Chapter 1: Run boy run
"You make me feel like I am worthless
Why can't I stop the bleeding? "
"Do you love me?" by Escape the Fate
She laughed and laughed and laughed as if it was funny. As if Carlos’ heart wasn’t breaking apart into two that very moment for the third time in his life as he watched his best friends leave him in the damned island while they went off to Auradon to free them all. He knew it had to be, he really did, but it didn’t hurt any less that he was chosen to be left behind.
„Daughter of Maleficent and her two companions.” said the invitation, it wasn’t even a question who would be left behind, he wasn’t strong and fast like Jay, or charming and cunning like Evie, and of course Mal being the smart, creative evil genius she was knew it right from the start. He was just Carlos, small, geeky, malnourished, useless Carlos who stupidly believed once that he could actually mean something to someone.
Cruella just kept on laughing, and the sound of it reminded him of his first heartbreak, of asking his mom if she loved him, her answer a cruel chuckle. The gathering tears in his eyes reminded him of the second time, watching the life bleed out of his loyal companion Belzebub, the beautiful black furred cat, whom his mother always looked at with greedy eyes, trying to get her hands on her „precious fur”. She succeeded in the end, and he cried for days quietly, alone in his treehouse.
„It will be okay.” – he told himself, „They will come back for me, they promised”. So Carlos waited, for weeks he suffered quietly, like he always did, cleaned up after his mother, touched up her roots, fluffed her furs and coats, slept in his treehouse, his only warmth the blaket Evie gave him all those years ago, one of Mal’s forgotten coats and Jay’s beanie. And then the time for the coronation came.
He waited with his mother and her „friends”, the parents of the other VKs, hidden at the back of the room, sharp eyes watching the tv with anticipation, just a few more minutes and he's going to be free, they will break the barrier and he will be able to leave his mother’s abuse behind, he will be able to become whoever he wants to be.
They didn’t show much, the camera focusing on the entrance of the palace, nothing happened for a few minutes, then suddenly the lights dimmed and he could feel it, there was magic in the air, it was the same feeling he got when he broke the barrier all those years ago for a few seconds, just somehow stronger, and from the delighted faces of Maleficent, Jafar and Grimhilde he knew they could feel it too.
Maleficent stood up and in seconds she was gone, next they saw her she was on the screen of the small television, he watched, as the camera in the seemingly frozen cameraman’s hands podcasted all that happened. Maleficent turning into a dragon, Mal fighting back, the others joining her, the defeat of the dark fairy, and the VKs choosing good. His feelings were going crazy, for a second he was simultaneously happy for the safety of his friends, bitter for not being free, and betrayed for the broken promise they made.
„Once we have the wand we will get you out Carlos, I promise.” – Mal told him just pefore they left, and he believed her.
He was still in shock when his mother suddenly slapped him, grabbing his neck in an iron grip, her nails leaving bloody marks on his skin, pushing him up aginst the wall so hard he could feel the bruises forming. She screamed at him, her breath stinking, dropplets of saliva landing on his left cheek as he tried to turn his face away from her deraged expression. She hasn’t been this angry since her broke his wrist and couldn’t do chores for a few weeks.
„Your little bastard friends ruined everyting! I was going to get out of here! Ruin that little bitch and her perfect family, skin all her little pets, maybe even her loved ones, make her watch it and then wear their pelts and skin like the thropies they are. Oh Anita dear, she would have cried so much and I would have kept her in a kennel for the rest of her life and now? NOW I’m stuck here with only you to keep me entertained!” – she screamed, her face changing from angry to wistful and longing to deraged again.
Carlos could feel himself shaking, Jafar and Grimhilde were just as angry as her, but they tried to calm Cruella down, not because they cared for him, but because they feared what she would do to them if she stayed in that state of mind any longer in their presence, or what she would do to them when she no longer had Carlos to vent her anger onto.
