Writing Contest

  • Rycker

    He's now become a residing resident at Alberta's house. He's been there for two weeks now, but doesn't quite feel at home just yet, even though he's been told by Alberta that he's now part of her family. But Kasper hasn't seen anyone except for Alberta. He's seen pictures with a man whom he suspects to be her husband and a little girl around five years of age. They all seem happy in this picture, and Kasper has to wonder how that must feel like. He has no idea who his parents are, or why they would want to have a son only to abandon him to suffer in this unfair world.

    He's been asked if he wants to return to school, but he doesn't feel the need to do so. Now he just moves about the house and helps Alberta with little things. He's more than grateful to Alberta for letting him stay, especially since she knows he's a rouge.

    But that all changes today. The man Kasper had seen in the picture comes home that day, and he doesn't seem too happy to see Kasper. The child is with him too. Kasper can hear them arguing, but he pretends not to.

    The kid then comes up to him and tucks her head to the side, obviously not familiar with Kasper. "Who are you?"

    Kasper stares at the kid for a while. He's not sure what to say in this situation. "I'm the ghost of Christmas." He jokes. But to his surprise, the kid falls for it.

    "Cool! There's a ghost of Christmas?"

    Kasper is about to answer, but just then, something about what the man says catches his attention. "Alberta, we can't keep a rogue!"

    "But he's just a boy! And he's hurt! What if something was to happen to him?"

    "What about the Rogers? What if they find out?"

    "They don't have to find out. We can just keep our eyes on him until he's... Until he's..."

    "Until he's what, Alberta? This is too much. I'm sorry, Alberta, but we can't keep him."

    Kasper walks in on them then. Alberta looks at him and looks away, unable to look him in the eyes. "It's okay," He says to no one in particular. "I'll leave." The last thing he wants is to cause trouble for the one woman who's been kind to him.

    "Kasper..." Alberta starts. She then looks at her husband who only shakes his head and looks away. She then sighs and has a pained expression. "I'm sorry..."

    Kasper then exits the kitchen, with Alberta behind him. The little kid then enters and looks at her father, then at Kasper who was leaving. "Papa," The kid starts. "Where's the ghost of Christmas going?" Her father only lifts her up and takes her to her room.

    Now Kasper is on the streets again. He's been out there for three days now. He doesn't feel any regret for running away. In fact, he thinks it's something he should have done earlier.

    Alberta was nice enough to provide him food and water that will last him for a while. He's not too sure where he is now, but he knows he can navigate himself through the place. The town is compacted of old buildings. There are people, lots of people. It's then that Kasper realizes this is a town for Rogues. He's not quite sure if this means he's welcome to the place. There's a store. Three actually. There's a park for kids. And a hotel.

    When he walks past a piece of rusted metal, he suddenly has the urge to pick it. He's not sure what it is about it, but he feels like he can relate to it. He tucks it inside his pocket. He settles behind an old bar to eat his lunch when there's a sudden explosion from the nearby building. The force knocks Kasper unto the ground, along with some of his water.

    When Kasper looks up again, he notices a man twice his size looking down at him, grinning. The grin is enough to send chills down Kasper's body. The man sends his hands for Kasper's shirt and lifts him up from the ground. Kasper starts to wonder what it was he'd done now. The man drags him to the front of the burning building, in front of a crowd who'd been attracted by he fire. He continues to hold Kasper.

    Kasper is hopeful someone will save him, because he knows without someone telling him that he's in serious danger. But the crowd only look at Kasper and glance away. Some murmur things to each other, while some shake their head solemnly.

    "Now," The man says, with a voice so great, it shakes Kasper. "This town, as you all know, is my jurisdiction. And as you all also know, anyone who isn't a Rogue is banned from entering this town."

    Kasper is confused. How does he know that information? He'd thought running away from home meant he was a rogue, but he isn't? "W-wait. I am a Rogue. S-see," he searches for his belongings, but realizes they are still behind the bar. He gives up and looks back to the man. "I live alone, I have no house, and I have no parents. I'm a-"

    "You're lying." The man cuts him off. "I can tell, you see. If you're lying or not. And right now, you're lying." Then with a much colder and chill worthy voice, he adds, "You ain't no Rogue."

    Kasper's body goes weak. Is this how things are going to end for him? He's never known happiness. He's never known true peace. His life is going to end right then and there. And for what? For stepping into a land whose rules were unknown to him?

    "You all know what's going to happen to him. He's going to be punished. For trespassing. For sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. But," The man locks eyes with individuals in the crowd. "If you wish, you may give your life in exchange for his." No one moves. Of course, nobody was going to offer their life in exchange for a total stranger.

    The man chuckles. "Figures." He says, and locks eyes with Kasper. "Young man, you wandered into the wrong place. And for that, you will to pay dearly. Your punishment is one that's going to be painful, but rest assured, you'll be leaving this world a peaceful man."

    Some other men, which Kasper suspects to be the man's lackeys, come up to him and tie his arms around with a solid rope. It's too firm for Kasper to move, so he gives up on trying. When he looks up again, there's another man holding a machete. Kasper's body goes numb. He really is going to die.

