Chapter 1

This all just sucks ass. Sucks saggy whore ass.

This was Max's primary thought as he sat in his bedroom, his closet pushed in front of the door with a broken lock. He could hear pretty much everything that was happening on the outside. His parents, with about a dozen others like them, yelling and whooping as they injected themselves with the drug-of-the-month. From the sounds they were making, he could guess that they were on shitty angel dust or something that'd make 'em see weird crap. At least he could walk around the place in some manner of peace if they thought he was some hallucination, he could get himself something to eat or make a damned cup of coffee.

A grumble from his stomach affirmed the decision, and he slipped out of his room through the small crack in the door only he could fit through. Silently, his bare feet pattered on the dusty carpet until he got to the room that barely qualified as a kitchen. He always thought it was more akin to a crack den than anything you'd actually keep food in.

Ignoring a howl from the next room, he plucked a box of pop-tarts from the cupboard and began making a cup of coffee. As he pulled himself onto the counter-top to get his favourite mug, he pulled his hands back in shock. In the middle of his left palm, a shard of glass was jutting out, a small trail of blood staining it. With a quiet curse he pulled out the shard and swept his arm over where he tried to pull himself up. Sure enough, there was a shattered syringe lying there.

With a low growl he checked to see if anything had actually been in the syringe. The last thing he needed was to get high off of his parents' scraps. He didn't see anything suspect so he continued on, ignoring the stinging in his palm.

He slithered out of the kitchen with his box of pop-tarts and cup of coffee, glad everyone else in the house had better things to be doing than bothering him. He dipped the treats into the coffee when he'd settled again.

Before long he needed to piss. Bad. He'd held it in ever since his parents' guests had arrived. He did not want to meet one of them in the bathroom again and have them watch him piss with a retarded look on their face. Twice was more than enough. He opened his bedroom window instead and kneeled on the sill, pissing out onto the pavement with a sigh of relief.

After finishing his sorry excuse for a dinner, he stripped to his underwear and climbed under the covers of his bed. The mouldy blanket did little in the way of comfort, but it was better than nothing. Max could easily blur out the noises of the house, but the stinging of his hand kept him awake longer than he'd have liked. He gave the cut a few licks and clutched the pillowcase tight in his fist. It must've worked, because he was asleep before long.

When he woke up, it was still dark outside, but the silence told him that it must be early in the morning. He dressed in the same things as yesterday and crept out of his room. Max decided to check if the coast was clear before anything else. He peered into the living room and saw about half-a-dozen people passed out. His parents were thankfully among them. He prayed to whatever gods weren't there that they'd overdosed. A shift in his bitch mother's position proved his prayers unanswered, as usual. He dashed away as quietly as he could. His mother was at her worst after she just woke up, and Max knew it was in his best interest to be out of the place before she could get something in her. Food? Beer? More drugs? It varied from morning to morning.

A quick glance at the kitchen clock told him that it was nearly 6 am. A perfect time for a morning stroll 'til noon. He eyed his dad's wallet on the counter and took 20 bucks from it. He'd be able to eat something half-decent with money like that.

After making sure that the front door closed with a click the sound of a mouse's squeak, Max whistled a tune with his hands in his hoodie pockets. He began to think, of all the ways to start the new year, this wasn't the worst. At least this time he didn't hafta put up with people and their issues. He wondered if anywhere would actually be open. McDonald's seemed like the type to be cruel and corporate enough to shanghai some liberal-arts majors into working New-Year's day.

There were barely any other people outside, but Max preferred it this way. The only other people walking the streets were whores doing the walk of shame, regretting their New-Year's celebrations. He chuckled to himself when he saw a woman in her mid-twenties, holding her high-heels with a look of self-loathing carved onto her face. She didn't notice him, making it even funnier when he whispered "Sluuuuuut!" as they crossed paths. She must've thought he was a ghost or some other retarded shit because she looked around all panicked before scampering off even faster. That left a smile on Max's face until he arrived at the giant, golden arches of the McDonald's "M".

He rapped on the glass door, startling the server wiping down a table with a rag. He glanced up at Max, His eyebrows raised in a questioning manner. Max glowered at him.

"Why aren't you open?" Max asked.

The server held up 8 fingers and gestured to a shiny new sign on the window.

It was for a new set of opening times, and today they didn't open 'til 8.

"What the fuck!" He cursed. He went back to the door and banged his fists against the glass. "This is a 24-hour place! Has been since it opened here!"

The server shrugged and mouthed "New management" before going back to his scrubbing. Max flipped him off with both fingers as he walked away, his mood completely soured. What was he gonna do now? McDonald's was the only place dumb enough to be open for 24 hours.

