Chapter 69 - Room Service
Kale opened his eyes and was back in the center of the musty basement with cats crawling about. He laid on his back, facing the aged ceiling, and heard dull thuds of footsteps above him.
He bounced himself up to a sitting position and felt a slight pain in his arm. He examined it but saw nothing out of the ordinary. What did that man want from him? Did he really take him or was he just dreaming?
How long could he manage down here? There was nothing here for a kid to do, although with the presence of animals, maybe he would end up being fine. Kale stood up and walked along the perimeter of the large concrete room, tracing his fingers against the cold, hard wall as he paced in squares; a few of the cats followed him around.
Couldn’t they have at least brought him a book or something? He had hoped that after making rounds around the room that he would come across an idea to escape, but nothing came to his mind. He peered down the hole in the corner of the room and dropped a concrete pebble inside, he heard a splash a few meters below.
Using that for some plan was out of the question, plus, it was such a small hole that the cats wouldn’t even be able to fall in. Were these people really too cruel to even provide him a toilet? Surely, this is not what this hole was for, he hoped.
The only door in the room was bolted shut, and with his childish strength, he had absolutely no way of escaping, but that didn’t stop him from trying. He bashed against the door until his fists bloodied; yanking and pulling had no effect either.
After exhausting himself, he brought himself back to the center of the room and sat. The cats gathered around him, comforting him. Yet, he felt nothing. He only wanted to go home back to his mom and dad. The continuous meows and whimpers of the felines grew louder as they hopped upon his body. He couldn’t help but feel a slight ounce of comfort, but that left as quickly as it came.
How many hours had it been? Kale laid on his back facing the dirty ceiling once again, or rather, nonstop after pacing the perimeter. Cats rested near his head, some playing with his purple hair as they tangled their paws through it. Kale made no response to it, the one thing he did respond to was the sound of keys jangling from behind the door.
“Boy!” a voice shouted as the door opened.
Kale twitched and sat upright, spinning around to face the man. The cats all backed up, and some even hissed. Kale’s face held no more than a blank expression, with the outer edges of his eyes an irritated red. Still, no tears came. Oh, how he wished they would; his eyes ached.
“You gettin’ used to your room?” Arlo asked.
“My room? This isn’t my room! This is no room for anyone!”
The man gave no expression. “It is now. Better get used to it, although it is empty. Say, if you can think of things you need, let us know, we’ll get what we can, in reason. Seems like you won’t be in here for too long if we can’t get rid of that mold though.”
Kale looked around the blank room in an erratic fashion. “I don’t need anything! Just let me go home to my parents! They are going to call the police because I’m missing! Then what are you guys going to do!?”
“They can try, but I don’t think they will ever find you. Let’s hope they never do anyway, for their sake,” he muttered that last sentence. “What do you need to live more comfortably down here? I’m trying to make this experience the best it can be for you.”
Kale itched at his eyes, causing them to redden further. He looked down at the cracked floor, his lips trembling. “...They’ll find me. I know they will…”
“I guess it’s good for kids to dream,” he whispered, and then his voice grew louder. “I’ll at least go gather a bed for you. If you need anything else let us know.” Arlo turned and headed for the door.
“Stop! I need to use the bathroom!” Kale stood up.
The man looked around the room and sighed. “Oren couldn’t even install a proper toilet in here? I’ll tell you what, You can use the bathroom upstairs.”
Kale’s chest burst with the possibility of escape. Even if it was only from this room for now, perhaps he could figure out a way to get away from everyone and leave this dump of a building. As soon as the man took his eyes off of him he could make a dash for it! Or so he thought, until metal claws clasped against his legs, locking them close together.
“You didn’t think I’d just let you go up there without restricting any of your movements right? You should still be able to walk like this, but don’t get any crazy ideas.” The man beckoned for Kale to walk ahead of him. The sad meows trailed off in the distance as he stumbled up the steep steps. He had just enough extra room with his leg movement to climb each step.
They reached the worship-like room, and the two others he saw from earlier dressed in black sat at one of the pews.
“What are you doing bringing the boy up here?” a woman asked.
“He needs to use the bathroom, I got his legs cuffed, don’t worry.”
“Arlo, once again you don’t follow the boss’s exact orders!” the other man said.
“Shut up, Iven, why don’t you go see if Oren needs help brushing his hair?” Arlo glared at him as Iven did back. The woman let out a small breath of air.
“You think this is funny Fern!?” Iven slammed his fist against the pew.
Arlo led Kale to the bathroom, ignoring the bickering of the other two. Kale’s arms fidgeted as he walked, and chains dangled by his feet.
“It’s this door right here. Don’t try anything dumb, I’m warning you. Things will only get worse for you, and that’s not a threat from me,” Arlo said. “I feel like I am the most lenient one here.”