Puppy for Sale

by James Matthews

Chapter 5


Greenstone was built in eighteen ninety seven by a man named Lord Deseer Mountbatten. A rich landowner in England, he put his name to many fine buildings in his lifetime but none he thought so special as his Greenstone masterpiece. A self-confessed architect with no formal training he built his houses for the love of his many mistresses.

The History of Greenstone, as you can probably tell, was taught to us as we lived in the home. Deseer was a man full of love, he loved women but most of all he loved children, especially children who had no love themselves. Close to his death in nineteen twelve he gifted the house to the people of the town to give children a home that had lost their parents. It was his final act of love before he died.

I grew up wanting to know more about Deseer Mountbatten, as to me he was a legend, a selfless soul who gave back to community far more than he took. I fantasied about him being my own father and how we would go fishing together down by the old lake at the bottom of the estate. To me, Deseer was every child's dream in a father and that's what made Greenstone close to my heart.

Saying that, I longed to get out of here, not because I was unhappy with the place in general, but because I just wanted to feel like a normal child before adulthood took its place in my life. I wanted to learn about the outside world, get loving hugs from parents and play football in the streets with friends like I saw on TV. Only now was it that I saw a glimmer of hope coming in the way of a man who claimed to be my father. But, dark thoughts would enter my mind at not a moment's notice, telling me that he would never want to have someone like me, that it was just a curiosity fad with him, and that when he saw me and got it out of his system he would be off again doing his thing and living his life.

Those thoughts among the hope were pure gut wrenching!

"Knock knock," came the voice of Cindy outside my bedroom door.

"You may enter at your own risk," I said in a scary voice before giggling. I heard the door click and Cindy walked in wearing her trademark jeans and baggy t-shirt.

"Well someone is in a chirpy mood," she said flinging herself on my bed next to me making my body bounce in the air.

"Not really, just a better mood that normal I suppose."

"Hmm, well I've seen all of your moods and this is a good one compared to most I'll agree."

"Cindy, I need to ask you something."

"What's that Puppy," she said, resting her head against the wall. "Is everything ok?"

" I just...well I want to know how you would feel if I ever left this place."

Cindy sat back up and went into thoughtful mode and I watched as invisible cogs turned in her brain. I knew whatever came out of her mouth would be the truth, it always was, but how much of what she was feeling maybe I would never know.

I heard her sigh gently. "You know Puppy, if this call from your dad turns into something really good and you eventually leave Greenstone I will be very happy for you because I know how long you have been here and how many times your dreams have been crushed. I know how much it means to you to be able to live a normal family life."

"But?" I said, knowing there was one.

She cleard her throat. "But, if I was being really selfish, the truth is I will be devastated because I can't imagine being here without you, you get me?"

Hearing her say that made me want to cry. If it weren't for the stupid drugs I was on I probably would have been able to, but since taking these pills I have been void of most raw emotions apart from laughter and anger, it was a strange feeling when I concentrated on it deeply.

"I guess there can be no winners from my situation Cindy," I mused.

"Yes there can Puppy, you need to do what's right for you and be happy. If your dad is serious about contacting you then you need to grab that with both hands and hold on tight, you may not get another opportunity."

"I know Cindy, but what if he's an asshole, you know? I mean he did leave me in the first place, and it has taken him god knows how long to attempt to contact me."

"You need to find out the background first Puppy, you don't know why he left and if he even knew you were alive all those years, I mean how or where would he have known where to start looking?"

"I dunno, that's what I mean, there are so many unanswered questions that I just want to know now."

"In good time Puppy, he has made contact with the home, it must be important to him otherwise why would he bother? I don't think he is just going to walk away without speaking to you."

"I hope not, even if he is an asshole there are still lots of things I would like to know so I can at least have peace of mind."

"So be patient, Like Mr Watson said, he will keep you updated right?"

"Yeah I know, easier said than done."

"Most things are Puppy. Say, is that a new poster?" Cindy asked, referring to my picture of the Grand Canyon I had pinned on my wall.

"Yeah I got it today, I traded it."

"For what?" She asked, inquisitively.

"A pack of Haribos and some mints." I said with a grin.

"Wow, the black market in this place is thriving." Cindy said, sarcasm oozing from her words.

"Hey, it was a good trade, that poster will last forever, they guy I got it from has probably eaten the sweets already."

"Who was it?"

"The boy?"


"Billy Jones, the boy who was gonna be in our class the other day until you_"

"Oh him, so he actually spoke to you?"

"Yeah, he's a little shy, but he's real nice. I don't know about his sister though I didn't see her."

