Dead to Rights

William Morro is just your average sixteen year old boy, well he was, once. After a week of increasingly worsening events he finds himself suddenly awake in his bedroom, or atleast, what appears to be his bedroom. It is shortly after that he realizes that indeed something is out of place; he's dead and stuck in a place where everything seems like the world we know when, at the same time, this world is nothing like we know the world to be...

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3. Odd Behavior; Getting Involved

   It was latter that night, that I was awoken by a painful and, rather blood curdling scream. I flew out of bed, but not before snatching the knife that had earlier, well I guess you could say killed me. Running out to the living room I found Samvel on the floor, screaming bloody murder as he thrashed around, covered and cocooned by the blanket I gave him.

   "Sam!" I yelled, practically sliding to his side as I held him. He began to blindly lash out; for a boy who looks like he was starved to death, he was pretty strong in the arms and, he landed a few good punches on me, but I held him anyway. "Sam, hush now Sam, come on, it's alright, I've got you," I whispered as I began to unwind the blanket from around his head until I could clearly see his head and him see me.

   "I'm..." he tried to speak, tears in his eyes. I picked him up and laid him back down on the sofa, allowing him to untangle himself from the blanket. Quietly I let him lay back into me as I too laid on the sofa, and then he did something a bit strange, he wrapped his arms around my neck and held me close. "I'm sorry I woke you..." he mumbled, hiding his face from me as if he'd done something wrong.

   "Sam, look at me, for Christ's sake," I smiled, rubbing his head gently and slowly he looked at me again. "It's alright, I don't mind." I noticed that, at some point he had shed my sweatshirt and his ragged excuse for a shirt for he lay on me shirtless, his slender body seemingly writhing in agony with every breath he took. "You alright?" I asked, trying to get my mind off his obvious abused self, "Let me guess, a nightmare?"

   "I guess you could call it that," he murmured, shifting slightly, "More like a painful memory." I reached out so as to be able to hold him as I sat up but, when I touched his cold and smooth skin, he freaked. "Ah, NO, please don't touch me!" he wailed as he flung himself off me and onto the floor with a quiet thud.

   "I'm sorry," I soothed, wrapping him in the blanket to hide his skin from sight. It was then and only then that he allowed me to hold onto him again. "I was only trying to sit up, so I was holding you so you wouldn't fall off." His erratic behavior was concerning but, I had no place to pry into what his life was like, atleast, not yet.

   "Will?" he asked, snapping me out of my thoughts, "Why are you being so kind to me?"

   "I don't know," I answered blankly, "I guess... it's how I've always been." Growing up, my mother had taught me to always be considerate of others and, if someone was in need, to help them. I guess that nature that I adapted over time followed me into death, but why wouldn't it, dead or not, we are who we are, right?

   "Maybe I should... go back to my burrow," he whispered to himself, "If I left, you'd be able to get some sleep atleast and maybe, you won't hate me..." I looked down slightly at him, he looked so sad and fragile, I couldn't accept the idea of him leaving.

   "No," I answered, "Please stay, I'd feel better if I knew you were safe." What the hell was I doing, or even saying? I wasn't sure but, something inside me wanted to protect him, like an older sibling should do for their younger sibling. He just stared into my eyes, apparently searching for any sign that I was lying. Finally satisfied that I wasn't, he shrugged me off him and retrieved his shirt and sweatshirt from the floor and sat back on the sofa. 

   "Will you stay with me until I fall asleep again?" he asked, balling the clothes he had recovered into a secondary makeshift pillow as he laid down. I just nodded my head and smiled as I took my place on the floor beside where he was laying on the sofa. "I thank you for your charity, Will," he whispered as he cautiously ran his fingers through my hair, "I haven't experienced it that much in my life...or death." There he went again, making subtle allusions to his life, he was a puzzling kid, and sadly, I was feeling in the mood to solve his puzzle.

   "Sam, when were you born?" I asked, letting him continue to run his frail fingers through my hair.

