Saturday, April 18, 2015

(Fiction) The Children of the Comet

This was where they kept the children, although children wasn’t really the right word. Monsters would have been more technically accurate, but the parents were sentimental and frowned at such honesty.

The staff was very careful to refer to their charges as ‘children’ whenever the parents were around. The rest of the time, they simply referred to them as ‘the beasts.’

It was not politically correct or kind, but it was honest and, in this troubled world, Doctor MacNamara thought that honesty counted for something.

He seldom interacted with the children/beasts any longer. He didn’t see the point. And, if he was being honest, going among them was emotionally and physically exhausting. Sometimes, he still had nightmares about them getting out of their enclosure, somehow circumventing the heavy gates, shatterproof glass panels and biometric locks. After such dreams, he would go outside and smoke a cigarette, staring at the enclosure and wondering why their parents hadn’t killed the little beasts when they were born.

That’s what most people had done, in that summer after the comet. Privately, MacNamara thought they had done the sensible thing. It wasn’t like most people had the resources or the time to care for such children.

No, the poor had euthanized their terrible progeny and gotten on with their lives.

It was the rich and privileged, the ones with money and power, who didn’t kill their little monsters. Instead, they sent them to places with names like Blue Sky and Greengates. Pretty names and prettier facades to hide the fact that those places were basically prisons.

They referred to MacNamara and his staff as ‘caretakers.’ In reality, they were guards.

Sometimes, the weight of the situation landed on MacNamara’s shoulders like an anvil. Usually after the dream, when he was smoking his cigarette, thinking about his life.

And then he would think how easy it would be to kill the little beasts. He could poison them. Pump gas into their enclosure and claim it was an unfortunate accident. His staff would go along with him and most of the parents would probably sigh in relief.

It was a nice thought.

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