared that the man is back in his room, probably reading, and then they were free to talk.

“Is your name really August?”

He shrugged. It was a name as good as any, and if Mrs Hanners thought it suited him, he was OK with it.

“Mrs H said they can’t keep calling me ‘boy’ and I don’t remember…” he whispered.

“Mrs H said the fever messed up your brain” Tom provided helpfully. “The nurse said you may get your memory back in time.”

“So you just, like, remember nothing?” Owen’s eyes went big and round.

August shrugged.

“Not sure. I remember my da, making things out of wood. And I remember people sitting in a circle and having a council. And I remember that someone was screaming and they put me in some wooden box and everything went black” he licked his lips. “And then I was in the forest.”

“With the babies” supplied Tom.

“With the babies. They were in baskets and they were cold and crying…” he paused here, not knowing what else he should say.

“Did you drag them for like miles and miles?”

“Felt like it” he said with sincerity. “I thought I would pull my arms out.”

“Now you’ll have hands like a gorilla! Ook!”

He looked at laughing boys in wonder.

“What’s a gorilla?”

He watched the bassinets with his princesses in worry. He could barely work out which one was which, and it was strange not to know which of them is his future queen.


He blinked, turning towards the nurse.

“Yes, ma’am?”

“Why are you here, and not with the other boys, outside? They are playing soccer.”

He shrugged.

“Can’t play, ma’am. I trip over my own legs all the time. I’d rather stay with them” he nodded towards the quietly sleeping girls. “I feel like I should watch them.”

She tested his forehead with her hand and hummed.

“If you want, you can sit in my chair” she rolled the upholstered office chair from her small room. “You could probably read something, if you want?”

He shrugged again.

“Can’t read. Nobody ever shown me the letters.”

He was still watching the bassinets, so he missed the outraged look in her face.

Miss Thompson brought out the primer the orphanage kept for smaller kids and they spent next days in the nursery, going very slowly through the basic book, letter by letter.


Written by Srebrna

2016/10/30 at 23:48

Posted in Splinters

Tagged with

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