The Orphan

“Before we go up there, there are a few ground rules.” It was a well-rehearsed speech, like an air steward’s safety briefing. “The chain stays on. You don’t put your hand or fingers through the opening, even if he does. You don’t stand close enough where he can reach you or your clothing. You don’t hand anything to him. He’ll ask for candy, for example, if you have any, if you’ll give him some. Do you?”

“No, I don’t carry—”

“Good. Bad for your teeth. Now as far as the interview itself goes—”

“I’m sorry, is all of this really necessary? He’s ten. He can’t weigh more than seventy pounds...”

She stopped halfway up the stairs, turned, glowered down at him. “Mister Easeley, the boy you are about to meet is not just a child. Not a ‘troubled’ child, not a ‘sick’ child. He’s something else. Something very, very dangerous.”


  1. GREAT opening hook, for a much longer story, maybe? Always love to see your entries appear on the VisDare radar. Welcome back!!