„Cruella, darling, why don’t you calm down and go home, take a nice hot bath while your brat cleans the entire mansion? And don’t worry, we will get out of here soon, you will see, and then the kids will regret ever going against us.”
„Yeah… you are right Grimhilde, a nice bath sounds just about perfect. Come Carlos you have a lot to do.”
That night and the day after Carlos haven’t sleept for more than a few minutes at a time. The night of the third day he finally manged to rest a little, Cruella having nothing left for him to do. He climbed up the treehouse, his body aching, his mind sluggish but still running a mile, trying to rationalize the decision his friends made. They must have a plan, he decided, the will come for him in a few weeks, they will write to him at least, tell him they will get him off of the island, because they promised, right?
Then two months passed, no letter, no word from the VKs, just photos and videos of them having fun, and Carlos, for the first time in his life, broke.
Over the time Cruella was growing increasingly more and more abusive, at first, she just pushed him around more, then she managed to find a mistake in everything he did and punished him for it. She started slapping him, and then came the beating, at first it was just her, and then it was her lackeys, Jasper and Horace, then one day, she just completly snapped.
That morning he woke, bruises all over his body, his cut lip stung, the caked blood from yesterday’s beating still on his skin and clothes, his black eye made it hard for him to see. His body hurt so much that climbing up to the treehouse became impossible, combing it with the coming autumn weather the temperature was less the savorable at his safe-heaven. So he moved back to his old room, took all his „friends” have left him there, the bear traps in his old room became one of his worst enemies and at the same time saviors too, they sometimes caused him pain, but also protected him from people trying to venture in there.
When he got out of his closet he went to the kitchen, making his mother breakfast from the little ingrediments they had left, he would have to go out to the market that day. Carlos was in the middle of making an omlett, from some kind of egg, when he heard heels clicking ont he floor, Cruella was up early that day.
He turned around, head lowered and a greeting on his lips when he saw his mother’s eyes. They were crazed, hazy, like she wasn’t there, but somewhere else.
„Anita..” – she growled, and that minute Carlos understood, she was not seeing him, but this Anita woman, whom her mother claimed had ruined her life. She told him how she looked like, even had a picture of her, big brown eyes, unruly curly ginger hair, freckels, a fair complexion. With a start, Carlos realized, he kind of looked like her.
„M-mom?” – Carlos started to say, but Cruella cut him off, crossing the room in huge steps, grabbing his neck, pushing him into the stove, the oil burning his hand as he let go of the the frying pan.
„Oh Anita dear~” – his mother sang. „I can’t wait to skin you and wear your pretty freckled skin as a new coat.”
Carlos could feel his blood drain from his face, Cruella wasn’t joking, she was dead serious, she thought he was Anita and was going to kill him, skin him, he had to get out of here, he had to hide.
Survival instics took over, the frying pan with which he burned his hand was still there, he grabbed it and hit Cruella with it in the head. It wasn’t a strong hit, but it caugh her off guard, she let go of his neck and he ducked under her failing arms, making a run for the door. Just then Cruella turned around, her face bleeding, she lunged after him but by then he was out of the door, running down the yard of the mansion to the street, he couldn’t go to the treehouse, he wasn’t in good enough condition to climb up and she would reach him very soon. He run down the streets, Cruella heels clicking with every step she took, suddenly Carlos remembered that there was a wooded area nearby, she couldn’t follow him there, her feet would get stuck in the muddy ground wearing heels like that, with that in mind he took a turn to the right and run, he could see the grass and huge trees already, he would make it.
„Jasper, Horace, catch!” – she screamed at the top of her lungs, as if giving command to trained hunds, and then there were the sound of two more feet and paws and barks behind his back, Carlos glanced backwards and saw her mother’s two men and their dogs running towards him, he still had a few meters between them, but they were gaining fast. Carlos run even faster, his breath coming in short huffs, he reached the trees, dodging between the barks of the old oaks, the ground starting to go downhill, the sound pursuers getting closer and closer.
