This is what a tomb feels like... it's cold. It's dark. No breathable air that doesn’t hurt going in. It was becoming a mantra to Yakusoku, as he lay on the bed of his cell; on his side, legs are drawn into a fetal position with his arms wrapped around his body to keep some heat in. He didn’t bother with sitting up because it would lead to his resting his feet on the cold bed.
He knew this from something Sophie had said one winter, about how you lose more heat from your head and feet than anyplace else, so you should keep them the warmest. So there he lay on his side; feet folded over each other and brushing rapidly together like two sticks trying to start a fire.
‘Fire. Nice and burning, skin-searing heat.’ Yakusoku told himself. He imagined being engulfed in flames. His skin would roast and peel, bubble and blister with the delicious heat that is fire. ‘So warm... so warm...’
It was better than chanting about the cold. Regardless his warm thoughts, his teeth remained chattering and his body is shaking like a leaf being manipulated by a tornado-esque breeze. Is she trying to kill him? He wouldn’t be surprised. If the demented girl were hurt enough to abduct him, she’s probably hurt enough to kill him. Damn it! How did this even happen?! How long has he been passed out? When did he pass out?
Squeezing his eyes shut, he growls in pure rage. “Will you stop playing on the damn lights!”
And his reason for screaming this particular request is that- since Maria’s left, or he’d believed that she had left- the girl’s been sitting at the top of the stairs flicking the light switch up and down, and not in that flashy little disco club-like way either. It was more like every time Yakusoku thought that he would crack-up in the still and overly quiet darkness, Maria would turn the lights back on. But the moment he felt relief because he could at least see, she’d turn them right back off and leave them off until the next outburst came.
It was so obnoxious how she timed it so damned well. He was actually beginning to shake from being in a darkness so rich that it actually hurt to turn his eyes from left to right, while they tried adjusting enough to see anything in the cell. But it was no use if he couldn’t see something as pale as his own hand in front of his face then what chance did he have of seeing the objects in the room?
He’d actually taken some time out, in his abandoned and panicked state, to grope around in the darkness to locate the objects in the room: he’d found the toilet first; unfortunately his hand went into the bowl, he then located the sink, then crawling to the right he found the bed directly across from those amenities. It's an iron brass bed, and it was freezing to the touch, worse than anything else in the room. But he gripped the creaking thing and pulled himself onto it, where he’s been lying for who knows how long. Shivering, feeling the onset of mild hypothermia setting in.
“Mariaaaa,” He whined. “Pleeease... stop playing on the lights, and leave them on...”
The lights blink on... then off.
Growling, he hollered until his dry and sore throat cracked, and sent him coughing like a strep throat case. Didn’t help that that cold metal collar was freezing his neck muscles, and making it just impossible to swallow properly. At least it was long enough for him to reach the bed while wearing it.
Sniffling back a run of snot on its way out of his nose; Yakusoku pulls the tattered blanket up a bit more. It's helping, sort of. The bed is mighty springy, well worn like the creaky bars it's resting upon. His body heat has been absorbed by the springs, and that’s helping some. Eyes squeezed shut, he lowers his head beneath the ripped blanket and breathes deeply... in... out... in... out. The warmth is very small but very effective, and he actually felt his shivering lessen.
‘Maria... how can she do something like this? Where are her parents? Or her aunt?’ He wonders. ‘Isn’t anyone in charge of her? Who lets a freaky psychic girl run amuck?’ His words played back to him. ‘Psychic. And all this time I’ve been talking to her normally... her aunt told me that she was born mute- hell, she told me. I have to speak to her with my mind.’ He hadn’t the slightest idea of how to do that, though. ‘Do I just think? ...Testing.. one, two, three... Maria Atkinson, can you hear me?’ He thought very mechanically and smiled at himself. ‘At least I haven’t lost my sense of humor.’
But in his gut, he was sure the only reason for that was because he believed that someone somewhere is responsible for Maria; they’re the same age for fuck’s sake. There’s no way this girl is living independently. She should be in a padded cell for independence, and monitored 24 hours a day, and the people monitoring her should be monitored as well because watching her they’re liable to crack. Let no one sleep on watch.
‘Maria... Maria, please turn the lights back on.’
And the lights flick back on. In fact, she’d began to leave because the door groaned open in her departure. He was relieved at that, he even let out a comforting sigh. But something odd happened, instead of Maria being gone, she had actually started to come down the stairs.
‘Does that mean it wasn’t Maria playing on the lights? No. I mean, she can move things with her mind... I wouldn’t put it past her to just be beyond the door flicking the lights up and down with her mind.’
Regardless, the lights are on, and remain so, as the girl walks down the stairs. Something is coming down with her, Yakusoku can hear a scraping sound after her footsteps. It's like something heavy dragging on concrete. Yakusoku can’t imagine what it could be heavy enough to make a sound like that when being dragged. Hopefully, it wasn’t a weapon, like an ax or a sledgehammer, or some medieval mace.
