The Lion and the Abyss Ch. 4 Boyhood

As he grew older William developed into a strong, smart boy. His father was a military captain with a strong faith in god. He lived by the book, and William’s mother, a loving and kind woman, kept the house and fed the children.

When William wasn’t roaming the forests, he was sprawled out in his father’s library reading the encyclopedia’s and other books of his fathers. After he learned to read, William discovered how large the world was. These books containing all these stories of other kingdoms, other lives and countries and ways to live. William was fascinated and read voraciously.

He would dream up all kinds of his own inventions and imaginative works, drawing elaborate schemes, devices, or images.

Williams father was an eccentric man, and the family was always moving to new houses to renovate and remodel before moving to another home, far away. William spent much of his time alone, in the wood, in books, or with his sisters. He was an odd child. Not like the others, but that’s expected since he was a lion.

At school William rarely fit it. His mane was transformed into long golden hair, and often the other children would laugh at him. What did a lion care for the opinion of these sheep, anyway.

On the playground a group of kids would take to bullying William, tripping him, kicking balls at him, and defacing his chalk drawings. William didn’t pay them too much mind until one day he saw them picking on someone else.

There was a new girl, named Claudia, from some country south of america, he was told. She barely spoke a word, and had half her arm missing. Just a twist of skin on the stump, like the end of a sausage. The other children would laugh and point and treat her as if she was infected, never playing with her, and avoiding her.

One day in class, while William was inspecting the patterned crevices that collected small rocks on the bottom of his shoes, the teacher called everyone to collect in small groups for a project. They would be planting bulbs. All the children gathered together and collected supplies for the teacher. William dreamily scanned the room and saw Claudia alone in the corner of the room. He looked at the other children happily at work, and Claudia seated there alone, looking at the floor. His heart began to crush with compassion. He walked over and sat next to her.

They became friends.

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