Chapter 3:

Kin

Water Monster


2.5Bookmark here

“This feels nice.” He moans as he stretches.Bookmark here

Josiah looks the same as everyone else. In his mind, the clothes complete him. He was red from the start of his hospital journey. That’s how people know him. Bookmark here

He walks among them. Feeling confident, he walks and walks. Finally, he enters the elderly ward. “What is this place?” Josiah asks himself. He notices the walls and floors look the same. This is nothing like the restroom. Deceived even. He continued his path nonetheless. Bookmark here

He noticed a room door. Bookmark here

Josiah squinted, “Room A408,” he read aloud. It didn’t sound like an appealing number so he skipped over it. By the time a room number came by that looked attractive to him, a nurse rushed by. Bookmark here

“Josiah, Josiah, sir, you must come with me!” The nurse was out of breath and seemed worried.Bookmark here

Josiah was in complete shock. He didn’t know what to think of the situation. Bookmark here

He mustered enough courage to say a few words, “Where… d-do we go?” he gulped anxiously.Bookmark here

The nurse took his hand and ran with him in tow. Josiah didn’t feel threatened so he let it happen. They maneuver a solid distance and around many others throughout the hospital. As they run, many look in disgust at Josiah. Josiah looks behind him and sees the trail of red he leaves behind. He’s unsure, yet content with his situation. This nurse made him feel something he hasn’t felt before. It was weird to him. It was new but he didn’t see anything particularly new. Why would he feel so different, he pondered.Bookmark here

The nurse stopped in front of a room door and started to speak as fast as she could, “Josiah, get in here before they realize you’re here. She’s been waiting for you forever, just get in there. I am not a nurse. I am a normal woman.” She began to take off her nurse clothing to reveal what Josiah has acknowledged as casual attire. “I know this is all happening so quickly. I’m not even sure how much you understand now. Just hurry quickly. I’ll make sure you have enough time to have a decent conversation!” Bookmark here

Josiah understood next to nothing about his situation. He felt better when she grabbed his hand but was quickly left without the satisfaction as he was brought into the room and she immediately left. Bookmark here

In front of Josiah was a big curtain that blocked off the view from the rest of the room. A swift swipe from his hand was all it took to view the inside of the room but Josiah for the first time didn’t feel like seeing something new. He turned around and opened the room door hoping to see the woman. He poked his head out and slowly churned it in both directions in search of her. He had no success. Something about that short venture was quite saddening to him, though he was quick to disregard it. In the end, he decided he might as well enter the room. Bookmark here

Immediately excitement rushed through Josiah. It was a quiet room with only minimal sounds to accompany. He recognized the speech but not the way it was being transmitted. It didn’t sound as clear as he usually heard it. Muddled, distorted, and irredeemable, he imagined it as. After passing through the curtain, he was met with many new things but not in any way he expected. It was only after he looked at the small television and recognized it as one, he came to understand the soft unsoundly voices. The newest sensation that appeared before him, made him feel quite uneasy.Bookmark here

A young woman, who looked Josiah’s age, laid in a contraption. Josiah has already come to knowledge with beds as structures from his time of thinking in the pool house. This didn’t seem like a normal bed to him. Many tubes and devices were stuck and around what he could only recognize as a poor woman who needed his pity. She was asleep. Bookmark here

Josiah walked up to her and brushed her hair with his finger as he softly moved it from the front of her face to the back of her head. Eyelids started to flutter as she gently awakened. She rubbed her eyes, similar to Josiah when he would wake up. He knew that feeling. It felt peaceful seeing someone else do something similar. Bookmark here

By the time she came to her senses, she was instantly speaking. “Who are you…?” Bookmark here

A long silence consumed the two as Josiah was unsure if he should speak. Something about this person felt very grave to him, as fulfilling. Bookmark here

She clenched her teeth as she came to a realization. “No, no, no. You can’t… Let me feel you!” She demanded as she tried to suppress her complex fears. Bookmark here

Josiah hesitantly gave out his hand. The girl in the bed was quick to grab it and feel it and press him.Bookmark here

“You’re real…” She started to feel his entire body. Disregarding the coat of blood on him. She kept pressing as she laughed. “You’re real… You’re real!” Eventually, she stopped. Her laugh and smile quickly ceased. “No, no, what did they do you?” Her hands rushed away from his body back to her head. “What did they do you?!” Tears started to run from her face. “You don’t even know anything, do you!? What did they do to you?!!!!” Her wails cried. Bookmark here

