Ebbot city. Grease, smoke, and pollution is the only words that would use to describe the mass of clumped together buildings. Towers of concrete stand high into the smog. This was the dystopia they lived in. When monsters came out from the mountain, some things changed. Both good and bad. Their technology was cleaner and slowly, after the years go by, the smog vanished. Some humans were fine with them but many more didn't. They had to begrudgingly accept them into their society.
Just more racism. That was normal for humanity. Always sneering at things they do not understand. Standing over the streets was a figure in rags. Their orange hair hidden mostly by a grey beanie. A white long sleeved shirt fell around their body like a trash bag, concealing whatever gender they could be. Baggy cargo pants covered in dirt and ash. These clothes were not uncommon for one such as themselves. A person who dwells in the alleys and streets.
Night was falling upon the city and it was time for her to begin the prowl, searching for objects of value like a scavenging rat. Anything for her to be able to buy food and some better clothes. It was mid-fall and the weather was getting colder and colder. The human needed some jackets and blankets... both they need to buy unless they finds ones that were thrown out. Oh the joys of street life. The human jumped off the roof and slides down a drainpipe to land in a cold and damp alley. Under ruined boots, was a pile of dust.
A monster had been killed here. A pale hand scoops up the white powder and drops it into a small box, writing 'icecap' on the lid before closing it. The poor creature was attacked by a gang. Slaughtered in cold blood. It didn't feel right to leave the remains. It also didn't feel right to watch but they didn't have a choice. They were to weak to fight off a whole group.
After dropping off the box at the embassy, which looked like a courthouse, and writing the details of the event all over the cardboard sides, the human leaves. Their job begins now as the sun sets completely. As they walked around, a nice looking apartment complex caught their eye. On the third floor were potted echo flowers. Those things were expensive so whoever lived there must be rich. Rich enough to spare a few objects and not notice them.
The human gets a running start, the momentum carrying their feet up the wall just high enough to drab the bottom rails of the first balcony. They climb up to reach the second balcony. It was a struggle as the iron bars dug into their bare palms. They weren't smooth and round like the human was hoping. This better be worth it. Landing with a soft thud on the protruding concrete, they look around. The echo flowers were swaying in the light breeze. Through the clear glass doors, there was a visible living room. A very neat and cozy one as well as disappointingly normal.
But they still need to search. Taking a hair pin and thick needle from their pockets, they begin to work on the lock. It was going good so far. Door unlocked, no interruptions while climbing, everything was fine. Just one thing from this apartment should be needed. That was when the human spots it, an open box with a shiny gold heart locket with a ruby embedded at the center. It was beautiful and probably worth a lot of cash in a pawn shop.
Snatching the box up, they shoved it into their pocket and hurried to the door. But it was locked. How could that be? They picked it themselves and their wasn't a crim trap when she checked like the doors with handles on the outside only. Panic rose just as a low gravelly voice drawled behind them. "Hmmm. It seems a stray got in the house."
They whip around to come face to face with a very tall skeleton. They were short themselves but this monster towered higher than any human does over them. A single yellow eye glowed in the darkness, looking right through them. A crack travels up his skull from the right eye bridge and the same happens in reverse for the left eye. His hands had holes cut out in the palms. He was holding up his right and pointing at the door while it glowed with a yellow light.
"what's wrong little stray? cat got your tongue?" Was he seriously making cat puns right now? "so...." He leans forward and smirks. "how about you get your paws off of what doesn't belong to you boy." His voice shifted into a growl that made it hard to disobey. So, reluctantly, the human hands over the locket box. They turned to leave but the door was still locked. The skeleton grabbed their wrist and narrowed his sockets. It was odd how animated his face was despite being made of bone. “is this… dust?”
Their eyes follow to see that the monster powder had gotten on her sleeves while she was sweeping it up into the box. The single yellow eye seemed to light up more as he leaned closer. “you been killing monsters kid?” Suddenly the door to a bedroom opens, revealing a young child with brown bobbed hair. They stood there in blue pajamas and purple stripes.
