Soren almost couldn’t believe he had been left entirely alone after being completely exposed to a human. His body certainly couldn’t believe it. His heart pounded rapidly in his chest and his breath had nearly stopped entirely. His body continuously trembled both from the entire encounter and the chill in his core he couldn’t reach to warm. There were so many things that didn’t make sense. It was frustrating and terrifying. Why hadn’t the human put him in a cage? Why had they bandaged his leg with such precision and care? Where were all of his things?
Looking around, he couldn’t see his borrowing hook or his mouse pelt. In fact, the covering on his body was some kind of long nightgown that he wasn’t wearing when he fell unconscious. [Did… the human make this? That means…] Soren shivered violently and shook away his thoughts as best as he could. He didn’t want to think about the human touching him and, worse, dressing him.
Soren focused on what he could do and see at the moment. It sent his head into a fit of pounding and his leg throbbed in protest, but he threw off the blanket from his body and stood. He was just shy of four and a half inches, yet that wasn’t enough to look over the edge of the box. [I need to get up and over the edge. I can’t see from here.] Soren hobbled over to the makeshift bed and tried folding it in half. Fortune seemed to favor him once again. He stepped carefully on the cushion, trying his best to ignore the screaming protests in his leg, and peered over the edge.
He was on some kind of table beside the human’s bed. There was a small lamp that looked like a pink rock and medical supplies like a roll of bandages as tall as him, tape, and a few bottles of liquid he didn’t recognize. The lamp was what caught his attention. Lamps had cords. Lamps led to electrical covers which, in turn, could lead him home; but the throbbing in his leg and tremor in his limbs consumed a large portion of his concentration and strength.
[I have to be quick; act before my body has a chance to protest.] Soren pushed through the aching in his limbs and used his one good leg to jump onto the edge of the cardboard box. With little effort, he tumbled over the side and hit the hard, wooden table with a muffled thud. He barely managed to stifle his gasp of pain as another wave of nausea and chills crept over his body.
He couldn’t think about it now. He had to get off of the table and onto the floor, but the throbbing in his leg told him he wouldn’t get far without help. Soren glanced around for anything he could borrow to aid his walking. Sure enough, there were several broken off pieces of thick wood. Soren thought humans called them chopsticks. He shuddered to think as to why they were called chop sticks but had limited options before him. He hobbled to the pile of sticks and shoved a few off of the edge before approaching the lamp cord.
Unable to test its strength or his own, Soren chanced his life to the thick cable and his shaking limbs. Heights had never bothered him before, but the constant pulsing and throbbing in his head created a sense of vertigo he hadn’t experienced for years. He shook his thoughts away. Now wasn’t the time. Soren knelt onto one knee, other leg outstretched, as he laid against the cord and shoved himself off of the table. His shoulders buckled, but his grip held firm as he slid down the rubber cord.
The surface of his palms burned and stunk by the time he reached the bottom, but he had managed to make it uninjured – for the most part. Soren leaned off of the chord and stabilized himself, taking several deep and reassuring breaths, before hobbling over to the chopsticks he intended to borrow. The wood was heavier than what he would’ve liked, but it couldn’t be helped now.
He took the stick and leaned heavily against it like a large walking stick and surveyed his surroundings. He was in the human’s bedroom, a place he wasn’t familiar with. Still, the overall structure of the building was the same. If he was right, he only had to reach the outlet at the far side of the wall near the closet. It was going to be a long shot, but he had to try.
Soren stayed close to the walls, catching his breath under the bed. He couldn’t understand why his limbs were trembling so much. Had the encounter with the human really rattled him so much? Now wasn’t the time to contemplate such things. He pressed on, each step leaving him limping severely. Pure adrenaline pushed him.
What seemed like hours passed and, finally, he made it to the electrical cover next to the closet. Now, rather than fear, his heart pounded excitedly. Was he going to make it? Could he actually escape? His fingers began to twist the screw loose from the electrical cover. [Come on. Just a little longer.] The screw was just beginning to tug loose when he heard it – a low, rhythmic rumbling; and it was getting louder, stronger – closer. [No. No. Not like this. Not like this.]
Soren’s hands began shaking as he tried to tug the screw loose. The final threads clung to the edges when he heard the creak of the door and a few more, thundering steps approached. The screw felt to the ground just as Soren heard something – someone – nearby.
He clenched his fists out of frustration and half collapsed, half shoved his shoulder into the wall to keep from falling over. His eyes, with minds of their own, dared to take a glimpse at the human. His eyes traveled across the hardwood floor until they finally traveled upward to the human’s face.
Those same pale grey-blue eyes locked into his own hazel eyes. Soren was never a crier growing up; but even so, tears of frustration began gathering in the corners of his eyes. He had almost made it out. He was mere steps away from freedom and he was freezing. He couldn’t bare to look for another second and averted his eyes. This was the curse of being seen – of being caught – by a human.
Soren’s insides churned and twisted. Another wave of chilling cold wracked his body and nearly brought him to his knees. Then, he heard something he couldn’t have predicted.
“You’re welcome.” He glanced up to see the human give a fraction of a smile before standing up to her dizzying height, turning, and walking away. He felt his jaw slacken as he slid several centimeters down the wall, barely catching himself. Where was the human going? What game was she playing? Leaving him here by the wall unguarded? He didn’t have time to debate it.
Soren shoved his fingers under the plastic covering and pried it off of the wall. He threw his walking stick in first before tossing himself over the lip of the wall. He hobbled a few feet from the entrance before falling onto his side. [No. Not yet. I can’t stop yet. I have to get back to Dorian and Rey.] He shoved himself off of the wall and hobbled down the dusty walls of the humans using the chopstick as a walking stick.
He pleaded silently that Dorian and Rey were okay. Adrenaline pushed his tremoring steps. His leg was entirely numb now, but Soren didn’t care and figured it was probably for the best.
The inner halls were dark and still. The air smelled stale and untouched. Even though this was a new area, it still connected to the other apartments. He traversed the halls until, finally, he recognized a familiar corner. Soren nearly dropped the stick in his hands, anticipation pounding in his chest. He rounded the edge and, instantly, felt his heart sink.
Where he would see their makeshift tent and supplies, bedrolls and borrowings, he saw an abandoned, torn down campsite.