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  • Looking back after all those years, Thing can still sit back and sigh a little about that day.

    It was the day that his life was made complete. Sure, he would had never given up hope, for there was always a flicker in his heart that said they would meet again, but it was sometimes too difficult for his mind to handle.

    That day had found Thing sitting at the door of the cave, watching – always watching – for his mother and father to return. It had been more years than Thing had wished to remember, but still he kept his dreams and hopes afloat. In those orphaned years, Thing had learned to accept his differences from those in the town below. He had learned that some people were cruel but most people were kind. He had also learned to be happy with who and what he was; those who burned with unhappiness would have to fend for themselves – you can’t help everyone in the world, thought Thing.

    The sun was just setting behind the far forest when he saw the silhouette of a figure climbing towards his cave. When the figure got close enough, Thing could see it was his father. HIS FATHER. At first Thing wept, and then he hugged and prodded his father to make sure he was real. Then Thing wept some more.
    When the hugging was over, Thing sat with his father beside a big fire at the back of the cave – a fire, they had both built – and said nothing.

    “I just want to look at you,” said Thing’s father. “My boy, my beautiful, glorious boy.”
    Thing let a few tears run down his face, as he smiled back at his father.
    “I will tell you everything in the morning, my boy - as for this evening let us sleep as I have never slept before.”
    Thing and his father slept side-by-side and it felt wonderful to be held by his Papa once more. He hadn’t wanted to ask about his mother just in case the news was very bad.

    In the morning, Thing sat at the mouth of the cave and watched the sunrise. He did, what he had always done when he was a child, he had applauded the sun coming up for another day. As his father had said, ‘no one says it has to’. This time instead of watching the horizon for his family, Thing whistled a little tune, the one he used to whistle to make himself happy when the kids in town were making his life difficult.

    His father awoke too, and he came over to the mouth of the cave and sat with Thing.
    “I hope you applauded the sun rising, son?” Asked his father.
    “I did,” said Thing.
    And together they both repeated the mantra: “because no one says it has to rise.”
    The both laughed and hugged, and then his father looked at Thing.

    “Now I will tell you what became of us, your parents - my wonderful boy. Some of it will be difficult for you to hear, but hear you must. As you remember, I had planned to take your mother to the hospital in Capital City. I had heard that they could deal with our people, kindly there. We stopped in a little cave just to the north of the city in order to sleep and prepare for the next day. In the night a gang came, ones who were on the lookout for exhibits in their circus. They kidnapped both me and your mother, and took us to be part of their freak show. They would not let us see a doctor and so your mother grew weak. We moved from town to town and every time, we performed a show, I would look for a way that I and your mother could escape. Each time I tried and failed, they would beat me. When the shows were not selling well, they would have one of the workers dress as me and go into the town to cause havoc. Sometimes they burned buildings to the ground. The owners would then tell the townsfolk that I and your mother had escaped and carried out those evil deeds. The crowd, who had grown angry, would pay money to throw rocks at me and your mother. Your mother, my little angel, did not survive. I am heartbroken to have to tell you this. Her final words were ‘tell my son, I will always love him, and you, my darling, must escape from here.’ When your mother finally closed her eyes, I was feeling so much anger, I lifted your mother and walked from the circus. The tried to stop me, but our God watched over us. I found it hard to carry your mother so far and so I buried her just outside of the city. I will take you there, one day.”

    Thing sat and contemplated what he had heard from his father – and decided that if his Papa could deal with those troubles and survive, then so could he.

    Thing’s father lived with him and Thing’s family for many years. He watched contentedly as Thing met a soul mate and then they brought their own children into the world. Each year, on her birthday, Thing would take his family to the grave of his mother and when the time finally came, he buried his father next to her.

    As his children grew, Thing found that his family were more accepted in the town below than he had been. This made him smile and gave him hope for the future.

    But on that day, that glorious day, that his father returned home – was the day that Thing’s life really began.
    Thing was truly happy, at last.

    THE END.

    bobby stevenson 2015
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