He could hardly see, hardly breath, his lugs tightening painfully, his eyes watering, his legs aching with fatigue. He took one more step forward, bypassing another tree, when his leg got cought by a root, forcing him down to the ground, his body twisting and turning as he began rolling downhill the slope until there was no more ground underneath him.
Chapter 2: After the fall
Carlos closed eyes with it, kind russet brown meeting intelligent wine red eyes.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
He woke to the sound of waves as they crashed into the shore, droplets of water landing on his face and body, a way gentler way of waking up, then what he was used to. But the peace of the sea breeze and the early morning sunlight didn’t last long. Carlos soon felt the telltale aches of his injuries, and when he finally tried to move a sharp pain went through his whole body, focused un his left leg.
He looked down towards where his legs were tangled up in each other, noticing how his left ankle seemed to be facing the wrong way slightly. With great effort he managed to sit up and gingerly touched his ankle with his right hand. The earlier pain immediately flared up. Shit. Definitely broken or at least sprained.
Whichever option it was, he needed to make a brace for his leg before it got to an irreversible state, if it healed the wrong way he might never be able to walk normally again. As his mother broke a few of his fingers before and from the knowledge he picked up from the books he read during his extended search on what Evie called „How to survive your parents 101. Isle edition.”, he knew exactly what to do.
Carlos looked around, searching for a pair of strong branches to brace his leg with, he noticed the shade of a big oak tree about 3 meters to the right of where he first woke up. On the ground laid some twigs and a few branches, likely fallen because of the storm a few days ago. Just what he needed. Carlos carefully started dragging himself backward towards his destination, mindful of his injured leg. A minute or two later he finally got underneath the shade and laid his back on the stone wall from which’s top the oak tree grew, his hands shaking with fatigue the entire time.
He grabbed three sturdy looking branches and then took off his jacket, ripping his shirt’s left sleeve of completely to use as bandages. Carlos took one more good look at his left leg before taking one if the branches and biting down on it. His scream of pain came out as a muffed noice as he put his ankle back into place, quickly grabbing the remaining two branches and tying the around his still on knee high boot with the rags of his shirt.
After some time, when the pain finally ebbed away, Carlos took his first good look around the place, based on where the sun wad it had to be early morning, he must have been out for at least a day. He was in some kind of stony bay with a very steep wall of ground filled with vegetation and rocks behind him, that is where he likely fell off from when he was running from his mother, it’s a miracle he survived, the protruding vegetation was likely what broke his fall and thus saved his life. On his right and in front of him there was only the sea and on his left laid a sandy road, that seemed untraveled by humans, the only way where he could go and based on those dark clouds approaching on the horizon he better get going fast.
Carlos looked to his right and grabbed the long branch which he noticed earlier and used it to stand up, with the makeshift walking stick in his hands he started his journey into the unknown wilderness on the Isle.
It was a few hours past noon when the sky fell down, Carlos managed to put a fair amount of distance between himself and the sea, so he was safe from the wrath of the huge waves that were sure to come with the storm, but the cold rain and harsh wind still caught up to him. The trees protected him a little, however he still had to find a place to wait out the end of the storm as it could take a few hours to a day and the more he was subjected to the harshness of the weather the less likely his chances of survival were.
He pushed himself up against to bark of a great tree as a sudden gust of wind almost pushed him to the ground. He gritted his teeth and was just about to take another step forward when he heard something. It was hard to make it out, Carlos thought it was just his imagination, exhaustion catching up to him when he heard it again, not far from his left. A howl. It was unmistakable.
His mother often imitated the hownling hounds when he was a child, telling him the big bad dogs would come for him and tear him apart limb from limb, eating his insides as if it was the most delicious food the ever eaten, after a while those imitations became reality, Horace’s and Jasper’s hunds barking and howling at him, one if them even taking a bite out of his jacket when he was ten.
