Darkness had overcome the city, another moonless night. He stumbled down the street, leaning on the wall when his feet couldn’t hold him alone. His clothes were bathed in the night, black as they were. His eyes were clouded over and he stopped to catch his breath. The few people left on the streets glanced at him as they passed. It was odd for someone so young to have so many issues. He took a long drink from the cup in his hands before throwing it away with a huff.
He continued on his way, hunched over as he made his way home. Home was an optimistic term for the abandoned shack he had found. Four single walls made up the space. A rotting cot lay to one side of the back wall, while a deformed kitchen faced the other way. Papers and boxes littered the floor, all useless. He stumbled over to the bed and checked the one possession he had for time; a phone. 3 in the morning. He stuffed his phone back into his hoodie and closed his eyes, begging for sleep.
He woke with a start, drawing a dagger from his boot. Looking around, he saw no one. He slowly put the dagger away and checked the time. 7:00 three days later. He huffed and stood up. He walked out of the condemned hole he called home and walked into town. His breathing was sturdy now, but he could feel the pain in his chest. With his head down, he walked until he was far out of town, on a deserted road. He walked with his head down, shaded from the sun by the coat on his back. He soon spotted a small house in the distance. His pace quickened into a run as he neared. He slowed at the door and stopped. Finding the key under a brick, he opened the door with laborious breaths. He walked quickly to a room on the right. The only room with boarded windows and dim lighting.
He dug around in the dresser and pulled out some clothes. Then he heard the distinctive click of the front door. He sighed heavily and turned to see three people. Two boys, one of which was ushering a small girl away from the scene that was about to take place. The other had brown hair and green eyes, glaring at him.
“You smell like death.”
“I didn’t expect you home,” he replied, his voice deep but raspy.
“Neither did we.”
He cringed slightly as he gathered up the clothes, almost complete duplicates of the ones he currently wore. He looked at the other boy.
“It’s not your business.”
“Then why did you come back? Thought you could get a free shower and food?”
“Why are you so anal about it?”
The other boy didn’t respond and instead walked back out. He sighed heavily and moved to the bathroom. Turning on the hot water, he locked the door before removing his clothes. Scars littered his body, far more than someone his age should have. He stared at his reflection in the mirror for a minute before turning away from sunken, tired eyes. Stepping into the shower, he let the dirt and exhaustion leave his body.
He stared at the girl across from him as he shoveled another bite of pancake into his mouth. It was the only thing she knew how to make, and she was the only one who fed him when he came home. She watched him, concern in her lovely violet eyes.
“What?” he asked around a forkful of food.
“You haven’t slept.”
“Still trying to find-”
“Yes,” he quickly cut off.
She nodded and served him more pancakes when his plate was empty. After another 5, he stooed and cleaned up the kitchen. She continued to watch him curiously before he finally turned to her.
“Stop. I’m fine,” he lied.
She eyed him another moment before nodding and moving away. Thankful, he made his way into his room, collapsing on the bed into a deep, restless slumber.
“You were so close.”
He opened his eyes to find red ones peering back at him in pitch black.
He heard a laugh in his ear.
“What do you plan to do? Chase after her till you die? Won’t be long now~.”
“Then leave me alone. You’ll have time.”
“Plenty of it from how you run yourself ragged. You might die earlier than thought!”
He heard another snicker.
“You’re nothing but a monster. Even if you find her, she can’t help you.”
“She could love you? Who could ever love a beast?”