"Was he in your room?"

"No, I saw him in the gardens, he was sitting on a wall reading some book on deserts, I got talking to him and said I would love to visit the Grand Canyon and he told me about the poster."

"Oh I see...so did you find out anything?"

"Like what?"

"Like why they are here?"

"No he didn't say anything about it, I didn't wanna ask anyway just in case it was a really bad situation."

"Aww Puppy, I really want to know." Cindy whined, always the lover of home gossip.

I shrugged. "Well why don't you ask him when you see him around?"

"Me, oh dear no, I don't want to get a reputation as a_"

"Gossip?" I said before laughing. "Cindy, c'mon now, we all know you have that reputation already, just ask Charlotte Grange."

"I think she hates me, she would think that."

"Charlotte is Charlotte, you know that, and I'm sure she doesn't hate you."

"Hmm, well whatever you say. So, you wanna play a game or something?"

"Like what?"

"I dunno, snap?"

"Not really, I got too much stuff swimming around in my mind. Why don't you put the TV on or something, maybe there is a movie showing?"

"Cindy shrugged and pulled my remote control from the window sill, turning on the TV. As she flicked through the channels I went to the bathroom and relieved my bladder. When I came back out she had gotten under the covers of my bed making herself quite at home.

"You know if one of the staff find you in my bed they are gonna freak, Cindy."

"Let'em, I'm cold, and besides what have they got to freak about its not like we are doing anything."

"Doing anything? Like what?"

"Sexy stuff, you know, like on TV."

"Aww gross, yeah we certainly aint."

Cindy laughed. "Ha, your face, that was funny."

"Just move over so I can at least sit on my own bed." I stated, unimpressed.

She stuck her tongue out before shifting over to the side. I climbed on next to her and waited until she had settled on a programme.

The next morning I found myself in Mr Watson's office again after he had called for me. Although Watson was not there yet I was sitting with Charlotte Grange who was in charge of the Children's general needs. Another man in thenroom was Stuart Gentry who took care of our personal files as well as the one responsible for vetting parents and in the corner of the room on his own was Doctor Listern, who was the home behavioural specialist and Doctor. He was already taking notes down on a pad, and the very act of that was making me nervous.

I sat in silence while Charlotte and Stuart chatted. Doctor Listern said nothing and just smiled when I happened to look in his direction. Something was worrying me about this meeting, I don't know what exactly, I just had a bad feeling about it.

Pulling me from my thoughts, the door clicked and in walked Mr Watson followed by my general Doctor, Sam Stillworth. There were now five people in the room, all there I assumed to talk about me, and to me. It was very unnerving. Mr Watson took his place behind his desk and Sam pulled out a spare chair from the utility room which joined on to Watson's office.

"Ok, so thank you all for joining me today and to you especially Puppy, I know you are probably wondering why I have asked you here and we will not keep you in suspense too long I promise." Mr Watson said, forming a light smile. "I want to start by saying the purpose of this meeting is to evaluate the findings of Mr Max Chase's assumption he is the father of Puppy Stibbs. Now I have had a telephone call with Mr Chase since we last spoke Puppy and I have said that to verify his identity in the fastest and least stressful way to you is through a DNA test."

"A DN what?" I asked, confused.

Mr Watson and some of the others lightly chuckled. "Puppy it's a simple test that will tell us if Mr Chase is actually your father. It is very quick and pain free, but I need to ask you whether you wish to go ahead with it. There is totally no pressure on you to do this and it is entirely your choice."

"I um, well I guess that would be ok and uh... painless you say?"

"Oh yes Puppy, all we need to do is take a scraping from inside your cheek with a cotton wool bud and that's it," Sam Stillworth added.

"Is he gonna take the test...I mean my da...Max?" I asked, swallowing hard.

"Yes Puppy he has agreed to do that." Watson replied. "Now I want to pass over to Stuart who will be able to tell you some information about this man Puppy, after which you can ask any questions you like, ok?"

I nodded the affirmative and suddenly felt uneasy again about what was going to be revealed, if anything. I turned my attention to Stuart and prepared myself.

"Right Puppy, so I have gathered some information on Max Chase and created a file. You can look at this file whenever you want if you forget anything of what is said today. The information I have is based on Mr Watson's two telephone calls to Max and several different searches I have done with the assistance of local council and government databases, including child protection."

"Ok, sounds complicated."

Stuart chuckled. "Not really Puppy, the information is easy to come by once to get the permission to search and the welfare people take your safety very seriously so it's in everyone's best interests that this information be available to all of us."

"So tell me what you know," I said, just wanting him to get to the detail.

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