A Child's Cry | Verso.ink

A Child's Cry

It is never right to harm a child

By Bill Joyce

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Chapter 3 - Cry for Justice

Somehow the Good Lord had found a way to blend tomboy playfulness, crusader dedication to mission, and fairytale princess beauty into one human being. Her somewhat husky voice always echoed with laughter, hinting that something more intimate was possible. And those crystal blue eyes... They captured you and made you wish to never be let go. Colette Vandenbosch was all of this and more. She was a true freedom fighter and an advocate for democracy.

When she called, there was no hesitation. The mission parameters were not necessary. She was one of the few souls I would go beyond the edge of the world for. It was the tears I heard as she described the situation that instilled urgency. Those tears also held a very ominous note of revenge, incongruous to the very nature of this princess from my past.

I reread the account she provided as background for the mission:

A Child’s Tear

The body of the thirteen year old boy was found in a ditch outside of a factory in the town of Liege, Belgium. Officer Dietrich Dumont carefully examined the scene, demanding the crowds move back so as not to destroy evidence. There were signs that the boy crawled to the place where he died and the officer had a very queasy feeling. The bullets were sprayed across the child’s back haphazardly. Finally he found the telltale signs he was looking for and, calling others to help, followed the blood scared earth into the abandoned factory yard and a half collapsed garage. There on the garage floor the extent of the massacre flooded into the eyes of the officer, even though his brain attempted to refuse the reality.

Falling to his knees and allowing the horror to escapee in the form of a blood curdling scream, Officer Dietrich looked at the bloodied bodies of thirty-two young children all horribly shot multiple times. There in the center of the gore one child sat stunned beyond voice, looking at the officer pleading for him to turn back time. The child, no more than four years of age, held the hand of an older girl who would not be able to help her little brother any more. Abram Bobrik, the sole survivor of the massacre was a victim of abductions from a village in Belarus and missing for 6 months.

The reason for the massacre is still being investigated and the police have no leads.

Colette did not call me for Abram or the others slaughtered. She called for a young girl of fifteen who was abducted from her apartment. The police would work the past events. Colette intended to change the future and bring Amelia De Vos back to the arms of her mother and father.

The massacre was a sign of a gang’s complete lack of humanity. They had a rat among them and they terminated everything, escaping just before the police could round them up. The only prize they kept was Amelia. She was nearly priceless in the child slave trade and they needed money to rebuild their kingdom of crime.

It was time for an update on her progress so I picked up the phone and dialed the international numbers that would connect me with Belgium, hearing her whispered greeting.

There was sadness in her hello so I jumped right into the details. “Colette, we will be landing in two days. Are the supplies ready?”

“James, I have never felt this way before. I have a rage building up that is ready to explode. Your guns are ready. When I purchased them, I purchased one for myself.” Her sobs took over the conversation and I waited for a cue to speak.

“I want to kill them James. No matter what we find, I want to kill them all.” She broke down on the phone as the pain of the massacre pushed something beautiful towards the dark world of the avenging soldier.

“We will be there soon, Colette,” I kept my voice steady.

“I called to ask you a favor,” attempting to control the conversation as her sobbing continued.

“Maria is coming and she is going to pester you for details about my life. You need to resist. We need her on the mission but she is ruthless when she gets hold of a good bit of gossip.” She stopped sobbing and drew a long shuddering breath.

“Will you keep our fun times secret for me?” She giggled; that lilting, wonderful sound of life. Laughter frequently emanated from this brave freedom fighter and while this mission would take her into dark parts of my world, I prayed her spirit would remain in the bright sunlight of joy.

“Take care and we will see you at Cafe Van de Liefde in two days. Tell Mathis to have plenty of Carbonade Flamande ready. I have been boasting about his cooking for weeks.” She laughed, fully this time and promised to be ready for our arrival.

After she hung up, I had a long talk with Maria. As a soldier, she was hard as steel. As a woman, she understood the strain of our profession and how it can affect the innocent. Collette was an innocent and Maria took on the extra responsibility of guarding her from the more gruesome actions of our profession. Not every warrior’s heart is prepared for the depth of battle.

Maria understood this and accepted her mission. “You know JT, someday your romantic nature is going to reach up and bite you.”

“What are you talking about?” I barked back as I turned to leave.

“You’re just a teddy bear dressed up like a soldier, buddy boy.” She was setting the hook for the mission. “You are all goodies and butterflies inside, you softie you!”

“Just go blow something up and get ready to leave.” Orders barked, I literally rushed from the room to hide the reddening of my cheeks and avoid more torment.

This was going to be one very long mission; two beautiful women using me as the target of their laughter. I was responsible for this so could not escape, even if I wanted to. As I placed the last travel bag in the van it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I planned this all along. There is nothing like two beautiful women, pestering you to distraction, spicing up your European vacation.

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About Bill Joyce

Bill is a writer of prose, a poet in his own mind, and self-proclaimed master of words. Long-windedness is due the personal enjoyment of his inside jokes, most of which fall on deaf ears. He calls himself an Author.

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