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The Boy at The Football Stadium

This is a translation work from my Indonesian supernatural story: https://www.perjalanansenja.com/anak-lelaki-itu-di-stadion-sepak-bola/

By Ruby AstariPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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The Boy at The Football Stadium
Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

I was called in with the forensic team of the local police after that tragedy. A day after the huge riot at the football stadium with over a hundred casualties – dead and wounded, there were many items that we needed to collect as evidence from all the litter scattered around. Used plastic bottles, shards of broken glass bottles, food wrappers, vomit stains, tear gas residue, blood ...

Believe me, you ought to have the steel mentality if you wish for this job. To us, dismantling the riot scene or regular murder scene is our daily thing. Discovering corpses – or what is left of them – can twist your stomach until you vomit ... or faint, if you’re not used to it.

Thankfully, there were no bodies scattered in the perimeter. Only litter and biological fluids which I’d just mentioned.

While I was working, I didn’t know why I felt someone was watching me. I looked up and saw the watcher – at the tribune.

A boy was standing there. He was small and dirty-looking, with messy short hair and dusty clothes. He was wearing an orange jersey and blue shorts. He was wearing slippers.

“Hey, are you daydreaming?” Dani the team leader called me out. I forced my focus back on the present time and looked back at him. “Hurry, twilight is approaching soon.”

“Okay.” Still collecting some trash that I thought we could identify on the lab, I turned to the tribune one more time.

The boy had disappeared. Where did he go? The stadium was still closed to the public after the post-game riot the night before. How the hell had he gotten in?

Was I just imagining things?

-***-

I handed over everything I had collected to my team. I told them I’d catch up with them soon. Dani was stunned.

“What are you doing?” he asked curiously.

“I want to eat first,” I told him, lightly touching my belly. “I’m hungry.”

Dani stared at me in amazement. As a team leader, he was more senior than I was. He always seemed cool on the field during our shifts.

The real him got sick way too easily. I’d caught him throwing up twice right after combing a crime scene. No wonder he was amazed to hear what I wanted.

“Okay.” That was all he said to me. I was glad he didn’t ask too many questions. Perhaps Dani himself had wanted to bail from the crime scene as fast as possible.

After my team had left, I didn’t move yet. I wasn’t really hungry. I just wanted to find that boy.

“Excuse me, ma’am. Can you please take me home?”

I was startled and quickly turned around. God, since when had the boy been standing behind me? This time, I could see his eyes were red and watery as if he’d been crying all night long. He was also wheezing as if he had asthma.

“What’s your name, kid?” I asked in a friendly but careful tone. I tried to approach him, but he backed away in fright. “Okay, sorry. Do you know where your home is?”

The boy nodded. I decided to walk him home. Although he didn’t tell me his name, the boy knew the way to his house in the suburb close from the football stadium. When he told me that he had gotten separated from his parents during a football match the night before, I gasped, horrified and amazed.

“Oh, my God! You’re one of the survivors from the tragedy last night!” I exclaimed. “Let’s go, let me take you home.”

We arrived in front of his house. I saw a woman yelling at a smaller boy, crying. The boy was also crying, holding the black-and-white football in his arms.

“Please!” The woman was pleading with the boy. “I’m sorry, but I’m not losing you like I’ve lost your big brother! No more football. I’m sorry I took your brother to watch football and now he’s gone!”

My blood ran cold with shock. I didn’t have to turn my head sideways to look at him. The boy must have already vanished. I felt tightness in my chest, and my tears falling.

“I’m sorry, kid. You are home, but you’re no longer with them.”

I sometimes wish I wasn’t a psychic …

-the end-

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