The child sat alone, aware of the adults lined up watching, but refusing to acknowledge them. They were pointing, writing on clipboards, as though he was an experiment in a lab; because he was an experiment. He resolutely stared ahead, focused on his task.
The adults stood behind a window and discussed him in muted voices. He couldn’t hear what they were saying, but a couple of them were extremely animated; their hands were flapping wildly and their faces held unease.
The child stacked wooden blocks the way he’d been shown the day before. Concentration etched on his face; his chubby hands working fastidiously. The blocks were yellow and blue and red, so first he stacked them in colour order, then in a neat pattern. Each time the stack fell, he embarked on a new design.
Once, just once, he looked up at them. His piercing green eyes penetrated each of them, as though he was looking deep into their souls. A cold chill flooded the room. He focused on them, one by one, considered them, then settled on the first and smiled.
It was a soft smile even though his eyes were scowling. His victim dropped her clipboard and ran away with a shriek, disturbed, chosen. He watched the ensuing kerfuffle with apathy, then simply turned back to his blocks, trying to create a tower taller than himself.
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