Chapter 29- Loved

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The sun begins to go down as their questions remain unanswered. Riley yawns and curls up, slowly falling asleep. In the dim lighting, her hair almost looks like that of a calico cat. Alex is lying on a protesting Poppy, who gives up quickly, equally as tired. Even Alwin is sulking on the table, his normally straight posture now relaxed.

"Should we make dinner?" Noah asks, the words tumbling out of his mouth like sand.

"Maybe?" Sidney slurs, done with life.

"Why are you acting like that?" Alwin mutters, laying flat on the table.

"I'm told that I act drunk when I'm really tired," Sidney murmurs, leaning against Noah. "But whatever. Some people think it's cute and who should I believe?"

"Why are you trying to be a phil..." Noah stops, trying to remember the word. "Phila... philogopher..."

"Philosopher?"

Noah smiles.

"Yeah, that."

"Because I can."

"You barely have a brain right now and yet you're still trying to be deep," Alex remarks from the corner, still listening.

"Hey, don't knock it if you haven't tried it."

"What does that even mean?" Alwin groans before rolling off the table and spilling onto the floor.

"Oh, whatever," Sidney mutters, sliding off of his chair and onto the floor. Sleep begins to overtake them all, the warm air singing them a quiet lullaby. No one bothers to get up or go home, but instead starts to rest right where they are. The whispers of the others fade from Jordan's memory as she begins to fall asleep, her heart narrating a story only she knows.

"It's dark. I turn around, feeling the hard floor. Startled, I pull my hand back, the cold seeping through my skin and into my veins. I do the first thing that comes to mind, and try to stand. My legs shake and give out under the weight of my body. I tumble to the floor with a slam. My head is throbbing now, and I cry out in pain. It echoes. One time. Two times. Three. How big is this place? I move my arms out, only to hear a clink of a chain and then a rattle as the links are dragged across the floor. Why am I chained up like an animal?

I move my arm back in an attempt to feel what the chains are connected to. I touch a metal pole with each arm. There is no wall behind me. I slowly get up, swaying back and forth on my feet. Something feels off inside of me, like there is a monster in the corner of my mind that has been finally set free. My heart starts to pound faster and faster. What is happening to me?

The darkness seems to swallow me whole, pouring down my throat and into my lungs. I feel a panic grow inside of me, like poisonous vines wrapping around my throat. I can't breathe. Leaves rattle in my lungs as I look around, hoping to see someone who might help me. All is silent except for my panting gasps, my entire body shuddering with pain. Soon I see someone approaching, creeping closer ever so slowly. I motion towards the person, thinking that they would help me.

I was wrong. The closer the person got, I realize that the feelings inside of me were getting worse. Now I can see that the one person was not alone, red dripping off of them as they walked towards me from all sides. Each one looks the same, each one faceless without an identity. The darkness is now filling me, and I see my tears hit the floor.

Drip.

                       Drop.

Drip.

                   Drop.

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