Chapter 67 - Prisoner
Within the entryway of the church, cat statues lined the walls, paws outstretched forward as if showing respect to the passersby. Candles stood spaced between the feline decorations on stands, unlit. Kale’s feet dragged against the dirtied maroon rug that unraveled all the way down to a large room.
“Ugh, when’s the boss ever gonna clean this place,” one of the men said, their voice echoing down the hall and into the spacious hollow room.
They passed into the room, rows of pews lined the open spaces before a small stage and an altar. The altar looked spotless, but everything else in the room was covered in dust: the pews, the railings, the walls, the floor. Even just breathing, Kale could taste how in need of a maintenance check the place needed.
Kale’s heart pounded as the man in front of him continued pulling at the chains holding him captive, but at the same time he felt a smidge more relaxed than being stuck in the back of the car, devoid of light. In here he at least had his vision, no matter what kind of atrocities he may be held to witness.
Kale finally started cooperating with the man’s way of walking. By doing so it lessened the tear on his arms and hands against the metal shackles. Beside the man, the other two masked figures walked on each side of him as they walked towards the stage of the room. They all stopped before the stage and turned to Kale, the man who held his chains wrapped the part he was carrying around the foot of the front pew. Kale had an idea as the three headed back out the way they came. Without anyone supervising him, maybe he could sneak out.
However, no matter how much he tried to wriggle out of them, he was only left with bloodied skin and his emotions drained.
“You just stay here, and stop trying to get out! We’re going to grab the kittens.” A woman’s voice to Kale as the smaller of the masked figures stared at him struggling to break free.
“Stay put, boy!” another voice shouted, but soon all the sound of others disappeared out of the dusty environment.
Kale said nothing, only obeyed. He had almost no tears left to shed from the trip down. All day he had been experiencing the worst day of his life. He sat staring up at the altar, the large cat statues giving him a sense of discomfort. Beside the statues was a large table with a briefcase, neither had any speck of dust on them.
“Shouldn’t we bring this kid to the normal place?” one of the people said as they were hauling in the cages.
“Nah, boss says he wants to try something different with this one. He wants to know how the effects would differ if he only bonded with the species he will become a part of.”
“I don’t think that will make much of a difference…”
For Kale’s eight year old brain, he heard this but didn’t quite process it. His mind couldn’t process anything complicated. He stared absentmindedly at the altar as a vague sibilant screech warped through his mind.
The three people in black stopped and set down the cage of kittens beside Kale.
“Where should we put ’em?”
“Boss said the basement..”
“Alright, let’s take all of you down there then.” The man that held Kale’s chains unshackled them off of the pew and led him to a door behind the altar like a prisoner. The other men carried the giant cage, following. The door opened and a waft of fetid mold spread through the stage. Kale coughed, but the mask the others wore seemed to diminish their ability to smell.
“We might want to do something about that smell, eh?” the man holding the chains said.
“The boy will be fine!” another man’s voice shouted.
“The mold could mess with some of the results though, no?” he responded back.
The woman spoke up, “We’ll have to talk to Oren about that, that’s a fair point you make, Arlo.”
“Tch, whatever.” The arguing man seemed to be annoyed. “And stop calling the boss by his name. Show some respect!”
They guided Kale down and the light reflecting through the stained glass windows faded as a dark, looming, underworld welcomed them.
Kale stayed silent as he faced downwards and continued walking. The chains jingled with each step. He tried to make room between his wrists as sweat dripped from between his clasped skin as they were forced to touch together. Thin lines of blood mixed in with the sweat as they ran down his metallic leash.
Arlo turned on a flashlight, and a door knob shined at the bottom of the staircase. He inserted the keys while keeping his other hand firm on the chain. He had trouble getting the door unlocked, but finally managed to get the door to open after violently shaking it. Who knew how long this door had been used.
Kale was led to the center of this dark and musty room by Arlo as the other two followed in behind him carrying the cages of kittens. Kale was released from the metal rings clasped over his hands and arms. Using the same key that he was freed with, they opened up the cages.
“We’ll come back later. Don’t even try to escape,” the irritated man said and left, followed by the other two. One of them hit the light switch on their way out.
Kale could now see the full extent of his prison. A gray room with almost nothing inside. The only thing that was prepared in this room were bowls of water and food on the floor. He felt like some kind of animal, there wasn’t even a bathroom, although there was a hole in the corner of the room, as well as…. A giant litter box.
Kale slumped to the cold floor, his face an amalgamation of fear and hatred. The cats began to inch their way out of their cages in curiosity. They seemed to appreciate the large open space, unlike Kale. The cats all surrounded him, meowing and cuddling up to him. If Kale had any more tears to shed, he was sure they would once again be absorbed by the cats.
A few hours passed, and the door creaked open. A man in all white walked in, it was the same man who lured Kale into the van. He was dressed a bit peculiar, as if airing to be someone of importance.
“It reeks down here! We’ll have to do something about that. I can’t have you in such terrible conditions for too long!”
Kale did nothing but stare at this odd man.
“Anyway, are you ready to help change the world?!” The man smirked at Kale.
He didn’t know what to say, and still had the look of defeat, and perhaps he felt he was dreaming. The cats still laid beside him, now purring.
“I won’t be taking your new friends for long, just let me see them quickly.”
He scooped up a handful of the animals and retreated back out of the door.
Kale was falling in and out of sleep as he laid on the floor, hoping this nightmare would end soon. He shut his eyes. He opened them.
The doctor’s face was closed in on his, and Kale’s eyes shot open wide.
“Your turn!” A disturbing grin cracked on his face.
The doctor reached his hands out over him, and dragged him to the door.
“No! Please not again! Let me go home!”
Kale’s arms and hands were bound by chains once more. The door opened and Kale refused to budge.
“You’re not gonna make this easy for me are you?” He gave a fake frown, and pulled out a syringe. “That’s okay, I expected as much.”
Kale felt a jab in the side of his shoulder, and tried to escape his personal prison, but soon his body fell limp and his eyelids drooped atop his eyes.