The monster was distracted and they quickly turn around, unlocking the door, and leaping off the balcony. The rough landing sent a jolt of pain up their legs but ignored it to keep running. They kept running until they reached the familiar alley littered junction. They find one empty looking gap between buildings and decide to set up camp for the night. What that meant, was just to curl up and hopefully getting some sleep.
As they were just getting comfortable, four shadows came into their line of sight. Through the sleepy haze, they could tell that the shadow figures were four men. "Hey, I thought i saw something come in here."
"Yeah. Looks like a kid too." A light shined on them from a flashlight one man was holding.
"A kid with a pretty face." The fourth man walks over and grabs them by the wrist. To tired to fight back, they let it happen. "Interesting appearance... Is the hair and eyes natural?" It was obvious that he wasn't expecting an answer since he kept handling her like some new toy. "Exotic. It's hard to tell what you are though. You look like a boy but.... your face is so girly."
The first man laughed. "Maybe a tranny or cross dresser." Another set of hands pulls up heir tattered shirt in a tortuously slow pace. Before they got to the chest, the human began to kick and shout.
"Maybe your a girl after all. That's a rather cute voice you got there." Tears pooled in the corners of their eyes. A hand grabs the beanie on their head and it starts to get pulled. They were weak. These men were strong in numbers and strength. There was no escape. With a final cry, they called for help.
.... And someone came.
They were dropped on the unforgiving ground as the four captors fled the alleyway. Whoever it was that arrived scared them off without effort. But now the person would see them in a horrible state. Pants unbuttoned, shirt riding up to reveal the bottom half of chest wrappings, and long and uneven bright orange hair was sprawled out beneath her head. Ice blue eyes were dull as they tried to get their bearings. This human who was a woman. Not a young boy as they were able to pass off as, but a petite adult female.
"gee alley cat. i wasn't expecting this when i tailed ya." The gravelly familiar baritone made her tense up and curl into herself. She must look so pathetic to this man right now. She didn't have the strength to push away as he picked her up in his arms. Surprised that he was handling her gently as if she was a porcelain doll, she looked up. He noticed the movement of her head and looked down at her. "better thank the kid when i get home."
"Why?..." The woman lifted her hands in silent words, they shook from the remaining fear flowing through her system.
"because kitten, they just saved your life."
She was quiet the rest of the way.When he set her down on the dull brown couch in the living room, a small body slammed into her. A face of innocence stared up at her dirt covered one. Brown eyes meeting ice. This kid looked to be at least nine, maybe ten. Why were they crying. Hearing a cough, she looked up to see the skeleton eyeing her while lighting a cigarette. She rose her hands to sign. "Thank you..." Seeing the question in her eyes, the child answers.
They suddenly hugged her midsection and froze. "Sans! Why she so small here?" Without warning, the kid lifted her shirt to see er stomach, or the where it should be. She was thin from hunger and her ribs were showing and there was a cavern like dent where a belly should be pushing outwards. Hers were shrunken. Even if she tried to eat big meals, her body would reject more than half of it. She wasn't anorexic but maybe in a few years she would be. Her body will start eating itself alive, the fat disappearing like the fluid inside an IV sack. Eventually she will be only skin and one.
She blushed and grabbed the hem of her shirt to yank back down. The skeleton, she now knew as Sans, tilted his head. "malnutrition kid." He answers the child's question and chuckled at their blank look. "she doesn't eat a lot so she got really thin." The kid looks back up with a worried expression and then the monster. "Keep her!"
The woman blinked, startled from the order.. "you sure? it's not good to bring in mangy strays." Now she was being insulted. She isn't an animal despite the running theme of cat related phrases he's been using.
"Yeah! We can feed her, help her get better,. She not mangy, she just needs a lot of care to look nice again."
"Do I....have a choice?" She asked quietly.
