Recidivistic Precursors

Image of Faith Murray Deb Ducharme, Kommandant of Barrhaven's Centre de l'enfant aux 4 Vents, told reporters that the daycare centre's strict "no outside food" policy was established for the protection of the staff and 250 children, any of whom may have food allergies. Faith Murray, a two-year toddler who attends the institution, discovered precisely how strict those rules were earlier this month when she inadvertently walked through the front door with a cheese sandwich in a Ziploc baggie after her father had dropped her off.

Little Faith was not pistol whipped into submission by agents of the Gulag. Nor was she dragged away by jackbooted thugs to a dimly lit room containing only a chair, a telephone book and a ball peen hammer. She was, quite remarkably, given a three-day suspension for her transgressions. What's even more surprising is that the three-day suspension is handed out unilaterally to children who bring in outside foods which do not contain peanuts. If food is brought into the daycare centre containing peanuts, the client is summarily expelled. Randy Murray, Faith's father, believed the punishment is too severe for something as innocuous as a cheese sandwich and felt the situation warranted a warning instead. "I didn't realize it was so strict that a two-year-old would be suspended." Murray told CBC in an interview following the incident.

One can only imagine what sort of other punitive measures are not only "in place" at Stalag Saugling, but also ready to be meted out on budding felons and emergent reprobates. What do they give toddlers who refuse to sleep at the designated slumber time? Three hours in the hole? What about the deviants who inadvertently blurt out English during immersion class? What horrendous treatment should they undergo? Surely forcing them to endure re-runs of Chez Helene must be within the gamut of penal sanctions at the disposal of the Kommandant. No doubt, a little bamboo under the finger nails would deter the little darlings from sticking their fingers in their noses. I suspect all the blood dripping off their tiny little fingertips should make nose-picking an unpopular activity. And hosing the little jeezlers off with a fire hose every once in a while surely reminds them of the importance of personal hygiene; what with institution's huge concern over health and safety. Presumably, the daycare's groundskeeper lays siege to the outdoor playground to ensure it's free from bees, wasps and other insects the "staff and 250 children" might be allergic to. I'm thinking lots of toxic chemicals ought to do the trick. Of course just keeping them locked in isolated rooms, free from outside contagion and social exposure might work too.

* * * * *

By the time she had reached her 24th birthday, Zoe had amassed an accumulation of cadavers which matched her years. Buried in shallow unmarked graves, the only clues which documented her victims' fates were the two dozen trophies she had harvested from their corpses and subsequently kept them in the cedar hope chest at the foot of her bed.

There was no brevity in Zoe's rap sheet. As an adult, she was "well known by police" in several jurisdictions, though most of her involvement with the gendarmes had been for reasons of moral turpitude. The streets had provided more than mere schooling; they had provided a bountiful hunting ground, though her idiocyncratic hobby continued to remain in the shadows. Her youth had been tumultuous, as she oscillated between foster homes and youth detention centres. The diagnoses which appeared throughout her juvenile records were surpassed only by the volume of psychoactive medications she had been prescribed to manage her behaviour. But the treatments were as ineffective as the diagnoses themselves; Zoe was tainted. Her lack of enthusiasm for school was mirrored by her truancy. If there was one area in academia Zoe excelled at it was in discovering new and inventive ways of getting suspended or expelled from school. She quickly discovered that her killing skills were better honed away from school and the tedium of Sister Mary Ida's classes.

If she thought hard she could probably remember her first kill. It was a small bird with an injured wing. Zoe's apprenticeship began the day she had been suspended from daycare for that fucking cheese sandwich...

Submitted by Vincent Pachinskie, 29 March 2014