The wind swept streets echoed with the sound of his
running feet pounding
the pavement. Zeke skidded around the corner,
scrapping the skin from the
palm of his hand and nearly knocking over a couple on
the way past. He
shouted "sorry" as he sprinted toward the gates.
Zeke ran through the large stone gates that housed
and up to the front door. He slowed his run to a
walk and stepped quietly
into the house. All the while keeping a close look
out for the Penguin
(Mother Superior) He snuck a quick look into the
dinning room as he passed
and saw that some of the boys where already there and
silently cursed Miss
Summer; An hours detention for kissing behind the
bike shed it wasn't
The last of the boys where trailing into the dinning
room when Zeke
After having changed out of the horrible grey and
purple uniform he was
forced to wear to school. He sank into his chair
thankfully after prayer.
He had made it..
A loud voice sounded from the hall "Clayton Zekehill
Anderson Come to my
office immediately" The whole room fell silent and
everyone's gaze shifted
to look at him. Zeke stood with a feeling of dread.
He had been found
He walked slowly out of the dinning room toward
Penguins office, his feet
dragging along the floor. He wondered what he would
get this time. A
bawling out, mouth washed out with soap or a couple
of hard whacks across
the butt. Well there was only one way to find out.
He raised his hand and
knocked on the door.
Zeke Carefully checked his door for the second time
in as many minutes,
seeing no-one about he quickly knelt next to his bed
and pried up a loose
floor board. He spun the lid on the bottle and took
a quick swig of the
Jack. Nothing else seemed to get rid of the soap
taste as quickly as his
Leaning back with a contented sigh and nursing the
bottle he thought about
Miss Summer and Penguin, He never wanted to end up
like those two, F**k he
wished he could run away to war or something that
would teach those two.
They wouldn't even let the other children call him
Zeke and they both knew
he hated Clayton. It made him sound like a first
And all the fuss over kissing, God it wasn't like he
was smoking at school.
He forced his window open and lit his first ciggie of
the evening. Zeke
finished the Jack and quickly stubbed out his third
smoke and jammed the
window shut as heavy footsteps strode across the
floor just outside his
room. It was Sister Mary making the 11 O'clock
Zeke jumped into bed fully clothed and pulled the bed
clothes up around his
ears. He heaved a huge sigh of relief as Sister Mary
checked his room and
moved away. He quickly changed in the dark and
slipped into bed.
The day began with a bang, as the storm clouds broke
and rain pelted
the windows. Lightening cracked across the grey sky
leaving jagged scares
and an almost supernatural afterglow.
Zeke lent his folded arms on the window sill and
watched the rain drops
chase each other down to the bottom of the glass.
The other kids where
yelling and screaming, some of the smaller ones where
crying and running
over toward him for a reassuring cuddle. Usually
they where guaranteed a
cuddle and maybe even a story of two but today Zeke
ignored them. He
continued to stare out into the storm wishing he
could be somewhere alone
with his thoughts. Alone to mourn the fact that he
was alone and unloved.
To answer the many questions running through his head
about his parents and
why he was put into an home straight out of hospital.
Today was the one and only day of the year he allowed
himself to feel this
way, for the other 364 days of the year he buried the
feelings deep down
refused to touch them; But today was different today
was his birthday. he
thought about what some of his school friends did on
their birthdays and
just as quickly put the thought out of his mind.
Zeke turned with a shrug
and a deep sigh as he noticed the tugging on his leg
for the first time.
looked down and smiled at the tear stained face
staring up at him. Zeke
picked up Emma and placed her on his lap feeling her
heart beat rapidly and
cling to him with frightened fingers, whenever a clap
of thunder or a crack
of lightning lit up the sky. Zeke rested his cheek
on the top of her head
and sang a quiet melody, Emma looked up with wide
eyes filled with love.
Zeke smiled feeling some of the blackness lifting.
He lifted Emma into his
arms as he stood and walked over to a huddling group
of children all aged
between 3-5 and sat with them until the storm passed.
All the while
stories and playing games. He didn't miss the
grateful smile levelled at
him by sister Teresa. Maybe today wasn't such a bad
day after all.
Zeke leaned back against his pillows with a satisfied
smile on his
face. He glanced at the clock on the wall and still
couldn't believe that
he was just getting to bed at 11.00 on a school night.
Just when he had
felt so low, everyone had got together and thrown an
impromptu party for
him. It was the best night of his life.
He had met a heap of people from the girls home down
the road. Two
he especially liked where Starbuck and Seasons. he
had read a story by one
of the girls Kitty Kat and couldn't stop laughing, who
would of thought a
story about a dog was so funny.
