A Child's First Steps Are Always Special

2014, Jul 21    

Another clickbait-inspired bit of fiction. I’m not quite sure why this headline painted such a sinister picture in my head, but it did. Hope you like it.

A Child’s First Steps Are Always Special. His Were Special Because They Weren’t Supposed To Happen.

“So, tell me again why I’m doing this?”

The child was turned away from him, oblivious to his actions. The revolver was pressed to the child’s head.

“Because he brings about the end of the world. We know it happens. This way, we can stop it.”
“How do we know?”
“We’ve been through this a thousand times, the prophecy has never been wrong. Just do it. Do it before it’s too late.”
“I can’t… I just can’t.” His arm swung down, heavy with the weight of the gun.

The child turned and looked up at him. It was a small boy, just 4 or 5. He had short, blond hair, and fair features. He was wearing a white shirt and blue dungarees. He looked, to him, like the future of the world, not the end of it. The voice echoed again over the tannoy.

“Do it!”
“No. No, I can’t.”
“It has to happen this way, Frank.” the voice rang out into the desert. “We end it here, that’s how it is.”
“Can’t we just… Leave him out here? He won’t survive alone.”
“That doesn’t guarantee anything. He could still grow up and then…. Then it’ll all happen. Just like it says. I’m not letting you in until you do it.”

Frank looked up at the heavy iron gate, and out at the desert. A young boy couldn’t survive outside the compound. It was impossible.

“Come on, Frank. Pull the trigger.”

Frank looked at the boy. The boy looked up at him.

“Run, little man. Run away. Just go.”

Until now, the boy looked like he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation, but Frank didn’t have to say another word. The boy stood, looked once more at Frank, and began to run.