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Rated: E · Fiction · Emotional · #2296698
A reporter empathizes with inmates of an orphanage
A reporter investigated a building, the contents of which the locals knew little of. After he had left the building, he earnestly undertook a declamatory report:
A wholesome facade, of a miserable interior, an asylum that degrades its refuge-seeking castaways...if it were but forsaken.
The farthest door bears the placard INFANTS. This room is drearily carpeted and eternally hosts blackout curtains. In a row, straight-jacketed inmates lay on their backs on padded surfaces.
Enclosing each one of them are wooden bars on which indentations left by raucous teething, and marks of futile scratches, self-heal; it is the tiny inmates' nails which are splayed and peeling off layers.
Caretakers of the inmates of the INFANTS room do not even speak their language; toilet facilities are only offered to those who have moved up from INFANTS.
For occupation, for sustenance, for a means to stem their tears, they are forced to become dependent on a milky liquid that essentially knocks them off to sleep.
These miserable conditions, accentuated by the cries of the inmates at any hour, humiliate the inmates of the INFANT room, who must come crawling on hands and knees for the privilege of being moved up to TODDLERS.
The TODDLER recreational area, its walls neutrally painted, has the same dreary carpeting.
A blue crayon stub, its peel wafting from the end, resembles a cigarette butt.
Paint stains the inmates' bodies as stylized tattoos. Chubby, almost potbellied, inmates walk or crawl around, across, and on top of one another, their curious and restless natures roughing it.
Although they do not speak our language, although their degradation allows no common ground, although we have hitherto believed that they have sanctuary, the inmates of these two rooms plead to us for a home.

Following the publishment of this report, a crowd of locals flooded the orphanage, and forty-six, children in hand, left the establishment unpopulated but for the staff.
The reporter was heckled by the orphanage staff as well as by cynical locals, such as myself.
I reproached the reporter, "These children had company, food, recreation, were well-cared for--you know this. What you've done is manipulate knowledge."
The reporter, smiling, shook his head and said, "I empathized."
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