Light in the FactoryMature

May 4, 2008 

"Brother...." it was a small voice echoing through the the abandoned factory building, it was a young child's, maybe only 5 or 6 years old at the most. His face was smeared with dirt and charcoal. Light filtered through the cracked glass windows scattering rainbows about the dirty floors, the groans of the old metal structure the only reply to the boy. "Brother!" he called out his voice trembling with fear as he clutched a torn and resown teddy bear. 

"I'm here little one," a soft voice finally replied, relief washing through the young child as a shadow suddenly turned alive, piercing albino eyes looked upon the boy with warmth and joy. The color of his eyes normally made him a terrifying sight in people's eyes. The mix of grey and blood red made him an outcast, thankfully his younger brother bore the beautiful crystal blue-grey eyes of their mother, god rest her soul. "What's the matter," the older boy asked, his face seemed devoid of emotion when he looked away to see rats scuttling across the edges of building, small squeaks and beady eyes their only recognition of the humans. 

"I...I'm..." the boy seemed ashamed, "Ere (pronounced air-ie) I'm hungry," The younger brother prodded his distended stomach and a low gurgling noise errupted. Ere frowned, running a hand through his short, spiked snowy hair. The albino crouched by his brother.

"Tac, I'm sorry I haven't been able to get us food. I'll go out to the market and get us something really special how about that?" he asked smiling brilliantly.  Tac sniffled and wiped his nose, managing a smile as he hugged his bear close to his chest the stuffing beginning to puff out of little tears upon the fabric. "I bet Mr. Buddy wants something to eat to huh," he chuckled ruffling the soft blond hair on his brothers head. The boys giggled and nodded, only to sneeze harshly and whimper. This wasn't good, his brother was coming down with some kind of sickness. He needed a doctor, good food, a loving family... all the things that Ere wasn't and he'd be damned if they went back to that orphanage with its cruel staff. 

"Come here Tac," Ere whispered, picking the boy up in his arms and traversing the factory floor, from where their makeshift living room was up three flights of stairs to where the overseers had once worked at. It was a spacious office with pictures drawn by younger and older alike stuck all over the walls, there was an old matress stolen off the streets set up in the corner and an old oil lamp that had been salvaged from the factory floor, lighting the room. Tac clung to his his older brother, his protector, after all they didnt have a parent anymore. 

When Ere was 12 he discovered his mother had a drug problem, and that all the men she invited into her home weren't just her 'friends'. For such a young age he had wisened up and aged fast. He went to school and avoided the woman like the devil, their father had left when Ere was born... 'who would want a demon for a son' he recalled his mother retelling. Then one day... his mother gave birth... to Tac. She didnt name the baby of course, merely tossing him to Ere and saying to get rid of him... but Ere wasn't about to listen to a woman like his mother. She was a degenerate and a prostitute!

Caring for the child himself, he worked odd jobs at the local grocery just to earn enough money to feed the starved babe and clothe him. His mother knew and didn't care, until one night, Tac had been crying for hours and no matter what he did the little three year old boy wouldn't stop. Their mother stormed in and  was shouting, needle tracks all up and down her arms, her skirt hiked up a bit too high, her hair and makeup a mess. 

"Get that....thing! out of my house. I can't STAND its screaming! You should have gotten rid of the brat when I told you too!" She lunged at Tac but Ere was there, ever the protector, in a split second he smashed a vase into his mothers head, cutting her face and startling her. A horrific scream echoed from her as Ere grabbed Tac in his arms, scooping up the boys blanket and teddy bear before running out of the house and not stopping for anything.

He was only fourteen at the time, he was scared, distrusting everyone. They were on the streets for a week living off leftovers in the garbage until child services found them. The boys, covered in dirt and filth, were taken in, cleaned and properly fed. 

That's when a tall woman with reddish hair came up to Ere while his brother was playing a few feet away with a toy train set. "Young man," she had said formaly, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but your mother is dead." The statement should have made Ere feel some tug of remorse and saddness but he didn't, instead he began to laugh. He laughed long and hard, causing the counseler to draw away. "She died of a drug overdose! That's not funny!" She squawked back suddenly, face hardening into a scowl. Ere stood, his brother turning at the sudden sound watching the woman and his brother. "Ere," he whispered, a frown marring his cute features. 

Ere disreguarded the boy and glared at the woman, his face hardened, eyes narrowed and jaw clenched tightly. "That creature...who you call my mother, She wasn't my mother. She was a monster! She did drugs in our house, she gave her body freely for a dime bag or few dollars and where did that money go... Not to school supplies, or clothes, or even food! No it went to her habit!" He didn't pause launching into the woman again, anger boiling within. 

"I've practically raised myself! I lived off school lunches and got extras from the lunch ladies cause they knew! And my brother! She wanted him dead! But I raised him, I fed him when I myself was starving, I had to steal just for us to barely eat!" he was fuming, his body trembling, his fists clenched tightly. That was the day they put them in the orphanage but Ere didn't want to think about that place... it made him feel sick and weak in the knees.

"ERE!" Tac squealed jarring his brother back to reality, the boy was still held in his arms, though he squirmed to be let down. 

"Sorry," his voice replied quietly, following the other over to the matress, Tac laid down curling into a ball. Pulling on parka that rested next to the bed, it was one of the few nice things they the only thing close to a blanket besides the old blue tarp covering the mattress."I'll be back soon okay, just rest a bit." he kissed Tac's head and turned, pulling the hood from his black sweater over his head and shoving his hands into the pockets of his tattered jeans. 

Twenty minutes later, he was on the outskirts of the town's Farmer's Market. The smell of fresh produce and meats wafted through the air, he moved through the stalls locking at this and that before spotting a large four foot sub displayed with lettuce, tomato, two types of cheeses, three types of meat and fresh baked bread.

He moved slowly over to the stall, his own stomach crying in hunger, he hadn't eaten in over a week and it was beginning to affect his body as well. He waited till the man vending turned his back, snatching the sub and hearing shouts as he ran, feet pounding the concrete, scraping his socks and skin through the holes in his shoes. The sound of sirens echoed behind him just as he reached the factory. 

Hurriedly, he hid in the over-grown grass and bushes, waiting for the cruiser lights and sirens blazing to speed by. Standing he snuck through a hole in the fence and bolted into the factory, scaling the stairs and returning to his brother. Setting the sub next to the mattress he ripped it in half and began to tear into the food, purring at the delicious taste, chewing fast and swallowing parts of it whole.

His stomach protested at the sudden meal, making a wave of nauseia wash through him but still he finished his half of the sub, knowing he'd need the meal to care for Tac. Bowing his head he pulled his knees close to him, crying quietly, eighteen years old.. all on his own, a surogate parent since the age of twelve. They were starved, ill, and where to go... no way out of this hellish life. 

The End

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