Run, Hommie! Run!
Yakusoku ran right. It’s dark and windy and cold. He has no idea where he’s going or where he’ll get to but he’s getting away and that is that!
“No! Wait!” Mamoru barked from the recess of his mind. “You don’t know where you are, don’t just go fucking charging off. You have to find people, trust me, you have a wide range to do so. You only need to concentrate.”
“Why don’t you come out and show me the way? Let me follow you.” Yakusoku turned his head this way and that from the whipping wind, and slicing snow crystals.
“I can’t, you’re not strong enough to be out in this shit and see me... it’s a power drainage thing. If you would better accept what you have you’d be able to do it no problem, but since you won’t you’re stuck with feeling drowsy every time I show my face.” Mamoru rolled his eyes when Yakusoku intoned an ‘oh’. “It’s easy, though, just close your eyes and think people, you should feel a buzzing, like if you were getting your hair cut. That’s the way you go- okay?”
“Okay.” Though he has butterflies in his stomach.
Doing as he was told, he closes his eyes and concentrates, thinking as instructed: People. People. People. His eyes snapped open when a buzz brushed against the left side of his brain.
“Stop being afraid of it. This wasn’t done to you, you were born with it, but suppressed it away like you did with me. Just let it happen or you’re gonna freeze to death before you find anyone.”
“Okay, okay.” He waited for the sensation to happen again, then took off running when he felt the buzz return.
He’s already panting and he hasn’t even been running for fifteen minutes yet. Doesn’t help that he’s exhausting himself by overworking his brain to keep an eye on the buzzing feeling. Lucian’s clothes have also aided in hindering him because they’re too big and he has to keep a firm grip on them in order to keep them up on his body. He even lost a shoe in a pocket of snow! But there was no going back for it, because he doesn’t know how long Maria will be knocked out, or if Lucian will keep his mouth shut that he was able to open the trick door.
He’s never seen winter this massive before. Where the hell did Maria bring him? He tripped over something, a clot of ice maybe a piece of tree branch on the ground, but whatever it was had him land painfully in the snow which just about killed his new skinny frame from both impact of being winded and the instant chill that raced through his bones.
“Oh God!” He wheezed into the wind that swallowed his words like he hadn’t even spoken them out loud. “Not now!” He rolled over onto his back and began to pant while his chest wheezed and fluctuated up and down like someone was trying to pump him full of air.
“What the hell are you doing?” Mamoru, despite his choice of wording, sounded genuinely concerned.
“I ca-.. can’t brea...” His words jerked and cut off.
Tears boiled beyond his eyelids and froze up instantly in a sticky white trail down the sides of his face.
“What do you mean you can’t breathe?”
Yakusoku was getting soaked through on his back, and it was only making things worse for him. At this rate, he really is going to die out here. Out in the bitter cold snow, surrounded by silent trees, watching the display with no intention of helping or telling of what they’ve witnessed. And the snow, it surely wasn’t going to say a word, in fact, it's going to hide the body. Quietly swallow him and keep him a secret until the thaw of Spring.
“What can I do? Tell me!” But all Mamoru got for a response was a sob. “Fuuuck!” He raged inside. “Maybe you’re not having an asthma attack, maybe you’re having a panic attack from a slight- I don’t know- hitch in your breath! Dude, listen to my voice and relax... you’re gonna be fine. Everything is going to be fine... just relax. Calm down, and think soothing thoughts.”
Yakusoku felt a hand come down on his chest and begin to rub. Looking out through his teary haze, he sees Mamoru over his head until the wind glassed over the vision making a monster out of the image.
“Oh don’t look at me like that ’Nix... I have to get out of here just as badly as you do.” He rubs more vigorously. “Even if it means risking draining your body to get you back on your feet.”
Yakusoku felt his breathing calm, and his chest rose and wheezed less and less frantically. That was a close one. Also amazing! ‘How could Mamoru have done it when he’s not even real?’
“I have my ways, now come on- if you’re feeling better. We have to get going. I can tell the city isn’t too far away,” he gets up. “Just over that bend; can you stand?” Looking down at Yakusoku he cocks his head in curious thought. “Get up. I know you can.”
Nodding, he reaches up to take the offered hand. On his feet, his legs are thick and shaky. The cold was definitely in his bones now, he looked damn near rigor mortised by the time he’d gotten over the bend. It was like something out of a sappy movie when he lazily grinned upon seeing rows of nearly parked cars due to the weather and traffic. It was like a sea of rescue workers! To him, each of those family cars was a fireman, a policeman, even an army tanker.
