(Book 2, part 2)
With his aching arm shivering slightly, Ben held it close to his body, trying to ignore the open cuts upon his arm as it brushed against the coarse fabric of his dirty undershirt.
He felt sad for his situation but told himself that it would be no use feeling sad for himself because his whole life was a sad story. One that was not as yet finished.
His thoughts turned to Tabitha, the girl he had met earlier, possibly a day or so ago. It seemed like forever since he had felt her hand in his, but maybe it was for the best. She would not be subjected to such cruelty that awaited him. Oh yes, Ben was no fool despite the fact he looked like one. He knew his torture had only begun if The Beagle was as evil a man as the girl Abigail had suggested. And by Ben’s reasoning, that was a most likely chance by what he had seen of The Beagle already. With a slight sneer on his face, Ben began to gently lick at his open cuts on his arm, wincing slightly between licks. As he was doing this, his only hope was that Tabitha was safe someplace.
Tabitha glanced at the person seated on the end of her bed. It was the well dressed gentleman that Tabitha had seen earlier. With a sudden rush of panic, Tabitha hurriedly sat up but winced lightly from a dull ache in her left shoulder. Glancing down with effort, Tabitha noticed her left shoulder had a patch of warm cotton that was apparently taped to seal the scratch she had gotten from the mysterious shadow in the sewers.
(Book 2, part 3)
The panic in Tabitha’s mind had faded after she felt this pain and automatically leaned back down upon the bed. Despite the feeling to flee erased from her minds, Tabitha felt somewhat perplexed and uncomfortable.
The well-dressed gentleman seemed not to notice or at least pretended to. He merely reached out and pulled the covers back over Tabitha that had become rumpled from Tabitha’s sudden movement.
After doing this he moved back to his original position of sitting on the end of the bed.
“Do not move yet. Your shoulder has yet to be healed,” he said with a serious tone in his voice.
Tabitha relaxed a little by these words. She still felt tired yet the dull ache from her shoulder stopped as she no longer felt the urge to run.
“Why did you help me?” she suddenly heard herself ask the gentleman.
For a few seconds the gentleman did nothing, merely gazing at Tabitha before opening his mouth to respond.
“It was necessary for me to help you,” he said with sincerity.
Tabitha was now even more confused. She did not seem to understand. There was no logic to what the gentleman had just said. Not in the world Tabitha had grown up in.
“I still Don’t understand,” Tabitha admitted, a slight uneasiness within her voice.
The gentleman sighed. He had hoped not to tell her but he knew it was best that he did. But, he had best start at the beginning so she could understand.
“Tabitha, you are not of this world,” he announced simply.
(to be continued...)
(Book 2, Part 4)
The door swung open. Ben gazed up weakly at the person that entered the storage room.
“Well, have you learnt your place yet, boy?” asked the contemptible voice of The Beagle.
He sauntered over to Ben and glared down at the pitiful waste in front of him.
Ben raised himself as best he could since he was still sore from his beating by the older boy and tied up. He opened his mouth to speak but the cane of The Beagle struck the side of his face in one swift motion.
“That was not a question!” screeched out The Beagle, his rotund face red with fury.
Ben did not answer, he knew before that he was not meant to reply but his addled and pain-filled mind was past thinking straight. As for being struck, he barely registered the blow. Ben knew it would just give The Beagle satisfaction to see him in pain. That was why he kept his head down so The Beagle could not see the tears starting to form in his eyes.
“Useless, the whole lot of ya!” enraged The Beagle and turned away from Ben in disgust, walking back out and slamming the door behind him. The sound of his footsteps and cane could be heard growing fainter as he walked away from the door until there was but silence once more within the storage room.
(to be continued...)
( Book 2, part 5)
Ben slowly lifted his head, the tears now gone dry from his brown eyes. He could not show he was weak for that was something he could never do. If he did then the older boys he grew up on the streets with would have taken advantage of him by stealing his hard-earned begging money. But Ben was strong and he was not one to take a beating if he could help it. With effort Ben shifted his body into an upright sitting position before sprawling his tied up legs out in front of him. Exhausted but not one to give up, Ben inched himself up the wall while trying to ignore the pain in his forearm.
Sliding his legs back towards himself he hefted with all his might and found he had successfully stood up despite the fact the coarse rope around his ankles dug lightly into his flesh. Waiting a few seconds for the pain in his feet to subside, Ben started to glance around the room for anything to cut the rope with.
But Ben’s triumph soon turned to gloom as he noticed the handle of the Storeroom door started to turn. With a look of panic on his face Ben stayed still as the door was flung open.
(to be continued...)
(Book 2, Part 6)
Ben relaxed after a second as he saw the familiar figure of Abigail standing in the open doorway. She held a crude mug made of clay in her left hand. She came forward towards Ben and presented the mug to him, clasping it in both her hands now.
“Here, you had best drink this,” she said in a whispered tone.
Ben beheld the mug in the girl’s outstretched hands. The mostly clear liquid that was most likely water, rippled along the surface from the uncontrollable slight trembling of Abigail’s hands.
Opening his mouth, Ben moved himself closer to the rim of the mug and gently lifted his head slightly as Abigail tilted her hands upward. The water was not the best in the world. It had an after-taste of soap and dirt. But Ben had tasted worse and to him this water was refreshing. After being stuck for several hours, Ben reckoned even muddy water would be suitable to drink.
Ben broke away his lips from the mug and Abigail quietly put it upon the floor after Ben had his fill.
“Thanks,” muttered Ben. “I needed that.”
Abigail said nothing, she merely glanced at Ben’s face. Ben knew he probably looked horrible but he felt slightly self-conscious so turned his face away.
Abigail seemed to take the hint and glanced down, feeling embarrassed she had been staring at Ben when he was in a vulnerable state. Many boys other then Ben had been given the same treatment by The Beagle and Abigail knew they were ashamed and perhaps angry to be seen like that.