Leaving Home by Nick Nafpliotis

leaving homeIt’s presently not much to look at, but the house that Father built used to be so much more than the burned out shell of a home that stands here now.

It was constructed deep within the forest in the hopes that no one would bother him. Of much greater concern, however, was that no one discovered what he was doing. Beneath its modest exterior, the house’s cavernous basement had been reinforced with absurdly strong defensive measures. I never saw the point in that. Just because your test subjects have had the empathetic portions of their brains removed doesn’t mean they’ll randomly developed super powers, too.

It was very well hidden, though. Aside from the occasional group of drunken teenagers or adventurous hikers, the house remained undisturbed. But one day, a little boy made the mistake of finding it and successfully breaking in. After hearing our pleas for help and opening the cellar door, he probably considered what he was doing to be an act of kindness. Perhaps even heroic. We certainly made it sound that way. It’s surprisingly easy to mimic things like despair and fear when you can’t feel them. Father taught us human emotion with cold, clinical efficiency. They were programs to him; different setting we could switch on and off. They would help a select few of us blend into what Father constantly referred to as ‘the real world’.

Unfortunately for him, that little boy was too sweet to ignore our pleas. I don’t even remember his name, but I do remember what his screams sounded like. It was the first time we’d ever been allowed to kill outside a controlled environment. No time limits. No boundaries. No tranquilizers. As you can probably imagine, things got quite messy. There was much we could learn about our biology this child who did not share our genetic makeup.

By the time Father returned home, the house had been destroyed along with all of his unfinished test subjects. There was no sympathy or feeling of kinship with them; they were simply competition in need of being culled. Father tried to run from us, but he didn’t get far. He still seemed surprised by the prospect of us doing exactly what we’d been bred for. I may have even detected a slight hint of betrayal in his voice before his throat stopped working. But as man as brilliant as him should have understood we were not seeking any sort of revenge. It was simply what we’d been bred to do.

Now, with the house destroyed and Father gone, we are free to explore. Free to discover all the weaknesses and vulnerabilities that Father tried to hide from us. Free to do what we were made for.

It’s time to go see the world.