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Muted by Hope

Chapter Text


 

   

 

   

 

   

 

"Lou, dearie?"

Turning my head from the large masses of books I was currently organizing. My baby blues meet Mrs. Lynch, my current boss.

Mrs. Lynch is a newly widow. 

Her husband died about four months ago due to a robbery at this very shop. Leaving her with his second most prized possession... this bookstore.

"Yes, Mrs. Lynch." I sign.

Carefully descending from the high ladder. Placing several hardcover copybooks on a nearby table, then facing the sweet older woman.

Mrs. Lynch knows part of the reason of why I am mute.

I, myself not being able to tell the full story without the fear of my nightmares worsening, but I think she understood the gist of what happened.

I should also add the fact that she's also taking classes to study sign language to better communicate with me. Seeing as I can hear what the other persons saying, I just can't relay the message properly.

Slowly, did she stand to greet me.

Hobbling towards my small frame with her cane.

"I know that it's almost time for you to clock out of this worn out place.-" she trials off. Voice brittle and smile forced.

I frown at the saddening sight with knitted brows. She's such a beautiful being; wanting nothing more than the presence of another body. An animate being.

Mrs. Lynch was an old woman, not the kind you pity with their old bones and feeble limbs, but the kind who could still run an army kitchen given half a chance.

She stood quite tall and slim, her long grey hair neat and likely styled with old fashioned rollers, the kind women used to sleep in.

Her face is made up with discrete make-up except her lips that are cherry red. Were she any paler her mouth would be garish, but against her sun-kissed skin it looks right.

When she extends her hand to take mine I see the soil beneath her finger nails. A gardner, I mentally note. Then notice her neck scarf, patterned with small roses. I'll bet she had the best front yard on her street back in the day.

There was strength and logic in her emerald eyes and a proud carriage shown in her stature as she continues,

"B-but I wanted... you can decline if you'd like, but I wo-uld certainly love for you to join me for a cup of Darjeeling black tea, along with homemade strawberry short-cake." she squeaks. Dejectedly dropping her head and staring at the wooden floorboards.

Avoiding my line of eyesight as she speaks ever so softly.

All essence of courage and self confidence now entirely dismissed and dare I quote, “thrown out the window.”

Oh, goodness bless her!

There the despondent woman stood, nibble fingers gently grazing at rosy checks with the backs of my hands.

"Hey.”  I sign. Lifting her head up to meet my gaze. “Look at me.”

"Like I said before..." she halts. Eyes the color of deep forest pools trailing away from my gaze.

"You can say no." she shakily reminds. Throat constricting and unshed tears stinging at amber eyes.

"I was once a teen myself, you know." She smiles a smile that paints a ray of sunshine all over her puss.

"You lot love to party and have your fun with people your own day & age." she recites. Voice cracking as she allows the tears to spring free.

Her tear stained face does something to me and without thinking I inch towards the weeping woman.

"Don't cry, love." I sign.

Bringing her in for a cuddle in the fold of insubstantial arms, before removing myself from our impassioned embrace.

"You promised tea." I sign. Smirking at her obvious shock as she abruptly backs away. Clearly astounded by my wordless comment.

"You... you mean you'll stay?" she wearily queries.

As if I'm merely saying the words I, myself; think she wants to hear. But that delusional statement is far from the truth.

"Hey now, I don't joke about my tea." I sign with an unimpressed brow.

Who could ever abandon such a beautiful individual.

Smirking I take hold of her hand; leading the way to the backroom of the bookstore & up the hidden staircase, where she unlocks the front door of her home.

We make our way pass the living room. Heading towards the kitchen where she makes me sit at the plush dining chair. Elbows off the table.

"How many slices?" she's quick to animate. Leaning her cane against the wall, where she hobbles to the kitchen counter.

There she stands, removing the glass dome from the cake stand. Tittering to herself as she does so.

The mouth watering smell of fresh strawberries wafting through the air causes my stomach to ache if only just a bit.