"Ugh, I fucking hate Sundays." He thought crankily. He didn't even consider going home, not until he was certain it'd be tolerable.

Max lamented the fact that there wasn't anything to do in this shithole town. The movie theatre didn't open until 8 too, nor did anywhere else.

He felt a twist of frustration when he passed by his shitty school, and how he'd be forced into going there again the following week. He was guaranteed to end up in the principal's office the first day back. All the teachers had it out for him, just because he refused to conform to their system of pumping out like-minded, unambitious losers like the rest of his class did. He hated how they did things, and he let them know. Boy did he let them know. One time, just before Christmas actually, he stood on his homeroom teacher's desk and told her passionately about how she was a lazy, unimportant cog in a pyramid that didn't value her for anything more than her ability to read at a level slightly above the cretins she was payed to spend 6 hours a day with (himself excluded of course).

She stormed off to the bastard principal and his parents were called in within the hour. Honestly, that was the only downside of the whole thing. His parents didn't give half a shit about what he said to his bitch teacher, but they sure as hell cared about being called into that godforsaken building to talk with a stuffy collared asshole who thought his shit smelled sweeter than everyone else's. At least, that's how his dad put it. He laughed at it, but that was the wrong thing to do. The car had been braked too suddenly, and Max got propelled between the front seats, winding him and bruising his cheek. That would've been piss to deal with, but his mother had been adamant that he be payed back for the annoyance he oh-so carelessly inflicted on his "hard-working" parents. He'd been given a few lashes of an old, mouldy belt on his ass, back, a few on his arms when he tried to block, and a couple across his face, matching the bruise on his other cheek.

They didn't hold back that time, since he was suspended up until the Christmas break, the marks would have enough time to fade away before anyone relevant saw them. He didn't cry though, not once. He'd kill himself before giving them the satisfaction of seeing him weak.

He'd never say it out loud, or even think it prominently, but he wished that he'd have been able to go to that fucking shithole of a camp over the Christmas break too. At least he'd have been able to sleep properly, and not with one eye open.

He kicked a can onto the empty road and pondered what to do with himself. He sniffed under his arm and cringed. The local pool would be open at 10, that is, if they'd be open at all the first day of the year, and he'd shower there if he could. What then? He could see a movie, but then, would he have enough money left after both food and a trip to the pool. If the right person was at the pool, then he might get away with asking to use the shower and then fucking off. There were a couple who'd let him, both women, who'd coo at him if he looked at them the right way.

He grinned to himself. If one of them were at the pool, they'd be wearing one of those small, white tank-tops that really emphasised the shape of their boobs. The thought lightened his gut a little. With luck there'd be no-one else there at all, and he'd be able to rub one out in the showers. Last time he tried at home, he'd been caught by his dad and laughed at. Bastard announced his doings to the whole house. Sure, that was only his mom and a pair of junkies they were getting high with, no-one whose opinion mattered to him, but it was still humiliating as fuck, and he hadn't risked it again since.

That was about 2 weeks ago now, and the mere thought of tits had him discretely pushing the front of his hoodie down a little farther, just in case. A passing car ripped him from his thoughts and he looked up to see a beat-up looking Toyota zooming by.

It parked on the curb a few metres up and the passenger door swung open. Something about it made his guts churn, so he swiftly turned into an alleyway. He peaked over his shoulder and saw nobody there. He let out a breath he didn't know he was holding and relaxed his shoulders. God, he was paranoid. Being home for too long made him put up his guard way too much. No-one had any reason to stop and accost him. Ugh, Max shuddered. "Accost" was a very "David" word.

He spat at the thought of speaking like that weird man, and his existence in general, and the existence of that camp while he was at it. His thoughts then roamed to the other campers he'd spent close to 3 months with. Neil, and Nikki, and the others. Another, more foolish person would've smiled at the thought of friends, but Max knew better. He'd likely never see them again. No-one returned to Cameron Campbell's Camp Campbell after a hellish week there, let alone 3 months, no-one besides him. It was guaranteed that on the 1st day of summer he'd be whisked off there by his parent's, so they wouldn't hafta look at him until the end of August. Then again, that meant he wouldn't hafta look at them either.

He was about to look for a clock to see if it was McDonald's time before he was yanked back by the hood. He gagged and was about to fight back before his arms were pinned to his sides by a pair of hands far bigger than his own.

"Let me go you jizz-soaked pedos!" He yelled. It was the only thing he'd be allowed to say apparently, because a foul-tasting fabric gag was shoved into his mouth before he could say another word. Max was then none-too-gently pushed onto his back. He finally got a good look at his assaulters, but it didn't help at all. Each of the 3 were wearing balaclavas and had hoods up. All he could tell was that one was black and the other 2 were white.

