Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo'09, Words 8713-9461

Roci grew older. He began to spend a little less time with the cat and more in his own world with the other children.

Roci grew older. Over the months, the cat heard him transition from fanciful fairy tales to increasingly realistic stories about more modern heroes or Roci's rounded-out "family members". He would still come to the cat when particularly interesting stories would reach critical mass, and his head could contain them alone no longer.

Roci's plotting improved, aided by the cat—though he was still willing to compromise his plotting to satisfy his world-view. Never compromised were his beliefs regarding: beauty or hopefulness or the need for adversity and sacrifice.

Roci still ran to the cat for relief from trauma. This happened less often as Roci became one of the "older boys," outgrew Ugly and learned how to not get beatings. So the cat had not seen Roci for more than a week, and was hunting far out in a field when the shrieking began.

The shrieking was not Roci's—the cat knew his boy's voice, and also Roci didn't shriek any more. The cries were strangely uniform—each one of the same pitch, duration and small time interval between each. The shrieks whipped angrily through the air, one after another.

The cat froze for a few seconds, and then ran—towards the children's barracks. He ran up the tree and leapt off its branch. He hesitated at the inner border of the grass, looking towards the barracks. The shrieks pierced the air, consistently and incessantly.

It was two hours before midnight in a town that turned in early, and the cat could see lights turning on in houses very far away. A few minutes later, the cat saw a guard approaching the children's field, an angry energy in his posture and stride. The guard entered the field and strode swiftly across it to the barracks.

Now the shrieks began to build in strength and increase in quickness, accompanied now by many other cries of frightened children and desperate adults. The cat began to pace and whine.

Long seconds passed. The primary noise built and built and built, until it seemed strong enough to any moment blow out the stars and overcome the world. The cat began to paw at the ground; and then suddenly, all sound stopped.

The guard exited the children's barracks with a full plastic garbage bag. He carried his bag across the children's field, out, and quickly out of sight around the factory.

The cat lay down. He felt profoundly exhausted, frazzled and despairing. He would wait for Roci where he was.

Roci came to the cat in the early morning—he could not have eaten breakfast yet. Roci's eyes were swollen and his face was gaunt. The cat rushed to Roci and pressed against him side-to-side.

The guard killed somebody, Roci told the cat.

The cat listened hard though he did not want to.

He was only a baby, said Roci despairingly. He hardly even talked, yet. That's why he was shrieking—he was mad, and it was the only way he could tell the world how angry he was.

Roci was rocking back and forth. The guardians tried to make him stop, he said—they tried everything. They knew the owner's neighbors would complain at him, and the guard would come . . .

Roci was sobbing beneath his words. He continued, The guard wouldn't stop. I tried to yell, "Stop!" but Muri put his hand over my mouth.

Niti was screaming at everybody to shut up. I closed my eyes, but I could still hear.

He was only a baby, said Roci. And the guard wouldn't stop until the baby stopped screaming. And the baby wouldn't stop until he was dead.

Roci had no more words, now. The cat leaned into Roci as his boy rocked him. The cat had no words either.

But an idea was bothering Roci, and after waking up with the cat three hours later, Roci told him about it:

Tobi, says Roci, says that the Borrynzians even make more boy slaves than girl slaves because they know they kill more boys. The boys make more trouble than the girl slaves. They make more boy slaves so if they are too much trouble they can just kill them.

That's wrong, said Roci, that's not right. It's not right to make somebody just to kill him when he's too much trouble later.

The cat agreed, silently.

* * *

Author's Note 1: To preemptively answer a possible question, the second-to-last sentence is not an attempt to ulteriorly express an opinion on the abortion issue. I am not commenting on that issue at all--there is no underlying statement there.

Author's Note 2:
I sure wish this segment were a fantasy, meaning the opposite of reality . . .

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