In Maria’s grasp, it would be heavily dragging on the floor to make up for her lack of physical strength. Yakusoku didn’t think that it was possible to scrunch up into himself any more than he already is, but he did it regardless and made himself into the smallest size he could accomplish beneath the tattered blanket.
When the cell door pushed open and Maria stepped in, he had to admit that he was pretty proud of himself for not cringing at the sight of the girl. She has her head down, walking carefully, watching her step as she lugs two buckets into the room, behind her three more buckets- much larger than the ones she’s carrying, and after the buckets was a large clawfoot bathtub.
Yakusoku cocked a brow at the odd sight before him, but he snapped out of it quickly and mentally asked. ‘Maria, will you please reconsider this and let me go? I won’t tell anyone what happened- I promise! It's my name for God’s sake.’ He threw in a little humor to maybe lighten the situation.
But Maria wasn’t biting. In fact, it seemed that she hadn’t heard him at all! ‘...That’s right, ignore me. You dumb cow.’
She looked up then, and her face was less than happy. “Someone’s awful chatty, now aren’t we?” She turned and started yanking the items farther into the cell until they were in the middle of the room.
Yakusoku was glad that Maria was choosing to speak to him by moving her lips, he honestly couldn’t take the reality of her, on top of everything else he’s in right now! And right now, watching her tug those massive items around without even touching them is kind of freaking him out to the real danger he’s in. If she can move all that, what can she do to him?! Would it be too late to start apologizing? He didn’t think so. Someone once told him; probably his mother because it sounds like something she’d say, it's never too late to apologize. He hoped that was true.
‘Maria... I’m sorry about what’s happened between us.’ He thought loudly. So loudly it seemed that the girl had to stop and shake her head from it.
“Why are you screaming? I’m right here!” She says over her shoulder.
She’s busy pouring the water in the buckets into the tub right now; her hand making lazy circles in the water as it fills.
“But, I suppose you’ll get better at it.” She smirked. “Especially with myyyy heeeelp.” She sing-songs. “Now, come over here and get in. Don’t want the water getting cold, do you?”
Crazy as it seemed, Yakusoku walked over to the tub. He kept the blanket modestly around his waist and stood wobbly next to the tub. The thing must have weighed a ton! And she moved it like it was nothing. So it dragged, why make it float? Right?
“Really?” Asks the girl seeing both the blanket around him and his modest hesitation to remove it. “I’ve seen it before, my love, not to mention used it numerous times.” And she smiled so lecherously; it only made Yakusoku shrink away more. That got a sneer from her. “I said, take it off.” And she yanked the cover from his freezing grip, and from around his waist.
Cupping his dignity between frozen hands, he looks at the small amount of water. Honestly, that’s what your grandmother would put into the tub if she were babysitting you, and your mother told her to give you a bath. You know how grandmas are. That water wouldn’t cover anywhere past above his belly button.
“In.” She insists a bit more firmly. Reaching up toward him, she jerked her hand forward at him when he lurched away. “I’m only unchaining you. Don’t be such a baby.”
Closing his eyes, he shudders when her warm fingers brush against his chilled skin. The collar hit the floor with a heavy sort of clank. He felt a lot better then, and quickly, to keep from standing naked beside her for long, he sinks into the water- little as it was- and allowed his shivering body to soak it all in before the weirdness continued. And he knew it would. This is Maria, after all, the girl invented weird.
But she wasn’t moving in on him so far. Instead, she just sat there beside the tub, watching him with her hand resting on the edge, chin resting on her arm. Just... watching. Fair enough. He can handle that. Running a hand under the water, he splashes it up his arms and over his chest. Cupping it between his hands, he ran the water lavishly down his back by releasing the handful from over his head. The tub was small in size inspite of its weight; he wondered if he could dunk himself a bit by bending his legs a bit more. He’d have lady parts in a matter of hours if this situation didn’t end soon.
“Maria,” He said then stopped himself when she cocked a brow at him. She couldn’t hear him. So he thought his words. “Maria... Do you think I could have some more water... please?”
“Hn. Water has to be earned. Sorry.” She replied, then lazily dunked her hand into the water, swirling it back and forth, just a bit too close to his thigh for his liking.
Yakusoku watched the offending thing like it were a snake on the prowl for a nice juicy rat. And in this case, the rat was his junk. “But... I don’t understand, what’s the bath for if not to get clean?”
“The bath is to clean you, help you with a fresh start between us- not to reward you for anything, you dolt.” Her fingertips brush his thigh causing him to cringe away from her, though he couldn’t exactly go anyplace. “You’ll soon learn the ropes, they always do.”
‘Bitch.’ He thought bitterly and continued throwing water on himself.
“You know, back in slave time..., the master would bathe himself clean and, if he liked a certain slave in the house, he would allow her to get in his water afterward. Isn’t that romantic?”
He smiled sarcastically and nodded. “Nooo, it's fucking sick.” He singsonged when she wasn’t looking.
