Chapter I, Devil’s Playground, Post 3, Lucas’ Story

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He never even knew that something was wrong.  There had never been a father in their home so he didn’t know to miss one.  When the little ones were left alone to fend for themselves while mom travelled to another city, supposedly looking for work, it wasn’t long before a concerned neighbor called social services to report that there were young children living in a house without an adult.

Lucas would spend the next five years in a shelter for abandoned children about forty-five minutes from home.  Once he got used to the physical abuse from older children and some of the monitors he got along well there.  There were outings and school and horses.  The only family he had ever known, a sister and brother, was there with him. They looked out for each other and the time passed.

One-day mom showed up.  She had gotten married and they had come to claim the children. This new man would adopt Lucas and give him his last name. Things were looking up. Sadly, cirrhosis from many years of alcohol abuse would soon take the new man away and mom would let the children fall into neglect again.

Lucas had had enough.  Home had become a place not of safety but of violence and hunger.  At ten years old he showed up on the doorstep of an elderly woman he knew through his deceased stepfather and she took him in.  Living in one of the toughest neighborhoods in town, no father, no one to show him what it means to be a man, it wasn’t long before he found some older boys who offered acceptance into their world of drugs, violence and petty crime.  His indiscipline and poor attendance at school eventually caught the attention of city officials and he was selected to attend a new reform school, once again shipped off because he was too much “trouble.” At the new school, a gathering of the worst of the worst from the city’s overburdened school system, their first “field trip” would change his life forever…

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