The Fool

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Alice was siting in a waiting room drinking the world's worst coffee. She knew what was going to happen next, they had her fingerprints and were running them through the system. In a short while her file would pop up on screen and they'd know everything they cared to about her. The fact that her parents were dead, that she was seventeen and supposed to be living with the Walter family, but was instead a runaway. A cold dread was filling her belly as she knew by now that they were calling her foster family and informing them that they found her. They were going to return her to them. The people that had given her the scars hidden under ink.

The waiting room door opened and in stepped a social services woman and right away Ace knew. They were aready on their way here. "Don't let them take me. Please?" Alice begged of the strange woman. She was tiny and Asian and looked startled at Ace's plea.

"Why not?" she inquired, walking over to where Ace sat. She was still in her servers costume but one of the officers had been kind enough to giver her a jacket against the rain.

"Because they'll hurt me again. It's why I ran away." Alice didn't want to admit what they had done, and to her horror felt tears pricking her eyes as she was forced to remember. "The parents aren't so bad, but their son is a sociopath. He used to beat me and rape me. And when I was fournteen poured boiling water down me to teach me who had the power." her voice was flat.

"Oh dear, you know it's not right to make up lies like that." Mr. Walter announced as he stepped into the room. Mrs.Walter followed in behind him, head bowed and looking at the floor. And then he walked in, smirking at Alice. Her own personal worst nightmare. Stuart Walter, the psychopath. And she could tell by the look in his eyes that now that they had her again, he was going to be even worse.

"I'm sorry miss, she's always been like this. Ever since her father died she's made up fantastic stories that aren't real. Don't you know how serious your accusations are? You could ruin Stuart's life with such lies." Mr. Walter smoothy reprimanded. And the useless social service agent was eating it right up. Stuart was looking innocent and sweet, his handsome face hiding an evil, cruel interior. Ace felt her hope die as the social service agent wrote something down on her file and had Mr. Walter sign it, once again taking custody of her.

"Just look what you got yourself up to while away from our careful supervision. A stripper, my word. We don't truck with any of that loose moral nonesense in my household missy." Mrs. Walter exclaimed, fussing over Alice's revealing body suit. Ace raised her lip in contempt, loose morals her ass. Where had their careful supervision been when she'd been screaming for help as their son violated her at eleven? Where had they been when she lay whimpering after having boiling water poured over her after she tried to fight back? They'd been upstairs ignoring it, that's where.

"Now Alice, your foster family has graciously agreed to take you back despite your inappropriate behaviour. Once you turn eighteen you may apply to be removed from foster care but until then I suggest you take heed of these people's kindness and learn from your mistakes." the social service agent lectured. Then the Asian woman turned to the Walters, "Now she's missed most of the semester but we've found an institute that's willing to take her on and try to bring her up to speed so she doesn't have to redo the entire year. If there are any other issues or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. I would recommend seeing a specialist to try and settle her... attitude issues. Have a nice day." and then left the room. Alice looked at her foster family and saw smug satisfaction in Stuart's eyes, grim warning in Mr. Walter's and Mrs. Walter actually looked a little guilty.

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