The howling got louder, more desperate, but it wasn’t getting closer, it sounded almost like a plead for help? Running on some kind of unknown instinct and adrenaline Carlos started moving, the harsh wind and rain hitting him hard from the side, but he couldn’t stop, those howls, they sounded like his own cries, begging for someone to save him. (Oh how he begged, his mother, his unknown father, his... his friends, but noone came, it seemed loke noone actually gave a fuck about him!)
One step. Two step. Keep going. Muddy ground, dangerous, go around it. One step. Two step. A branch, careful of your head. One step. Two step. Three step. There.
Before he knew it Carlos was standing in a small clearing, where underneath a big bole laid a wolf, its fur was dirty, muddy and full of twigs, its white fur barely noticeable beneath all the dirt, the trunk of the tree pinned its back and left hind leg to the ground. With the rest of its paws, it was pawing the ground, trying to climb out, its maw opening in another heart wrecking howl. Carlos closed eyes with it, kind russet brown meeting intelligent wine red eyes.
Carlos lifted one of his hands, slowly reaching out, the wolf gave a warning growl that soon turned into a whine as the ground and the bole with it shifted pinning the wolf further down to the ground. Carlos pulled his hand back and shifted, looking for a way to get the wolf out. He noticed an opening between the wolf’s body and the fallen tree trunk where the ground shifted and used his makeshift walking stick to lift the bole as much as he could. It wasn’t much, the ground was muddy and slippery and Carlos was weak from exhaustion and his injuries. But it was enough.
The trunk was lifted, barely, but it was enough for the wolf to pull itself out using his front paws, just in time too as Carlos’s stick broke in half, letting the trunk fall back to the ground. Carlos, out of breath and shaking with fatigue and cold looked at the wolf, it was around 70 cm tall and a little more than a meter long, despite its size something told Carlos it was not fully grown yet, it was looking at Carlos as if it was deciding something.
Suddenly it moved, carefully not stepping on its hind paw and got into Carlos’s face, scared out of his mind and with no more adrenaline in his system Carlos waited the inevitable with held back breath, but the dreaded attack never came. Instead the wolf started nosing him, first his face, shoulders, hand, then it stopped at his injured feet. It seemed like the wolf made its decision as it tuned back to Carlos’s left armpit, trying to burrow its head there, Carlos lifted his arm and the wolf pushed its body there and the started lifting Carlos up from his sitting position.
„Oh my god.” – Carlos thought. „It’s trying to help me stand up.”
Carlos grabbed the broken in half stick, still long enough the support some of his weight, and with his left hand he held onto the wolf as he stood up, he put his weight on his right side as the wolf turned around underneath his left and then pushed its body into his side, trying to communicate something with him.
Understanding washed over Carlos as he once more looked into the wolf’s eyes and he grabbed its fur, leaning on it, both of them limping as they started walking towards where Carlos could barely make out the side of a small mountain.
The rain was still pouring as they reached the foot of the mountain, before them stood a small cave, almost hidden by the plants growing around the opening of it.
Carlos and the wolf limped inside and collapsed to the ground, it was cold but much drier than outside, the slope of the cave and the plants outside made it so the rainwater didn’t flow inside. Carlos tried to look around but it was so dark he could barely see anything, the wolf nosed his shoulder, offering body heat in exchange for body heat, Carlos took of his wet jacket and curled into the wolf’s side.
Finally, he gave into exhaustion and fell into a dreamless sleep.
Hi! I finally started working on this again, i will try to keep monthly updates but sorry if I'm a little all over the place as my life right now is pretty hectic.
Also, if you find any spelling or grammar errors please let me know.
Also. Carlos helped the wolf despite his fear on canines because he is 1, kind 2, saw himself in the wolf 2, he has animalistic tendencies/a pull towards canines (that his mother actually tried to scare and beat out of him from a young age bhecause of her hatred for dogs) which will be explained later on.