Matthew opened his eyes after a long night of sleep, he noticed that he was spending an increasing amount of time unconscious. Nevertheless, the seizures had stopped and the long hours of pain had also come to an end. Only to be replaced by an uncomfortable itching that felt like having a colony of ants under his skin searching for something.
“At least I can move my fingers now. I just hope don't stay like this forever.” Thought Matthew in an attempt to console himself. “I want to at least be able to eat by myself and go to the bathroom.” It´s been a week since Matthew possessed this body. He had long given up on trying to speak, every time he tried they looked at him with faces of sadness and pity. This entire time, besides Aleran´s parents and the maid that took care of his necessities nobody came to see him.
“well there was that old man too, he was an odd one”.
Recalling the strange experience Matthew wanted to vomit. The old man was bald and was full of wrinkles. At first, the man checked his pulse, making Matthew assume that the old man was just a doctor or its equivalent in this world.
Only when the he closed his eyes with a hand in his chest the disgusting feeling came. It was like someone was touching his in innards. Though it was a fleeting sensation it was unpleasant, to say the least.
The door suddenly opened extracting Matthew from the creepy memory. Making an effort with his neck he tilted his head to look at Aleran´s mother that was approaching. She sat beside the bed with teary eyes.
She put a hand on his arm and started talking something with a shaky voice.
This scene has already repeated several times. Though today she was more distressed than usual, today something had broken inside her. Matthew just stayed there in silence.
The woman had fallen asleep next to Matthew´s bed. She spent the day taking care of him, even changing him, which was the work of the maids. “Something clearly happened for her to be so shaken, does it have something to do with me?” Matthew´s train of thought got interrupted by the opening of the door
A group of people, one of them being Darim entered the room. The other two where the bald old man and the other was a short but burly man with sharp eyes and a long nose. He was Bulga, a trusted Aide of Darim.
“It's time dear, healer Gu will make the last check to make sure that Al is stable enough to travel. After that Bulga will change him, and take him somewhere safe. Come I will tell you the details.”Darim embraced his wife by the waist with his arm, slowly taking her out of the room.
What happened next was as Darim had said, the old man checked him and nodded to the burly man who immediately undresses him and changed his clothes. Following that he was put on a type of stretcher and carried towards a plain carriage.
“Are they taking me to see another doctor or something?” Still ignorant about his fate Mathew was left making wild guesses till he got to the carriage where the father and the mother of the boy were waiting. Besides the sadness of the woman, he could see the unwillingness in her and Darim's expressions.
“Something in the way they are looking me gives me a bad feeling. Besides, why are they taking me at night? It's been a week or so since I'm like this. Can't they wait till tomorrow?”.
Matthew had some grasp of the time inside his room thanks to the sun and the meals they brought him two times a day. He was convinced that together with his first days blacking out and convulsing, a little more than a week has passed.
The carriage had no decoration and was pulled by two creatures that he had never seen in his life. They had a strong muscular body, long legs that ended in paws with four long fingers, three pointing to the front and one to the back. Their size was similar to horses if a little taller. They had a short neck and long head with two completely black eyes. They were wrapped in a short brown fur with black stripes that emphasized their muscles.
Matthew was mesmerized by these new creatures. He had seen strange creatures before in the reports made from Proxima Centaury and he had also seen some weird creatures in the kid's memories. But that and seeing them in person was a completely different thing altogether. He always loved to see and read about the discovery of a new form of life back on earth, no matter how small they were. Now that he was in front of a new and unique animal he couldn't tear his eyes apart from them.
He was taken out of his entranced state by a tearful goodbye that only served to exacerbate Matthew´s anguish. Then Bulga put him in the carriage and drove what it felt like hours. When the carriage stopped the burly man took Matthew off and carried him to other two men who were waiting beside yet another plain carriage.
These two people dressed in gray plain robes, one was fat and the other thin. Other than that they had no distinctive features. As soon as they got off the carriage they talked with Bulga for a while until they exchanged some papers and took Matthew inside the new carriage.
This alarmed Matthew even more, but there was nothing he could do. The trip this time was a very very long one, with the two men taking turns to attend to his necessities every day.
With a resigned inward sigh, Matthew thought.’I'm already used to be changed like a baby. At first, I felt humiliated even though this is not my body, sigh. The adaptability of the human mind is unbelievable.' Diverting his mind with all kinds of thoughts so as to not despair in his current situation was another of the things he got used to.
They took what Matthew count to be 50 days to get to their destination. By the thirtieth day he had gotten back the mobility of his whole body, and when they stop to rest he tried to walk short distances. Since he was in bed for many days it was hard to start walking again, more so when the body he was using wasn't his original one.
The only problem with his body was the itching that was similar to having ants crawling under his skin it was something that was not getting better.
He tried to interact with his two travel companions/caretakers but they pay no mind. Though when he moved outside the carriage to do his short walks they always paid attention to his movements, there was always one in front and one behind.
This consolidated his thinking that something was wrong. If they were concerned that he may fall they only had to get closer to him, one of them was sufficiently strong to hold him up.
He had seen the thin man get out and lift up the carriage alone when, after a rainy day, a wheel got stuck in the mud. That was with him and the fat guy still inside.