‘What’s...?’ He wondered when his vision blurred.
“I told you it was draining to have me appear to you while you’re still new at this.” He looks over his shoulder back at where the Amytiville Horror House lay. No sign of Maria... yet. “I’m going back in.”
Yakusoku’s feeling better wasn’t exactly instant, and he rocked and swayed on his block of ice feet when getting up from his fallen kneel in the snow. Didn’t help that his chest still very much hurt from his episode a little while ago. Ice and wind dried his throat too raw as he went over to the street screaming for help.
Horns honked, and the distinct sound of doors locking all around him followed. He wondered what the big turn off was? The fact that he’s skin and bones and holding his clothing up with little other than willpower and a semi-firm grip? Or that he’s filthy and screaming and popping his hand into windows he’s passing by? Whatever the case, he’s definitely not getting anywhere with these people. Time for a more direct approach.
“Get the fuck out!”
Was the first thing he said when popping open a door and climbing inside the vehicle, first thing he felt was a fist in his face from the teenaged boy- who couldn’t be any older than he is- as he took it upon himself to not only defend the backseat of the car of which he sits but his family as well.
“Stop it! I need help!” Yakusoku shouted over their shouting and screaming.
“Get the fuck out, you sicko!” The teen continued screaming.
It was just a mess in that car: yelling, on top of beatings and none of what the broken teen was saying seemed to be sinking in. Didn’t help it that when he tried to shove the boy off of him with his foot he only ended up kicking the guy’s little sister- though not by much- who’s sitting crunched against the door beside him. That was all he needed to take his leave. Either that or get beaten some more and he just didn’t think he could take it.
Pulling the door handle behind his back Yakusoku exited the car, hearing that the family had called the police on him. Good! Let them! Then he’ll get some real help; the bunch of bastards. Can’t they see he’s desperate?
The next car he played it cool, he tapped on the window and waited for it to be rolled down. “Please help me.” He asks in his rasp of a voice. It’s been a long day.
“I’m sorry, I don’t have any spare change.” The woman explained and locked the door when she realized that it was open.
Yakusoku thought he felt a stir in the back of his head. The same stir that always had Maria follow close behind it. “No ma’am, I’m not homeless. I need help, I’ve been kidnapped- abducted.” He felt the need to correct himself. Stupidly, he tugged on the door handle and reached his hand through the little slit made by the rolled down window.
“No! Get away from my car!” The woman shouted and stupidly pulled her car farther up the street while the teen’s hand was still in the window.
He cried out in pain when his hand was jerked from the window’s slit opening upon the car moving up. Fuck her. Fuck them all! He moved out of the large parking lot that doubles as a street on non-weather heavy days and headed instead for a store. They won’t turn him away, they can’t. He cut between several cars to get back to the iced-over sidewalk; his hobbling had the occupied cars at an annoyed, confused stare before he disappeared from their view.
The first store he saw was not a store at all but a restaurant. That’ll do! He stepped into the diner and looked around.
“Honey, you really shouldn’t be out in the cold at this time of night. And what happened to your other shoe?” The woman behind the counter said; tucking a strand of black hair behind her ear, she folded her arms over her chest in contemplation of the muffled, frazzled child that’s entered the diner on her shift.
“Where are the phones?” He asked. Looking around the room, he spots a payphone in the corner near the back. “Can I use them, does anyone have a quarter? Or dime?” All the somber faces or late night workers off shift just looked at him with curiosity and little else. “Please! I’ve been abducted and I’d like to go home!” He begged.
“Here. Honey, here.” A waitress with blonde hair came over and handed him a couple quarters from the tip jar. “Make your call.”
“Teenagers!” Says a man with a short hair and a thick mustache. It looked as though he worked in a factory or something. “I swear, the lengths they’ll go to to get attention. My Carl used to tell me he was at the library until he had to face us with the news that he’d been doing drugs. Damn fool had an injection problem.”
Casting an angry glance over his shoulder, Yakusoku said very wispily. “I’m not lying.” But he didn’t have time to convince these fools that he wasn’t lying, he has to call home. ‘Or maybe I should call the cops?’ He wonders when the phone is in his hand.
Shoving the quarter in, his fingers fumble with the buttons. Fear, nervousness and the cold are playing a part in his trembling stupidity.
“Oh move, I’ve got this.” Mamoru interrupted when Yakusoku swore again from screwing up the number. Good thing he had a lot of quarters.
The buttons shoved in on their own, Yakusoku looked on baffled. “That’s not my parents' number. Who did you call?” He asked.
