And Then he Left


His father.

The father who had left when Lorden was only six. The memories of the time before he had stayed with Aunt were blurred, with only a few that still remained clear. To receive a letter that had been addressed to his father was like being able to live a fantasy in a world far better than the one Lorden found himself in.

Lorden couldn't remember his father's face, only his name and his voice. Sometimes he caught glimpses of a man in his dreams, but the moments passed by too soon and turned to ash in his mind. He remembered the night that his father had left and the days that followed - or were they weeks? Months?

Lorden went back, trying desperately to remember. A boy in a small room sitting on an uncomfortable bed. Talking to middle-aged men with grizzled faces. Men shouting, a crash, gunshots, and then nothing. Yes, this was the beginning. 


A voice permeated his thoughts, it was reassuring and gentle, but not weak. "It's going to be okay Lorden, I promise. I'll come back. I just have to leave for a little while." Lorden felt fear rush through him like a great sweeping flood.

"Papa, no. Please. What if the monsters come?"

"There won't be any monsters. Not anymore. That's why I have to go."

Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door.

"CTO. Open up."

Lorden could hear the fear in his father's voice as he whispered: "Get under the bed and don't come out."

The CTO banged on the door with more ferocity this time.

"Open the door or we're coming in."

From his position under the bed, Lorden saw his father pick up a gun and walk calmly in the direction of the door. He heard a crash as the door was beaten down, and then gunshots and shouting. 

The men had worked their way into the hall that led to the bedroom. There was another gunshot, and a man's body fell into the room, his head aimed toward the bed. Lorden looked on in horror as he saw what remained of a face that had been blown apart by bullets. Lorden covered his eyes and couldn't look anymore. The sounds of the struggle seemed far away and eventually they faded into oblivion. After a while, a man looked under the bed and said that everything was going to be okay, that Lorden was going to go to a home for children without parents. He kept telling Lorden that everything was going to be fine.

After walking Lorden out of the building, he led him to a lev.

"It's going to be okay."

The man started the lev and began to drive towards an unknown destination.

"It's going to be okay."

Time passed and they were outside an unattractive concrete building. A sign read, "State Home for the Temporary Care of Orphans."

"It's going to be okay."

Lorden was led to a small room with a rusted metal frame bed. He was given a change of clothes and a hairbrush. The door shut, the locked clicked, and Lorden was left alone. An orphan at the age of six.

"It's going to be okay."

The End

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