Light Among The Smoke

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A boy deals with the inner turmoil of being abused by his foster parents.

Submitted: December 23, 2007

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Submitted: December 23, 2007



Light Among The Smoke
© Copyright Michael Sherlock 2007 all rights reserved
By Michael Sherlock
Every child cherishes family, a community of love and support. For one small child, Sean Harris, his mother and father were the greatest parents ever in his eyes. He could come home from school and exchange a warm hug from one to another, the smiles of his parents warming his heart and reassuring him of the comfort they provided. Every child deserved a loving family, and this is what he had.
 They were memories now…memories floating in a turbulent ocean, threatening to slip beneath the waves at any moment. His parents had been dead for eight years; from child to teenager he lived as an adopted son. The burning passion of the fire that killed his parents remained in his personality, flaring at every injustice he endured.
 The cuts and bruises of abuse received at the hands of his abusive foster parents burned with an emotional pain as well as the physical pain he had to endure day by day. His purpose to his mother was a source of benefit money, and a way to relieve her anger and stress. For his father, he was a puppet to his sexual desires.
 Tears had not kissed Sean’s cheeks in many years, his pain too great to waste his energy on crying. The morsels of food that were shoved into his face once a week bore the taint of reluctant care, making him thirsty for salvation.
 The memories of his parents love served as the only beacon of light in his dark mind, the flames of hatred threatening to block out the light with their ravenous smoke. His tender and caring heart now drew in tainted and evil blood with every beat, collecting it…until it turned his heart black.
 Sean now sat on his bed, staring at the cracked wooden door before him. The dull thud on his father’s boots got louder as the demon of a man ascended the stairs. Sean’s fingernails cracked as they gripped the edge of his bed. The bruises of last night’s abuse still throbbed around the areas that should not have been violated at his age.
 The door opened to reveal the grinning shade of a madman. The belts in his hand could mean any number of things, this time…they were bindings. Why scream? Each sound uttered incited another blow to the head. Why scream? It would only anger his mother, causing her to whip him in the morning. Why scream? He needed his breath. Instead he just had to lie there, crying tears of depression, each tear taking away part of the protective salve keeping that beacon of light from the flames of self-destruction.
 When his father was done, he was left bruised and bleeding for another night. His wounds would have a chance to heal if he mother could spare him of the pain for another day.
 Sean had not heard his own voice in years, he was forbidden to speak…and he had little to say to himself without hating his position even more. He had his mother’s eyes…yet he had not seen how they had grown; there was not a mirror to be seen in. He sometimes sat and wondered how much he reflected his parents; his gentle hope of being the image of his parents spared him of insanity.
 There was help out there…people he could find, charities to help him. Without a phone, or a television, Sean had no way of knowing of their existence. This abuse was all he knew, but even he knew this was not what he should have to endure.
 Day by day the fires consumed him…burning and ripping at every thought in his mind…and day-by-day the light faded. Today, he lied on his bed, staring at his hands. He wondered why they didn’t burn…they didn’t singe, despite the fires inside of them.
 His father had left the room only minutes before…and it was then he saw his coming of age, he saw his rite of passage. His coming of adulthood threw fuel into the fire, and the fires engulfed the light within. The inferno tore the light to pieces and threw them into the sky, rising as sparks into the stars.
“Where has my light gone?” He said, hearing the deep voice of adulthood for the first time “All I see are flames…fire, my only comfort”
 Sean rose from his bed; he walked down to the garage and took a can of petrol. As he walked through the house, splashes of petrol followed, his hand closing around a box of matches. He walked to his parent’s room and looked at them as they slept.
 With a flick of his wrist, the match lit, and landed onto the pool of petrol below Sean. Flames crept quickly along the walls and floor of the whole house, the heat tearing away at the walls…and the people within them. His parents awoke screaming, looking at their adopted son…grinning as the flames stripped the flesh from his bones.
 This boy had lived with fire all his life, and now it delivered him to sweet liberation, the pain ended in the heat of the flames…just as his parent’s had.
 Sean opened eyes, looking at the ceiling above him…the fires of that dream still causing his body to sweat. He could hear snoring…replacing the screams that filled his dream. But he had not been sleeping; the dream was a product of fantasy. Once again he looked at his hands, streams of blood pouring from his wrists. In his blood he could see a river of flame, the flames that flowed over his body to bring him to salvation.


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