Today while walking down the street you are going to fall down an open manhole and land twenty feet underground in a sewer. Your right leg will snap and twist up like a pretzel underneath you and the pain will be excruciating. You’ll scream up at the street but no one up there will be able to hear you. Someone down below will, though.
Three children will creep up out of the darkness, approaching you cautiously. A little boy and two little girls. They will be filthy, as if they’ve been down there for months.
“Hey,” you’ll say. “Oh thank God, you need to get help. I can’t move. I’m in so much pain.”
“We can’t go for help,” one of the little girls will say. “Our foster parents would find us. We can’t let them find us.”
“Please,” you’ll say. “If I’m down here for very long my leg will turn gangrenous and kill me.”
“We’re sorry that you fell,” the other little girl will say. “But we came down here on purpose to hide from our foster mother. She’s very evil. Show him.”
The little boy will lift his sleeve to show you a string of black scars that look like cigarette burns.
“See?” the second little girl will say. “If you’d ever been in foster care you’d understand why we must stay hidden in the sewers until we’re old enough and strong enough to fight our foster mother with a baseball bat. Now give us any food you have on you.”
The little boy will stomp on your broken leg, sending bolts of pain through your body. The two little girls will root through your backpack until they find a cheese sandwich.
“Again, we’re sorry,” the first little girl will say. Then they’ll move a few feet away and split up your cheese sandwich right in front of you. The boy will growl while he eats. He’ll sound like a raccoon. The last thing you think about before you pass out is if you ever get out of that sewer alive, you're going to do everything you can to add more oversight to the area's child services programs.
Happy Fall Down An Open Manhole (NOT IN A GAY WAY) Day!