A troubling story that I wrote for OLWG#85
“Ye must be very careful with the children ye pick,” the old crone informed the young couple who sat across the desk from her. “Some ‘o dem kin be a bit rough ‘round the edges if’n ye catch me drift.” She spat and hit the shiny brass spittoon in the corner of the room. The lady in the visitor’s chair cringed, the faint trace of a smile graced her young husband’s face.
“This here orphanage,” the stooped old woman continued, “this here place can take some ‘o the natural luster offen em, but all chilluns is good at heart to a certain age. With a little work and polish they can regain their former shine, their natural gloooow.” She drew the last word out and flashed a well practiced but ineffective smile at the young couple. She wiped her nose on her sleeve. The wife counted three missing teeth. “Didja see anyone ye liked when ye walked thru the yard, then?”
“Yes, perhaps,” the young husband answered. He was anxious to begin the negotiations. “There was a girl in the play yard. She was standing alone, by the climbing frame. She was freckled and her hair was a dusty blonde colour, and fine, she had a page boy cut and wore a red checkered sleeveless shift. We’d like to talk with her, if that’s possible?” The old woman nodded knowingly, “Uh huh, uh huh,” she muttered, “that’ll be Missy. Missy Alexander. Are ye sure about that one? Bit ‘o a prima donna, that one. Ye know, the Sister ain’t here and I shunna do it; but I’ll let ye pick again. Don’t think ye’d be happy with Missy Alexander, ya know. Wanna have another go?”
“I don’t think so,” the young man reiterated, “if you could fetch her and give us a room where we can get acquainted, it would be most appreciated.”
“As ye wish, as ye wish. I’ll send someone to fetch Missy if ye insist,” she mocked him, “need to see an ID though,” she clucked her tongue, “need to see an ID.”
The man dug in his pocket for his wallet and the hag lifted her chin to yell at the door, “Hiram? HIRAM?”
A tall thin boy of indeterminate age stuck his head in the door, “Yessum?”
“Go out in the yard and collect Missy Alexander. Take her to Visitin’ Room B. We got some paperwork to take care of and we’ll meet ye there shortly. Stay with her in the room ‘til we arrive. Don’t leave her alone.”
“Yessum,” he ducked out and disappeared.
The young man produced his papers and the old woman began filling in the first of what would be many forms.
This week’s prompts were:
- need to see an ID
- Some of them, with work and polish, can regain their former shine
- when your eyes are closed