Scorpion Grasses or simply, Forget-me-nots
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein
"Such bad luck!"
" They were born like that... it’s not like they could change anything."
"I can’t even bring myself to look at them!"
"Their existence is disgusting! I don’t get why the deities need such sacrifices!"
The little boy started running to the front of the crowd in a moment of his nanny's negligence. It’s a festival that takes place once a year but where is all the fun? Did he miss it?
As he drew closer to the middle, he peeked up at the high platform a couple of times. The view completely confused him. People were wearing some kind of exotic costumes and masks. Little did everyone know that there is a reason behind the clothes. They weren’t able to move around much. Their facial expressions were also hidden. The 9 victims were staying in a circle around a big fire. It was nothing like anything the boy has seen before. The fire was at least 10 feet tall but there wasn’t any feeling of warmth emerging from it. It was white with stars all over and it looked like a gate.
A traditional song started playing out of nowhere and the noisy crowd went silent.
What on earth is going on? Nothing seems to make sense.
The nanny’s and bodyguards’ screams disturbed the silence. They kept yelling and searching until the child showed himself. He got tired of the stares and whispers around them. Too bad he couldn’t see the end of the ceremony. Even if he bothered to ask for the answer, the reply was always the same: “Ask your parents!”.
"What a relief! Young Master is alright!" The nanny hugged the boy and cried while holding him.
After that, the bodyguard carried the child on his shoulders to the car.
Haru searched the platform with his eyes. Right before losing sight of the fire again, he felt a déjà vu. Then, an excruciating pain took over his ears. Everything went silent or at least that’s what he thought.
"I hope you all go to hell! May you never find peace in the afterlife!" Someone yelled these words from the bottom of their lungs.
Haru’s ears started ringing and then he heard some whispers:
“Please Lord have mercy! I don’t want to die! I’m scared!”
Someone was crying. Another scream full of rage caused the boy’s ears to ring even louder. What were those sounds? Where did they come from?
His vision went blurry. Everything became silent for the third time. Even the ringing stopped.
A bodyguard opens one of the back doors and places the boy down with care, thinking he fell asleep.
"Have a safe journey, Young Master Haru!" The nanny bows to the boy in respect and then closes the door. Her one-month contract ended right on that day, at that exact time.
Haru tried to say something but his condition didn’t allow him. He even tried to move but not a single finger would bend. He appreciated his nanny so much, but couldn’t express it.
Look at him; he doesn’t even wave her goodbye. He knew he would never see her again because his parents always change nannies every month. Haru thought he got used to it after 11 years but it still hurts quite a lot.
The car starts moving and he gives up on trying to do something. He didn’t like her that much after all, right? For sure he would have done something if he wanted! Haru is not that pathetic…isn't it so?
When dinner time arrived, the boy entered the dining room a little earlier than usual. It was long and his parents always kept a safe distance from him. Their words were limited, as well as their contact. Dinner time has always been the only way Haru could exchange a few words with them. He hated the way his parents treated him but acknowledged that by doing this they are protecting him.
"I sent someone to tell you what time dinner is. How come you are already here?"
With a tired expression, his mother walks into the room.
That is his opportunity! Before his father arrives, he can speak with her. What should he do first? Is she going to believe him? His ideas begin to take control of him.
"Say it what you have to say!"
He concentrates on his mother’s figure and gives her a puzzled expression. Of course, a mother is the most knowledgeable about her child.
His father stormed into the room, enraged, right before he had a chance to say anything.
"A bunch of good for nothing! How stupid can someone be!" He takes his seat at the other end of the table next to his wife.
"What happened, dear?" The wife asks uninterested.
The man rests his head in his hands. At times, his duty is too much for one person to handle. He then realizes that he and his wife are not alone in the room. While answering the wife's question, he raises his head and stares at the boy.
"Today, a group of teenagers a little older than Haru spread some fake news about the government. I'm not sure how they got into our main news office building. Anyway, I made sure everyone got punished. The guards got fired. As for the teenagers, I executed them. They did a few more suspicious things in the past."
Haru picked up on the subliminal message. “Don't tamper with things you are not supposed to.”
A butler brings in the food and fills the glasses with water.
"Jun, bring me some red wine please!" The man says while the butler was beside him.
"Right away! Enjoy the food!" Jun bows and walks away without making a sound.
"Let’s eat before it gets cold. Thank you for the food!"
"Thank you for the food!"
"Thank you for the food!"
The parents start eating while Haru stares at his food. Should he try his luck? They might listen to him. He opens his mouth, but the words refuse to escape. He sighs and returns his gaze to his plate. The last time he tried to tell them something that was not about his studies it didn’t go too well. It’s best if he keeps it to himself.
"Were you going to tell us how your studies are going?"
His father expects a specific response, such as, "I'm doing great." “I'm in the first place” or, “Everyone says I'll graduate first with my grades.”
"The teacher told you everything you want to know so there is no point in me reminding you."
He is never disrespectful. What is going on? All his unanswered questions are getting the best of him.
Before someone could react the man’s work phone starts ringing. He gives the boy an annoyed look and stands up to answer the phone. He then walks away from the room leaving alone Haru and his mother.
"You better come up with something good Haru or else-"
"Or else you won’t even have dinner with me anymore?"Haru talks over his mother before thinking twice.
His mother is a little taken aback by his behavior. Of course, she expected him to have an outburst like that at some point, but it still stings. She stands up and walks to the door.
Haru’s eyes become sparkly and he tries as hard as he can to hold his tears back. Even if it was a “family night” he felt alone. He is always left alone! Everyone around him is replaced within a month or less, except for his parents. His look was still at his untouched food when the door closed. He could finally cry now that he was alone. When the tears started to flow, someone hugged him. For the first time, he felt like he wasn’t on his own anymore.
"I’m sorry for all this time, sweetie…"
His mother's voice began to quiver.
"I know it’s difficult! Bear with the situation as it is for a few more years! You will go to the factory and everything will be fine!"
She was never permitted to hold him again once he learned how to walk. She and his father wanted to prevent the boy from developing insignificant feelings. They established rigorous rules to ensure his future in the government.
He finally felt enough courage to tell her everything about today's festival.
She distanced herself a little bit so that she could look at him. He was so tall and so handsome. She was admiring her little boy in silence.
"As you already know I was at the festival today. You know the colorful one with a big fire in the middle and people in costumes."
Her face had altered. She appeared to be a little frightened.
"How much did you see?"