He could curse modern technology for making it next to impossible to actually identify a person’s phone number. The small crowd of people watched him with snickers. Oh yeah, the kid is on drugs. He’s talking to himself.
“Goddamned mother fucker!”
He could hear Maria screaming from outside. Fear gripped him as it never has before, and now he was on the move. “Don’t tell her you saw me.” He says quickly. “Please don’t tell her you saw me!” He hurried into the kitchen area behind the counter to where the back door would be located.
He heard a swarm of swears behind him as he shoved his way through the back door. He has to get away. Maybe to a house or some other local place- anywhere filled with people! He can feel another panic attack coming on- shit! That’s just what he needs. He wasn’t fifteen feet away when he heard the back door shove open behind him. Fucking cowards. Although, he’s not exactly a poster child for being brave against her- but dammit they’re adults!
“Behind the tree, I’ve got this. Just don’t move. Don’t think. Don’t talk to me. I’ll cover you from her.”
Yakusoku almost thanked the alternate but remembered that he said not to say anything. Quickly he darted behind a large tree. Trying to steady his breaths, he took in large and small gulps of air.
“I know you’re out here.” Came Maria’s voice. “It won’t be so bad for you if you just come out now... The longer you drag this out... the worse it’ll be in the end.”
“Don’t say anything.” Mamoru coached. “She’s just trying to rile you up so you respond.”
The wind howled now as if the gusts were big enough to have to squeeze through the generously spaced buildings to create the chilling howl in the air.
“Just hang in there,” Mamoru instructed when noticing that Yakusoku’s stilled body began to violently tremble. His knees shaking the hardest.
It honestly didn’t matter that his teeth are chattering loudly and that he’s trembling or shifting since Maria is deaf and can’t hear a thing outside of his thoughts. The guy could throw a party behind a tree, just as long as he isn’t seen by her he’s in the clear; it turned out to be a good thing too because Yakusoku had to sneeze. He made odd face after odd face trying to hold it in, but then it just came out. And anyone who knows him knows that he’s a multiple sneezer, and one after the other tumbled out and shook through him.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t thinking when he chose to think, ‘This is a fine time to have a sneeze fest.’ and that’s when Maria had him!
The frightening blonde turned in his direction and spotted him instantly. A panicked yelp sounded from the male, and in a hurry, he moved from behind the tree and took off running.
“You think you can just run away not that I’ve seen you!?” She bellowed at him. “You’re gonna pay for what you’ve done to me!” Maria pounded after him like a track star, and how could she not when she’s properly dressed and he’s... well, barely even able to keep his clothing up.
But thankfully, due to the cloudy snow-filled sky, he was able to lose her again in the darkness. Maria must have looked around for ten minutes before she finally backed away and ceased her search, and the taunting rant to try at getting him to speak on accident. Where she’d go he’s unsure of, but he couldn’t help but take a hard breather that she’d finally moved on.
Yakusoku got out from where he’d hidden and continued on through the woods, or at least a small cut of trees since there seemed to be more buildings around after a few dozen steps. He spotted a woman across the lawn and street pulling groceries from her car. She’ll be perfect. Slim, alone, long brown hair and a silly enough personality that she’s muttering ‘hurry, hurry’ to herself as if she were singing a song from Cinderella.
Quietly and carefully he stalked after her to the front door. The woman fumbled with her keys while shifting and readjusting grocery bags within her arms grasp.
“I’ll get that ma’am.” He said as normal and even-toned as his voice could muster.
“Oh!” She was startled at first, but when she felt no danger from the boy, who remained just out of view she allowed him to open the front door of her home. “Thank you. It’s so cold out here tonight, I can barely feel my fingers. And traffic is a nightmare, but well, that’s blizzard mentality for ya.”
Upon entering she hadn’t realized that the helpful young man had helped himself to an invitation inside, and after shaking off her white beanie and turning to hang it she got the second worst scare of her life from the strange boy.
“Oh please don’t rob me!” She says while dropping her hat and bags to the floor in order to use her arms to shove the child off if he advanced on her. “Or rape me! Please, take anything you want!”
“I’m not gonna rob you,” He says while locking the door. “Or rape you!” He was quick to add while closing the blinds.
“Well, forgive me for saying this but it sure doesn’t look that way.” Standing off behind the long couch, she asks. “What happened to you? Are you homeless? I can give you a few bucks but I don’t have much on me anymore, I just went shopping.”
“I only need your phone... Please. I’ve been in an accident and I need help.”