"Three; pretty please?" I sign, sneaking up behind her.

 Snagging a sample of the soft piece of heaven from the platter.

"Hey you pig!" she chuckles. Playfully swatting away my grubby hands and pinching at my sides.

"Here piglet." she smiles. Handing me three slices.

Graciously do I retreat with my coronal towards my throne.

Once seated Mrs. Lynch returns with a porcelain tea set and her own slice of cake. We take a moment to thank our god and savior for all he has done; bowing our heads in a moment of silence.

So far I haven't yet sneaked a second taste of the pastry that I know will someday be the death of me, for mother taught me to never stuff your face until everyone's present at the table & grace has been said.

And goodness, I never wanted to do such unspeakable things to a pastry dish in all my 22 years of life! But today I-

"What are you waiting for piglet?" a voice to my left rings out.

Effectively clearing my head of such inhumane thoughts of having my way with a damn dessert platter.

"Dig in!" the voice, who I can now make out as Mrs. Lynch chirps.

Devilishly smirking whilst simultaneously sipping at her tea. And, she didn't have to tell me twice.

I react almost immediately.

Gingerly cutting off a small bite and lifting it towards my mouth.

Pure euphoria!

The first flavor to unfold on my tongue was the sweetness of the whipped cream. Quickly followed by the exquisite- delectable, flavor of the cloud like cream.

The coolness of the strawberries and heat of the cake complemented one another perfectly & only served to bring out the subtle flavor of the cake itself.

'Oh my goodness, this tastes so good!' my taste buds sing-song, as I get high off the sugary drug.

'What did I do to deserve such grace from this magnificent being?' my thoughts question to no one but myself.

But I'm to far gone in the narcotics heavenly feel to even provide myself with an answer.

I scooped up another bite to replace the one which was quickly dissolving in my mouth, and then another.

Before I knew it, all that remained on my plate were crumbs.

Regrettably do I pout at the now empty plate.

Momentarily disgruntled- disappointed that I'd eaten three whole slices at such a fast pace.

My eyes shifting from the cake platter to my empty dish.

'I should have eaten them much slower than I did!' I whine to myself. Crossing my arms with narrowed irises.

"Now, now my precious piglet. Don't you go huffing at the dish." she giggles.

Dainty hands covering her grin. My glare softening at such an adorable gesture.

"Would you like another slice?" she smirks once again with knowing eyes.

"Please!" I sign, enthusiastically. Happy to be receiving a fourth slice of the delicious pastry.

"Well of course you can little one. If you'd recall I did promise cake." she says. Placing another slice in front of me.

"And tea," I sign. Smiling at the mesmerizing way her eyes visibly crinkle at the corners.

The wrinkles on her face telling stories of the most incredible journeys all ranging from love to laughter.

The small act alone once again aiding me in the decision to stay another hour or two, just to get but a second glance at such comeliness.

"You also promised tea!"

 

 

Chapter Text


 

    

 

    

 

 

I walked down the road with my earbuds in. Listening to pop rock song, 'Adventure Of A Lifetime' by Coldplay.

Bopping my head to the beat without a care in the world until... uneasiness.

I feel as though I'm being watched, as I walk into an alley way. Venturing through the passage of void.

Trembling as it opens up and swallows all that is uncertain.

Casting out all that is unseen and feared.

The end is near. It is lurking within the darkness of this alley.

' AAAAAHhhhh.

RUN!

Get out while you can! ', my thoughts shout.

I wish to turn back but this is the quickest route to get me home.

'Why didn't I just drive my car to work, instead of walking?' I mentally whine.

Through my uneasiness, I can feel something calling me here.

Tugging at both my heart and soul.

Whatever it is, it needs help.

It needs me...

And so, I carry on.

My heart pounding.

Hammering against the walls of my chest with such intensity, I was sure it'd broken a rib or two.

I tried to ignore my fears, if only just this once.

Concentrating only on walking in a straight line.

But each and every time my vans scraped against the gritty pavement, I was sure it was the sound of someone else's.