So he realized that he was a kind of prisoner, though he didn't know why “Maybe it's something that the boy did before I took over his body?.. well that's quite unlikely ”
He also noticed that they always rested at night and in secluded places with no other people. All these places looked the same, as some kind of clearing in the woods. Thanks to the lack of windows in the carriage he couldn't tell if they had passed through any inhabited place but judging by the sounds he doubted it.
It also came to his attention the little rest those beasts needed, unlike a horse they could travel for a day. Sadly he was not in the mood to ponder about that for too long.
At some point, he tried to use some of the words he learned from the memories. The language was so strange that it confused him a lot, so he didn't focus much on it, but despite that, he was able to link some words to a few objects.
He learned the words for sword, food, for clothing articles and a form of greeting. But every time he tried to talk to the two men they simply ignored him. They just kept making conversation between each other, like he didn't exist.
By the time they reached their destination, he had made his mind that the place he was going was not a nice place at all.
It was a big white building, with small windows dispersed along the structure. It was surrounded by a thick and really tall wall of the same color. The wall had metal doors with a few strange letters. They passed through those doors with the thin man who calmly leading and the fat man grabbing Matthew by the arm, following right behind.
Matthew saw that one of the guards that were at the gate took the beasts and the carriage somewhere else. The guard was also dressed in grey robes and had a sword on his waist.
At the other side of the wall was a simple garden with plants that, had Matthew been on the mood, he would have marveled with them. But again, he was too concerned for his fate to care about plants.
They soon reached the white building. Up close it was much bigger, it looked like a neatly cut rectangle of almost 20 meters high. It was oddly symmetrical for a place that clearly lacked the use of modern technology.
They approached the gate which was also guarded by people and was quite big. With a calm and unhurried peace, the thin man opened the door.
The door opened to a waiting area of sorts where a guard was seated. He greeted the two men and paid no attention to Matthew. They didn't tarry long with this guard and dragged Matthew through a door to the left.
They took him to a room where his hair was cut off and another old man made a similar inspection to the one the old bald man did on him back in the house. Meanwhile, the thin man and the one checking him started to look at the papers Bulga gave them. A conversation soon took place between them.
“Does he need a collar?” Said the thin man
The old man checking Matthew answered immediately. “Yes, I'll put him one, though it is unlikely he can do anything, the report and my analysis show that he was already at the qi circulation level.” While talking the old man took a needle and pinched Matthew in the arm taking a bit of blood. Turning his back on the two men and the poor boy he went to his desk.
“Damn! Qi circulation?... wait how old is this little shit?” The thin man had an astonished expression
“Yeah I know he is 13, can you believe it? He must be from one of the top families.” The old man didn't turn around, the only thing Matthew could see was the rapid movement of his arms and shoulders. “Anyway” the old man continued “It's better to play it safe.”
“You are the expert,” The thin man blurted with his eyes still glued to the boy with the same sense of disbelief.
Suddenly a bright light flooded the room for a few seconds before the old man turned with a satisfied smile. “Okay it's done, let's get this over with.” The old man approached Matthew with a collar graved with complex patterns on the inside but completely smooth on the outside.”
He closed the collar on Matthew´s neck and pressed hard until a click was heard. With the click of the collar, the itching under his skin that Matthew had felt during the past month was gone.
But he didn't have enough time to contemplate much, the moment everything was done, the thin man dragged him again to the waiting area. He said something to the guard and together with the fat, man that had remained in silence till now, went outside, leaving Matthew to the new guard.
This one had a completely forgettable face it was average in every way. But his eyes radiated malice and a sense of schadenfreude.
The guard started to move Matthew in a more forceful way, which was quite painful since these people seemed to have super strength, he moved him towards the right door.
Matthew´s face turned darker by the second. On the other side of the door, was a large corridor with several rooms. Each with sturdy doors that had a small head sized window at eye level giving Matthew the chance to take a peak to the inside. These rooms could be no other thing but cells.
“AHAHAHAHAHA!!” The first one they passed had two beds and a man curled in a ball at a corner laughing
“THE IMAAAGEEES MAKE NO SENSE !! NO SENSE !!” In the next were also two beds on one was a woman screaming at the top of her lungs while looking at the ceiling,on the other was another woman covering her ears.
“ Heeh. What a blunder, what a blunder.” On a room near the end of the hallway, was only an old man with thick eyebrows and disheveled hair. He started murmuring while looking at him through the small window in a calm manner.
He didn't need to understand the guard, that spoke with clear mockery, to know where he was.
“HEHEHE! WELCOME BOY!!, TO THE GARBAGE CAN OF THE KINGDOM, THE SILVER CREEK ASYLUM! HAHAHHA!”
Even though Matthew didn't know what the guard was saying he understood perfectly. They threw him in a nut house!!
‘I should have run when I had the chance. Well, it's not like I had any chance with those guys always watching me. Besides I was still gaining mobility while they are probably really fast and strong.’Looking around at all the screaming and weird people. Then he looked at the guard with a clear look of malevolence and Matthew could only sigh at his fate. ‘I guess it would be pointless now to start screaming in English that I'm not crazy. I guess they sent me here because they thought that my language was an incoherent mumbling. Well, that the fact that all of a sudden I couldn't move and started to crap my pants didn't help.’
The next fifteen minutes were spent walking through all kinds of screams and laments. Finally, they got to his room or more accurately speaking, his cell, where the guard locked him in a practiced manner.