High above the street, on the roof of an industrial building, a figure in a long, flowing, dark grey cape with a snug opening around his neck fastened with a silver dragon clasp, moved effortlessly. He was tall but very muscular and very good looking. His red, blond hair glinted in the moonlight and his eyes changed from blue to green to bright white. He placed his street clothes in a neat pile inside his leather satchel and set it on the rooftop and settled down to watch and possibly participate in the proceedings of the evening. While he was watching keenly, his thoughts drifted back to his childhood.
Alone. This word described to Stanley Kubichuk both his status and how he was feeling. Clutching the box containing his mother’s ashes, the young man squirmed on the bench, tears streaming down his cheeks, his backpack beside him and his suitcase on the floor. The social services office was definitely not where he wanted to be. At just eleven and one half years old, he looked older, more mature, and most certainly highly intelligent. His thick, wavy red-blond hair accentuated his ruddy suntanned face and his blue green eyes flashed like jewels. While he was tall and lean, he looked strong and sturdy.
A lot had happened to Stanley during the past five years. His father’s death in Afghanistan came as a severe blow to both he and his mother. The visit by the armed forces personnel, the military funeral, the presentation of the flag of the United States of America to his mother and the mournful sound of the bugle all seemed to blur together into a tragic film clip. Stanley never felt like part of the film but rather imagined himself an onlooker. He and his mother were shattered at losing father and husband. An IED whirling through the air out of nowhere shattered the body of the man they loved so much. Strong, resilient, faithful, and yet, fragile. He was gone in an instant.