This is the 4th chapter in my book so make sure to read the first three!
Chapter 4: Asher
Hmm, do I know anything about surviving in the woods? Probably not. I was about to tell Cailen this when Hippo-face came barging into my cell.
Ugh, for a bit there I forgot how much trouble I was in. I did my best to look Hippo in the eyes and keep a straight face.
Why do I have such an urge to start laughing right now? What is wrong with me?
Hippo must have seen me struggling to not smile. He leaned forward and whispered, "You better be careful, I'm about to make you wish you were never born."
I laughed, "Do you mean your breath will make me wish I was never born, cause it is seriously working.
Like, do you eat raw fish everyday? Dude, how do you live with your stench? I swear I think I might puke."
"ENOUGH" he bellowed as he hit my head with the butt of his gun. I fell down onto the floor with a grunt. I could feel an ugly lump forming on my head.
Well, this was as good a time as any to send a quick message to Cailen.
'Sorry man I don't know much, maybe find a stick and make it a weapon? Find a stream of some sort? I probably know less than you do.
Right now I'--Oof, I groaned as Hippo-face kicked me in the back, making me slide across the floor and hit the wall. He sauntered over to me, "Not so cocky now, huh?"
"Oh, don't worry. I'm still plenty cocky. Just let me catch my breath first and I'll get back to you on that," I replied as snarky as I could while laying in pain on the ground.
'ASHER! ASHER!' I heard Cailen call to me, but she felt far away. Hippo growled and kicked me again. This time I couldn't keep myself from yelling in excruciation.
Hippo-face kneeled down, grabbed my face and brought it up to his, "Tell me.
Where is the girl?" I was not joking before when I had told him his breath stank and it took me a second to process his question because I was so focused on not breathing in.
Eventually, I answered his question.
"I have zero idea who you are talking about. I think you got the wrong guy," I replied with even more of a smirk.
I was basically signing my death sentence here, but this guy really ticked me off for some reason.
Maybe it had something to do with him kicking me around on the floor, but who can ever tell with these things?
'ASHER! ARE YOU THERE?' I heard Cailen call for me again.
'Cailen? I'm back, are you okay?
They'-- I wanted to tell her that now was no longer a great time to talk, but before I could finish what I was saying,
Hippo-face hit me in the head and attached these weird sticker things to the side of my temples. For a second all I heard was silence. I could no longer feel Cailen in my mind.
I didn't realize what a strong presence she had in there. Then I heard this loud high pitched screech take over my entire mind.
I covered my ears to try to end the sound, but it only made it worse. It felt like something inhuman was trapped inside my head and trying to break out. I think I was yelling along with it.
I vaguely remember being dragged out of my cell, but the pain was nothing like I have ever experienced before. I could feel it reverberate through my bones.
My vision blacked out, but it was weird. I could see colors swirling in front of my eyes. A rainbow of psychedelic neons.
Finally, it ended. I opened up my eyes expecting to see the gray of my cell, or possibly Hippo-face, but instead I was inside of a house. This was a very nice house.
I was in the kitchen eating something on the counter. I heard a woman upstairs yelling for someone, and I stood to attention.
When I looked around me I realized that my head barely cleared the top of the counter.
Why am I so short now? I looked down at my feet and saw that I was wearing a dress with a big bow on the front and little sparkly heels. Okay, so this is weird.
The woman came running down the stairs, "Lets go Cailen! What is taking you so long? This is not something we want to be late for!"
Okay this makes more sense. I am seeing one of Cailen's memories. Suddenly I feel super uncomfortable. I'm totally invading her privacy, and this does not feel right.
I mean, I don't even know anything about the girl. I hear little Cailen's voice respond.
"Sorry Mother. I just wanted a quick snack." She sounded scared and I could tell she was worried about what her mom would say.
"There is no time! What were you thinking? Let's go!" her mom roughly pulled her/me along and out the door. I really wanted to fight back, her mom seemed like a total jerk.
But, I had no choice in the matter, I was just along for the ride.
We got in a car and drove down to a huge dark gray building. Cailen/I followed Cailen's mom through the front doors.
"Welcome, are you here for the testing?" greeted a young woman at the front desk.
"Yes, my daughter Cailen is here to take her exam," answered her mom
"Okay, perfect! So I'm assuming you are Mrs. Jones, and this is Cailen who is-- lets see-- 7 years old today?"
"Actually, it's Ms.Jones. My husband is not in the picture, but yes Cailen just turned 7 today."
"Alrighty! Well you two are a few minutes early, so you can just wait in the chairs over there for a bit and the test proctor will take Cailen in when he is ready."
"Thank you so much," said Cailen's mom as she pulled Cailen/ me over to the waiting chairs. I was really getting tired of this lady pulling me around.
"Mother, Mother! Did you hear? She said that we are early! Don't worry, I didn't slow us down!" Cailen whispered excitedly.
"Be quiet. And of course we are early. I made sure that we left right on time." replied her mom as she pinched Cailen's/my arm.
What is with this lady? All her daughter wants is her approval. I felt Cailen's face tighten as she worked hard to hold back tears.
They sat in stiff silence for some time before a man came out and introduced himself as Dr. Tate.
"Hello Cailen. Come into my office and we can talk a little bit. Then we will do some puzzles and answer some questions. Okay?" he asked.
I felt little Cailen nod her head and follow him into the room. His office was very drab. It made sense. Dr. Tate looked like a very drab person.
He was neither tall nor short, skinny nor fat, and he was dressed in all tan and gray. Cailen sat down and he asked her a few questions. They weren't anything special.
He just wanted to know her name, age, etc.
I could feel Cailen getting more bored as he gave her short riddles and puzzles to complete. Hell, I was getting bored watching her do all of the puzzles and riddles.
Then she had to take a short exam. I didn't really pay attention to what was on it. Finally she was done.
"Excuse me for a bit Cailen. I'm going to talk to your mom for a bit and then you will know your results. Okay?" Cailen nodded her head.
When the Tate guy left the room Cailen/I could still hear him talking outside. "Her tests have strong results, Ms Jones. She solved everything correctly and seemed to understand it all.
We would love to have her at our school."
"That's fantastic!" Her mom exclaimed. I swear that was the first time in this memory that that woman ever sounded remotely happy. "So, when can she start? Tomorrow?"
"Well, Ms Jones, we will have to talk about the logistics here first.
The earliest that she can start is one week from today, but because she is starting younger than most children, do you want her to live at home and commute to school?
Or would you rather that she have room and board here and stay with you during breaks?"
"I would love to get her in next week, and I was thinking that she would stay here. Our drive is very long and it would be a pain to drive her back and forth everyday.
" LIAR! Her mom is a liar! I was on that drive and it couldn't have been longer than 10 minutes! This lady just wants to get rid of her poor child.
"That is perfectly fine Ms. Jones. We are excited to have your daughter attend our school." I couldn't hear the rest of their conversation as it sounded like they began to fade away.
I was waking up. But before the memory was over, I suddenly had a birds eye view of the room and saw little Cailen sitting there.
A small tear dripped down her cheek, and she quickly wiped it away, almost as though she was afraid anyone would see any sign of imperfection within her.
I opened my eyes to see Hippo-face's butt in my face. "Whyyyyyyy," I groaned. He spun around his eyebrows furrowed together in anger.
Then he hit me over the head with something metallic and, once again, I was out.
Thank you so much for reading my work! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. It would really help!