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THE SEWING ROOM
There was a time at the Children's Home Society Orphanage, when the children were receiving beatings almost on a daily basis - especially when we were being taken care of by a Mr. and Mrs. Ball.
Mr. Ball was a very cruel and harsh man. He was a person who had absolutely no compassion for children, whatsoever. This man was one mean son-of-a-bitch. Sorry, but there can be no other words to describe a man like him. No matter how small the infractions, we children would be taken into the sewing room every Saturday morning and beaten within an inch of our lives - and I mean within an inch of our lives.
THIS MAN WAS A VERY CRUEL PERSON! Evidently, he got some form of joy out of beating small children. One could see it in his eyes and in the smile on his face. As I look back on these beatings today, I think it was a sexual thing with him. Of course, we did not know about those types of things back then. After all, we were only 8, 9 and 10-year-old children.
Finally, we could take no more of his beatings and talked about running away together. But we decided that it would be better to beat him to death, before he killed one of us. We all got together one night and discussed what would be the best thing to do. I will never forget my little heart beating fast as we talked about killing him and how we would do it.
I will never forget; I could feel my heart beating on the side of my neck. "THUMP, THUMP, THUMP," it went. I even got dizzy, because I was so scared. I really did not want to hurt anybody, but I was not going to say anything at all. I was not going to be the chicken.
On Saturday morning, Mr. Ball called all of us kids to the front porch. He told us to line up at the sewing-room door. After we lined up, Mr. Ball went in and closed the door behind him. We heard him sliding the big table around, so that we could lie across it while he beat on us. No child spoke a word; we just stood there very quiet, staring at one another and shaking. We were all wondering if we could really kill this evil man, before he killed us. However, no one moved or did anything. We just stood there huddled in a tight group, scared and horrified.
Then the door opened and Mr. Ball called the first boy into the room, and he closed the door. It was quiet for about a minute; then we heard the boy start to scream and yell as he was beaten. You could hear the large wooden table scraping and sliding across the floor with each hit.
All of the boys started backing up from the sewing-room door and began moving down the hallway. We were still huddled in a very tight group as we headed toward the television room at the other end of the hallway. The boy being beaten kept yelling, screaming, hollering and begging for us - by name - to come in and help him.
Then one of the older boys yelled out, "Let's go," and we all started running toward the sewing-room door. Every kid was screaming at the top of his or her voice, like a bunch of crazed lunatics or maniacs. As the door opened, all of the boys grabbed hold of Mr. Ball, threw him to the floor and began beating him with their fists, ping-pong paddles and anything that they could get their hands on. I grabbed a large pair of scissors and ran toward Mr. Ball, trying to stab him. But I could not get close enough to wound him, because of all the boys who were beating on him. They were yelling repeatedly, "Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!"
I stood there looking and yelling along with everyone to “kill him.” I kept stabbing that sewing room table over and over and over as hard as I could. I must have stabbed that darned table a hundred thousand times, before it was all over.
Mr. Ball did not move anymore and he quit making those awful gurgling sounds. Finally, the boys got up off him closed the sewing room door. Then we left him for dead.
Well, we did not kill Mr. Ball, but we thought we had - and we wished we had. We watched them cart him out of the sewing room and off to the hospital, where he stayed with many deserved injuries.
We never saw him again after that day and I thank God for small miracles. I thank God for giving us enough 9, 10, 11 and 12-year-old children to save our own lives. Only God and we orphan boys will ever truly know just how scared we were.
This was a difficult time for all of the kids in the orphanage. We were innocent little boys and girls living in the United States of America, each being forced to think about killing another human being. It became a time to think about killing, rather than laughing, joking, having fun or even playing the wonderful game of baseball.
It is no wonder that so many of the kids in that orphanage ended up in jail or prison, working as prostitutes or went on drugs. It is an absolute miracle that any of us ever made it out of there alive. Maybe some of us survived, because we hated the world so badly that we just could not give up. However, the little ones who are now adults-kids, were really destroyed. They are the ones who do not think that what happened to them yesterday is important today.
Those are the orphan kids, now adults who are dead inside. They do not understand what they are missing in their lives today, because of what happened to them only yesterday, and that is very sad to me.
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