Stain

Stain

 

The front door shook to a heavy knock. A frightened woman trudged to the door and asked in the ghost of a voice: “Who is it?” Instead of answering, there were a few powerful knocks and a man’s heavy voice said: “Open the door!” The woman turned the key with a trembling hand. Two men in uniform entered the room. “Where is your baby? Show me your child!” The women began muttering in a faint voice: “He is not here; he is at my mother’s house. It’s far from here. He is in a village. There’s plenty of air. He is not here!” Ignoring the woman’s alarmed summoning, soldiers searched the rooms, looking under the beds and in closets. The soldiers hardly spoke to each other. Then one of them, the senior officer – a huge man with a scar on his cheek – ordered to search more carefully. The baby must be somewhere here …The woman watched them vandalizing her house; she pressed herself against the wall and put her hand over her mouth to keep herself from screaming.

Forty minutes later, when they did not find anything, the scarred man ordered his soldiers to leave the house and wait for him outside. As soon as the door closed behind them, he came closer to the woman, pushed her head up roughly and muttered between his teeth: “Think yourself lucky, bitch. But we will find your child anyway. You know the order: all boys older than 3 moths must be fostered to the military camp! We are at war almost with the entire planet and we need soldiers not the home-grown whimps”. The woman wanted to turn away from the scarred man that leaned over her; his wild eyes frightened her. The man released her and headed for the door. When he was almost on the threshold, he heard a thin wail. The man stopped. The woman’s eyes opened wider; involuntary she glanced at the under-ceiling storage shelf from where the sound was heard. The man followed her gaze and sprinted for the shelf. The woman rushed to him, but he pushed her away violently. He opened the under-ceiling storage shelf’s door and saw a baby lying in a basket. The child dropped his dummy and was whimpering. The man grasped the basket, placed it on the floor and came to the woman. “You know what happens to those who disobey the order!” Then there was a hit, and one more… She did not resist, but, trembling like a leaf, looked at the basket with her baby. The scarred man beat her, he punched and kicked her. When he left the house, the woman remained on the floor motionless.
***
There were three soft knocks at the door, than two knocks and three more. A young woman rushed to the door, opened it and clung to a scarred man standing in the doorway. The man entered and closed the door behind him. For a while he looked through the peephole, and then calming down a bit, he turned slowly to the woman. They kissed and the man that had so recently been a monster turned to a pettable kitten. “Is he ok?” the man asked. “Yes, he has just fallen asleep,” the woman took his hand and pulled him to the room. In the corner of the room shielded from sight, there was a bed where a baby slept. The man stood over him, barely breathing. “I will never get used to this, I’m so happy!” he whispered and pulled his wife closer. The woman looked at him, then at their baby and smiled. “We must keep him and then we will take him away. We can’t give him to that slaughter after what had happened to me”, the man touched his scar involuntary. The woman stroked the baby’s cheek gently and tucked a blanket. The man did the same and touched the child’s cheek. “Ok, I’m washing hands and let’s have dinner”, he said and left the room. The woman followed him, but she saw something on baby’s cheek. She leaned and wiped a small stain. She held her hand up in front of her eyes, her heart pounded in her chest – it was blood!!!
“NO! I want to know nothing of it,” she said in a very low tone and followed her husband.

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