    The men who had tied him up force him to his knees. Kasper's breathing speeds up. His body is cold. He's leaving this world for mere trespassing. He starts to regret running away. He knows he could've put up with the beatings. He knows he could've put with anything. The man with the machete then comes beside Kasper and readies the knife, waiting for his command.

    "On this very day," the man starts. "This unfortunate boy is going to leave this earth. May he find peace." He gives the signal.

    Kasper swallows in his last breath as tears start to fill his eyes. There's no one here for him. It's just him against the world. He shuts his eyes as the man brings up the machete and brings it down on his neck.

    There's still silence as everything goes upsidedown. Kasper sniffles. Tears leave his eyes. But he can still feel these things. He can feel them. He doesn't feel any pain either. He opens his eyes and look around at the stunned crowd, then at the man with the machete. They all have their mouths wide open.

    "What happened?" The man demands. "Why isn't the boy dead yet?" He's angry at the fact.

    "S-sir." The man with the machete starts. He looked quite shaken. The machete drops from his hands. "I hit him. I'm sure I hit him. But it went clang. The boy's head went clang."

    "Clang? If you don't want to do it, then say so." He picks the machete from the ground and walks to Kasper. Then without any warning, he swings at Kasper's head. It makes no difference. The machete bounces off his neck and falls to the ground. The man is awestruck.

    "You!" The man starts. "What are you?" Kasper doesn't answer. He's dumbstruck himself. "You." He points at one of his lackeys. "Get me something-" He stops and drops to the ground. His hands then go to his back which had been stabbed by a knife. For a while, there are no movements. "YOU FOOLS!" The man yells. "Who? Who did this!" He demands. The crowd is silent. This is enough to send him into a maddening rage. "ANSWER ME!" still silence. "Fine! Then you're all gonna be punished!"

    Kasper, dazed and confused, looks at the place where the man had been stabbed. He doesn't know who had shot the knife, or how it got there, but he isn't sticking around to find out. He stands and tries to make a run for it, but as he starts, the man takes notice and Kasper's sure his whole face has turned tomato red.

    "You! YOU DID THIS TO ME!" The man accuses.

    This plunges Kasper into a state of confusion. Gasps then erupt from the crowd. Some look at him in disbelieve, and Kasper starts wondering what it is he's done again. But they weren't looking at him. They were looking past him. He then looks behind and finds a boy. He has dark hair and brown skin and a large bruise mark on his neck.

    "Get him!" The man commands.

    "Come on!" The boy says to Kasper. Kasper doesn't give it a second thought when he runs towards the boy. They disappear behind the bar where Kasper had originally come from. They have the men behind them, so there's no time to stop for his things. So he leaves it there.

    He follows the boy, his hands still tied behind his back. They reach an alley, where the boy orders Kasper to take shelter behind a trash can. Kasper is hesitant.

    "Just trust me." The boy says, with a slight accent.

    Kasper doesn't do trust, but he takes the boy's words and hides behind the trash can. When the men arrive, the boy continues running and exits the alley. He rounds a corner, with all the men behind him.

    Kasper hears nothing for a while. He knows the boy has been caught. Then he starts to think how stupid the boy had been for risking his life to save him. But he doesn't have time to mourn over people. He needed to get out of there ASAP. As he starts to leave his hiding place, the boy comes back from the alleyway. Kasper is more than surprised to see him.

    "That's mean. Leaving without me?"

    Kasper is quiet for a while. "Where are the guards?"

    The boy grins. "I gave them the slip." He shrugs like it's nothing. "But we can't talk here. You'll have to come with me."

    Kasper doesn't move. What the boy said had sounded like a command. Had he saved Kasper for his own motives?

    The boy sees this and laughs. He then shakes his head, as if the whole issue itself was incomprehensible. "Don't worry. I'm gonna get you outta here. But you'll have to come with me to my place to collect a few things."

    ****

      Kasper rubs his hands as they'd finally been set free. They are at the boy's house, which is a small rundown apartment, as all the apartments are, on the second floor. Kasper had asked how it was he got to live on his own, but the boy had told him he was merely twenty-one.

    Now Kasper sits in the boy's living room, feeling as awkward as he'll ever be. The boy is in his room gathering God knows what. He finally emerges from it and walks to the kitchen where he gathers food and water. When he's done, he stops in front of Kasper and gives him another grin.

    "It's time to set off."

    They walk down a path that Ainse, as Kasper had later learned would be the boy's name, had built. It wasn't clear, but it was open enough to be seen. It was away from prying eyes, so they didn't have to worry about getting caught.

    It's a silent journey. Ainse then turns back to take a look at Kasper. He looks back to the front. "I know what happened back there."

    Kasper had forgotten about the incident, at least for a moment's worth. He finds he has no clue as to what had happened. He also finds he wants to know. He's curious. But he also doesn't want to ask.

    "You believe in superpowers?" Ainse asks. This earns a doubtful look from Kasper.

    "No."

    "Well then. You'd better hope you don't shit your pants from what I'm about to tell you."