Times Running Out

Chapter 28 - "Oh goody! Food stuffs!"

Zac paled as he heard two quiet voices in the upper level part of the cabin. The words were garbled and hushed so he couldn't understand a word they said but the tone of voice convinced him it wasn't the best news in the world. He sighed and burrowed back against Bob and Dave. He'd decided to offer Isaac a little space for a short while as a sort of thanks for having been there for him for so long. He'd been surprised at how safe he felt with Bob and Dave. He'd been expecting to be getting no sleep and no thinking time because he'd be so scared. He smiled softly and relaxed, letting sleeps soft touch caress his eyelids.


Taylor cast a weary glance at the sick, sleeping figure to his right. He pressed his hand against Star's forehead and cringed at the angry heat that bit at his hand.
"What the heck.... why's she so sick?" His eyes unfocussed for a moment as his head swirled with dizziness. He winced in pain and pressed his fingers to his temple and waited out the spell, feeling heavy sleepiness sneaking up on him.
"No!" He cried, standing up slowly, forcing himself to walk around the room to quell the overpowering urge to sleep, "Ungh..." He moaned, pressing his head against a cool wall that suddenly appeared before him. He sighed and closed his eyes and heard a scuffling movement nearby and froze. He pried his eyes open and peeked at the door. Still closed. He then turned to the bed to find Star in a slightly different position.
"Crap..she's moving." He thought, not really wanting to deal with her hallucinations at moment. He watched as she shifted again and again and once again while she started moaning softly.
"Star…wake up, come on wake up." He ordered her half-heartedly.
He slapped her cheek a few times before giving up. He crept to the door and knocked softly as anger gnawed on him. Being in this room with Star was the last thing that he wanted at this moment and Bill hadn't left any water or food to subdue his thirst or hunger.
He thought he heard somebody outside his door but he heard footsteps going in the general direction of the basement.
"Gawwwwwwd...I'm so hungry!" He complained in a loud voice, automatically flinching and grabbing his head from the throb, "Stupid!" He hissed at himself.


Zac's eyes shot open. The door that led upstairs had opened and a figure was standing there. He glanced around to see if the others were up yet and noted with a certain amount of anxiety that they weren't. He started breathing rapidly and he felt himself whimper more then he heard it. The figure started down the stairs quietly and stopped often, checking his footing before he finally reached the bottom. Zac squealed quietly and tried to melt into Isaac so he could become invisible. None of the others awoke from the proceedings.
"Please go away..please go away." Zac chanted in a tiny whisper, knowing the man couldn't hear him. He wanted desperately to wake Isaac up to make him feel safer in an environment none of them had any control in, but he knew any movement would attract unwanted attention. He wanted somebody to wake up and help rid him of the raw, overwhelming terror he felt growing in his stomach. The urge to run was on the edge of breaking loose but only his bruised and battered body prevented him from doing it. That and he had very few options to where he could actually run to.
Just as soon as the dark figure appeared he melted away quickly up the stairs and the door locked shut with a tiny 'snick' and that left Zac with a tight feeling of nausea caressing his throat. He tried to will it away but nothing would work. The helplessness that he felt combined with the fear of being beaten again got the best of him as he stumbled clumsily, and agonizingly, to the corner farther from the crowded mattress and began heaving. His loud noises and pained coughing alerted his brothers of the goings on as all five swarmed around him. He felt a pair of arms wrap around his stomach to hold him up and a pair on each arm, and yet another holding back his hair, and finally, as though not to be left out, the last set began rubbing his back through a tiny space the other bodies didn't occupy. Finally, the feeling passed and he collapsed backwards and inwards at the same time into the bodies that were still supporting him and he started sobbing loudly. He felt like he was trying to throw his insides up and he'd felt like he wasn't going to be able to breathe ever again. He coughed loudly, wincing immediately and cried out for Taylor, forgetting he wasn't there at the moment.
"He's not here Zac man." A heavy sigh, "Come on, let's get you back to the mattress."
Zac tried not to cry out again the pain his family's hands on bruises and wasn't able to when he pleaded, in loud screams, to be set down. He was surprised and angered he wasn't listened to and started squirming.
"We're almost there, hang tight bud." Dave's caring voice came in.
Zac stifled a scream of agony one last time as the hands moved to different positions and suddenly his back met the cool surface of the padded mattress and his tears turned from cries of pain to tears of relief. He felt the side of the padding sink down a little as somebody sat next to him and he growled and punched the outstretched leg and he grinned in gloomy humor as the person, Bob, squealed in protest and in the near-pitch black darkness, Zac observed a wide open mouth.
Scott's voice jumped in, "What was that?" He questioned in confusion.
"Zac just punched me!" Bob tattled.
Zac rolled his eyes and replied, "Nothing against Bob alone fellas, but you should've listened to me! That hurt!" He sulked.
Bob 'humphed' and made room for Dave and Isaac to embrace him gently and drift back to sleep. All the boys in the room fell asleep hearing muttering from Bob about his leg being permanently damaged from Dave's run in a couple days prior and now from this. Nobody noticed the tray of food lying near the steps and Zac had forgotten all about it.