I glance over my shoulder. Catching shadows as they danced on the walls of the alleyway.

Forming creatures I dare not look in the eye.

The pebbles beneath my feet getting thrown together. The sound of boots grating into the pavement right behind me.

Everything sounded menacing...

The sound of a siren far off somewhere, singing like the wails from a thousand tortoured souls.

I felt like screaming.

Crying. Running!

Anything to get out of this alley.

Out of the dark.

I started to walk faster, even though it made more noise. However, noise wasn't something I could handle at the moment.

I bit back the shriek that inflated at the back of my throat that alas, wouldn't be heard anyway. Seeing as I'm a mute...

The lump expanded.

Making it even harder to breathe past than what I would have liked.

I brought my hands to my heart. Trying to work it down, but couldn't steady it long enough to do much of anything.

'Your going to die!' my thoughts scream at me once more. And, why the hell did I not drive here again!?

I make the mistake of glancing over my shoulder once more and... nothing.

There was nothing to turn to in my findings and I'm even more frightened than before.

What were those footsteps stalking behind me just a while ago? I couldn't have imagined that, could I?

There's no way in hell I did. Unless...

He's back!

The little drummer boy in my chest pounded out a melody in my ear, more random and crazy than a steady beat.

I demanded that it slow, but it did no such thing.

I couldn't help it.

I was terrified. Petrified even! And so,

I ran.

Tears streamed down my pale face as I sped through the alley in a flash.

The faster I ran, the quicker the tears cascaded down flushed-blotchy cheeks.

I could hear the heavy footsteps quickening their pace.

'Oh god please. No!' I inwardly screech.

I didn't want Him to get me.

I don't want Him to have me.

I don't want to be His treasure. His jewel. His love.

I've only just been released from my cage and I don't plan on returning. Ever.

In my haste to get away, my foot caught onto something other than the pavement and from there I went airborne. Landing facedown.

It happened so fast that I was hitting the ground by the time I realized I had tripped. But on what? was the question.

Having no time to brace myself at all, I landed hard.

Getting the wind knocked out of me.

I was bleeding all over (side, hip, forearms, wrists, and hands). I was confused.

Disoriented. And didn't know what had happened.

My stomach churned over and I felt sick for a brief moment. And then contact...

My hands grazing along the damp flooring.

Sun kissed skin tearing from where they lay.

Pain screaming through my palms in the most horrible sting. My head bumping and arm doing so shortly afterwards.

Everything hurt!

Slowly, did I stagger onto my feet. Body screaming in protest.

Glancing downward I make out the faint outlines of a bulky figure wrapped up in tattered bed sheets, in such a dark and ominous place.

It's probably a damn sculpture or something of the sort.

I kick at the blasted thing.

'Fuck you!' I mentally curse at the object that caused me to have such an awful fall.

I go to do it again but stop myself from doing so. Because,

whatever this was didn't feel like hardened clay.

No, whatever the hell it was felt... felt human... almost.

Oh my god what if it's like the rotting corpse of a dead body!

Like what if a murderer had like Necrophilia or something; and has a pathological fascination with dead bodies.

I know I shouldn't be fascinated by this theory, but for the life of me; I need to know if my suspicions prove true.

With shaky hands and a deep breath, slowly do I pull back tattered old sheets. Fear being both friend aswell as enemy.

Tugging down the sheet, what peeks out first is an unruly mess of curls.

Oh my goodness.

'It's fresh!' My thoughts shout.

Curious to see more. Even though I'm practically shitting my pants.

'Please don't be too disfigured.'

'Please don't be too disfigured.' I mentally chant over and over again.

Hoping that those five words would grant my wish and come true.

Again my hands find their way onto the old fabric.

Tugging the sheet down with such force; I feel as though I've dislocated my shoulder.

Hissing at the sharp pain in my left shoulder blade, I drop to the ground with a heavy thud.

'Ow shit... fuck...Ouch!' I mentally whine.

