Chapter 82 - A Low Rumble
Kale’s body leaned against the sturdy door, as he calmed his breath. What did he just hear? It didn’t sound human. It didn’t sound like anything he had ever heard in his life. The faint sound of a low groan. The only idea that came to his mind was a monster. As he let himself slip to the floor, Zair was right there at his feet, meowing and rubbing against him.
He brought himself to his feet and jumped onto the bed, he still couldn’t believe how comfortable it was. He sunk right in, and with a remote, turned on the tv. He cradled Zair close to him, and watched cartoons until his eyes came to a shut.
A dull groan traveled through the walls and into Kale’s ears as he froze, eyes agape. Zair was stiff as well, staring at the wall from which the sound came. The noise wasn’t the only thing that bothered him now, all the lights and the tv he left on were now off.
Did the power go out? Or did someone shut them off while he was sleeping? Last night he shut the lights off himself, so he had no way of knowing.
Kale stumbled out of bed and headed for the light switch. He pressed it, but the room remained dark. He held his hands out in front of him searching, as he ventured for the bathroom door. When he tried the lights in there, he breathed a sigh of relief as the dark was eradicated.
Zair also appeared pleased as he followed Kale and sat by him. Kale peeked out into his room and looked around, now seeing that there was nothing to be afraid of. He kept the lights on and walked back to his bed and jumped in, feeling a little better. Zair stood by the bedside, seeming unsure.
Another groan from the wall rumbled his moment of feeling content.
Kale leapt out of bed, grabbing his blanket and pillow and dashed, following Zair into the bathroom. He slammed the door and ripped the curtains of the bathtub open, throwing his pillow and blanket in there. He was not going to sleep, listening to that beast. Kale flipped another switch that turned on the vent fan, producing its own rumble, a rumble of tranquility.
He tucked himself into his cold hard bed, his arms and legs frozen against the surface of the tub. The frigid shock dissipated as he wrapped himself with the thick blanket. Zair stood with his front legs on the rim of the tub with his head slanted in a crooked pose
“Come on, Zair! It’s okay, you can sleep in here too if you want.”
Zair returned the gesture with a meow, and hopped on top of the blanket. Kale was still on edge, but after shutting the curtain, allowing a thin layer to block the direct light, he felt a warmness about the situation. On one hand, he couldn’t believe he was sleeping in a tub. On the other, it reminded him when his parents had bought a tent for the backyard for Kale and his friend to play in, the tent shielded the sun in a similar manner.
Kale woke to the sound of knocking on the bathroom door. His body shook and he threw his whole body under the blanket, inviting Zair to join. A second round of knocks came, this time followed by a voice.
“Hey, Kale. It’s me, Arlo. You all right? Class is about to start and we hadn’t heard anything about you showing up yet, so, I was sent to check on you.”
Kale dashed for the door and opened it. “Sorry! I heard a noise last night and got scared so I slept in here.”
Arlo smirked. “You hearing monsters? I thought you were too old to be worried about sounds like that.”
“No… Hage told me! This hallway is haunted!”
Arlo nodded, seeming to believe him, or want to, anyway. “Right, and what kind of sound did it make? And was it under your bed?”
“No! It wasn’t under my bed, it was from that wall, out in the hallway, but it was kind of quiet. It sounded like a monster yawning.”
Arlo looked in the direction Kale was pointing and his expression changed a bit more serious. “Oh. I see… Well I can say there is nothing there for you to be worried about. Now, come on, let’s get you to class.”
“Okay, class, today we are adding in a new physical challenge! To help get your bodies moving!” Ms. Kanole said. “Now, everyone push the desks to the side please.”
Kale pushed his desk, following Hage to the wall. “Hage! You were right! I think my hallway is haunted too!”
“Really?! What happened?”
“I heard the sound of a monster breathing really heavy. Arlo says it’s nothing, but I don’t believe him! I had to sleep in the bathroom I was so scared!”
“You slept in the bathroom!?” Hage laughed and seemed shocked at the volume at which he just spoke.
Some other kids looked over and laughed, and Kale returned their laughs with a menacing stare.
“Okay I want everyone to gather round me in a circle!” Ms. Kanole said, walking to the center of the room.
“Tell me more about it at lunch. I know Topaz and Vei will want to know too!”
The students gathered around in a circle, all facing their teacher. Everyone seemed to be confused on what they were going to be doing.
“How many of you want to be strong and save people!?”
Didn’t she ask a similar question yesterday? Kale thought to himself.
The whole class cheered, this time Kale even gave a bit more affirmation.
“Okay, to get stronger we are going to start exercising more than usual!”
She proceeded to explain to the class how they were going to need to do 200 push ups and 200 sit ups and run 3 miles a day to get one extra Nelto Point.
“And! That’s not all! We have received better treatment for you guys, the stuff that is going to cure you will also make you heroes! You will get stronger much faster than people who weren’t affected by the chemical!”
The students’ eyes widened. Then one of the children spoke, one that Kale had been told never speaks.
“Hasn’t every injection we got made us stronger already?” Forrest asked.
“Why, yes. But, yesterday we received medicine that helps heal infected people even faster and has a stronger side effect that will make you guys stronger!”
Vei spoke up, “Will we get sharp nails like Kale?”
“Err, no, if you haven’t got nails yet, you won’t get them from this treatment. What happened to Kale is extremely rare.”
Everyone stared at Kale as he met eyes with everyone around the room, but one set of eyes caught his attention. Forrest’s stern eyes locked with Kale’s and he couldn’t look away.