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There Was A Boy

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“Darling, I want you to listen to me…”

Hamish peered up curiously at his mother - who was actually crying. He’d never seen that before. She normally kept her face as brave as possible, wise and collected, but he could see the internal uncertainty and fear lingering in her now-glossy orbs.

“Stay hidden. Don’t come out, no matter what you hear.”

Hamish bit his lip nervously. She was scaring him.

“Darling, do you understand?” Irene repeated softly, cupping his sweet, unassuming face in her hands.

Hesitantly, he nodded.

“Good boy.” Her lower lip trembled as she moved in to kiss his cheeks tenderly, but urgently. Repeatedly. A loud bang from downstairs drew Irene’s attention to the closed door of her room. Hamish jumped too, but his mother’s hands held his face more tightly in silent reassurance. “Come on… in here.”

She quickly ushered him into her massive walk-in closet. “Stay quiet, Hamish, no matter what. Don’t come out until I tell you.” Taking one last look at her small, bewildered son - Irene winced and shut the doors, leaving him in darkness. Leaving him amidst countless racks clothes; her armour.

Hamish plopped down to sit on the floor after only a few minutes of waiting.

Footsteps.

Door opening.

Raised voices.

A calmer conversation.

His mother’s voice.

A man’s.

A gunshot. Hamish jumped at the sound in his little dark hideaway.

Everything went quiet.

He waited.

He waited.

Lying down on the floor, the boy tried in vain to peer underneath in the hopes of seeing whether or not it was clear to come out. It was deathly quiet, and completely dark now. Pulling himself back onto his feet, Hamish gently pushed on the closet door, and peeked out.

All was still. It took a few minutes for his eyes to adjust to the dim streetlight that was flooding into the otherwise dark room through the large window… but when his blue orbs focused, he saw a lump in the middle of the floor.

A body.

Trembling, Hamish crept out of the closet and hesitatingly inched toward the familiar form of his mother. He knelt down beside her, and lightly touched his small hand to her shoulder, shaking her. She didn’t move. Lowering down to sit down beside her, Hamish was unsure of what to do next. His mother hadn’t told him what to do after he came out.

It wasn’t a good feeling. She wasn’t moving. She wasn’t breathing. Hamish might be young… but he didn’t need anyone to tell him she was dead.

He didn’t try to be brave now. Tears were streaming down his cheeks as he whimpered; continuing to shake her lightly, in the childish hope that maybe it would revive her.

Time was lost on the child. He had no idea how long he sat beside her - and was only snapped out of his foggy, lost haze when he heard the front door open and shut.

Footsteps on the stairs.

Hamish scampered back into the closet, and closed the door, but left it open a tiny crack so he could keep an eye out.

He held his breath, and watched as a tall figure strolled into the room; dark coat fluttering behind him almost majestically. Hamish saw the stranger crouch near his mother’s body. He muttered a few choice swear-words, and then whipped out his mobile.

“Tell me you have him in custody.” He hissed sharply.

Silence; the person on the other end responded.

“No.” He answered. “…She’s dead.”

The stranger suddenly tilted his head at an odd angle… as if he’d just spotted something. Hamish watched worriedly as the man reached down to run his long fingers against the small indent in the carpet Hamish had made when he’d sat there moments ago.

“Someone’s here…” He muttered in a deep baritone.

The child gasped, and quickly covered his mouth.

The stranger straightened, and whipped around to stare at the closet. He pocketed his phone.

Hamish began to shake as he saw the tall intruder advance toward him - drawing a weapon from the inside of his long coat.

Throwing open the door, Hamish jumped back and held his hands up in a feeble attempt to defend himself. He couldn’t stop shaking. The stranger didn’t move, at first. His silence and stillness caught Hamish’s attention, and the boy found himself cautiously looking up at the stranger.

He looked oddly familiar. Hamish couldn’t recall from where.

A picture…

“Are… you alright?” The man asked.

Hamish nodded shyly.

“Close your eyes. Keep them closed until I tell you…”

Hamish did as instructed, and felt himself swooped up into the long arms of the intruder. He was so tall; Hamish didn’t think he’d ever been held up so high. It was warm within the folds of the man’s long coat.

He hadn’t realized how tired he was. His head found a natural position, resting on the man’s shoulder. He kept his eyes closed, as instructed. But he wasn’t scared anymore…

They walked out of the bedroom, and Hamish felt himself drifting in and out of consciousness. The stranger was on the phone again,

“Send a car, Mycroft.”