Chapter 3: Hope For The Past
The bastard took my spam. He seemed familiar for some odd reason, carrying a hint of normalcy for me. Maybe I would run into him again, and he didn’t seem openly hostile. He probably just was looking for something to eat, and found it, in my can of spam. Sighing, I left and exited into my room. I ate another protein bar, and curled up in my bed, trying my best not to think about the wet blanket hanging in the closet. I opened an eye to make sure each of the doors was closed, and was relieved to see that they all were. I slowly drifted off to sleep, hoping maybe I could meet the boy again.
As I stretched with the dim light glowing on my face, I smiled. No wet bed! It was clearly a one time fluke, and just an accident from possibly stress. As I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I heard movement from the kitchen. It appeared to be the sound of a pen clicking, and some odd crinkling noise. I also heard what appeared to be slight mumbling, but I didn’t know what it was, so I stayed silent. After what felt like years of waiting for the noise to go away, I heard nothing, and I went to open the door and check the kitchen. In it, it appeared untouched aside from an open drawer where a few cans laid scattered inside. I noticed something large and white on the table with handwriting on it, and as I approached it, I could make out a few of the words.
My name is Kale, and I’m gonna assume you’re doing pretty ok. Sorry about yesterday, didn’t mean to catch you off guard or anything, was just scrounging for food since it’s pretty scarce in the surrounding area around me. I’m 17 and I am in my junior year of high school. If you wanna come visit or anything so I can know you better, exit the door to your right and walk about 20 paces down the hall, where you should see a water fountain. Turn right and that’s where I am. Left will take you to a few now empty rooms, and then a dead end so I wouldn’t recommend going that way.
Cheers! Or whatever you prefer,
what. His handwriting looks like chicken scratch, and is barely legible. He also wrote it on an adult diaper! Calming myself down, I decided it would be best if I went to visit him later, so I could hunt for more supplies and maybe find other people as well. Looking at that door where that thing had come previously, I decided to take a chance and risk it. Peering through the now opened door into the hallway, everything looked normal. Scenes of that thing barreling towards me flashed back in my head. I slammed the door back shut and decided to sit down on my bed and take a crack at the box of art supplies I had found earlier. Opening the small box, I took out the paints, along with the pencils and brushes. As I opened the notebook to a page, I slowly began to doodle, and lines and shapes began to form.
It had been maybe two hours since I delivered the note to the kitchen, and after I delivered it and raided a few more semi-nearby rooms, I collapsed on the bed. Part of me was relived with the supplies I had gathered today, and the other part of me was exhausted and wanted to flop over on the bed and die. Laying on my bed, staring at the dull ceiling, I began to let my thoughts wander.
It felt weird to think that maybe two days ago, I was 16, and in my own room living with my family. My family was pretty alright as far as families go, mother, father, and brother. My brother was 12 years younger than me, and was always a bright child, figuring out ways to get into places he wanted. He looks up to me a lot, literally and figuratively, since I’m almost 6 feet tall. Today was supposed to be September 25th, 20XX, but since I have no way of truly telling, I’m sorta screwed. I would be 17 today, but in reality, I have no clue. So I guess my note would be a half-truth. It also made me feel sad that it for sure wasn’t anyone I knew well, as if it had been somebody I knew, they might’ve recognized me alone from the mop of black hair on my head, and my height possibly as well. I smiled an empty smile at the ceiling, as what little hope I had in meeting another person I knew declining. But hey, anything would be better than meeting that…thing again.
I stared at the series of doodles I made over what felt like an hour. With the only references being inside my head, and the things surrounding me being sorta bland. So far, I had sketched my cup with several different types of handles, a small cat, a city landscape, and an attempt to draw rain through a window. My favorite was probably the cat, since it actually looked a lot like a cat. I looked at what little food I had left, including another protein bar, some pull-top canned goods, and a meal replacement shake. Great. So in other words, a meal for tonight, which meant that tomorrow I would either have to meet the strange person, or go hunt for more supplies, and if possible, both. I fell back on my bed, and laid out whatever food I had left on my desk and began to eat.
Sleep came easily, and with it came dreams. Maybe I could escape with the help of the other person? If there were more people, maybe they could all escape? My thoughts and fantasies drifted away quickly as I began to wake up. My hand instinctively reached towards my crotch, and I was relieved to find it dry. After my small accident three days ago now, I didn’t want to take any risks. I stood up grasping my hands together, and leaned back, waiting for the satisfying pop from my back. Maybe after about 6 minutes did I hear the breathing again. My head hurt a little, and goosebumps started forming on my skin. That was all I could hear now, the sound of the ragged breathing gradually echoing throughout the room around me, looking for it’s next meal. Then, as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. The sound of a door opening to my left stopped me in my tracks; someone had entered the kitchen. The rapid footsteps coming towards my door told me something was running, and then the pounding on my door began. “Let me in! Let me in! Damn it, please be here, please be here.” In my mad dash towards the door to see what was on the other side, the ragged breathing started up again. But this time, it was not a harsh gasping of air needed for survival, it was a quiet and lilting roar. At some points, deafeningly loud, and with others, harshly muted, as if it was heard through water. That thing wasn’t just waiting for it’s next meal anymore, it had found it.
(Oh hey, I’m really sorry I didn’t get more done here, but I promise I’m working on the next ones, and as always, apologies for the delay in posting, and thanks for reading! - Joker.)