Zephyr World Zoo

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Chapter III

Richard Zerda

“Robin.” Richard was in shock. When he saw the familiar figure on the floor, he hadn’t let himself believe that it was her. She couldn’t be here. He had prayed every day that she wouldn’t find him, that she wouldn’t be in this place, this hell, as well. But here she was, in front of him. Reaching out, he touched her face gently with his fingertips, like he was making sure she was real.

Then he seemed to snap out of it, his eyes going a bit blank. Richard got up and went around to Robin’s back, untying her hands. Then he helped her to her feet, looking away. His heart ached, torn two ways. Rick was happy to see his twin again – something he never thought he would get to do – but he wished it wasn’t in this awful place.

One of the others, a girl named Callie, had come to untie the boy. Callie was Marcus’s favorite, and did whatever she could to make him happy. Richard assumed Stockholm Syndrome, as she had been here for far longer than any of the others he had talked to, but she was incredibly loyal to the owner of the zoo, and would rat on the others if it would get her a mere pat on the head.

“You shouldn’t be here,” he murmured, letting his hands fall to his sides as he looked down.

A moment passed, and then Robin clung to him, embracing him in a tight hug. “No. I belong where you are. You’re my brother,” his twin insisted. “We’ll get out of this.”

“We are not allowed to touch each other,” came Callie’s voice, quiet, yet stern.

Richard knew that she was going to say something, but he didn’t dare reply, for fear of punishment later for back-talking Marcus’s little pet. So he just put his hands on his twin’s shoulders, and looked down into her eyes.

“We’re not getting out of here,” he said quietly. “It’s... not possible. It’s been tried. The best thing for us to do is just... follow what the owner says, okay?”

The boy that had been laying on the ground was now sitting up, beside Callie. He looked at the people standing around him. “Where the fuck am I?” he asked, his tone indicating that he was clearly pissed off. He looked tired, dark circles under his eyes.

Robin glared at Callie. His twin was much taller than the other girl, who stood at only five foot three inches. Robin was lithe and tall, like himself, and was only two inches shorter than his six foot height. Their pale blond hair was the same, and seemed muted, unlike the fire that was Callie’s red. The two girls couldn’t be more opposite.

Which would most likely bode ill for the twins, should Robin decide that the small girl under their captor’s thumb was worth starting a fight with. Which wouldn’t surprise Richard in the slightest.

“You mean, let ourselves be beaten, caged, and who knows what else for their sick amusement? Everything is escapable, Rick. It’s just a matter of finding the right way to do it,” Robin said, her voice slurring only the slightest bit from the effects of the drug.

He removed his hands from her shoulders. “You don’t understand. How could you? You don’t know the things he does to us if we don’t fall in line.” Richard shook his head, trying to rid it of the unpleasant memories that had floated into his mind at his words. “You know what I was like. Stubborn to a fault. Rebellious, just like you. You don’t think I would have tried everything I could to get the fuck out of here?” He raised an eyebrow at her.

“If we do what we’re told, we won’t be hurt. We go, entertain the guests during the day, and he won’t punish us. That’s all we can hope for.”

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