Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2018 Day 11: Bringer Of Light

By Robin de Voh on 2018-10-11

It was a beautiful day out, but they hurried from the car into the shoddily-built adoption office building like they were afraid of the light. They dragged their son along as they went. At the front desk, they signed in and sat down.

The boy, Ronnie, asked if he could play in the corner, and they just nodded. When he'd gone over there, they looked at each other, sporting worried looks.

"Is this really okay? Because it doesn't feel okay," the woman whispered, after which she grabbed his hand.

They both checked whether Ronnie had heard them, but he seemed to be happily playing with the train set the office had set up in the waiting room.

"I know, honey, it doesn't feel right to me either, but we both know it's not working out," Luke whispered back, squeezing her hand.
"We've only had him for 2 months," she said quietly, "Maybe we just didn't try hard enough?"
"Sweetie, you know as well as I do that the nightmares aren't normal. Especially not if they keep happening every single night."
"I know, but..."
"No, you have to stop. They started after he showed up and," he held up his hand, showing her the back of it, "This scar should not exist, and you know it."
"I know," she said quietly as she looked away.

She wanted to look at Ronnie, but couldn't get herself to.

"Luke and Leonora Herbert?" a voice said from the corridor. A woman with a nameplate saying "Suzie Whittaker, Adoption Counselor" stood looking at them.

They got up.

"Ronnie, come," the woman said with a friendly voice.

Ronnie looked up happily and stood up, walking over to them.

"Hey there, Ronnie. How are you?" Suzie said with a smile.
"I'm doing great, Ms. Whittaker," Ronnie said with an even bigger smile.

Suzie looked up at Luke and Leonora, and saw that they were less thrilled right now.

"Alright, then. Let's go to my office," she said calmly.
"Sorry, is it possible to talk without Ronnie first?" Luke said rather seriously.
"Oh... Sure," Suzie said, turning to the receptionist. "Can you watch him for a minute?"

The receptionist nodded and walked towards Ronnie, leading him back to the play area. He was fine with it, he didn't really know why they were there anyway. The others went into the corridor and into Suzie's office.

"Take a seat," she said as she walked around to sit behind her desk. "What seems to be the problem?"

Luke cleared his throat.

"So, okay. As you know we took Ronnie home 2 months ago," Luke started awkwardly.
"Hm, yes. And I take it there's a problem?" Suzie said.
"Well, you see," Leonora said equally awkwardly. "Ever since we took him home, we've been having these nightmares. Every single night. Very vivid, very real."
"Too real," Luke interjected. "So real that I woke up with a scar after some devil-thing in my dreams cut me there."

He showed the back of his hand, where a jagged scar could be seen. Suzie looked at it carefully and then nodded.

"So I take it you didn't read through the adoption contract's addenda, then?"
"Sorry, the what?" Luke said.
"The addenda. Ronnie's a special case, if you will. We added some addenda to the adoption papers -- the ones you received before agreeing to adopt him -- which should have explained the ways in which he's, well, special."
"I don't remember seeing anything other than the main papers," Leonora said, looking at Luke for confirmation.
"Me neither," Luke said.

Suzie sighed. "Dammit, again. This is the third time."

She stood up and walked towards a file cabinet, opened it and rummaged through it until she found what she was looking for.

"Ah, here we go. Ronald Kamp," she said as she walked back and sat back down. "See, the name kinda says it all, doesn't it? Kamp?"
"I... I'm not sure what you mean," Luke said.
"Okay, so, as you know, Ronnie is originally from Norway. Kamp means match, and another word for match is Lucifer."
"Lucif... You've got to be kidding!" Leonora almost shouted.

Suzie shook her head.

"I'm not, sorry to say. This addendum," and she pulled out a piece of paper Luke and Leonora had indeed never seen before, "states clearly that Ronnie is Lucifer's son. Well, one of many. We see a lot of them go through the system. Most... Mothers... Don't want to keep Satan's son, you see."

Luke fainted. His head hit the desk with a thud.

Leonora just stared at Suzie, her mouth making the motions of speech but without any sound actually forming other than an odd weak moan.

"Are you okay?" Suzie asked neither of them in particular.

Leonora snapped out of her mind-breaking episode long enough to check on Luke, but he seemed out but otherwise fine.

"We adopted Satan's son?" Leonora said, in an almost aggressive tone.
"Again, one of them. He's like, one out of a thousand or so."
"And the nightmares?"
"Regular fare, really. Basically, Satan's children get powers over time, but before they learn to control it, it's, you know, unguided terror."
"Unguided terror."
"Exactly."

Leonora looked at Luke for a while and was jealous that he didn't have to deal with this right now.

"Okay, so while at first I was hesitant to give him up, obviously, we can't keep him," she eventually said.
"I'm sorry, that's what the second addendum is for," Suzie said as she pulled it out of the stack of paper. "All adoptions of Satan's children are final. The system simply can't handle the amount of them if we kept taking them back. Besides, just think about what it would do to Ronnie's self esteem."
"We're stuck with him?!"
"Just like any other parent, if you think about it. You even got to pick out your own child. And I'll also point out that you accepted the adoption without asking all that many questions."
"You left out the addenda! That would have made all the difference!"

Suzie looked down at the piece of paper she was holding that stated that the adoption was final and sighed.

"You're right. Since the addenda were not with the adoption contract, you technically didn't agree to them."
"Exactly!" Leonora said excitedly. She immediately felt a little bad since it was a child's life she was handing over, but then excitement again as she considered getting a full night's rest tonight. "Can we just leave him here when we go?"

Suzie sighed. "Yes. We'll handle it."

Leonora managed to wake up Luke after a few minutes, while Suzie was filling in some paperwork. By the time she was done, she handed a printout to the couple and sighed.

"Okay. He's not your problem anymore," she said, obviously disappointed.
"What happened?" Luke said weakly.
"I'll explain on the ride home, sweetie," Leonora said.

They walked out, carefully creeping past Ronnie. Suzie waited a while and walked out into the waiting room. Ronnie was still playing, and the receptionist was sitting nearby.

"Did you screw up again?" the receptionist said.
Suzie sighed. "Yeah."
"He's not going to like that," she said. "You've been screwing up a lot."
"Well, what's he going to do, take my soul again?"

The receptionist grinned a shark-like grin.

"Oh, sweetie. He can do so much worse than that."