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Wasteland Boy – Chapter 15
A New Life
He woke up. It was dark everywhere, perhaps because his eyes were still closed. Clyde shifted slightly, acknowledging the fact that he was laying on a bed. Maybe he was still in the bunker and everything was just a dream. No, it was too quiet for the bunker dormitory. No one was snoring or shuffling, the mattress was soft, the sheets didn’t feel old and worn out. There was noise, however. Lots of separate muffled sounds, mixing into a city life cacophony. Curious, Clyde opened his eyes, to see brown and yellowish blurs. He blinked a few times and slowly, the smudged picture gained more details. He was definitely on a bed, facing a bedside table. Further, he saw a bookshelf and a small lamp that gave off warm yellow light. He sat up carefully and instantly felt the sickening need for food. His stomach felt like it could eat itself and his dry throat wasn’t doing so good either. He was thrown into a coughing fit and hunched over on the bed. The door opened and a lady ran in with a glass of water. Clyde snatched it from her and gulped the liquid down greedily. She promised to bring in some food and left the room, leaving behind a jug of water and a note. Clyde reached for the jug, but the piece of paper caught his attention. He picked it up and started reading.
“Clyde, I will be home as soon as the tavern closes; Around midnight. Your young lady is resting in a room parallel to you. The maid’s name is Margo. This note was primarily to check if you are educated enough to read.
Clyde felt slightly offended by anyone’s doubt in his education, but set the note aside, settling down on the thought that his new guardian was a cranky old man and meant no harm. He poured himself another glass, suddenly noticing that he was neither in his old rags nor in his worker uniform. He was in a white nightgown with no practical use and no pockets. The watch. Clyde threw his blanket aside and jumped to his feet, instantly collapsing. He caught himself on the edge of the bed and had to return to his sitting position. He scanned the room, but the watch was gone. Clyde was panicking on the inside, but forced himself to stay put. He would have to ask the maid once she came back. She seemed to be taking for ever. Finally, the door opened and she hurried in with a steaming bowl of soup on a tray, setting it on the table. Clyde stared at it, mesmerized by the steam coming off the bowl. It has been about a year since he ate anything hot, let alone eating with silverware. The young woman folded her arms and waited for Clyde’s commands. Feeling her eyes on him, he picked up the tray, setting it on his lap carefully. He glanced at the note to remember her name.
“Margo, where is my watch?”
Her calm face changed to a more confused expression. It occurred to Clyde that the old man had at least an hour to search through Clyde’s pockets. That realisation made him rather uncomfortable. He also acknowledged that Margo may have no idea where his belongings went, for it seems like the mysterious C.S. had all the control around here. Seeing her concern, he changed the question.
“How long did I sleep?” He insisted.
“Why, about two days, sir. Will that be all for now?”
Clyde nodded. The maid bowed a little and walked out quickly. As soon as Margo was gone, Clyde attacked his bowl of soup. Halfway finished, he remembered how Lucinda told him to restrain from eating quickly. When they first met, she noticed how quickly he chewed everything down and pointed out that that was the cause of stomach aches and occasional vomiting. It was never pleasant, so Clyde forced himself to slow down. Lucinda… Where was she right now? Suffering from the hard work and heavy, hot air in the sewers. Memories of the day when he betrayed everyone rushed back to him. He put the tray away and leaned back, staring at the ceiling blankly. His chest felt like it was contracting, trying to push out the tears that built up over time, but Clyde swallowed them down again. There was nothing he could do to change the past. What happened has happened and now all he could do was go along the flow, hoping he could change the future for the better.
Clyde has no idea how long he spent, laying and contemplating his past. The twist of the door handle made him flinch and sit up. The door opened slowly and silently, revealing the boss of the house.
As always, dear readers, feel free to comment or PM any suggestions for the rest of the story. There is always room for your characters and plot developments!
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