Orphan Survival Stories Index |
Having run away from the orphanage more times than could count; I thought I had seen almost every evil thing one human being could do to another. However, on this particular night that was about to change.
Though I was only twelve-years-old, I knew quite a bit about sex. What I had not picked up from the boys talking about in the bathroom at school, I had learned from Mother Winters, the head matron at the orphanage. Little did I know that sex could be a very horrible thing to witness.
All of the boys in the dormitory loaded in several vehicles, and off we drove to get our free haircut at The Florida Barber College, located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.
Each of us stood with our backs against the wall, waiting to be called when the next available barber chair became empty. I was lucky because I was third in line. Sometimes it would take up to three hours for all the boys to get a haircut. Whoever was in the front of the line, after getting their haircut, got to walk outside and sit down on the sidewalk. Every now and then, a few of the barbers would give us a nickel so we could buy a package of cheese crackers from the machine at the store next door.
After purchasing my crackers, I started walking back to the barber college. All at once, I saw a dog running toward me. He jumped up and began licking my face. I kneeled down to pet him, but when I did he grabbed my crackers and ran away. I began to run after the dog, traveling as fast as I could.
By the time I caught up to him I was several blocks away. I walked around for almost an hour trying to find my way back. No matter what direction I traveled, I always seemed to end up right back where I started. After a while, every one of the streets, every one of the stores, and every corner, all looked the same to me.
The more I walked around the more frightened I became. I knew that I was in very serious trouble when Mother Winters found out I was missing.
I stood watching the cars as they passed. I hoped I might see the orphanage station wagon come by and I could wave them down. There were so many cars passing so fast, that at one point I became dizzy and had to sit down on the curb.
"Can I help you?" a man’s voice asked.
I began to explain to him that I was lost and I needed to find my way back. The man walked me the five blocks to the barbershop. I went in and saw that all the kids had already left. I knew at that moment, that I was going to get the beating of my life when I returned to the orphanage.
I walked to the small office located in the back, and I asked the man to call the orphanage. I stood there listening while he tried explaining to them what had happened.
"She wants to talk to you," said the man, as he held the receiver toward me.
I reached out, took the phone, and placed it to my ear.
"This is Roger Dean Kiser," I said into the mouthpiece.
"You had better stay right there, you little bastard. You had best not move a muscle. You got that?" ordered Mother Winters.
"Yes Ma'am, Mother Winters," I replied.
Very carefully, I handed the telephone back to the man sitting behind the small desk.
"Why such a sad look," he asked me.
Just as I was about to start crying, I turned and ran out the front door of the barbershop. I did not stop running for what seemed to be hours. Even then, I did not stop to rest. When I was not running at full speed, I was walking as fast as my legs could possibly move.
I finally sat down on the wooden steps of a little country store on Old Kings Road. I leaned against the wooden post, which supported the small porch roof, and tried to rest for a few moments. After having set there for about five minutes, the owner of the store came out and sat down beside me.
"What you doing out here, boy?" he asked me.
"Not knowing what else to say, I told him the truth. That was not a common thing for me to do."
After hearing my tale of woe, he got up and walked back into the little store. A few seconds later, he came back out and sat a Coca Cola and a package of cheese crackers down on the floor beside me. Then he sat down on the steps too.
"I don't have no money," I told him.
"It's on the house."
"Why?" I asked.
"Does there always have to be a ‘why’?"
"There always is."
Without saying a word, the man stood up and walked back into the store. I sat there staring at the ice-cold coke and the package of crackers. I looked back when I heard the screen-door open again. The man had a broom in his hand and he held out to me.
"Here, sweep off the porch and then eat your snack."
I smiled, stood up, and began sweeping. He watched me as I cleaned between each, and every crack in the wooden slats. When I finished there was not one speck of sand or dust left on the platform.
He reached out, took the broom from my hand, and took it back inside. When he returned he sat down on the steps beside me.
"What you going to do now?" he asked.
"I don't know what to do."
"You've got to make a decision."
"There ain't no decisions that I can make."