Her body jerked and screamed as some of the tubes came loose. A bunch of men rushed into the room and five of them grabbed Josiah and started to drag them. Naturally, he resisted at first but they calmed him. Bookmark here

“This is for her good. She’s going to come with you in a few minutes.” They told him.Bookmark here

Josiah stopped resisting and looked at them. They were all wearing heavy-duty armor with high-class artillery at arms reach. It was all happening so fast, Josiah couldn’t process what he was seeing or what was happening. After hearing she was going to be okay, he didn’t bother to think too hard and just let himself get swept away. Bookmark here

Before leaving the room, she crawled and fell from her bed and asked Josiah, “Do you have a name?! What is your name?! Do you even have a name?!!!” She begged. One of the men holding Josiah walked over to her and pulled out a rifle. Bullets proceeded to rush through her head and neck as he rapid-fired straight through the body. Her face became mangled and unrecognizable. Bookmark here

Josiah finally felt the need to reassure himself through speech after he witnessed such a sight. “She is okay? She will see me in minutes?” He calmly yet concerningly asked.Bookmark here

An armored man laughed. “Oh, of course, she’ll be with you in no time. She’s fine, trust us.”Bookmark here

Josiah did trust them. Why wouldn’t he. They seemed to look much cooler than everyone else, he thought. As he was being dragged away. He thought to himself. “Wow, humans are so nice sometimes.” Bookmark here

They finally dropped him off in a chair amongst a giant room filled with people indulging in all sorts of waiting activities. The waiting room, naturally. Bookmark here

“Just stay here and go to sleep. She’ll be with you when you wake up.” The armored men told him. They signaled him a thumbs-up as they looked at him and walked away. Josiah was even grateful enough, he signaled them a thumbs up back as he jerked his hand up and returned it.Bookmark here

Josiah didn’t mind being in the loud rooms anymore. His hearing felt normal. He sat in the chair doing nothing. Sometimes he would mindlessly watch others, other times he’d play with his hands. Sleep was never something he planned to do. After a few hours of people coming and going, Josiah finally thought to himself, “maybe it’s time I leave this place.” The woman left his mind entirely. Bookmark here

Just as he was going to get up, the neighboring chair next to him and its resident, stopped him. They grabbed him by his sleeve softly. Josiah decided to sit back down as he looked at the person blankly.Bookmark here

“Man, you’ve got quite the blood on ya. Is everything okay?” The man asked. Bookmark here

Josiah noticed all his clothes were rather simple and torn in some places. The man’s clothes also had blood on them. Even so, he remained quiet. An awkward silence formed for the other man.Bookmark here

He cleared his throat, “Nah, Nah, I get it. You’re the quiet type. That’s cool, that’s cool. The name is-” he paused for a moment, “it’s John. You can just call me John. It’s a boring name, I know. My uh parents, heh, they’re uncreative, to say the least. I know you ain’t a talker but you have one. A name, I mean uh. You gotta tell me at least that much, man.”Bookmark here

Despite his stutters, John was a very confident conversationalist. Josiah didn’t feel much by his words. He’s heard plenty by now. Bookmark here

“Josiah, that is my name. John is a good name.” He briefly stated while looking at him.Bookmark here

John’s eyes popped wide as he scoffed a closed smirk. “I’ll be damned. That’s a pretty good name.” He started to laugh, “You lucky son’a bitch. I wish my name was Josiah haha!!!” Bookmark here

Josiah smiled a tiny bit. It felt nice to hear someone say that even if he didn’t understand why it did. Bookmark here

John sat up from his chair. “Do you want to see something, Jo? That’s right, I’m uh calling you Jo from now on cause I can’t stand to call you somethin’ as cool as Josiah despite how cool you are. Anyways, man uh that was a mouthful. Just follow me,” he insisted.Bookmark here

Josiah chose to stand up and the two of them started to walk the halls. Josiah was unsure what to expect from John. John was a friendly person that didn’t seem to trigger anything within Josiah like all the other people he’s met. John was simply a man Josiah didn’t mind being around and was content with it. Bookmark here

After a minute or so of walking down the crowded halls, John asked Josiah, “how’d you end up here? This place is pretty unique I imagine. I’m actually not quite sure what the hell everybody is doin’ ‘round here.”Bookmark here

“I don’t know. I was walking for very long time and hospital was there. I go inside it.” Josiah said as he walked.Bookmark here

It felt odd to him. Walking as he talked. He’s talked while being still before but not when maintaining a pace. It was just odd to him but efficiently noticeable. Bookmark here

“Yeah, it’s a funny story how I got here too…” and right before John was about to continue, they made it to their destination that Josiah had no knowledge of. It was a wall. Just a wall at the end of the hallway.Bookmark here