“Oh, you poor thing!”
This woman seemed big on the dramatics and saying the word ‘oh!’. Yakusoku walked further into the home rather than lingering at the doorway. “Can I use your phone?”
“Um, yes and no. You see, because of the blizzard the lines went down. Said they’ll be up in the morning, and my phone is still charging so I’m afraid it won’t be much help to you either.” The woman seemed to be taking the tattered child in hard, her eyes wandered over every filthy beaten inch of him. “I should get you something that might fit a little better. My son is away at college and he left a lot of his things.”
She stepped from behind the couch when seeing how skittish Yakusoku is to move or relax. “My name is Rebecca, what’s yours?”
“Yakusoku... nice to meet you.” He said when taking her offered hand to shake.
“You too.” Withdrawing her hand, she took in a breath. “Wanna tell me what happened over some cocoa and cookies?”
‘I’d rather just use your phone.’ He thought. “Sure.” He said softly. “Do you have any other cells?”
“Busted. I dropped it into my coffee mug while trying to balance my plate and the phone was at my ear and shoulder... long story short.” She was awkwardly silent a moment. “I’ll put a kettle on and get some cookies, there’s a bathroom right over there if you’d like to straighten up.”
“Thank you.” Yakusoku glanced at the door before disappearing into a bathroom.
“She seems nice. Hope she isn’t lying about that phone thing.”
“I doubt it. If she were she’d be calling the cops right now, not humming while she plates up cookies.” Replied Yakusoku.
Yakusoku washed his face and combed a hand through his matted hair. He didn’t dare use a brush or comb from the home. Didn’t seem right. Peeing, he cleaned up and washed his hands afterward. A knock on the door gave him a slight panic, but when Rebecca called through to offer the clothes, he relaxed.
“Thank you.” He said taking them.
When he was through changing into a black and white stripped sweater and a pair of black jeans, he emerged from the bathroom to the rich scent of pumpkin and hot chocolate.
“There, don’t we look better now.” Said Rebecca with a smile. “Didn’t have any cookies, but I had donuts. I heated them in the microwave.”
“Thank you.” He takes the offered mug and plate of two pumpkin spice donuts.
Yakusoku took a seat on a long soft couch, and he chugged cocoa and ate donuts on repeat, nearly choking through coughs on each bite with all the drive he put behind getting it in and down.
“You’re hungry, huh?” She asked sympathetically. “I’m sorry, I should offer you something other than sugar? I’m not really used to taking people in so..” She trailed off. “Would you like some soup? I might have a can stashed away somewhere.”
“Can you go to a neighbor's maybe, and borrow theirs?” He ignored her offer. His urgency is wearing on him now. “I have to make a phone call.”
“I told you, the line is down- oh wait a minute! My son! He has an old cell- why didn’t I think of it before? Be right back.” She got up from the couch and hurried off upstairs. When she returned she handed the phone to him. “It might have some life left in it. You’re free to use it to text if that works.”
“Thank you.” Dialing home, he waited for the rings to stop. “Come on, pick up... pick up...”
“This is the Land home..”
“Voicemail.” He waited for the beep and then spoke. It was unbelievable that it had even worked. “Mom please, it’s me, Yakusoku! Pick up your phone!”
“Would you like for me to drive you somewhere if it’s that important you should have a phone that works better.”
“Would you really?” He asks hanging up the junky old phone.
“Sure. Might take a minute to work through traffic thou-...”
Yakusoku cocked a brow. Watching Rebecca stand, he knew something was wrong because her expression became very blank and blood drooled from her nose. “Are you ok?” He asks. “Miss. Rebecca?”
Her eyes rolled into her head and she dropped to the floor hitting the coffee table on the way down. Before he could lean to her aid, the front door burst open behind him.
“Caught ya, mouse!” Screamed Maria.
“No,” Yakusoku whispered. “...What did you do to her?” He hissed when the skinny blonde approached. Despite her being all and 30 pounds- wet- he’s afraid of her. Deathly afraid.
“What do you think I did?” Replied the enraged psychic.
He shook his head, feeling tears sting his eyes.
“I had to blow her brain up... she knows too much!” Stooping down she grabs the phone snapping it in half. “Won’t be needing this.”
“Please... please... just let me go.”
“You have gone. And now you’re going to come back...” She reached down for him, snatching him up by the collar of the sweater.
Her strength that much stronger by the use of her gift to pull his skinny weakened body along after her. It was going to be a long trip back, but he was dragged kicking and screaming... and no one saw or heard a thing...