The Devil Forgot His Name

He had always been different. Watching others play in warm sunshine was the worst. It wasn’t bad, he thought. It just never seemed to give him the same connection. It was as if the sunlight were afraid to touch him. He could run and run for hours in the deepest secret parts of nature, and not feel that tie to life he sensed in others. Plucking a flower brought decay, and if he watched tiny worker ants too hard, an invisible pestilence would take the whole colony. He still had a life, of course. Mostly video games and comic books. Never involving women, and seldom other boys. It seemed much easier in the winter months when the shade of death covered the landscape. Silent trees naked and unshivering flailing toward the sky. The small creatures were nowhere to be seen tucked deep in burroughs and nests waiting against the cold outside. In the winter, David didn’t feel his difference so much, and for 3 months out of 12 he was happy.
Then, she came. Unsolicited, and sudden, Dominique seemed to ride in on the northern wind. It was a slow evening, and David was on his belly absorped in the battle between green and brown army men. Just when it seemed green had the upper hand, David heard a knock at the door. Mister Binoche, the orphanage’s patron, opened the entrance, and the gust scattered the green army men like leaves after a storm. She had large square boots that shook the floor as she walked. From between the bars of his bed, David saw a gray mass of tangled hair under a wrinkled black hat. Mister Binoche and her were talking in hushed voices down the hall to his office, but David could just make out the word “boy”.
The papers were drawn up that afternoon, and David partly nervous but mostly exicted, began to pack his things. She had agreed to take him after only 5 minutes of observation, but it had seemed more like 5 years. Under the steely gaze of her green cat eyes, time passed slower than a prison clock. He felt strange being watched, but this was nothing new. Most company felt alien to him and this was only slightly more so.
A long maroon car was waiting outside. David climbed up into the shady interior and lay down across the back seat. They had quite a drive coming up, Dominique had said, and he should get some rest. Now rocked by the potholes on interstate 7, he began to unwind. Curled up in the tan leather seat, David spoke to her directly for the first time. “Where were they going?” North she said, and give him a galnce in the rearview that ended the conversation there.

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