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Memories can hurt

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He had hoped that he would never have to see this place again. Unbearable pictures were crossing his mind, memories he had refused to think about for fifteen years. Now everything was back, so lively as it just had happened a day before. Kurdy shuddered visibly when Smith opened the old door to the house; broken windows, flaked off paint; of course, the so familiar furniture was long gone, dragged off, burned.

And Kurdy knew, it was just his imagination that he could smell roasted potatoes and pulled pork. His dad's favorite food; he had always said, that no one could cook as good as his wife. Kurdy's mom.

They had been great parents, maybe a bit strict sometimes, a lot of rules; they had wanted him to have a better future one day. But Kurdy had loved them, like every ten-year-old boy loved his parents, he had also loved baseball and Huckleberry Finn, he went to school, and even if he was not a brilliant student, he had earned some prizes in reading contests. He had always loved books. In the afternoon, after he had done his homework, and helped his mom with the dishes he used to hang around with his best friends, Jimmy and Elijah.

A perfect, happy life. Until this day, when something went terribly wrong in a secret military lab. Kurdy could see and hear what was going on in the streets, the adults died, the children cried. But he didn't understand the consequences.

It was some days after the beginning when he got home and he could hear his mom's voice.
„Derek, please,“ she begged.
„You know, it's the only way. Before it's too late. Please.“

His dad was sobbing, maybe this was most shocking, his das never cried, he was big and strong and always knew what to do. Kurdy pushed the door to the small kitchen open, only a small crack. His eyes fell on his father, a gun in his hands, aimed at his mother.

He felt the urge to cry but he seemed to have lost his voice; he wanted to turn around and run but he wasn't able to move. Helplessly he watched he father lifting the gun, then the loud bang, smell of powder in the air, his mom slowly breaking down, blood running over her hair and face.

Smith's voice tore him out of his dark thoughts.
„You okay?“

He kept quiet, felt not ready to talk about it. The shock, the panic he had felt back then seemed to catch up with him again. He had finally turned around and run, ignoring his dad's voice, calling for him. All he could think, was, that his father had killed his mom and that he was all alone from now on. In a world where the chaos ruled.

„What are we doing here,“ he finally asked, his usually strong voice almost inaudibly.
„This house is more a ruin. No one is living here for quite a while already.“

„God has told me to bring you here,“ Smith answered.
„He says, it's about time.“

This again. Kurdy wasn't sure if he wanted to laugh or burst into tears. This ridiculous bullshit again. But suddenly an idea crossed his mind and all the pieces fall into the right place. Yes, it was about time. Now, fifteen years later, he was able to face the truth about this horrible evening which had changed his life forever.

It hadn't been killing, it had been mercy. The end had been inevitable, all the adults died sooner or later. Sooner was a relief, later meant pain and torture for everyone.

To leave him behind alone hadn't been malevolent indifference but a last act of love. His parents had decided to go before it got even worse. Not for themselves, for him. The time of the adults was over; the future belonged to the children. And they wanted him to have the chance to be a part of it.

„Mom, Dad, I will always love you,“ Kurdy whispered, not trying to fight back his tears for longer.