Dammit! I think I've somehow managed to pop my arm out of it's socket as I try to use my injured limb to help me find footing; but to no avail.

A pathetic whimper finds it's was past thin lips when trying to stand upright. This time using my good arm.

It's a struggle but I manage. Sitting on the backs of my legs. I grapple with trying to take in air.

The pain being too much to handle.

'I'm going to have to pop it back into place when I make it back to the flat.' I groan at the thought. Slowly raising my head. Eyes meeting a sleeping face.

It's a young boy. Probably about 16 or 17 years of age. He's got curly hair and his nose... a bit crooked.

Even in the slumped form, I could tell he was very tall- lean with long arms and legs.

I've got this feeling that whenever he'd walk, his strides would doubtedly be graceful.

My eyes traced the strangers slender- lofty figure, from the disarray of messy brown hair down to the worn out converses; that were at least two sizes too big in comparison to my own.

Though scruffy, I couldn't help but think this boy was beautiful.

Breath-taking in each and every way.

I was star-struck.

Enraptured...

Gaze unmoving from the sleeping beauty until a sudden thought emerges from the strange & mysterious place; that is my brain.

'Why would such a boy be sleeping in an alley way surrounded by rubble and debris?' I wonder to myself.

'Why isn't he home?'

'Where's his family?'

'Are they even looking for him?'

'Hell. Is he even alive?!'

Those were but a few of the many mind boggling questions running throughout my mindset. And I pray the last two prove true.

Cradling my shoulder with my right hand I inch closer to the motionless boy.

Heart racing, body shaking, palms sweaty, and gingers numb, I reach out.

Index finger poking at the boys face.

Praying he'd open his eyes. But alas,

it does nothing.

I must be too late.

I've tried everything from snapping my fingers, playing loud music, and lightly slapping him across the face.

Nothing is working and the nighttime air is hitting me hard.

I get quite moody when I'm cold and I think that's it.

I've literally tried everything I could think of, but-

'He's gone. I tried... god, I tried so hard. But I couldn't help him!' the thought of this young boy lying dead makes me weep.

Tears prickling at my eyes as I slowly and carefully rise to my feet. Steadily walking away from the scene.

I reach a street lamp.

The dim glow shinning over me as if they were spotlights from the theoretical play that is my life.

I'm at a loss. Conflicted.

I know I should leave and go home to the comfort of my bed; but my legs refuse move.

It's like my minds telling me to go, but my heart begs to differ.

Looking over my shoulder, I peer into the darkness.

The boy is still there. Having not moved an inch.

Having not opened those eyes of his.

I can't leave him.

Try as I might, I just can't. The guilt... it'd eat me alive if I did such a terrible thing.

So, in my fit of worry I do as my heart apprises.

Walking back into the blackness.

Slowly approaching the boy with a few stumbles here and there, do I stand above him.

Watching with slight caution as his face holds no emotion.

Neither a twitch, nor spasm.

No movement of his chest rising & falling with each intake of air. And again my thoughts begin to wonder,

'just how far was the depth of his oblivion?'

This was a body totally at peace. At one with itself.

Simply at rest.

'Maybe he's unconscious.' my thoughts voice.

Yes. Maybe that's it.

Maybe he's not dead just... sleeping.

It is quite chilly tonight and now that I think about it, he might be a run away being that he does appear to be that of a minor... if that baby face of his is anything to go by.

Or he could even be just a homeless teen. No matter situation, I knew I couldn't leave this alley without him.

This was my pledge to him.

Crouching with my knees bent, I sit the boy up straight.

Back against the wall. Wrapping his arm over my shoulder.

I stood slowly.

Allowing the unconscious lad to support himself on my good side.

I undergird his weight on the flank without much injury.

Holding his hand around my shoulders with the palm furthest from him. The other wrapping its way around his waistline as we travel along the path of life and light.

Though I may not have much idea of what lies further down the road, around the next corner, or what our final destination will be... I knew we had enough to help us take the next step.

Home.