"Wake up! Come on, Star wake up! Please stop! WAKE UP! Star!" Taylor was panicking. Star had broken free of her restraints once and one of her legs had flung up and hit his neck with great force and Taylor could still feel the hot pain against his neck. He was worried about it happening. He guessed he suffered a very minor concussion because his headache was pretty dull and his vision hadn't swum around for quite some time. Now he wasn't just tired mentally, his body cried for sleep and watching Star through the night wasn't going to get rid of his sleep deprivation. Star's temperature wasn't going down any either and he was tempted to open the window on the other side of the small room. It wasn't anywhere near big enough to fit through, barely head sized to conserve heat, and Bill had warned him about going near it.
"Jesus, Star! Wake up! COME ON!" He yelled loudly, pressing his hands against her shoulders after crossing the room in one quick stride. He felt tears of frustration well up and he turned around and plopped his butt into a small recliner near the dresser.
"Dresser... hmmm..." His mind grew curious as he stood up and peeked at the door.
"No sign of that sucker opening up." He concluded. He opened the top drawer and his eyes bugged out of his head as he covered his mouth and slammed the small compartment shut and started giggling like a child. After he got over his initial shock, he reopened the drawer and looked in one more time to be sure he saw what he saw.
He picked up the object and read the title off the cover, "Playboy." He looked calm for a moment before bursting out in quiet laughter and tossing the magazine back in the large pile of them and moving on to the next cabinet, still chuckling. He had a long night ahead of him and humor would help pass the long hours.


Dave rolled over, snoring loudly and abruptly jerked his head up, spitting out long blond hair in the process.
"Just what I love to wake up to.... Hanson hair in the mouth." His mind grumbled. He sat up slowly and shook himself awake, scratching at the stubble that was fast turning into a longish goatee and felt a little pity for Scott, who's facial hair was growing in faster and fuller then his and the other two-thirds of the triplets. At least the Hanson brothers' facial fuzz was growing in slower and thinner.
"Danish decent.... ya gotta love it!" His mind spat at him sarcastically. Finally, he pulled himself to his feet and rushed to the corner Zac had thrown up in the night before and cringed when he saw there was nothing to go the bathroom in. He did a quick exploration of the room and found a few things that might have been useful.had he been having a garage sale; Broken toaster, broken lamp shade, a pillow with a massive rip in it, an empty watering can.. "Hey now!" He grabbed the can and ran back to the corner and sighed softly as his bladder emptied. He observed the can and saw with dread that it wouldn't hold much more.
As he was walking back to the group of sleeping teenagers the tip of his foot hit the edge of something square and of medium size. He knew it wasn't there when he went to sleep so he bent over to investigate the object. He put his hand in the middle of the object and his finger grossly sank into something soft. He cried out in disgust and pulled back so he was standing.
"Dave...?" A groggy voice asked, sounding concerned.
"It's ok.just.hang on." He mumbled, bringing his hand near his face. His eyes opened wide in pleasure and shock as he licked his finger clean of the scrambled eggs. He dropped to all fours and grabbed the tray, bringing the bountiful food source to his brothers.
"Guys, hey guys wake up! Food!" He announced loudly.
At the mention of food all the sleeping figures stopped sleeping and jerked up with the lone exception being Zac, who was unable to sit up. His stomach burned from the workout it was put through the previous night and he had to hold his hands up to Dave and Clint, who yanked him to his feet.
"What do we got guys?" He questioned, fairly cheerful.
"Edibles." Dave let him know.
"Oooh, goody! Food stuffs." He sank back to his rear near to small tray and looked up at Isaac and Scott expectantly.
He was looked at in confusion before he finally let them know they had to say 'grace'.
"Oh! Right." Isaac smiled.
Five minutes later, the tray was emptied of its cold contents and the boys all crowded around the mattress, belches issuing forth with amazing frequency. Zac let out a particularly loud burp and began giggling before he cringed in good-humored pain, giggles still passing over his lips.
"Zac...quit, you're gonna hurt yourself." Isaac reprimanded him lightly, smacking his shin softly. Zac giggled in response.
"Hey, didn't I tell you to stop doing that ya little punk?" Isaac tried again.
Zac opened his mouth one final time to burp as he felt a large amount of air roaming around his stomach. The sound of the gaseous air escaping Zac's throat drowned out the sound of the door opening and the peals of laughter didn't allow them to hear the stumbling feet on stairs until it was too late. Taylor was thrown right in the middle of the laughing pack as Bill turned straight around and ran up the stairs before the boys could react.
"Oh God, Tay!" Isaac breathed, sitting up to examine his downed sibling.
Taylor's eyelids flickered open as he said, "Lemme alone guys. I've been awake all night. Lemme sleep."
Taylor summoned up enough energy to wrap his arms around Isaac and Zac before passing from the world of alertness into the land of nod.
Ike and Zac looked at each other for a moment before smiling sadly. They were about to move him when the door opened yet again and Bill walked down with a gun. Suddenly, the young men in the room stilled as their hearts picked up speed.
"Don't try anything. This is his since you ate his share." Bill pushed a bowel of something towards them with his foot and said something else, "Tony and Star are separated upstairs. There's no way in hell either of them are coming back down with you idiots. You're all gonna be together when you go back to Mac's cabin." He jogged back up the steps and the door shut, bathing the guys in darkness.
"That was different." Scott chimed in.
"I don't wanna go back over there." Clint stated. He confused himself by saying that.
Zac cocked an eyebrow, "Come again?"
"I…I dunno. This guy's been tons nicer then the jack-ass squad ever was. With Tony and Skanky-Star gone, it's been pretty cool over here." He defended himself.
Isaac smiled and nodded his head, "For once, I'm actually gonna agree with you bass man."
Bob smiled at that and bent down to observe a sleeping Taylor. He had big black circles under his eyes, but a faint grin stuck out on his lips.
"Wonder what he's thinking about..." Bob voiced.
They couldn't know and wouldn't know until Taylor awoke, but the top drawer incident was still stuck in his mind.

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