It was so pitiful that I had to go give it something, so I walked into the ally, the action that I would regret for the rest of my life. When I reached the cat I bent down and pulled my chicken and dumplings out and opened the plastic container and pulled out a piece of chicken.
"Here you go kitty, take it." I said holding it out to the cat. It meowed again and that was when I realized that there was something wrong. The meow was the same exact meow from before, like a recording. Just before I was about to get closer to the cat to check it out, someone grabbed me from behind.
I kicked and thrashed trying to get away but a second man came out from behind a trash can. His face was covered in scars and he had a small beard growing and a red cap on. He grabbed my legs the two me hauled me down the alley. My heart was racing and I tried to scream for help but the first man that was restraining my hands had brought out a gun and had it right on my head.
The man with the red hat took his hat off and waved it in the air. Then a black minivan appeared from behind one of the buildings, its sliding doors already opening. I knew that if I let them put me in the car, it was going to be nearly impossible to get away, so I fought harder, but it was too late. Another man hoped out of the driver seat, his face hidden in the shadow of his hood, and a white napkin in his hands.
When he put that napkin on my mouth, my legs and arms seemed to turn into jelly. My head spun and the last thing I can remember was all the men laughing, and the bright blue summer sky disappearing as the hauled me into the van."
"I know the ending to this story." Said a red headed boy leaning on an old, dirty column with his eyes closed.
"I beat you do Felix." I said with my head down. Jay leaned against my shoulder and sniffled. "Jay," I said putting my hand on his head. "Are you crying?" He sniffled again and used his already filthy sleeve to wipe his running nose and said,
"No." Jay was only ten, the youngest of us all, so he cried quiet a lot. We older kids did our best not to, so not to show weakness to them but Jay couldn't stand very much.
I smiled and wiped his tears. He was like a little brother to me, and I would jump in front of a bullet to protect him, just like any one here would do for me. There were six of us in total; Tyler (me age 16), Felix (age 15), Jay, Lucas (16 but a month younger than me), Jett (13), and Carter (14). We all looked out for one another because if we didn't then we would be all alone.
They kept all six of us in a large room with no windows, but in this large room there were piles of trash, scrap metal, old TV's, and even a few shopping cart full of a bunch of old rags and old jackets. The room itself was trashed, the walls had mold growing on them in most places, the roof had leeks practically everywhere, and rats were our roommates along with a bunch of cockroaches. At the front of the room there were steel bars that were bolted into the wall that kept us from getting up stairs.
We didn't have any other separate rooms so we had to make them. We used stuff like boxes, pieces of plywood, those TV's and other stuff to make walls for us to have a little privacy. I shared a square with Jay at the back corner of the large room. We tried our best to keep our walk way's, eating and sleeping areas clean but they came down every day and dumped more trash in here, making it much harder to do so.
I heard Jett laugh and scratch his chest. "That's our Jay, always so resilient." We had just finished a meal of oatmeal, bread, hot milk, and some really bruised apples. It was a really good meal considering that most of the time the bread was stale and we didn't get any drink at all.
"I am going to bed, night guys." Carter said standing up walking down the main isle. Out of all of us he was the quietest, but he could really fight when he was pushed into it. We all murmured our goodnights to him as he turned into his square second down.
I started to pick up our sorry excuses for bowls and cups and piled them up in the corner where there was a big leek so we washed our dishes there. Felix pushed off the column and walked over to me.
"Hey, do you know if there are any somewhat clean bandages around here?" I looked at his wrist. His filthy black jacket hid them, but he had badly damaged skin around his wrist thanks to the rusted, moldy handcuffs they put him in when he first came here. When he tried to slip out of them, they had cut into his wrist and an infection had set in. We did our best to keep them clean but that was harder said than done.
"The ones you have on right now got wet?" I asked turning to an old, rotting, wooden cabinet. He nodded and pulled his sleeves up his arms so I could unwrap the old bandages and put on the somewhat new ones. We only had four bandages and all of them had been used by someone already but we washed them the best we could. I put the dirtier ones in a large, stainless steel pot where we washed our few cloths we had.