“Why are we here?” Josiah asked John.Bookmark here

John put his hands in his pant pockets as he leaned back and stretched his body. “Well… This is pretty big, Jo. The only reason I’m showing you is cause I can tell you’re not like the others here. You don’t really act like anyone here and…” John awkwardly waves his hands at all the blood on Josiah. “That was basically the giveaway. I watched as you entered this place and knew you were different.” Bookmark here

Josiah remained stone-faced. “This is a normal wall?” Bookmark here

John raised his finger and smiled. “But it isn’t a normal wall now. Believe it or not, there are people here that monitor the activity of everyone else. I’ve been here a couple of days and let me tell you what. Ain’t nobody watches people like those bastards do. I’m not really sure what they’re watching for but I think it’s clear that you’d raise a few red flags so I decided to show you while I still can.” John nodded his head towards the wall telling Josiah to follow him.Bookmark here

Josiah quietly did so. Bookmark here

“Now put your ear against the wall and listen…” John softly spoke.Bookmark here

Josiah did as told, as John did the same right next to him. To describe what was heard is simply impossible. The essence of living life and the human capability that comes with it was what they heard. They heard life. Josiah was quick to move his head away from the wall.Bookmark here

“What is this? Why does it sound like this?” Josiah asked.Bookmark here

John stammered away from the wall as if it were dragging him. “I’m not exactly sure. But at the same time, I’m pretty sure… it’s the real world.”Bookmark here

“The real world…?” Josiah repeated.Bookmark here

“...Well, yeah… There’s no way this is the real world. You’ve seen changes right?” John gulped. He felt worried he made a mistake. “Y-you know what, Jo? Don’t worry about it. I just thought this sounded cool. That’s all”-Bookmark here

Before they could finish, the armored men rushed towards them. Many of them grabbed John as many grabbed Josiah. Bookmark here

“Hey, what the hell is goin’ on?! I ain’t do nothin’ and neither did he!” John cried.Bookmark here

Josiah resisted when seeing John struggle. “Let John go!” Josiah shouted.Bookmark here

All the armored men stopped. They looked at Josiah. “You know this guy?” one of the armored men asked Josiah. “He isn’t bothering you?” another asked.Bookmark here

Josiah sighed. “No, he is John.” Bookmark here

The armored men all stared at each other and John seemed baffled at the situation. He looked at Josiah in awe and confusion. Bookmark here

The lead of the armored men walked back as he started talking into a device. John could barely make out any of what was being said. Bookmark here

“...With Josiah...Yes sir... “ Bookmark here

The men started to drag them again and claimed they wouldn’t hurt the two. John continued to struggle momentarily. Bookmark here

“It’s okay. They are friendly.” Josiah reassured him. Bookmark here

John realized how futile his resistance was and gave up anyways. He was vexed with sadness and frustration. Bookmark here

The two were brought to a room with two beds. Bookmark here

“We’re gonna put you, boys, to sleep now. Not kill you, so don’t worry.” Bookmark here

Josiah didn’t understand but he trusted the men. Bookmark here

John was silent until he looked over to Josiah. “Say your prayers, Jo. But not to God. Pray to someone that’ll actually help us…” Bookmark here

“I don’t know what that means… Just like most things…” Josiah whispered.Bookmark here

The two boys were put to sleep.Bookmark here

He could feel the pores of his skin enveloped by something that wasn’t himself. It was constant. When he moved, it maintained its position. Side to side and down, he knew what he was feeling. He knew what he was feeling. Josiah rose from the water as quickly as he could. He smacked his face and rubbed each spot on his shiny skin. He waited for his vision to clear naturally with zero waves of panic. When all came to, he was home.Bookmark here

The tile floor adjusted above the water, the tile walls, and the watery floor for as far as you could see. Josiah almost raised his hand up to his chest until he heard a cough.Bookmark here

He looked over and saw something which made him cry. It was unexplainable. It was someone. Bookmark here

Josiah took the unconscious body and raised him to the platform so he could breathe easier.Bookmark here

He fell to his knees and grabbed them as they were sopping wet. Bookmark here

All of Josiah’s fears came back, yet he also found new hope. “Don’t worry John, I’ll protect you. I’ll protect you from the monster.” He said as he cradled his body.Bookmark here

John started to open his eyes and cough water. When he started to speak his voice was raspy. He soon enough realized his situation. Bookmark here

“Back here again…? God dammit... “ John looked Josiah in his eyes. “What the fuck are you doing, man?”Bookmark here

Water Monster


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