Fandom: Mr. Smith
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
He couldn't be much older than fifteen. Every day he came into the canteen, was sitting alone at a table. He didn't talk to anyone, was only staring at the tabletop in front of him. Erin had tried to convince him to eat at least a bit, but usually his plate stayed almost untouched.
Smith dropped down on a chair beside him, but he didn't even lift his head.
"Hallo. Erin asked me to look after you.“
„She is worried.“
„No need to. I'm okay.“
"Maybe. Maybe not. It was the first time, wasn't it?"
Finally, the young guy looked up, his eyes sparkled annoyed.
"It was okay what I did! I just regret it that it was so easy for him. He should have suffered much more for what he has done.“
His voice sounded defiant, but Smith noticed the horror about the own doing deep in his eyes. Slowly he nodded.
"I know. But this didn't make it easier, right? You killed him; shot him into his chest and head four times. You'll never get rid of this memory again. All you can do is to live with it."
The young man narrowed his eyes.
"Live with it," he whispered.
"My life is over! I can't sleep anymore without nightmares. I have his dying eyes in my mind all day long. How can I just move on with that?“
Smith had learned from the storytellers that sometimes it was helpful to realize that almost everyone who did survive the Big Death had to live with horrible memories.
It was only a few weeks after the break. The world had turned into chaos where it was only of interest to survive the next day.
He was fourteen years old. Alone. His parents died, like all the adults. His brother … he didn't know. He was ready to give up. Until he found him, a young boy, maybe ten years old. More dead than alive. And for whatever reason, he felt a bond between them. Together they were strong, together there was a chance that they would survive.
The hope lasted for some weeks. Until they met the met the groups of skinheads one day. The little boy was afraid of their loud voices, the guns they carried. They laughed about him; one of the, a big guy with a lot of tattoos on his skull pressed his gun into his much too small hand and pointed at one of the women of the gang.
She didn't even dare to protest, was just standing there with wide eyes and stared at the little boy. He was shaking with panic, not knowing what to do.
„Kill her, or you are the next,“ the skinhead told him.
In this moment the boy stepped in to protect his little friend who was like a brother for him. He tore the weapon out of his hands, aimed it at the woman … and pulled the trigger. Hard to say if it was luck or calculation that he did miss her.
The woman looked at him, her eyes full of hate now and the skinhead patted his shoulder and laughed loud.
„You are my guy,“ he told him and pulled him to the truck …
Finally, Smith kept quiet and put his hand on the young man's arm.
"You're not alone, you know," then he added softly.
"All of us are fighting with memories we can't shrug off. But giving up means that the world has no future anymore.“
The guy eyed him sadly.
"What has become of him? The little boy."
Smith shook his head.
"I don't know. I've never seen him again."