"Thanks and you know you made Jay cry right?" Felix said sliding his sleeves back down, looking back at Jay as he asked Lucas if he was going to eat his roll.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Jay never cried." Felix smiled slightly and popped his knuckles.
"Yeah, your right, no one here ever cries." Then he walked down the aisle and into his square, the first one. I saw him threw the gaps in the makeshift wall as he lay down on his bed made of a bunch of dirty towels and an old jacket as a pillow.
"Hey, Lucas!" I called to the black haired boy. "It's your turn to clean the dishes." He pushed himself up, and stretched as much as he could in the tight space we had down here.
"Alright Tyler, I'm coming. You should hit the towels, you have the second shift." Each night, we all took turns on watch so that way we would know if they were coming down. I nodded and walked to the aisle.
"You coming Jay!" I called as I continued walking. I heard him scrambling after me and cling to me as I made my way to the back of the large trash filled room. Jay hated to be left alone, even if it was for a minute. It was what this place could do to you. When he first came here, he fought back and was hardly afraid of anything even though he was only ten. Then they brought him upstairs or 'hell' as we called it, and he didn't come back down for two whole days. When he finally came back down, he was afraid of the slightest sound and any quick movement near him would make him flinch. He had nightmares that made him scream and thrash in his sleep and would freak out if he was left alone for even a minute. That's why he had to share a room with me.
"You have watch tonight, right Tyler?" He asked me as we turned into our square. Our square was slightly larger than everyone else's but we had two people in our square so that was understandable. Our square had two towel beds right next to each other. Mine was the one closer to the makeshift wall and Jays was the one right next to it. We had a small nightstand with a single cabinet in it and a small drawer to the right of the entrance. Actually, each one of our squares only had three walls so there wasn't really an entrance per say but more like a… opening? We also had a cracked mirror leaned up against the solid concrete wall that was the third wall in our square. Jay used it to calm himself down when he was in what we called his 'freak'. And that was it; our square.
"Yeah, but I asked Jett to come in here while I was on watch for you. You'll be fine." Besides me, Jett was the one that Jay stuck to the closest. I thought it also had to do with something that Jett was the second youngest here.
Jay nodded laid down on his towel bed. I laid beside him on my towel bed, sighing as I did. "Hey Tyler," Jay asked looking up at the moldy, cracked ceiling. "Do you ever think we're going to get out of here?"
I sighed and replied. "I don't know Jay, but we won't stop trying." Then we were silent until Jay fell asleep. I stayed awake until Lucas came in with Jett behind him.
"Hey Tyler, your turn to watch now." Lucas said flipping his hair out of his eyes. It was really long and it was always getting in his eyes.
"Alright I'm coming." I carefully got up and followed Lucas out while Jett sat down on my towel bed beside Jay. When I got to the edge of our cage, Lucas tapped my shoulder. I turned, my mouth open, about to say, what when he kissed me.
I was surprised at first, but then I relaxed. He did these things a lot but only to me. I asked him why and he said it was because he loved me. I had refused him at first saying it was wrong, but then he saved my life when they tried to bring me to hell. That was when I realized that he wasn't kidding around when he said he loved me. I also realized that I loved him back.
Lucas wrapped his arm around me and made the kiss much deeper. I closed my eyes and slid my hands onto his shoulders which were higher than mine. I might have been older than Lucas but he was still taller than me.
Then I pushed him back remembering that I had to watch. He looked hurt when I did. "What? I thought that you_" I cut him off.
"I have watch if you don't remember." I said sitting down on the floor. I heard Lucas sigh and sit down beside me.
"Whoever said you needed to be on watch by yourself?" Lucas said flipping his hair out off his eyes again.
"Oh shut up, and why don't you cut your hair? It would make things so much easier."
"You really want to know why I am not going to cut my hair?" Lucas said pulling at a strand of his long black hair. I only nodded my head so he continued. "I will not cut my hair because of you. I overheard you and Felix talking about what kind of girls you like and I heard you say that you like girls with long hair." He didn't look at me when he said it.
