Chapter 1: Six Years of WonderingA Chapter by Dream Hunter
His name was Arthur William Hampson. That much he knew, for sure and certain.
In 1908, just about six years ago, Arthur William Hampson had been mightily proud of his name. It meant “strength”; strength of a powerful noble, of a massive bear, of a roaring lion, of a hot-blooded stallion. Strong.
But that was six years ago. Six long, long years, filled with nothing but lonely silence and ponderous despair. Six long years of living at the Miller’s Home for Orphaned Boys. Six long years watching orphans like him come and go while he, Arthur William Hampson, the “strong” one, remained hollowly waiting for " for what? He often asked himself. Just as he did tonight.
Tonight was nothing extraordinarily special " not that extraordinarily special things ever happened at the orphanage. A mournful wind howled and wailed on the other side of the wall. Huddled under his threadbare quilt in a creaky metal cot, Arthur shivered at the hollow rattling of the windowpanes, listening to the roaring gale racing around the corners of the building.
The orphanage, though massively tall and broad, was really a shabby building, much in need of repair. Oh, it was big all right, Arthur thought to himself with a grin. Terribly big. He still could pull forth the scene of his first day at the orphanage. He’d wandered aimlessly through the halls, and gotten himself so hopelessly lost that he had to be led back to the Junior Hall by a kindly janitor.
He’d had many, many memories like that one from his years at the orphanage. Miller’s Home for Orphaned Boys really wasn’t all that bad of a place. For six fairly happy years, he’d been reasonably cared for, and even educated from time to time. But everything that came before that first day at Miller’s Home for Orphaned Boys, all his days of really living life, was clouded in a sort of haze in his mind. He could dimly recall his mother’s face " auburn hair rippling down in waves, sparkling gray eyes. A light, bell-like laugh, too. But that was all. And he certainly couldn’t remember his father, except for maybe a drifting memory of bear-like hugs or a wisp of lopsided blonde-ish hair.
It was a general policy at the orphanage that the boys were forbidden to speak of their pasts. Which, of course, was fine with Arthur, because he couldn’t remember much anyhow. But a few years back, in a rare quiet moment, Arthur found Mrs. Hunter, the gentle, mellow housemother. She’d allowed him a peek in the record books, and upon peering into the tables and charts curiously, Arthur discovered that he’d lost his parents on the thirteenth of August 1908, six years back. But the column for “where” and “how” were left blank, startlingly empty in contrast to all the other filled boxes.
And Arthur knew why. All that was known to himself, and Mrs. Hunter, and the recorder at the orphanage, was that one day they were there, the next day they weren’t. The day he came home to an empty house was still terrifyingly vivid amidst the hazy memories. He could still remember skipping down the drive from the bus stop, noticing the dark rooms that usually were lit up with lamps and candles, opening the closed door that usually was open, swinging in the breeze, running in to find no one at the kitchen table writing letters, no one at the stove, no one reading in the study, no one listening to the radio. Nothing. Silence. A note hastily scribbled onto a scrap of paper and tacked to the door announced that they had taken off on a sudden vacation together to take a break from the strain in their workaday lives. Arthur could understand their need to release stress, because he could vaguely remember that they were both inventors, professionals of the fields of technology and science. Both his mother and father worked to create new forms of technology to advance the study of science and possibly help cure more people. The note had said that they would be back shortly and not to worry. But though Arthur waited alone in the house for days, they had never returned.
So Arthur William Hampson, six-year-old orphan and ward of the state, had come to live at the Miller’s Home for Orphaned Boys.
© 2012 Dream Hunter
Added on May 27, 2012
Last Updated on June 1, 2012
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