Chapter 32 - Jason

Chapter 32 - Jason

I didn’t know what to do, so I kept the kid with me. I couldn’t just leave a kid on the street. The bus ride back to my apartment he told me how he managed to escape the temple. He managed to sneak out without being caught. Someone helped him when he struggled with the wall. He had a rock that led him to the city, when I showed up it shattered. My guess is an aspirant stone. It leads the person to whatever they’re wishing for. Once they’ve obtained it, the stone shatters.

He’s obviously tired from the walk up the stairs, still no elevator. Yet, he doesn’t complain, he just follows me with that stupid little smile. I unlock the door to my apartment and he follows right in. If I was anyone else, he might be in danger.

“I’m going to take a shower, there’s leftovers in the fridge if you’re hungry.”

“Thank you, I haven’t had real food in a few months,” he heads right to the fridge.

I smell like dumpster juice so I need a shower. It also gives me some time away from the kid to think about how I need to approach this. I can get him back to the temple, but he’d just run away again. He clearly hates it there. I could try to find his real parents, that would leave me in charge of taking care of him for a while. I’m not really sure how to raise a kid. I barely take care of myself sometimes. I could just abandon him, but I don’t really have that in me to just leave a kid on the streets. Damn, how did this happen? I barely even remember the kid. If he hadn’t come up to me at my trial I wouldn’t have recognized him. I knew I saved someone that night, but I don’t even remember what the person looked like. Maybe I can convince him to go back to the temple on his own accord.

When I return from the bathroom, he’s sitting on the couch surrounded by no less than four different Styrofoam containers. Working on his fifth, there goes all of my leftovers and I don’t really have more money. The Orc job is pretty much trash now. So I’ll have to find more work somehow since I’m bankrolling two now instead of just me.

“Hey, you gotta go back to the temple,” I say turning off the TV.

“Why can’t I just stay with you?”

“Because I’m not a great guardian or parent. I’m not even great at taking care of myself. Look around you, this apartment sucks. It’s falling apart, and the fridge has nothing but leftovers. The Eremites could keep you fed, warm, and healthy. I don’t have the funds for that.”

“I can pull my own weight, that isn’t a problem.”

“It’s not about pulling your own weight. It’s about this not being a great environment for a kid.”

“I’m sixteen, almost an adult,” he says finishing off food.

“But you didn’t age when you were enthralled. So you’re what thirteen or fourteen? That’s how I have to treat you.”

“Only if you want to. I told you, I’m just small. Give me time.”

“I think you’re suffering from something called transference.”

“I can’t be suffering from that because I don’t even know what that is,” he throws his arms in the air confused.

“That’s when you have some kind of trauma from your childhood so you transfer your emotions somewhere else. So maybe you had an issue with your dad, and you’re transferring the love you had for your dad to me.”

“That’s so stupid,” he holds his belly and laughs. I haven’t had anyone laugh at me this hard since I was a kid. “I just want to be a vampire hunter and you seem like the best,” he calms his laughter.

“There’s better hunters at the temple. I don’t even specialize in hunting vampires. You’ll get better training at the temple.”

“I’m sure you can teach me more. I know I’m small but puberty starts at a different time for everyone. You don’t have to think of yourself as a parent or guardian either. You can just think of yourself as my big brother. We’re basically brothers anyway.”

“How are we basically brothers? You just made that to stay.”

“Nope. Mrs. Dalia took care of me while I was there. She said she basically raised you. So we’re basically her kids.”

“That’s so stupid.”

“Mr. Elsar said you were mean.”


“Yep, can I take a shower?”

“Sure, I’ve got some clothes in the dresser. They won’t fit you, but they won’t smell like garbage either.”

“Thanks,” he makes his way to the bathroom. “Wait, I have something for you. The backpack they threw over the wall had a letter for you inside,” he starts to rummage through the bag.

“Why would they give you a letter for me?”

“I don’t know. Just read it,” he hands me the letter and heads off.

I recognize the handwriting right away. The letter is from Mother Dalia. She must have been the one who Kaiden break out of the temple. Why would she do that? I know why she would do it. That damn crystal ball. I open the letter, Dalia’s handwriting no doubt, but her hand writing is rushed and wording doesn’t leave much for debate:

Dear Jason,

I miss you every day and even Elsar asks about you. Let’s get to business. I’ve never asked you for anything other than being the best you that you can be. Now, I’m asking for a big favor. The boy is Kaiden, I’ve already found his parents. They won’t be the help he needs. The temple isn’t the place for him, no more than it was for you. The two of you have a lot in common even if you don’t notice it at first. You were a very sad and lonely child, still a sad lonely adult. Kaiden is no different. You spent your time destroying property and seeking attention. He constantly smiles and tries to see the best in everything but he is the same as you. The two of you could help each other avoid the darkness and have a true friend. That’s why I think it’s best that he stays with you. In my old age, I can’t give him the attention he needs. I’ve included a page with things you’ll need to take care of him.

There’s an information broker that was excommunicated. Just mention I sent you. He’ll get you set up with a job and an apartment. There’s also a bar, where you can get work. They’ll be mostly small jobs that aren’t official but it’s money. Another excommunicated runs the bar. There’s a place where you can get some clothes for the boy and probably yourself as well. Knowing you, you probably haven’t bought new clothes. Well, people in the city change clothes a lot more often, and I don’t mean having multiples of the same robes. There’s the address of a school that’ll take care of him. Their curriculum isn’t much different than our own.

He should have a potion in his pack. This was a gift from Elsar, it will get the boy to the correct age. It won’t do anything about his scars but they could fade as his body ages. Jason, don’t let me down. You can’t contact me and they’re watching me. I’ll make sure to reach out and check on you from time to time but it won’t be often. Just promise me you’ll protect the boy the best you can. He’ll be an adult soon so you won’t have to raise him for long. I love you, don’t let me down again.

Love, Mother Dalia

I guess I’m raising this kid now. I did let her down at every turn, I guess I can do this. She clearly saw something in her crystal ball, even if she didn’t say it. What kind of help does the kid need? Fuck. I tuck the letter in my nightstand and lay on the bed and stare at the ceiling. This is my life now.

“What did the letter say,” Kaiden jumps in bed next to me.

“It said, get off my bed.”

“Why? It’s big enough for both of us if we squeeze in.”

“Nah,” I push him off the bed onto the floor.

“You’re so mean,” he says from the floor.

“Take a pillow and sleep on the couch,” I toss a pillow at his face.

“I haven’t had a real bed in months. C’mon.”

“Nope. At least let me have my bed.”

“I know how we can settle this,” he says with a devious smile on his face.

“How’s th,” I don’t get to finish my sentence before he brings a pillow down hard on my face.

“Pillow Fight,” he yells out.

This is my life now.


Post a Comment