Title: Smiling Creature
Character/relationship: Wolfgang Grimmer
Theme number: 27. Mimick/Imitation
Disclaimer/claimer: I don't own Monster, Naoki Urasawa does. Not making money off of it either, just borrowing the characters a little.
Summary: After he was taken away from Hell, Wolfgang ends up in a strange "school", one that teaches him what he's forgotten long ago: How to smile. Spoilers for episode 40+
Note: I do know how old Wolfgang is when he leaves 511 Kinderheim, but I still insisted on the gift given to him in this fic to remain the same. Also, please tell me of my mistakes, but keep in mind its been almost a year since I wrote anything. So all I ask is for you to go a bit easy on me. Enjoy.
One day he woke up. It wasn't as if he was asleep, but rather unaware of everything until now.
At that orphanage... 511 Kinderheim. He'd learned a great deal of things in their 'classes'. He nearly scream at what they were trying to teach him. Perhaps inside the entire "class" he was screaming, to be let go from this torture... it was kind of a blurred memory to him now. Kinderheim was in the past. He could remember nothing: his true name, his friends, his parents; nothing.
This day he woke up was sometime after he was rescued from that Hell.
Sunlight peaking through dull windows in the far end of a hallway and the distant sound of children playing outside. It must have been another orphanage but it was a different feeling completely. Loneliness and fear were not so abundant it seemed to creep through the very walls in this place. This wasn't Hell, but it could be Purgatory.
Just down the hall he could hear a conversation, though it was hushed the words were clear to him, "... He's in need of your help... Since he's been away from 511 Kinderheim he's been improving slowly, but its not enough he still can't even-- "
"... 511 Kinderheim? That place where the children of criminals are placed...?" A woman's reply. He looked her over quietly for a moment: soft brunette hair and a two-piece, formal eggshell white dress that stopped just at her knees and her age was nearly undeterminable to him, except for a hint of gray in her hair near the roots. The man she was with looked like a business man or a teacher.
"That's the one, but please he needs your help." The man pressed, gesturing towards him with a nodding of his head.
"I-I..." She began.
"Please... you'll understand why I choose you. Once you talk to him..."
The woman was defeated with his statement it seemed, "I'll try but this isn't what I was hired here for. I'm a nurse now..."
With that they both started to slowly walk towards him and they mood began to change with each step. Once they had both reached him they were light-hearted in a cheery, obviously false, mind-set. The woman leaned down towards him, resting her hands on the end of her skirt, "Hello there, young man. What is your name?"
"I don't know." He replied without hesitation.
The nurse shot a confused look back to the teacher.
"Wolfgang." The man said bluntly, "Wolfgang Grimmer."
Is that my name? Though he was confused he did not question it much. Wolfgang is my name.
It had to be true... he could not dispute the fact, because he never known another name he was called by.
"Wolfgang." He repeated in a whisper.
"Do you know where you are now, Wolfgang?" The nurse asked looking into his eyes. She was searching for something in his face. Her searching eyes were unnerving and he silently wished she would find what she was looking for or to simply stop her examination.
"How old are you?"
"I don't know."
She continued to question him until it grew apparent to her that 'Wolfgang Grimmer' knew nothing. He silently wondered if she thought he was tricking her. Surely she thought all the times he said 'I don't know' were lies.
People tend to think the worst about other people. All people: they know darkness lives in each person, festering, and waiting to stab them in the back. People don't trust. Someone taught him that. Who? He could not say. People are basically evil. They only show their good qualities as a trick and...
"Wolfgang?" Her tone was questioning, "What's wrong?"
He glanced up to her unable to explain.
"You looked upset. Is it something I asked you?" Her voice bled with concern, though he could not tell if it was genuine.
"I don't know what you mean."
Sighing the brunette woman turned back to the man with concern. "What do you mean you don't understand? Is it the question you don't understand, Wolfgang?"
Was she getting irritated with him? Was she laughing at him on the inside?
"I don't... understand... 'what's wrong'?" Impossible to word. He felt a burning sensation in his chest simply trying to say as much explanation as he had.
"Don't get frustrated. It's all right. I think I understand now..." She brought a hand up to rest on his shoulder, patting him lightly.
"Frustrated?" He questioned, reaching up to brush her hand off his shoulder unceremoniously.
People are basically evil. The cliche expression 'like a broken record' could only explain the times this line repeated unwillingly in his head. He wanted to stop hearing it, along with those other messages. At least this woman wasn't saying things like that to him yet.
"Wolfgang, can I give you something?" She suddenly asked him, "It's special to me. It used to make me happy as a child."
Straightening up to a stand again she looked back to the teacher, who was now standing directly behind her, "Can you please go and get the object on the right corner of my desk in the nurses office?"
Reluctantly the man nodded his head, turning away from the woman as he headed down the hallway. Once the man was gone she leaned down to face him again, "You can have this if you promise to smile for me when you get it."
"What if... I don't know how."
"I'll show you then... but until you learn how to smile I can't let you have it." It was an incentive, a carrot on a string. He knew this trick but he told himself to wait to see what the 'carrot' looked like before dismissing the whole game the nurse played. Soon enough the sound of footsteps came and the teacher returned carrying with him a strange object in his left hand. An old, tawny stuffed horse.
"Do you like it?"
For some reason he did. One of the stuffed toy's legs was nearly detached and its eyes were made of two different colored buttons but he thought he like it.
"I think so. But..." Another sensation came over him, this time in his stomach making it feel like a dozen ladybirds ladybugs, lady beetles were inside of him moving around. "I can't..."
"If you hold it, it might come to you by itself... a smile." She grabbed the animal by the abdomen holding it out in front of him. He took to slowly by the first two legs he could grab staring into the stuffed creature's button gaze. After a moment the woman instructed him, "Make the corners of your mouth go up, like this..."
He looked to her face trying his best to force the same expression onto his own. "Am I doing it?" He asked gritting his teeth as he spoke trying to not move his face (in case he was smiling).
Her cheeks were turning red as she bit her lower lip and her entire frame was moving ever so slightly as if she was holding something inside of her mouth. Suddenly she burst into laughter, "Forgive me, Wolfgang. I just remembered something."
"What's that?" He asked, another burning pang in his chest struck him as he stared at her.
"A smile isn't something you can imitate... it has to come to you naturally. You can keep my pet horse as long as you come to see me in the nurses' station everyday." She told him, glancing back to the teacher who seemed to silently agree with her.
"But that wasn't the deal you said." He argued.
"It's all to help you smile, so think of it as just a lesson to help you earn that toy, Wolfgang."
He could only agree with her as he stared down to the stuffed creature. He hadn't noticed at first but the toy's maker had given the horse a string mouth in the shape of a friendly smile.
What a weird 'school' this is.