Chapter Text


      

     

 

     

 

It's been four days. Four fucking days and he hasn't moved an inch.

What if he's dead!

What if he was dying the night I found him and I, being the idiot that I am was too dense enough to notice and take him to a hospital. You know.

A place where sawbones,― medically trained physicians, could run tests that could deduce whatever the heck happened to him that night.

It'd be my fault he died. As there will be no one else to blame besides myself at this poor child's treacherous demise.

Oh no. . .I'm a murderer.

A butcher!

I killed a man. And now I'm going to go to jail to become some alpha-like prisoners bitch.

I don't want to get gang banged by a herd of ruffians!

What would the boys think?

Liam being the only individual in our quartet that'd actually care about my well-being and would truly try, with all his might, to bail me out.

While Nialler on the other hand would most likely do something illegal to get himself into jail. And from there, make up some bullshit plan on escaping, that'd no doubt fail, need I add.

And Zayn. . .- wellhe'd just Zayn.

I whine. Burying my face into delicate hands, as I dejectedly curl myself into a compact ball of despair.

The soft, tight, V-neck t-shirt steadily rides up my backside. Making the lacey, see-through, black panties I'm wearing even more prominent to any and all onlookers.

But, the only people present in this particular room are that of myself and this maybe/ maybe not so dead boy.

Sighing, I peer through partially impaired fingers to look across the room at my unidentified stranger.

My discovery being just as I expected it to be.

The boy shows no sign of movement as he lies here across my living room couch.

I have not changed nor touched the decalmed form, in fear of him suddenly awakening.

Having a bit of a fright at a stranger feeling at his naked body.

I do not wish to be labeled as some sort of pervert or molester, as I am neither.

I am but a simple 21 year old university student, who coincidentally is mute with a bad childhood. Annnd, may or may not have a possibly dead― underage teen lying about in his home.

See...? Totally normal.

I groan, though internally as I lift myself up into a seating position.

Sitting pretzel-style. Thinking of how I'm possibly going to explain this all to the cops. Or better yet, the guys.

They'd kill me if they saw the unconscious lad in my living space.

In my home.

Or. . ., they'd be willing to help me dispose of the body.

How does that one saying go?

'Friends help you move. But, true friends help you move dead bodies.'

The sudden hollow echo of knuckles rapping against my front door standing high and mighty just a few square feet away from us catches my attention. Making all thoughts of removing said evidence run dry.

Okay the first. Definitely the first!

"Lou. It's me and the guys." comes a loud and cheerful voice of whom I immediately make out as, Niall fucking Horan.

"Open up. It's movie night and I brought your favorite...-" he sing-sings.

Voice edging several octaves higher as be reaches the end of his sentence, when he shouts the words.

"Maltesers icecream!"

Effectively deafening the apartments entire 3rd floor tenants.

And might I take the time to congratulate such great timing they have; those three.

I mean really. What were the odds of-

'Wait, nows not the time to be joking about Louis William!

Need I remind you that you do have a possibly dead teenager lying in your home', my thoughts begrudgingly remind me. And, o'yeah. Dead boy. . .

-shit!

What to do?

What the hell do I do!

Blood pounded in the back of my head.

I could feel my body tremble with immense fear as quivering hands clutched at my sides. My body curling in on itself.

My vision, hazy― swimming almost.

It was too much.

Too much!

I realized panic had set in. But had no idea how to calm myself.

My heart was racing a mile a minute. I had trouble breathing. Let alone trying to figure out what rational (or in this case, baseless) motives should be carried out next.

But, the one thing I did know was; I had to hide the body.

 

-- More knocking sounds throughout the quaint apartment --

 

My eyes dart around the room. As restless as they were.

Trying in their behold to find a good location to store him away. That is, until the trio of semi-unwanted guest's left for home.

'Why did I bring him here again?'  I question to no one but the thickening air surrounding me.

Why couldn't I have just left him there. Or just simply told the cops that there was an child lost in the murky streets of an ominous alleyway, or. . .- something?

