by Clay Kalle
Disclaimer: All rights belong to their rightful owners. This was written purely for entertainment and practice, not profit.
SUMMARY: Disappearing children keep on resurfacing in places meant for their captors.
WARNING: This story is full of child abuse, both physical and sexual, as well as some very colorful language and violence.
The hallways echoed with the sound of steps, fast and hastily approaching the last door that ended the corridor, yet the boy behind the barrier sighed in relief at the dreadful noise, which often promised unpleasantries to those cowering within, a smile blossoming on his bruised face as a light flickered in the once-numb green eyes. Prepared for the routine, the child was quick to take hold of the figure that was shoved inside once the door swung open, only to end up a cushion to the other child when they lost their balance and fell backwards.
The man hollered an insult before he slammed the door shut, but neither of the children paid much attention to the obscenities, instead focusing on the awkward embrace they found themselves in and basking in the presence of the other. They separated after a while, reluctantly, and the boy stayed where he was sprawled on the floor, looking up at the older girl that was half-heartedly fixing her outfit.
"You're back." It was a statement, devoid of questioning and awe, full of relief and content.
"Yeah; the market still isn't keen on little Asian kids, I guess." She smiled, her taut skin seeming to relax under the caring gaze of her friend. She extended a hand, pulling the boy to his feet, effortlessly, and tugging him to follow her, leading them to the small cot pushed against the windowless wall. Wordlessly, the two young kids wrapped their arms around each other in a familiar comforting embrace: the boy resting his head against the flat chest, his eyes shut as the drumming of life pulsated through his ear to rhyme with his own melody, and the girl burying her hand in the soft hair, her chin digging gently into the top of her companion's head while an arm held him close.
"Ezra," it was a mere whisper, a familiar name rolling off a tongue so easily, yet when the word reached the boy, the eight-year-old tensed in the arms of his friend, suddenly very afraid after a moment of peaceful serenity.
"Li?" The name was pronounced carefully and Ezra Standish tipped his head back, his heart gripped by panic at the faraway look adorning the pale face. The boy scrambled to his knees, leaning in closer to the girl and Ezra was mortified to realize that the glistening he had glimpsed were tears awaiting their escape. "Li? Li, what's wrong?"
His voice hitched at the last word, images and scenarios tumbling in waves through his mind; Li rarely cried, and when she did, it meant something was horribly wrong.
"I-I overheard them, Ezzie." With these words out, the eleven-year-old Li Pong wrapped her thin arms around the boy, tears trickling down flushed cheeks, and she sobbed, "they found you a family."
* * * * * * *
"'ey, Samer! Would you please throw this shit out before they shut us down; look at this crap, I'm surprised none of ya've tripped and broken a neck." The man was kicking around white plastic bags as he spoke, attempting to clear a path for himself, "another one and we'd be serving crapafal!"
"Alright, alright. Just a sec, ya zalameh!" Samer yelled, leaning the mop he had been using against the corner. The teenager regarded it for a moment, before grinning, content that the stick stayed in place and rushing to the heaps of garbage that awaited him. Grabbing the bags by their necks, the young man grunted at the weight as he headed outside, kicking the ajar door open and cursing when it swung back to slam him in the face. Using his shoulder, Samer pushed the door open and threw the bags besides the dumpster. Huffing, the young man approached the container and pulled the lid up while bending to grab the first bag of many, throwing it inside carelessly.
Last bag in hand, the teenager pulled the other lid up, ready to toss the item in; the first lid barely able to cover the piled trash. With a pained sound, he dropped the heavy sack in and let go of the cover once he got his hand away, but as the metal met metal, making a loud noise, Samer had a strange tingling sensation in the pit of his stomach.
With a trembling hand, the young man carefully pulled the lid open, peering inside and cursing the dim light, before muttering a "ya elahi."
He truly had seen a hand.
To Be Continued
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