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Louis was not like “normal” kids- if they’re what you define as normal. He was short and medium built and there was not a trace of fat on his body. He had dark, curly hair and brownish skin- but bright yellow eyes. At the age of three, he was caught taking food from Safeway and was taken to Happy Valley Orphanage, where he resides up to this day.
It was a morning like all the others, again. Louis was sitting alone, eating by himself –again, spooning the wet, gray porridge –again, ignoring the nervous glances –again. The mess hall was like it always was –whitewashed walls, dirty windows, poor lighting, and, of course, the smell of rot. But something was different.
There was an even deeper air of silence in the room than usual; and then Louis remembered. It was the sixth of June –6/6- his tenth birthday. Ten… ten… ten… ten… TEN! Suddenly, it came to him: he was ten years old, and he knew what came with that age in this formidable dungeon.
Every time a child turned ten in Happy Valley, they would disappear –never to be seen again.
Well, sure enough, the Headmistress showed up –just as she always did on birthdays. She was not a happy soul. Gangly, short hair. Long, hooked nose. Crooked, yellow smile. Six foot stature –without the aid of her three inch blood red heels. All these characteristics added to her overall venomous character.
“Well, well, well! It seems we have another birthday to celebrate! And ten years old too!” She announced in her nasal, sickly-sweet voice. “Everyone please wish Louis Irkerbeed a wonderfully special day!”
Silence. Endless, complete, enveloping silence.
“Now then, Louis, please come with me to receive your special gift!”
Louis stood, and began walking slowly to the gaping door. It was like death row; a prisoner, sentenced to death, savoring his last steps before departing. Eyes turned away as Louis passed. Not a single dark pupil, no bright irises or parted lashes pointed towards him –not a single one. And then the door closed behind him, and Louis found himself being marched, as if at gunpoint, down a dark, cavernous hallway, lit only by the light glistening under the doors that lined the tunnel.
Finally, the pair reached the end of the hallway and entered the last door. At first, all was pitch black to Louis, but then, shapes began to pop into existence as his eyes adjusted. He could just makeout a bookshelf, desk, chairs, and… spider webs. All over everything. And then, in the span of one second, the Headmistress transformed. She sprouted four more appendages, became even more hairy, and, worst of all, sprouted foot-long mandibles –long and sharp like white daggers- from here face. Then, she lunged.
If one had been looking on this seen, they may have seen what had slipped past the morphing creature’s sight: the boy’s eyes, they appeared to have caught on fire. When the spider-creature lunged, Louis was ready, and kicked it squarely in the chest. Back, flew the arachnid, through three walls at least, and died, decomposing within a minute.
Louis sprinted from the room and back to the mess hall with amazing speed.
Then, as he entered the room, the alarm sounded, and the tear gas began to fall… Just a little farther to the windows...