Yakusoku then had a nice little fantasy flash through his head while watching Maria soaping up a rag, and in it, he grabbed her by the back of the head and shoved her face into the water and didn’t let her up- not even after she’d stopped moving. He smiled to himself, dropping it when Maria turned around, the rag was poised to wash him and just out of the blue... He was submerged!
His legs just jerked right from under him, and it felt like a hand was being pressed into his chest. Heavy and powerful, the hand remained there pressing into him and keeping him under the water. The only difference between this and a normal drowning scenario is that there was no hand, just immense pressure. She hadn’t even jerked his legs from the tub with her own hands. It was all done mentally, and it was all very effective in proving the point of who was in charge here. And it sure as hell isn’t Yakusoku.
When his body was starting to get heavy with exhaustion, and his vision was blackening, that was when was Maria let him up. The breath of life was beyond appreciated, and his lungs sucked in a huge lungful before he started spluttering and coughing to remove the swallowed water from his body. Wide-eyed and terrified, Yakusoku looked at the girl who only stared back, less than amused. Her icy eyes slit in her head.
“Are you trying to kill me?!” He snapped.
“Let that be a lesson to you the next time you think about doing something that rude to me.” She replied. “Not fun, is it?” That made her smile when a look of question crossed his eyes only for a moment. “Its gonna be awfully hard not to love me when you can only think nice things about me, hm?” Giggling, she moves the rag up and down his chest briskly, and roughly. Hard enough to scrub him pink.
Being bathed... was horrible. Because not only was, he weakened from nearly being drowned, but he can’t even curse at her without her overhearing what he’s saying. The rag would scrub and scrub, and the soap suds would foam up and be semi-washed down by Maria’s other hand guiding the water over him.
“Hey!” He leaped up when her finger brushed the crack of his ass.
Smiling; she dipped the damp rag under the water and gave it a good squeeze, re-soaped it, then started running it over him again. “I thought it was very unattractive the way you put on all that make-up and crap, but then it dawned on me... you didn’t want other girls looking at you.” She winked an ice colored blue eye at him. “But my,” She sighs in contemplation. “you are still really dirty. I’ll never understand boys.”
When Maria starts in on his back, he tried again to be nice, ask questions, and hopefully get a reasonable explanation. “Maria...” He had to curls in on himself because her hand was stroking his length through the rag. “What is it that you want out of this? What can I give you, so that I can go home?” He looks over his shoulder at her to gauge her expressions. “Is it sex? I... I promise that I’ll sleep with you- once a week- if you just let me go.”
“Are you kidding?” She took a moment to laugh against his wet back. “God... I swear, you men. I don’t just do these things because you like fucking me...” And wasn’t it amazing how she made it seem as if this were all his idea? “I love you. And you’re just too wrapped up in our lovemaking to realize you” And she articulates each word by walking her fingers up his arm. “love. me. too.” And she beeped his nose at the end.
“What makes you think that keeping me here like this will make me love you?” And he spoke these words knowing that if he said it rapidly enough she wouldn’t be able to read his lips.
No such luck. She didn’t have to read his lips, he’d unintentionally thought it as he spoke. And the punch she gave him could have snapped his jaw in such a way that Kanye West would have told him “that’s fucked up”. She must have projected a great amount of pain into his brainwaves because the girl weighs fifty cents wet. How could anything physical she does to him hurt like this?
“Please stop being mean to me... I love you.” She frowns. “Now, wash off and get out. Tomorrow you’re going to be very busy. You have a lot to take in and a lot of thinking to do right now.” Planting a kiss to his jaw where she’d slugged him, she gets the collar up from the floor and wraps it around his throat again, locking it in place. “Well,” And she stood up then. “I’ll be back for the tub later.”
When she headed for the door, he braved asking after her. “Maria!?”
“Can you please leave the light on? And don’t flick them off and on like that?”
“Awful bossy for a slave.” She muttered. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, though; I was upstairs heating the water for you.” She shrugged. Maria grinned then as if something wonderful had dawned on her. “Ohhhh, maybe your gift is starting to awaken.” She squealed like a girly-teen-girl. “Finally! Oh, I can’t wait until tomorrow, I have so much to teach you. So much.” Blowing him a kiss, she bounced away.
Yakusoku sat in the dirty, already cooled, water a bit longer to wash the soap off. And when he climbed out, he looked around realizing she didn’t leave him a towel. He has nothing but the thin tattered blanket to dry himself with. And to avoid hypothermia reaching stage two, he used his blanket to dry off, then he quickly climbed back into the bed. At least he could wrap himself in the sheet.
‘Mom... Dad... please be looking for me.’ He thought solemnly.
It was as if he was refusing to really let the situation sink in. Same story, different location. He would get out of this. Just as he had in the shed in the woods. He doesn’t know what he’ll use to push Maria’s buttons this time, but he knows it can be done. The only problem is after; breaking the chain from around his throat is gonna take some time. Shuddering, he closes his eyes and embraces the fact that he’ll, maybe, be left alone.