The child just grins. "Nope!"
"forget about convincing them. they're very determined. anyway, the kid needs to get to bed before school. you sleep on the couch but only if you bathe. i don't want that dust on my furniture." He points at her sleeves. "you still haven't explained that."
"There was a gang...... near my alley where i slept last night. They killed an Icecap. After they left..." She tries to keep her hands from trembling too much. "I gathered the dust into a box and took it to the embassy. I wrote the name and what happened on it before leaving." She coughs again.
"why?" He now looked perplexed and confused and perhaps a little appreciative.
"He might have family waiting at home. If I had family, i would be wondering what happened. A human's body can be found....A monster is scattered to the wind and forgotten. It's worse to not know what happened, if their alive, if their kidnapped. The worst scenarios will run through my head and haunt me." She looked down.
Sans sighed and walked by, ruffling her tangled orange locks. "well. i guess your not so bad alley cat." She hissed at the nickname that seems to be sticking, only making the skeletal monster laugh. She huffs and leaves to go to the bathroom. To take her first shower in years.
When she got out, she wrapped a towel around her body and stood before the fogged mirror above the sink. A pale hand wiped away the cloudy layer but froze upon seeing herself. There was someone she hardly recognized staring back. Her hair even brighter after being cleaned, skin no longer smudged and covered with dirt. Under her right eye were three black dots. Birthmarks. Her air was odd. Her bangs were straight with a slight sideways curl to the ends and the long uneven locks behind her parted as it fell. Kind of like two low ponytails without being bound by any ties.
She hears a knock at the door and nearly jumps out of her skin. She quickly hides behind the shower curtain to conceal herself. Sans stood in the door frame with some folded clothes. "i don't have any clothes other than mine and the kid's, and i doubt you can fit theirs."
She grabs the clothes and he respectfully leaves to let her change. It was a a single large red sweater. the arms were so long on her that the cuffs were floppy pieces of cloth. She looks at herself in the mirror again and snickers. She was dwarfed by the shirt, making her look like a child wearing her father's shirt as a nightgown. Sans turned around and chuckled.
"shrimp." The human woman glared at him and crossed her arms. Sans took on a different expression as he looked closely at her. "so.... you sign, like your mute?" When she nodded, a hand slammed into the wall beside her. Her pale eyes widen as he grips her chin, lifted her face to keep eye contact. "no lying. i'm only keeping you here because the kid sees something in you. i have yet to be convinced." He leans back and his face becomes relaxed again. "so i suggest you don't lie the next time i ask you a question."
Nodding her head quickly and watched him leave. Her body slides down the wall as she releases a breath that she never knew she was holding. That guy was so unpredictable. One moment he was her victim, then savior, and now her watcher. She sits down on the couch and sighs. If she leaves, the kid will find her, and she'll be watched constantly if she stays. She runs a hand through her damp hair and growled just as Frisk walked into the living room just as she laid down on her side.
The child smiled and climbed up onto her sunken stomach, curling up in the yellow fuzzy blanket they had brought with them. "Name?" They ask while nuzzling their face into her borrowed sweater. It was cute. Her arm came up to hold them still so they wont roll off. Her fingers trace letters on Frisk's back. They giggle but still concentrate. "Jacinda? That's a pretty name." She traces another name. "Jace too? Oh I get it." They look up and smile but do not ask anything else.
Frisk fell asleep against her body which Jacinda cradled the blanket wrapped child into. Her eyes drifted shut as they kept getting heavier. Looking at an echo flower beside the sofa, she couldn't help but think of how beautiful a field of those luminescent blue flowers would look like. Monsters were lucky in that aspect. They had this place called Waterfall and Snowdin which she heard stories about. Walls that looked like the night sky and forests blanketed by snow.
She had never seen snow in person. Only in movies. As her consciousness drifts away, she imagines the world from the stories. Frisk's breathing lulling her into a dreamless rest.