Now I'm going to be known throughout this godforsaken town as, "Lou the Loon!"

The crazy― psychopath, that keeps possibly dead teenaged boys on his living-rooms couch for almost four fooking days!

Static blues dart around the room in search of a possible hiding place. Casting eyes leading me nowhere.

There isn't anywhere in this blasted room I can put the body.

He's too fucking tall and lanky. And just....- aargh !!!

'Evaporate tall person!' I inwardly mock with an overly exaggerated wave of my hand.

Recreating the actions as seen in the mystical movie, Harry Potter. But alas, it doesn't work.

Dammit.

Fuck you, Hermione Granger!

"Lou! I know you're home, just― ." Zayn huffs but gets cut off by Liams worry.

"Knock once if everything's okay and your just simply putting away your collection of diamond embedded butt plugs."

I blush at the remembrance of being caught red handed in the act of opening myself up with the 5.5 inch toy.

That was a secret between Liam and myself as he vowed to never utter a word about that fateful moment in time ever again.

But alas, the cat was now out of it's bag now wasn't it.

I could do nothing but await the impending reverberate of laughter that would soon emit from both Zayn and Nialls mouths.

I could feel my cheeks getting hotter & hotter, and for a brief moment I wondered if anyone else was as mortified as I was to of heard of such an scandal.

That was until, those feelings of mortification and chagrin faded into that of thin air as neither chortle nor words of disdain where thrown my way.

No, instead there was silence as deep as death.

The only sound heard was that of Liam's, as his timbre drops an octave or two. Filling in the atmosphere with a sudden abundance of peal as he speaks.

"Knock twice if your hurt or something. Because if you don't Louis William, I swear I'll destroy your damn door!" he bellows.

The ever dotting father of our group showing his true form. And at that,

I knock once. Quickly shuffling over to the immobile teen.

Trying to haul him off the couch, but fail as his body will not for the life of all things equal, budge.

But does this stop me?

No!

Scurrying over, I move towards his lower waist. Tugging at his legs.

I pull, harder than that of my feeble arms strength would allow me to. Finally succeeding in the task of getting him off the couch.

But all doesn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped, when 'dead boy'  falls atop of me.

Making us both land onto the cold- hard, floor boards just below are current seating with a sickening, loud―

'Smack!'

My body immediately feeling the pain & weight the taller lad causes me to have.

I grit my teeth in twinge at the feeling of irritation and discomfort in my shoulder. And it's just my luck when another round of wild― erratic knocks begin to deliver themselves onto my front door.

"Louis!?" three voices shout in union.

Landing blow after blow on my poor, innocent door.

"Tommo!" Liams voice comes through the doorway.

The thumping against my door having let up, if only just a bit.

"Lou, what was that noise!? Please say... do something. Anything... just... please. Open the damn door!" Liam whines.

The once timber voice quakes over a few words.

Suddenly, there was a loud series of desperate knocks at my front door. Five quick―sharp raps were sounded.

"Try the knocking thing again. It'll let us know your alright. Just please, please I need to know if you're okay, Lou!" Liam pleads.

Voice pale & the very fact saddens me.

I feel sick and disgusted with myself for making the boys― especially Liam, worry about my safety. But,

I can't open that door!

At least not yet.

Thrusting ''dead boy'' aside, I swiftly rise to my feet.

Firmly grasping his legs, I drag him out of the living room and into the confides of my bedroom.

Glancing around I take note of the large wardrobe I have positioned on the far right side of my room. Its full of random little knickknacks like board games, films, and my vast collection of onesies & oversized jumpers.

The perfect place to put 'em.

Just then a loud 'bang' echoes throughout the apartment. Annnd, what the hell!?

They're intentionally trying to break my damn door down?

Did they forget I have a spare key just under the welcome mat. Or...

No, scratch that. I'm glad they forgot.

Buys me more time to dispose of the kid. Well, at least until they leave for home.

'Which will be the following morning.' my thoughts remind me. To which I'll say once more,

damn you movie night with friends!