For the first time in a long time he felt contented
and part of a
group, he felt like he actually belonged. Maybe this
wasn't such a bad
place to be after all.
The sunlight streamed in through the window just
before before the alarm
clock starting screaming in his ear. Zeke poked his
head out from under the
bed covers and rubbed bleary eyes into focus to see
who was fostering this
torture on him. It took a while before he rememberd
that he was the one
responsible for the torture by forgetting to close his
curtains and that if
he didn't turn the blasted clock off soon, all the
other boys on the floor
would barge in and beat the S**T out of him.
By the time Zeke made it to the showers there was only
cold water left. He
set an world record time and was out of the shower
before his hair as even
wet. No one could tell with his hair any way.
Mark met him at the stairs and they both slipped out
for a smoke before
breakfast and heading off to school. On the way to
school Mark and Jordan
decided to skip school and meet up with some of the
girls from the party
last night. Zeke walked onto school alone the mouth
washing still to fresh
in his mind to try that again so soon.
Zeke stopped at the drug store on the way home and
overheard some of the
local gang bangers talking about a drive by shooting
that killed two of the
local kids. Zeke paid for his candy and walked on
home not giving the
shooting much thought until he rounded the corner
before the home and saw
the cop car standing out front. He walked in slowly
and went to find
someone who knew what the hell was going on.
Zeke found Sister Teresa crying in the chapel and a
ball began to form in
his stomach. He walked up to her and asked what had
happened. She told him
that Mark and Jordan had been standing in front of the
cinema trying to
sneak in with two girls when a car drove past and the
two gang members
inside started shooting at a rival gang member
standing a short way from
Mark and his friends. They where killed instantly.
Tears fell from his eyes as his hands turned to ice
and his heart seemed to
stop beating. But he still couldn't stop thinking
"Thank God it wasn't me".
He turned and ran out of the chapel and threw himself
down on the bed. He
felt guilty for being alive and at the same time glad
he wasn't dead.
Zeke stayed in his room all evening. he ignored the
knocks on the door and
in the end cried himself to sleep. His last thought
was about his friends
and their short unstable and lonely lives. He knew
that life would go on
and more children would come to take the place of
those that had left too
soon. He made a pact to himself that if he ever had a
child he would never
leave him/her and would always ensure they where safe.
Because to put it
mildly "life is a bitch."
Zeke sank back across the soft mattress of his
bed and thought back over
last week. He felt like a hurricane survivor,
only now being let back in
pick up the pieces and try to reform his life.
It wasn't meant to be like
this. He thought being fostered meant a new
life, one that would give him
chances and experiences that just weren't
available with over 100 kids in
the one place.
Zeke gently rubbed his knuckles, he glanced at
the imprint of the brush
was suddenly glad that her hand hadn't found
anything harder to hit him
with. She only hit him to help him she said,
it was amazing how much help
he needed, when Jack wasn't around. Zeke
vaugley thought about telling
(Mr Timms)but in the end he wouldn't be
believed. Who listened to 9 year
olds anyway. Jack would ask Alice and that
would result in another
session. That he could do without. He would
take of this in his own
just as he did everything else.
A small smirk suddenly crossed his solomn face,
an image of a scrawny 7
old crossed his mind. That was a kid with
problems. He had heard a group
of 3 kids planning to beat the kid up and had
decided to go along to check
out the scene. It hadn't been hard to find
there was a crowd of
approximatly 10 people all cheering the 3 older
kids and quite effectivly
shutting off any route of escape by the little
kid. Zeke pushed through
jeering spectators and watched as the the
little kid was hit twice. The
turned his head toward the crowd as blood
streamed out of his nose and
satined his shirt. He looked eyes with Zeke
and seemed to stare into his
soul. The next thing Zeke rembered he was
wading into the fight and
flinging his fists left, right and center. The
crowd quieted as the the 3
boys backed off, eyeing him wairly, like he was
a mongrel dog waiting for
reason to bite. He took one step toward the
boys and they fled, the crowd
slowly began to disperse as Zeke bent down and
offered the little kid a
By the time they both stood sis by side the
playground was deserted and
only sound was the traffic roaring past on the
nearby freeway. Zeke
as the kid pulled out a hankerchief and wiped
ineffectivly at the blood
dribbling from his nose. The kid suddenly drew
himself up and held out
hand, taking zeke by suprise and announcing in
a firm voice " Thanks, My
names Myron, Myron Goldman. What yours"? Zeke
grinned and shook the
offered hand "Zeke Anderson" he stated.
A friendship had begun that day. His first
friend at the new school and
Zeke couldn't help but think that this
friendship was different, this
friendship would push the bounds of society as
he knew it and become
something more than anything he had seen or
experienced in his 9 short