   "1650, I was born, like the twins said, in what is now Armenia," he started, "My father was from somewhere in what you know as Romania, he married my mother and we moved to his home town." He shifted a little in discomfort as he began to dig up long suppressed memories. "He was a traveling artist and salesman, my father so he had some decent money. We all lived happily... until mom died, then everything went to hell." A tear escaped his eye as he began to shake again.

   "That's enough, Sam," I soothed as I gently stroked my hand across his cheek, using my hand to dry his tears by wiping them gently away. "my only question now is, how did you know English so well?"

   "When I was fourteen, my father sold me off to some people he owed a debt to and so, they took me to London where I was sold at some black market auction..." he trailed off, "I learned English in my time as a... as a..." tears came to his eyes again as he looked himself over in disgust.

   "You were a slave, weren't you?" I was beginning to put the pieces of his life together, and what a sad life it was. He gave a quiet nod as he made a sound of complete shame and pain and cried into the blanket.

   "I'm so filthy..." he cried, muffled by the blanket, "If the others knew, I would probably be ostracized." That's when he looked at me with the same desperate look he gave me back at the rock, "Please, don't tell anyone Will, it would destroy me if they knew..."

   "I promise," I hugged him tightly, "Your secret is safe with me, but, I want you to promise me something in return."

   "Anything, just name it," he began to calm down, the fear still in his eyes.

   "You'll live here. I can't stand the thought of you out there, and secondly, I want you to know that if you ever want to tell me anything, you can and it will stay just between the two of us." His fear vanished, replaced by complete happiness as he returned the hug.

   "I promise. I'll stay with you, mas-" he cut himself short, quickly correcting himself, "I mean, Will." We sat there for a while, telling stories to each other as we both became tired and drowsy; thank god he fell asleep first, because the floor was becoming quite uncomfortable. When I was sure he was asleep, I crept back down to my room and flopped onto my bed. As I lay there, thoughts began to race in my head as to what I was going to do now; having Samvel living here would be a bit of an interesting experience considering his past as he knew it. And that brought up another question, where would he put him? It didn't seem right to have him always sleeping on the couch, he needed a proper bed and room to call his own.

   "I suppose I could always give him mom's room," I thought to myself, which, made sense considering that I could never sleep comfortably in the room that looked like my mother's. Either that, or give him the small room next to mine which was used as both a guest bedroom and storage room. My thoughts were interrupted by a vibration in my pocket; my cell? "Hello?" I answered, quite perplexed, was someone trying to reach me from beyond my grave?

   "Hey, Will, it's Charlie," his voice crackled through the small amounts of static on the phone.

   "How the hell did you get my number!?"

   "That's not important right now, is Sam with you?" he asked, there was definite worry in his voice so I knew this was of some importance.

   "Yeah, why?" I waited for a response. When i heard his voice again, it was ragged as if he'd been running for a bit. "You alright?"

   "I'm fine... Keep Sam close to you for a while.." he panted, "Some members of the Organization just swept through the woods and raided his burrow..." he continued, "I'm coming to your house... it's... closer than mine... at the moment."

   "Sure, c'mon down, just lose the guys that were chasing you," I answered. All I heard was a laugh, his phone and then he hung up. I scurried out to the porch to wait for him, checking on Sam, who was still fast asleep calmed me down a bit. He arrived after about ten minutes after the call. "Hey there," I whispered as he wandered into the house, stopping to look the sleeping blond boy over quickly. 

   "Will, I need you take in Sam for a while, the woods aren't safe anymore for him," he spoke with the most serious tone I had yet to hear him sink into. "If the Organization's doing sweeps and raids, then that means something big is happening." He continued to speak quietly as he sat down in the chair in the corner opposite the couch to catch the remainder of his breath. 

   "Sure I will," I answered, grabbing myself some of the soda that was in the fridge, "I never really liked the idea that he was in the woods in the first place." Sitting in the chair beside him I looked him in the eyes. "However, if I'm going to start sheltering possible fugitives, I want in on all you know about this place..."

 

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