Homebound

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five

Cleo

Since it was decently late, Alla went straight to bed when we got home. I headed into the kitchen to grab a snack, where Mrs. Donna was still doing paperwork. She smiled at me when I entered, motioning for me to take a seat across from her.

Our kitchen had huge windows that faced the woods, and for some reason, the blinds were still open even though it was now dark out.

“Did Alla have fun at the park?” She asked me. I considered telling her about the stranger, but then I thought better of it.

Nodding, I said, “She always does.”

“Good.”

I took a bite of the apple I had grabbed, glancing out outside at the thicket. It must’ve just been my mind playing tricks on me, but I swear I could see a pair of animalistic eyes watching from behind a tree.

“Mr and Mrs. Elison are just going over a few things of paperwork today, and tomorrow they will be back to pick you up.”

A howl sounded outside, and it seemed just behind the windows.

“Wow, that soon?” I was shocked. I thought I had at least another week left. Alla would probably be crushed that I was leaving tomorrow. “I thought the CPS needed to check out their house and everything?”

“They actually have to pass the check by CPS before they’re allowed to adopt, so they have already been cleared and everything.”

“Oh, that’s a relief.”

I threw my finished apple core in the trash, and then I headed upstairs. I’d have to start packing soon, even though I had minimal belongings.

When I got to my bed, I flopped down on it, a smile forming on my lips. It was actually happening, I was going to have a family, I was going to be a part of something. It was surreal.

And never again would I have to deal with Heather, or any of her shit. I just had one last night. Both with her, and Alla. It was a curse just as it was a blessing.

I sat up in my bed, yawning. Tomorrow, I didn’t know what time the Elisons would come to pick me up, so it didn’t hurt to pack my bags tonight. I’d probably only be able to fit two duffle bags filled with my stuff anyway.

Rolling off of the bed and onto the floor, I headed over to the dresser Alla and I shared and opened one of my drawers. There were four total drawers, so we each got two. I had the top two, since I was taller, even though the height difference between the drawers was minimal.

But, when I opened the top drawer, it was empty. No clothes, no shoes, no nothing. I pulled the second drawer open, and just as the first, it was entirely empty. My clothes were missing. All of my belongings. Just gone.

Of course Heather had to make this difficult for me.

Breathing in deeply, I quietly left my room so as to not wake Alla. I peeked into Heather and Derricks’ room, but no one was in there, so I headed downstairs. There were some noises coming from the kitchen, so I checked there first.

Silently moving to the edge of the kitchen, my footsteps were almost nonexistent with sound. The noises grew louder as I got closer, and two apparent voices made themselves known.

“-ut all the clothes in the bag. Hurry!” Heather hissed, and there was the unmistakable sound of a bag being hastily opened.

“I’m going as fast as I can!” Came Derrick’s hurried reply.

Stepping into the kitchen, I made my presence known.

They each froze, and I caught sight of everything I own being shoved into one huge garbage bag, which was being held by Heather as Derrick held a few of my shirts, indicating that he was the one putting them there. Heather was able to hold the bag with one hand, and in the other was a lighter.

“Shit,” Heather mumbled, and Derrick quickly shoved the last of my shirts in the bag. She flicked the lighter and it sputtered to life.

“Wait -” Was all I could get out before Heather lit the top clothes on fire, and suddenly, it spread like a wildfire. Shirts, pants, socks - everything I owned was bursting with flames in a single moment.

Were garbage bags even fireproof?

Heather dropped the bag and motioned for Derrick to leave. I just stood there, frozen. All of my stuff was gone, in an instant. Or, well, it would take some time to burn, but I didn’t have it in me to attempt to salvage anything.

On their way out, Heather smacked her shoulder into mine, grinning deviously.

“Have fun in your new home,” She maliciously hissed. “Arab.”

A crackle of thunder outside told me it had begun to storm, and from the slight patter sound coming from the roof, I knew that it was raining as well.

Before the fire could get out of hand, and before the bag could melt, I quickly grabbed the edges of it and opened the backdoor in the kitchen. Then I tossed the bag into the night.

The rain took awhile to completely douse the flames, but by that time, I had lost the feeling to care.

I sat outside the entire time, on the porch steps, the bag of my ruined clothes sitting nearby. The rain was cold, but it helped me feel something, so I just let myself get entirely soaked.

Though, it’s not like I had dry clothes to change into. Heather, as jealous and vicious as she is, she was just another foster kid that wanted a home. She knew that she couldn’t stop the Elisons from adopting me, especially now that all the paperwork was complete, so she did the only thing she knew how to do - made things worse. She wanted to strike me where she hadn’t before, and leave a scarring wound.

What would the Elisons think when they see me tomorrow, in the same clothes as yesterday? Unless, is Heather trying to make up some twisted story that I ruined all of my clothes so they’d have to buy me new ones? Is that even believable?

I shuddered, wrapping my arms around my middle as the rain picked up. I should really head inside before I caught a cold, but for some reason, the woods tonight were really alluring.

The thick, brown tree trunks seemed to gleam more proudly tonight, and I found myself itching to dive within the thicket for some unknown reason. It was a stupid thought, for I’d definetly get lost and probably get eaten by a bear or something.

A wolf howled within the forest, and it sounded close. I should probably go inside now and go to sleep.

I stood to my feet, and turned around. The stranger from the park standing there, behind me. He stood in front of the door leading inside, and he froze once we made eye contact.

How had I not heard him come up behind me? Had the rain covered his tracks, or was I that zoned out? The more creepy part, he had for sure watched me walk Alla home and had come back to catch me alone. At eleven at night. I was so going to die tonight. Heather must’ve said a curse in my name, because shit really is hitting the fan tonight.

“Uh - well - hey.” The stranger casually began, despite the horrified look on my face.

“You followed me home?” I spoke low, but loud enough to be heard above the rain.

“No - well, yes, but you see -”

“Stay a-away from me,”My teeth chattered as the cold finally seeped into my bones. I was beyond terrified, I knew that this stranger had seemed too interested in me before, and hell, I never thought making small talk with someone could lead to this. I began to back away, stumbling down the porch steps, making sure to keep the stranger in my view. He stayed back, as ordered, and only watched me.

Why wasn’t he doing anything?

I kept backing up until my back hit something abruptly. I didn’t even have time to turn around before a strong arm wrapped around my waist, pinning my arms to my sides and ultimately to someone’s chest.

Oh fuck. There were two guys.

I opened my mouth to scream, but the moment I did, the second guy slammed his hand over both my nose and mouth, preventing me from breathing properly. In his hand he held a rag, and was firmly pressing it against my face, so I held my breath. Twisting in his grip, I attempted to break free, even though it was no use. I was only making myself tired. Eventually the pain in my lungs became too much, and I was forced to inhale the scent carried by the rag.

As expected, black swarmed my vision, rendering me unconscious.

A/N - Next update on Wednesday!

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