13 Nov I Was Born on a Child Farm – Part Zero
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"I Was Born on a Child Farm - Part Zero"Written by Howard Moxley
Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
I was lucky enough to know my 93-year-old grandmother when I was a child. She was a window into another era. A harder time.
“Most people weren’t but much more than farmers back then,” she recalled to me one morning. “If you didn’t have friends to help your family out of the hole and the children started to go hungry… you sold the children. Lucky ones were put to work in the fields or factories. The unlucky ones were purchased by… bad people. Bad people… like Rannon Xinon.”
I asked who Ran-on Zee-non was. It seemed to pain her to remember.
“Rannon had a knack…no, an unholy curse for locating unwanted children. Made a whole empire on children, the bastard. Spies. Killers. Saboteurs. He let them go once they hit a certain age. Let them get educated, have a family and get accustomed to the world. He lets ’em grow old. And then, just before your end… Rannon comes back. Back to take everything you ever were…to make you a child again. He gains knowledge and strength reaping the age from his children, leaving them alone in a world that has already outgrown them…again. Homeless and without a family, they do whatever Rannon Xinon tells them to do. Some foolish children believe that they can really escape by moving to another country or changing their name. It only takes a few returns for you to realize that Rannon Xinon owns you… forever.”
“But that man’s dead now, right grandma?” She gave me a look I would later learn was a “thousand-yard stare” and whispered: “No…he only looks like a man. But no man can track you down, unchanging, years later… stronger, faster, if anything…”
I asked why she was telling me this. It seemed to firm her up a bit.
“Mind your daddy, boy. I suspect he never wanted to be a father. He’s a secret government agent. A spook. He doesn’t legally exist. Nor does he really want to. I fear you may be…unwanted. And he comes for unwanted children.”
My grandma stood up, went inside and locked the door. Those words were the last my grandmother ever spoke to me.
Experiences like that are why I was so afraid as a child. It was the same fear that made me hide under the nearest table and watch through gaps in the tablecloth whenever there was a knock at the door. That’s how I saw the conversation between my father and the boy with the tennis ball scar running along the back of his shaved head one Summer afternoon.
The boy was about my age at the time, around ten. He wore dorky clothes- clog black shoes with saggy tan socks the same color as his brownish shorts and buttoned-to-the-top-button short sleeve shirt. He was skinny, but not frail. The kind of kid that should have a few fish dangling on a line as he walked along a dirt country road. Just a simple looking boy with a massive brain surgery scar. He looked directly up at my father with eyes and looked directly into them. The boy was the only one to ever stare directly into my father’s deep, cold eyes…eyes that belonged to a man that murdered an extraterrestrial with his sidearm.
“Bend down to talk to me, if you would? Talking upwards puts stress on the Larynx.” The boy spoke in a deep Southern accent, but he was quick. Sharp. He might have been the sharpest speaker I had ever heard. The country boy drove the English language like it was a Ferrari.
My father never bent nor bowed, not even when customary to foreign dignitaries. That being stated, my father placed a rolled up newspaper on the hardwood floor and took a knee on it, now seeing eye-to-eye with the child.
“What is your name, son?”
“Robert Larynx.” A fraction of a smirk edged from the corner of my father’s mouth before he twitched it away.
“How may I help you, Robert?” The child’s neutral face finally smiled, but the eyes stayed dead, wide and unfocused. It was like something was talking through him.
“Thank you for asking, sir. You may help me by letting me help you. I represent a powerful man, a merchant of many ideas, forces and concepts- Mister Rannon Xinon.” I watched my father’s nostril’s flare, his chest expand, his neck brighten with blood. His eyes became so focused on this young visitor that he didn’t see me jump just a few feet away at the mention of that name.
Grandma’s words all came flooding back to me. She was right- I was unwanted.
“And what business does this Xinon want with me?”
“Not you, sir. Your son. Mister Zinn-Nawhn knows just about every unwanted child around here. He also knows you cannot advertise a child for sale using normal methodology. So he sends me in his place. I am prepared to sign a deal right now, Mister Clinton Moxley. I am willing to offer secrets in return for your son, Howard.” Blood thumped against my eardrums in anticipation of what my father would say. He wasn’t really thinking about selling me, was he?
“What compensation do you intend to offer?” The scarred boy removed two fat little complex looking mechanical tubes from his back pocket with a twisted grin beaming on his face. Dad opened them with a strange little press-and-break maneuver. Two thinner metallic tubes fell out. My father unfurled a thin orange transparent film from one of the tubes; the film looked like multiple snapshots of documents, equations and blueprints. It made my father stop and carefully inspect both scrolls. After about a minute of tense silence, my father closed the tubes and asked:
“If you know what these are, you know that there are three more documents in any one set,” my father countered.
“That’s the full amount for your son, little Howard. Consider it carefully, my patriotic friend; Rannon Xinon can be an asset to your organization and your country, rather than a target. Your agents could not get this information. But Rannon can guide you through doorways that remain hidden to…the common man. Isn’t it more important to safeguard the country, the world…the entire human civilization? Wouldn’t you be negligent in your responsibilities – powerful responsibilities, ones that are arguably more important than the president? You would be… oh yes, how you would be. And when little Howard grows up to become the man he will become, to betray you and every secret you and your organization strived to keep, you will see what a mistake it was not to sell him, here and now.” My father opened the second tube and read for handful of seconds before murmuring:
“Even these are not enough for me to hand over my firstborn son. Tell your employer he will need a better offer.” I inhaled deeply, trying to stay a silent as possible without letting him hear me cry tears of loving, grateful joy. I tried to telepathically tell my father that I loved him.
