A full century had passed in the town of Suburbia. The small community had been changed forever when a strange boy had been brought into their midst. The events which unfolded had started simple enough, but eventually gave birth to paranoia, fear, and ultimately death.
However, that was all in the past. All that persisted from those few dark days now were rumors, the occasional mutterings and "what-ifs" spouted by residents who had grown up on their elders' tales and fables. Some had even wanted to demolish the old mansion at the top of the hill, but no one dared approach it...even the law. They were convinced that the boy was somehow still alive, and would return to wreak havoc on their community again if anyone dared bother him.
But one person didn't share that view. Like so many others, she'd heard the tales of the "innocent boy" with the strange deformity, and the people who had tried to befriend him only to be met with fear and murder. But somehow, their version of the story always seemed to lack a heart. Her own parents and grandparents told a softer version of the story, but even they deemed it unwise to tresspass on the boy's home. She didn't know why people were still so terrified - it had been a hundred years after all. Surely, things had to be different now...didn't they?
The young lady's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of her mother's voice. "Sweetie! We're heading off to the movies. Are you joining us?" "No thanks, Mom", the lady replied. "Nothing's on that I want to see." Satisfied with her answer, the parents departed, leaving their daughter alone in the house. She comforted herself by saying it wasn't a total lie; there really wasn't any films playing she had much interest in. But her main reason for staying home was to do what no one else would. She was going up to the top of the hill. She was visiting that mansion, to see if the stories about the strange boy were true.
The gates creaked with age as she gently pushed them aside, their sound almost like a banshee's wail. Every step she made up the hill toward the mansion itself was like another small moment of courage, against the fears and lingering suspicions her community still carried for reasons the lady thought were ridiculous. Reaching another gate, almost buried in a wall of ivy that had grown over time, the lady pushed with all her might to move it forward. At first, the resistance was great, with the ivy wall not wanting to give a single inch. But eventually, it gave way enough for the young lady to make her way through...and what she saw next amazed her beyond any imagination.
Beauty...that was the only word she could fathom at what she saw. Countless sculptures of grass, each recognizably different from the last. There had to be dozens of them, all across the main courtyard. She saw the forms of birds, cars, snowflakes, dinosaurs, and even a human hand. But the one at the very center of the yard was the form of a young woman in a dress, sculpted mid-twirl with her arm outstretched. From the stories she'd heard growing up, the visitor knew this must be her relative who had once befriended the boy. An important part of every version told, was how only one woman had shown unbarred compassion and love for him. Most in the community thought her reckless and foolish for doing so, but her descendant felt differently. Surely, someone who brought to life such exquisite works of art couldn't be all that bad.
Making her way past the sculptures, marveling at each one, the lady finally reached the main door of the mansion. Knowing from her elders' tales that knocking would be of no use, she tried her best to open the door without making a lot of noise. But given the years of disrepair, that proved to be impossible. The door opened with yet another wailing sound, as if a long-imprisoned spirit or ghost was being set free. What met the lady's eyes was exactly how her elders had described it - old inventions of strange design, with a large staircase that led up to the second floor. Taking in a deep breath, the lady reassured herself that there was no going back. She was in the boy's home, and she was going to meet him in just a few minutes. Steeling her resolve, she placed her foot on the first step, and made her way one stride at a time. Even so, she coud swear she heard music, like a ghostly choir from ages past.
Reaching the top room, the lady was shocked by yet another new yet familiar sight. The roof had a massive hole in it, and the floor below did as well, from years of rain damage. There were small pieces of wood and metal strewn across it, like a makeshift bridge of sorts...and a small section to the right held a bunch of ancient news clippings. Most of them were faded by now, impossible to read...but from the pictures, they all seemed related to hands or physical touch. At the moment, no one seemed to be home, which the lady found disappointing. For a moment, she allowed herself to think that maybe the boy had finally died, and the sculptures simply hadn't grown to be unrecognizable yet. But then, without warning, she heard them. A combination of soft footsteps, with a snipping sound. Step, snip...step, snip-snip. Hiding herself in one of the rooms shadowy places, the lady decided to watch as the source of curiosity entered the room.
She honestly didn't know what to think, but to her eyes he was quite a sight. By his appearance, you'd never know a full century had passed. He still looked to be around twenty years old, his eyes a gentle dark brown or black, and his face marked by scars both healed and fairly new. He wore a strange bodysuit that looked to be made from scraps of leather and other fabrics, and his dark hair was unkempt to the extreme. But what amazed the lady most, as she saw him from the shadows, were his hands...or at least, what passed for them. Each finger was comprised of a type of pruning shear, knife, or other such blade, with a series of tiny gears or tubes connecting them to his arms. She also saw that a few of them appeared to be stained by blood...no doubt from the murder her elders had spoken of in the stories from a century prior. But she didn't want to think about that; instead, she simply wanted to look at him. He seemed so lonely, but his posture and general expression also seemed to have a quiet strength about him.
Suddenly, with no forewarning, and in spite of the efforts to stop herself...the lady sneezed. The boy whirled around like a defensive animal, his eyes probing directly into her direction. A single bladed finger came her way, not forcefully but slowly, more from curiosity than any sense of danger. Seeing no point in hiding any longer, the lady stepped into the light...her reddish blonde hair and dark eyes meeting the boy's gaze. He opened his mouth to speak for a moment, then seemed to think better of it. instead, his head tilted somewhat like a dog, and his other hand snipped a bit like a nervous gesture. A few more silent moments hung in the air between them, until th lady decided to introduce herself. "Hello, Edward." His face jerked a bit, like no one had spoken his name in generations. Finally, he uttered a simple response, that the lady found both amusing but also sad. "Kah...Keh..." he stammered, clearly confused by what he saw. Gulping another breath, he became more bold and determined. "Kim? Is...is that you?"
The lady blushed a bit, for she knew her parents had said she resembled her distant relative. But for Edward to notice it as well, affected her emotionally in ways she did not expect. At first, she nodded, and then shook her head...which clearly confused Edward. Taking a deep breath herself, the lady spoke up. "My name is Kim, yes...but I was named after my great-grandmother. I am Kim...Kimberly Laura Burton."