"You cannot just sit here for the rest of your life. Can you?"
When I heard those words, I did not know what to say. I tried to think, but every thought began to race around in my mind; it was like a never-ending circle of confusion. I sat there staring at the ground.
"I close at six. I'll give you a ride back to the orphan home,” he said, as he stood up, turned, and walked back into the store.
I just shook my head.
At about seven o’clock, the two of us arrived at the front gates of the orphanage. I asked him to drop me off outside the gates because if I were seen getting out of a stranger's car, I would get an additional whipping. I thanked him and stood there watching as he drove away. I walked in through the gates and hid myself in the large, thick azalea bushes, which lined the white, rock roadway. I sat there until dark trying to make a decision on what I should, or should not do. Finally, I made my decision. I got up, walked back out the gates, and headed toward an old abandoned house that we kids called, "The Old Spanish House." A cement structure that had been vacant for years. It was located in a very nice neighborhood, and was always a safe haven when we had run away from the orphanage.
When I arrived, I saw a flicker of light coming from one of the rooms near the back of the building. As I cautiously as I could, I entered the house through what used to be the front door. I was hoping I might find several other boys from the orphanage that might have also run away.
"Let's see if we can get her damn bra off." I heard someone say.
I stepped backwards and made my way out of the house. I cautiously went around the side, and peered through a cement opening. I could smell beer and cigarette smoke almost immediately. There was a very small fire burning in a tin can and there was not very much light. I could see several men holding a young girl down on the floor in the corner.
One minute she would be telling them to stop, and the next minute the four of them would be laughing, the girl included. They continued to drink one beer after another. The more they drank, the louder they became. I had been shaking my leg back and forth for about five minutes, because I had to pee very badly. Very quietly, I backed up from the opening and moved into the bushes to relieve myself. When I turned around, a man was standing right in front of me. It scared the hell out of me.
"What you doing out here?" he asked.
"I was taking a leak."
"You like beer? He asked.
"I have never had any beer before."
"Well, come on in," he said, putting his hand on my shoulder and pushing me toward the open doorway.
The five of us sat around talking and telling jokes. Everything seemed to be fine. All at once, one of the men got up, staggered, and fell over backwards hitting his head against the wall. He jumped back up and yelled, "Are we going to f&%$ this bitch, or not?"
Every one of them went crazy. The three men grabbed the girl and began ripping her clothes off. I stood up, backed myself into a corner and just stood there. No matter what, I could not move, and I could not believe this was happening. One minute everything was happy and fun, and now it was like the lions I saw on television attacking a deer.
"You want some of this p&^%y boy?” Yelled the man, as he climbed off the young woman.
"I ain't never done nothing like that, and I ain't never going too," I told him.
The man walked to the corner where I was standing, and he placed his hands against the wall on each side of my head.
"This is our little secret, RIGHT?"
He drew back his fist as though he were going to hit me in the face. I pushed myself tightly into the corner and slid to the floor.
"Lets get the hell out of here," said one of the men, as he got up off the girl.
The girl had said very little during the attack. Now she lay naked on the floor, sobbing.
"Shut up you little slut whore," said the man who had me backed in the corner.
The man reached down, gathered up her clothing, and handed it to one of the other men.
"Take off your God damn clothes," the man ordered. Now he was pointing at me.
"I'm not going to take my clothes off!"
Two of the men reached down, grabbed me by my arms, and pulled me to my feet. One of them snatched hold of my shirt and ripped it off. I struggled as they wrestled me to the ground and removed my pants and underwear.
I sat back down in the corner trying to hide my naked body.
Maybe I should f%$# this little bastard," said one of the men. He moved toward me, unbuckling his pants.
"Let's just get the hell out of here," said the largest of the three men.
I sat there wondering what I was going to do for clothes. Other than Mother Winters, no female had ever seen me naked before. "How was I going to get back to the orphanage?" I thought.
The girl and I sat there for almost five minutes before either one of us said a word. I will never forget her first words for as long as I live.
"Is this your very first party?" She asked me.