Tommy was running as hard as he could. His heart beating faster than he could remember. The small, frail child fell to his knees before reaching the top of the grassy knoll. Plopping down in the grass he turned, looking upwards toward the sky.
The white fluffy clouds seemed to him like a different world. Sunlight glistened in his eyes, occasionally disrupted by one of the floating balls of cotton. Tommy’s new world seemed so wonderful and full of joy that filled him with happiness he never felt before.
Across the hill he saw something move. It too, made of cotton. Running on the ground the object stopped for a moment and they both connected for an intense second of time. They seemed to know something was not right, yet for that short time Tommy felt a connection and had feelings he could not explain.
Tommy wanted to see more. He got up and started running again, over the hill, while the strange beast shuttered his image as it disappeared into the brush. Disappointment quickly vanished as Tommy made his way to the edge of a tree line. He stopped and saw some small purple flowers.
Getting on his knees, this time by choice, Tommy hung over the flowers smelling the sweet aroma. As he rose a black and yellow thing fluttered in the air and it finally landed on one of the purple wonders. Tommy’s eyes lit with unknown delight as he moved to touch it, but it dodged his effort and quickly flew away.
Getting up, Tommy wanted to explore the world of trees that was before him. The canopy of leaves and limbs seems surreal, yet comforting. Moving deeper into the forest he was stopped by something very familiar. His new world quickly collided with what he knew so well. The chain linked fence that created a barrier to his freedom that always brought tears to his eyes.
Putting his hands through the holes and hanging onto the wire he saw a dark, black object moving toward him. As the object moved closer he realized he was in trouble. It was his greatest fear. Turning to run he collided into a clone of the feared devil. It’s evil hands grabbed him before he could bolt.
No words were spoken as he was forced to go where he was pulled. The pace must have not been satisfactory and the man, clothed in black, picked him up, quickening the stride. Flung over the shoulder of the man Tommy smelled a foul odor. Looking up he saw the white fluffy object again and he smiled, wiping the tears from his eyes using the black cloth on the back of his captor.
Soon, he was back at the camp, forced to stay in the damp, dimly lit room filled with people he barely knew. An older woman came to him and asked if he was alright. His shinning eyes looked up into hers and tears moved easily down his cheek.
Asking Tommy what was wrong, he told her that he was crying from happiness. Wondering how anyone could be happy in such a place the woman inquired further. Tommy told her what he saw and the joy he felt from the new experience. She knelt before him and he fell into her arms with her eyes too, drenched with tears.