“I want the yellow one!” the kid squealed. John looked at the mother and child ahead of him on the escalator. The kid was hopping from foot to foot, pointing at an advert wrapped along the balconies of the shopping mall that depicted the latest in a line of animated toys.
“What do we say?” the boys mother admonished. Her tone made John smile, reminding him of his own mother, as images flashed through his mind showing him how his mother would die.
He had seen her death since he was a young boy. It was peaceful, tranquil. Knowing things ahead of time wasn’t always a curse. He had made sure she was at her favourite park, watching the swans eat bread. Would make sure. Would. Even after thirty years the tenses still confused him.
The boy hung his head and mumbled an “I would like” to his mother. She reached down to peck him on the cheek, but the boy dodged away to avoid the display of affection, brushing against John as he did so.
The world crashed away. This was not peaceful. Sights wrapped in sounds twisted in feelings of agony exploded within John’s mind as memories of things to be clawed their way into his skull.
The vendor. Handing over a small toy. The boy beaming at his mother. The man. Ski mask. Gun. Glistening, silver, deadly, outstretched. Shouts. The boy looked down the barrel, honest. Mother, wrapping her body around his own, jerking, shuddering, growing cold. So cold. John wept but the boy did not. Time. Time gnawed at the wound. The boy became a man. The man became a monster.
Crime meant death. Death became policy. Policy became party, and soon the boy cradling his yellow toy stood on a parapet, holding a nation.
The present returned, a cold trickle of sweat the only visible sign of the years, decades, of hell John had endured. He saw the mother clutch her childs hand. Love.
Reaching into his Christmas shopping he pulled out a small box. The little figure, golden yellow arms waving through the plastic wrapping, meant for his own son. It was the smallest acts that held the greatest impacts. A snowball became an avalanche.
“Excuse me.” The woman turned to stare at the man behind her, instinctively clutching her child closer. John smiled, holding up the toy. “I forgot my son likes the red one. Please, take it, as an early present.”
The boys eyes shone with anticipation as he looked between the man, his mother and the outstretched toy. A moment of hesitation crossed her mind, before she nodded. The boy snatched the package with a squeal of delight.
“What do we say Daniel?”
“Thank you mister!”
Prompt originally posted by kingdomcome3914 on reddit and received 3 upvotes.