Then the boy reached into his shit-brown shirt pocket.
“I am not an employee, I will have you know, sir. I am a consultant for Mr. Xinon. I even argued with him, you know. I said it was foolish to ask for a child from a family that’s healthy, well clothed and housed. But. The master has taught me another lesson…” Robert said with a warm smile as he removed a thin yellow envelope from his front pocket. There was just one piece of paper inside, with one line written on it.
My father put the piece of paper in his pocket.
“I will return when you are ready,” Robert said as he turned and walked away. My father watched him for a while before shutting the door. He spoke to me without looking at me.
“Some people will be coming over soon. You can keep hiding under the table if you wish.”
He made a few calls, in half an hour four dark armored sedans with jet-black windows pulled up in front of my house. Sometimes my father would have over “people from work”, but only when something big was happening. My father and eight other men and women with the same deep, cold eyes went into the “silent room”, the only room that you couldn’t hear inside of. They stayed in there for three hours before my father opened the door and asked for me to step inside.
I had never been inside the silent room before and was curious what was inside. It was hard to see and near impossible to breath without coughing in the cloud cigarette smoke cloud, but I managed to make out a few slide projectors projecting on a screen between steel file cabinets, a pinned US map and two standing gun safes. Typical boring adult stuff.
My father told me to sit down. After I did, he sat across a table that we shared with the eight strangers. My father needed more time than usual to gather enough thoughts just to say:
“You were born into the Bureau. That means that your life belongs to the Bureau… my Bureau- our Bureau. You are expected to become a field agent one day for our organization. Typically not now, not without training- but the Bureau must remain fluid to take every opportunity that we can. We have a chance to come into contact with a person of great interest to us, a person that we have not been able to reach after twenty five years of attempts…” my heart tightened in my chest as I braced for: “…that’s why the Bureau needs you to fulfill this mission and to leave with Robert tomorrow.”
The tears all broke out at once. I was being sold.
My father then placed his hand on mine. It was the longest physical contact I ever had with him up until that point. It must have seemed like one of the least warm displays of affection in world history, but to me, it felt like a reassuring embrace. The tears instantly stopped.
“The Bureau never sends agents in alone. You will receive Tracers- sub-dermal implants, or little metal pieces that go in your blood. They let us know where you are, at all times.”
“And then what do I do?” My father removed his hand, and I was tossed back into reality.
“With these injections, you will become a mobile listening tower. You are to remain as close to Rannon Xinon as possible during the operation. When we are ready to move in, we will extract you.”
“How long will that be?”
“A month, at most. We will be constantly monitoring you- you will be in no danger.”
I don’t remember agreeing. All I remember is the series of injections with needles that plunged down to bone, all done in the silent room to shield my screams.
Some of the strangers stayed up all night setting up equipment in a coat closet and basement of our home. I heard them all night because I didn’t sleep at all as well. I could feel that this was my last night in my room.
By noon the next day, the two “monitoring posts” were completed, I had my travel suitcase packed, and Robert Larynx was at the door again, just as he looked the day before. There was no more exchanges of papers or words. I just walked from the only house and family I knew. I never knew what good those monitoring posts did.
When my house was no longer in view, the boy spoke to me.
“So, do you think you’re a little government spy now?” My heart thumped in my mouth as the anxiety forced my throat closed. Robert continued.
“Those tracking chips inside you won’t work. Clinton Moxley knows that. That means that he truly is giving you up. And do you know why? It was because of what I wrote on that slip of paper.
“What did it say?”
“Give up your son so that your mother can be free.”
“…was property of Rannon Xinon, up until a few minutes ago. Nobody escapes mister Xinon, but you can trade your freedom with another in your bloodline. Your father saved his mother in exchange for you. It’s a good trade- you can always have another son, but you have only one mother, so don’t bear too mighty a grudge against your father’s choice.”
I had been looking at the sidewalk this entire time that Robert talked, and I was taken with the sudden urge to run. I would have, if my neighborhood had not changed when I looked up from the ground.
We were somewhere dark, rural and wooded. The sound of mad howling dogs seemed to echo everywhere.
“Run if you want to- this is a foreign country. That’s why I said that tracking chip won’t work. Now ‘common. The child farm’s up this way.”
“Yep. Pretty soon, you’ll forget whatever Rannon wants you to forget. You may even think that you were born on a child farm.”
Publisher’s Note: This story is followed by a sequel. To read the next chronological installment of this series, please click here.
Check out Howard Moxley’s chilling compendium, REPORT 50: Summary of the Most Supernaturally Active Objects, Places and Entities Located in the United States of America, now available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback formats.
The Secured Bureau of Reclamation, or SBR, is a formally undisclosed scientific research bureau that utilizes the most advanced methodologies and technology currently available to reclaim, ascertain and research the various aberrations of human knowledge encountered within the United States. The Bureau is considered to be the sole authority of locations, objects, people, creatures, entities and constructs that contradict our current understanding of the known universe, and our place as humanity within it. Herein contains what the SBR considers to be the most powerful aberrations localized within each American state, referred to hereafter as REPORT 50.