The numbersYou are driving on the highway at night. You see a hitchhiker, and decide to stop. The young man greets you nervously, and asks for a ride to a nearby city. He seems troubled, and looks like he hasn't slept for weeks. You try to start up a conversation, and he replies politely but makes it clear he doesn't want to talk. You give up and just drive.
At the city you stop to a street corner and he jumps out of the car. "I have no money, but" - he takes off a necklace you hadn't noticed before - "I am number five." He hands you the necklace. It looks old, like one of those victorian pendants with the silhouette-image on the middle, exempt that the silhouette appears to have been scraped off. You look up, and see the young man running off. You shrug at this, just some crackhead you probably shouldn't have let in your car.
You forget about it. Life goes on.
You could never really pinpoint where it all started. You lose your belongings and find them in places they have no reason to be in. Some
Abarak 10He didn't scream, and Harom didn't speak. Only a stern look was shared. He followed the man to the bathroom. "Put your clothes out. You are filthy." He took a boiling cauldron from the room's fireplace and started pouring the water into the tub. The cold water had already been poured in. "Where is mother?" Aiden asked, though he didn't really care to know.
"They'll be back by dawn."
The white man kept glancing at him as he added soap to the water. "And you haven't eaten, have you." Aiden recalled some odd meat pies he and the boys stole from an alehouse, but thought best not to mention it. He laid down his pile of clothes to the floor and hopped to the tub with his sole leg, and sat at its edge. He had had a little mole on the left foot. He didn't know why he remembered that. Harom hummed a song he could have sworn he had heard that day.
"Where are you from?"
The question startled the man. For a moment that was slightly too long to be passing, he stood silent, and eventually gave a bit
Abarak 9For several days, Aiden had woken up to a strange room he slowly grew accustomed to. He felt the morning was far, and he ignored the nagging sensation of being late for something. There was a bench beside his bed, and on the bed were folded some clothes, slightly too big for him. They were all, save for the one he had had the very first morning, in which he had been sent to be seen by the duke. A man who smiled too much and kept asking questions he didn't care to answer.
Beside the bench on the floor sat his boots - Harom's boots, one empty, one filled with rags and the peg. His eyes started wandering while attaching it. There was a bow and a quiver hanging from the corner of his wardrobe. He hadn't had the chance to study his room properly. It was full of stuff, nothing quite like his old room but clearly meant to mimic it. He supposed that was the way his room was supposed to look like. His door was locked on the inside. The key he now carried on his neck made him safe somehow.