He kicked out, but his legs were stepped on by heavy, steel-toed boots. His head was forced still, and his left eyelids were pried open. His worry doubled up about 5 times in the next half-a-second as what looked like a bottle of eye-drops was held over his pupil. His squirming intensified immediately. No way in hell was he letting some balaclava-wearing bastards put something that definitely wasn't prescription into his eyes. But it seemed like he didn't have a choice.

Solid white drops were squeezed out of the bottle, directly onto his dilated pupil. The 1st burned like Indian food on the way out, the 2nd like a dildo of jalapenos was shoved up his ass, and the 3rd even more so. Max couldn't count how many drops hit his eye when they stopped, all he registered was the overwhelming burning sensation scraping at his eye-ball like a rabid cat. His gag did a good job at keeping his yells in for now, but when his other eye was pried open, he wasn't sure how effective it'd be in a few second's time.

When he was let go, Max threw his hands to his melting eyes. They truly felt as if lava had been dripped into them, and nothing he was doing was helping. He couldn't even arrange his thoughts to come up with a remotely cogent plan, he could only writhe on the concrete, and hope for something to put him out of his misery.

Max didn't remember passing out, nor did he remember being moved. He only recalled yelling his throat raw as his eyes were burned from the inside out. The very next thing he registered was a sterile smell, a lumpy mattress, and a horrible morning taste in his mouth. His head felt as if it'd been kicked on either side by donkeys, and then pounded at with a sledge hammer.

He groaned and reached up to rub the sleep from his eyes, only, something got in the way. He felt around his head and realised that bandages were wrapped around him. He tried pulling them away, but his fingers couldn't muster the strength.

"H-Hey!" He yelled out ignoring his sore throat. He could hear footsteps pattering over to him, giving a grunt of affirmation and leaving him again. "What the fuck!" He cursed. "Don't just leave again! I have questions god-fucking-dammit!" Hit fists pounded against the covers, but he remained unanswered.

It might've been only half-a-minute, but as impatient as Max was it might as well have been an hour, when a gait of heavier footsteps approached him.

"Whoever just walked in better take this fucking blind-fold off before I call child protective services!" Max growled.

The other finally spoke. It was a man, with a deep, booming voice. "Young man, you are in St Mary's Paediatric Hospital right now. Do you remember why?"

Max threw his head back. It was a bad idea, he only deepened the pounding. "I-I was attacked, I think."

"Unfortunately, you are correct. You were found passed out in an alleyway on Fr. Preston Avenue. Now, I need you to tell me your name, and a way to contact your parents."

"What! Why? Can't I just fuck off now, I've already woken up!" Max crossed his arms, hoping he looked as sure and solid as steel.

"I'm afraid not. Your parents must be called in, it is…essential." The man seemed to be choosing each word carefully.

Max didn't care. He was already sick of the mattress, the smell, the persistent sound of a drip and the man talking to him. He wanted to eat, to shower, and go see a movie so this godforsaken day would be worth something at least half memorable.

"I'm leaving." He said simply. He pulled at the bandages around his head again, this time fuelled by the fire of being pissed off. They gave away and tore between his fingers this time. The bundle fell loosely around his neck and shoulders, but there was still something blocking his vision. He felt at his eyes, and a pair of soggy pads were there. With an even deeper growl he pulled them off too, though with a wince as they pulled a bit of his eyebrows with them.

His closed eyes hurt even more than his head, but he rubbed the sleep from them anyway. He peaked the right open a little, expecting the light to take a few seconds to adjust. It didn't though, in fact, there was no light at all. He opened both eyes fully.

"Why the fuck are the lights off!" Max asked, his fists shaking.

"Son," The man said, his voice dripping with pity. "anything I say I must also say to your parents or guardians."

This man was fucking with him. There was no way what Max thought was going on was actually going on. "Turn on the fucking lights. Now." Max tried to keep the crack out of his voice, he really did, but he was scared now. Scared of the man's next words, scared of what they'd mean, scared of how things were going to be. Feeling all of this in the space of a second made his gut feel as if it'd been stabbed, opened up, and whisked about.

"My Boy, I'm afraid your eyes were severely damaged when you were attacked. They have been exposed to a very toxic substance, and some very important parts of your eye have been…"

"Just say it!" Max yelled, his fear and frustration having reached a boiling point. "Am-am I fucking blind?"

The silence said it all. The man's unwillingness to speak, to deliver such awful news to a child proved Max's worst fear to be correct.

He was blind.

Hey everybody, thanks for reading this fic and making it to the end of chapter 1. If you like what you read then leave a review and let me know that there's interest. Even a favourite or a follow inspires me to continue writing.

Anyway, ciao for now.