The cautious figure of a boy stood limply behind the timber-clad pedestal. He didn’t speak, but the expression on his face spoke loud and clear; he was in serious trouble.
The boy was fair haired and reasonably well built. He looked as if he’d recently turned sixteen, and the dim light he stood in managed to reveal the innocence in his perfect face. He wore a loose suit, held up by braces and composing of a crisp white shirt, red tie, black trousers and black suit jacket.
Suddenly everybody rose from their seated position; a tall man with scaly looking skin and a noticeably ugly face walked into the room, his newly acquainted presence causing a cold snare in the already bitter atmosphere. He wore shiny shoes with small propped heels, and as he crossed the space they instigated a poignant pitter patter.
“Joseph Flynn”, the tall man spoke in a clear voice as he made his way towards the bench. His eyes pursed, and then turned to look at the boy whose complexion had slowly drained to that of a batch of fresh paper. The man spoke again, this time with a tone which flaunted a strong sense of authority, “Are you Joseph Flynn, born 23rd of October 1995?” The boy looked up, “Yes” he said, and for a moment the room was silent; it vaguely reminded the boy, Joseph, of school. The man spoke again “Before we proceed, is anybody here present...” His voice slowly faded away; clouded by Joseph’s immense anxiety.
Joseph looked backwards and forth at the congregation, who were seated in a very uniform fashion. The seats were long and strongly resembled that of pews in a church; however the mass of spectators, around fifty, meant it was far more crowded than his local parish had ever been. For some reason, just for a second, it reminded Joseph of those Sunday mornings when he and his younger sister, Olivia, would walk to church. He could remember the two of them hurrying, dodging the puddles and attempting not to get their best clothes dirty. He had come to cherish such moments, but of course the two of them were far too young at the time to appreciate that beauty of them: of the innocence, the simplicity, and most importantly, the happiness.
Right now, Joseph had little more than these mere memories to keep him company; completely perplexed by his situation he felt lost, concerned and stuck in what felt like some kind of uncomfortable day dream.
If only this were a day dream: day dreams are harmless, sometimes quite beautiful, figments of the imagination. But no, not for Joseph, what was happening to him was very much real.