by David Gere
Rated: E · Chapter · Psychology · #1123793
Flash Fiction drama about a mentally-disabled child in a war zone.
|Corbin the War Child|
Corbin winced as another roar erupted. His hideaway of concrete slabs, uprooted telephone poles, and scattered debris held little protection from the firestorm.
The eight-year-old cowered, daring only occasionally to peek out. Curling into the tightest ball he could, he rocked from side to side. He shivered, yet the night was anything but cold.
The first explosion made him run for cover. With pain bursting through his head, he ducked into the closest refuge.
“Go away,” he said to the noise. “Go away, you.”
He thought of the woman wrapping her arms around him. Shoving her away, he had pounded his fists against her breast. He didn’t like being touched.
Mother, he recalled. The woman kept repeating the word. He remembered the way her eyes made him feel like she wanted something. He wanted her to go away.
Picking up a handful of rocks, he flung them towards the street. The blasts magnified, and high pitched sirens drawing near and faded out of earshot. Closing his eyes, he covered his ears and wished the uproar would end and leave him alone.
A melody played in his head. The woman’s voice again. To his surprise, he missed her.
Boom! A blast of hot wind lifted him up, pressing his back against a stone block, threatening to blow him out of his retreat.
A red flash flared next to him. It reminded him of the orange light at the end of the sticks the man dangled from his mouth. He recoiled.
Corbin mouthed, “Autism, autism, autism.” Tapping his fingers against his knee, he knew it was a bad word. It was him. He was bad.
Raising his head over the ledge, carnage peered back at him from everywhere. Sheets of metal glowed, illuminating a world of a world of rubble and wreckage.
A stench worse than any he had ever experienced made him reel. He vomited. Lowering himself into his shelter, he wedged himself between two masses of rock.
He distracted himself by arranging loose bricks into a geometric pattern. Positioning them with great detail, he received comfort from their symmetry and balance.
A deafening blast exploded next to him. Debris showered Corbin, covering him with ashes. Leaping from his haven, he ran. Sidestepping holes and circuiting craters, his feet burned from the gooey black substance coating the road.
A high-pitched screech rang throughout the air, increasing in volume. Corbin increased his speed. Thunder detonated and the ground burst open. Dizzy, he swooned in the unendurable heat.
Corbin opened his eyes. Waves of billowing grass whipped against his knees. He had never seen skies so blue. Warmness on the back of his neck soothed him, and a peace he’d never known permeated his soul.
The woman stood before him. She stretched out her arms and pulled him to her bosom. This time he welcomed her embrace.