I was about to reply when I heard the sound of a door being flung open. We both jumped up. I looked at Lucas and he dashed back down the trash hallway, our conversation completely forgotten. He was going to wake the others up.
I stood my ground and waited for my group to gather as they came in. There were three people that came in; Bear, Rat and Lizard. None of us knew any of their real names; we just knew what they called each other when they came down here. It looked like Bear was drunk like he was always when he came down here. Rat had a huge smile on his acme covered face and Lizard looked bored like he didn't care about a thing in the world.
Rat laughed and put his arm on the bars, leaning in to get a better look at me I guessed. "That was a beautiful little scene you had just there. Would you mind doing it again but more passion?" I blushed and gritted my teeth.
"SHUT UP!" I yelled. Rat smiled even wider and ignored me.
"Well, you have to make us money somehow. Why not do it with your lover?"
"I SAID SHUT UP!" I grabbed the nearest thing and threw it at him. It was a wrench and (thank my lucky starts that it slipped through the bars) it hit him square in the face. He cursed loudly and clutched at his head, backing away from the bars as the wrench clattered to the floor. Bear looked at him and then yanked his necklace out from underneath his shirt. Each one of them had a necklace with a key on it that would open the bars. The minute he pulled that out I knew he was going to open the cage. While Bear was opening the lock, Lizard was untying the whip from around his waist. My eyes widened and I took big steps back.
"That…" Lizard slung the whip in air making a loud popping sound. "Was the wrong move, little- boy." Bear threw open the bar door and stormed in. He grabbed me by my dirty grey shirt and lifted me up into the air. I kicked and thrashed as he cared me to the open bar door where Lizard was waiting.
"PUT HIM DOWN!" I heard Lucas shout jumping on Bear. He grunted and dropped me making my head hurt like hell. Bear reached back, grabbed Lucas's long hair and yanked. Lucas screamed as he was thrown forward, slamming into the thick metal bars.
"Lucas!" I yelled scrambling up. Bear kicked me in the stomach to keep me down. I collapsed, trying to breath.
"Tyler!" I heard Jay's voice yell, followed by everyone else's voices.
"BACK OFF YOU JACK ASS!" Felix said running up to Bear kicking square in the chest. Jett ran up to Jay to keep him from running to me which I was grateful for. Jay was like a little brother to me and I didn't want him to be caught up in this. Carter was silent, watching and waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Bear stumbled backwards from Felix's kick and Rat, recovered from my throw, barged in with a large scowl on his face.
"Your coming with us; weather you like it or not!" Rat screamed at me as I slowly got up. I looked over at Lucas. He was grimacing on the floor, not moving. He must have been in a lot of pain. Rat punched me and I went reeling backwards. That was when Carter spin kicked Rat in the face while he was relishing in his glory of him punching me.
Rat fell backwards to the ground, blood spilling out of his nose and mouth. Carter landed flawlessly and almost soundlessly. He was a red belt in karate. Bear, being much bigger than Carter, grabbed him and threw him into a pile of trash. He yelled as he landed. Felix raced over to where flew Carter and started to clime the pile of trash to try and find him and helped him.
I wiped the blood that was dripping down my chin and tried my best to not collapse where I was standing. Bear grabbed me by my shirt again. I didn't have the energy to fight this time because of the fighting I had done earlier. The reason they didn't feed us much was so we didn't have much energy to fight back and because they were too lazy to even bother with us much more than once a week.
Bear walked over to Lucas and picked him up, slinging him over his shoulder. Lucas grunted and then Bear slung me other his other shoulder. Lucas shook his head and started to thrash around until he saw me; all beat up and dead tired. He stopped fighting and just stared at me as Bear carried us down the stairs. I could faintly hear Felix, and Jay yelled our names and then I heard a third voice that was close and much more panicked that anyone else's; but it was softer. Lucas's voice calling my name was the last thing I remembered before I passed out.