laancelot t1_j1ewydx wrote

I had never been a productive member of society before the End. Time changes us all, as they say, and after a fashionable time off spent digging myself out of a pile of concrete, I came to the realization that the world had changed, and so did I.

The daycare was, at first, more an orphanage than a daycare. I gathered little survivors who had lost their parents. At first they were afraid, and they cried, but surviving the worst had made me a new man. I had gained patience and empathy, two traits I never though I possessed. One by one, they came to accept me as their foster parent.

After a fashion, some of their parents who they though dead found my little orphanage. They came to me with humble gratefulness and took back their kid. Some of them I never saw again, yet most of them came back on a regular basis. Everyday, during foraging and warring hours, raiders, nomads and techno-barbarians started using my services as a keeper. A children keeper.

There must be a word for that job, but I never bothered to learn it. Yet I did it splendidly. My orphanage slowly morphed into a daycare. My daycare became a haven of peace in a wasteland otherwise known for it's murderous ghouls, barbarians and mutants.

The parents would thank me, at first sheepishly, then earnestly. Mortal enemies would sometimes meet while on my ground, and they would ignore one another. Everybody came to know that the daycare was a new form of holy ground. A place of peace in a brutal world.

I still had to keep them in line from time to time, though. All children keepers must know that kind of parent:

"Mister Longshot? May we have a chat? I've heard little Wink speak ill of Tadpole's parents. It lead to a nasty fight between them."

"It has?"

"Yes. I could convince them to make peace after a while, so all is good, yet... could you please keep the warmongering talk outside of your kid's life, at least for a couple more years?"

"I, uuuh... yes, for sure. I'll be careful for now on. Thank you for letting me know."

"Thank you... who?"

The warlord shrank a little bit. Although being in my shadow, he started sweating.

"Thank you, Doctor Apocalypse. Thanks for everything."