Chapter 2- Farewell Dominic's
My feet pounded on the granite tiles as I ran though the dark, plain corridors of the home. I had often fantasised about painting colourful murals on those plain, forbidding-looking walls. I loved to sketch on any scrap pieces of paper I could get my hands on. As the other children wanted nothing to do with the 'weird little alien' unless it included teasing, with preferable bodily harm to my person, I would while away my time hiding in s corner with my drawings. Sadly however, the caretakers seemed to be intent on keeping this place as miserable and unattractive as possible, and, needless to say, I was not allowed to decorate, or to coin their term 'vandalise' the walls.
I halted outside the door of the Visitors' Lounge and hastily rearranged my hair, which was hanging around my face in loose strands. I patted down the drab grey uniform which was the standard attire for every child on Dominic's. If there were prospective parents in there, I wanted to make a good first impression. Tentatively, I reached towards the heavy wooden door, gathering my strength, I rapped smartly on the surface.
'Come in!' A voice which I recognised as Helen's. She was a young caretaker, soft spoken and her gentle touch was filled with genuine love and care. She was also the only person to be nice to me and treat me like a sentient by that friendly and familiar voice which meant comfort to me, I put on what I hoped was a winning smile and opened the door to step into the room.
Only to fall spectacularly as my foot snagged on the rug that I had failed to notice. Down I went and found myself with a mouthful of foul smelling, and even worse tasting, wool.
Hastily, I scrambled to my feet, my face a deep scarlet as I cursed my errant clumsiness. My heart sank. Surely I had blown whatever slim chance I had of being adopted now. I risked a glance up and froze. In front of me were two humongous man-mountains. They were by far the biggest people that I had ever seen. What do they feed you?! These men were big and burly, but it was obvious that their considerable bulk was from muscles not fats. Their hands were as big as spades. I could tell that had they wanted to, I would be crushed with little effort on their part. These giants, there was no other word that suited them, wore identical black suits and their clean shaven dome-shaped heads reflected the light from the electric lamp overhead. They each had a small device clipped to one ear and had black sunglasses perched on their noses, obscuring their eyes from my view.
Through my haze of wonder and fear, I became aware of Helen chiding me.
"Elaine, greet your visitors, child." Her voice was laced with a hint of nervousness that belied her calm outer appearance.
"He- Hello…" I squeaked, stuttering nervously like a fool.
Obviously these men weren't here looking to adopt, so what could they possibly want with me? I started with surprise as one of the giants spoke.
"Elaine Blank. We are here to take you away."
Take me away? What did that mean?
"Wh-Why? I didn't do anything wrong!" I protested weakly. I didn't, did I?
"It will all be explained at a later date. Kindly follow us. We wish you no harm." Unless you refuse, then I am afraid we will have to forcibly abduct you. They words were unspoken, but somehow I sensed they were there, underneath his words. The meaning was clear.
Glancing nervously at Helen, I caught her encouraging smile. Hesitantly, I stepped after the two black-clad men, who had begun to head out the door. Helen handed me a folder as I passed her. Then, she leaned down and wrapped her arms around my thin frame. I returned her hug, relishing in the feeling of warmth and comfort. She released me and looked me in the eyes. As I gazed into her kind, gentle hazel eyes, it struck me that this was probably the last time I would ever see her. A lump rose in my throat.
"Elaine, take care of yourself, okay? Believe in yourself, you are capable of anything you set your mind to."
I nodded, overwhelmed by conflicting emotions. She propelled me out the door.
I walked out the front door, crossing over the doorstep where I had been left abandoned as an infant. I turned back to view the plain, crumbly old brick building in which I had spent twelve years of my life in, it hadn't been much of a life, but still…
There was a sleek black limousine waiting for us, parked beside the curb in front of Dominic's Children's Home. One of the men held the door open for me as I clambered in, with as much grace as a pig. Looking out the tinted windows, I caught sight of a few faces peeping at me through the windows at the side of the building. Some stared with mouths agape, others wore expressions of envy, some looked scared, but many more showed contempt. Mandy was among them, the triumphant smirk on her face spoke volumes.
"Good riddance. Sayonara, Alien."
Sighing, I settled down into the comfortable leather seat. The interior of the car was amazing. There was a food counter piled high with numerous exotic delicacies, and a cooler for refreshments. Many buttons which purposes I could not possibly know line the insides of the car. The men got in the front and the driver revved up the powerful sounding engine and we were off!
I gazed out at the town as we drove through it. It was a small town, rather boring but I had never gotten the chance to explore it before. Very soon, we were out of the town and into the countryside. Everything was so new to me! The grass, the hills, the distant trees of a forest, and the occasional grazing sheep, cow or horse. I watched in absolute amazement. However, I got tired of looking at the countryside. After looking at nothing but rolling green hills, green grass and green trees you would develop a sense of déjà vu. I wonder where we are headed. Briefly, I toyed with the notion of asking one of the grim-looking, black-clad men, but my shyness overpowered my curiosity. I was terrified to open my mouth.
Searching for something, anything to distract me, my attention fell on the folder still clenched in my hands. Helen's gift. My jaw fell in surprise as I flipped it open. In the folder was every single artwork, every single doodle that I had ever done. A new wave of emotions hit me. My gut twisted painfully as I thought about Helen and realised that I missed her. One of the men glances at me in the rear-view mirror and wordlessly handed me a box of tissues. I accepted it from him, mildly surprised. I hadn't noticed that I was crying. Looking down, I saw that the folder was wet, with miniature puddles of moisture dotting the surface. In an attempt to compose myself, I tried desperately to not think of Helen, not to think of the past and my uncertain future. Where were we going, anyway? To my chagrin, I found myself blurting out that last thought.
"Where are we going?"
Gah! Curse my traitorous tongue. I waited in trepidation, with baited breath for the answer. It was a curt one.
"You will know when we get there."
It was impossible to tell who had spoken. I was content to leave it at that, and resolved not to speak unnecessarily for the remainder of the journey. Scanning the interior of this high-tech and sophisticated car, I finally located what I desired. I lunged forward to grab the sketchpad and a pencil. In my eagerness, I knocked over a stack of cups next to the cooler. The clattering of cups alerted the men, who whipped their heads around to glare at me. At least, I assumed they glared, it was hard to discern as their eyes were hidden behind their sunglasses. Seriously, who wears sunglasses in a dark car? I felt my cheeks flush and I muttered some intelligible apologises and scrambled around to retrieve to cups. When they were finally back in place, I retreated once more to my seat and curled up with the sketchpad on my knees and began to doodle.
A long drive later, I put the sketchpad down and closed my eyes, my stomach queasy. I felt the car slow to a stop and sat up.
It seems that we've finally arrived! Great, 'cause I don't feel too good. I think I'm carsick.
A/N: I tried really hard to make this chapter longer. Please share your thoughts. I love reviews, I get a delightful tingly feeling when I receive one. They make me feel loved :3