Everything felt like a raging inferno, threatening to swallow Alstromeria whole.
Breathing shallow, the small pink wyngling cracked open his eyes, only for stars to fill his vision as his head spun. He let out a feeble, drawn out moan of pain.
Hot. It burned.
Sweat slicked his ragged fur as Alstro's mouth hung open, gasping for air. It hurt so much; everything was sheer agony, even breathing felt like razor bladed raking against his throat.
“Mother…! He's awake…!”
The faint call of another Wyngro got his attention, and Alstro barely managed to move his eyes to see a familiar blue wyngling making their way towards him.
He remembered this wyngling…
He had met him in the Nook. Where… where was he now?
He remembered it being hot, so very hot. And he remembered this wyngling…
But nothing else was able to be dragged from his weakened mind.
Alstro's eyes widened as a sudden bile rose in his throat, and his vision filled with black tears as he coughed up a thick vat of blood. The bitter taste filled his senses, and he curled in on himself, heaving as more and more blood came out, staining the blankets black and red.
Now; even now, when he was suffering this torture, he could hear them.
No one wants you here.
No one loves you.
Everyone would be happier
“Hey… are you okay? Mother!”
Alstro barely registered the blue biped that strode into the room, freezing once they made eye contact. She looked very nervous. Was it because of him?
I understand… Alstro thought bitterly. No one likes to see me. No one wants to see me.
“Hey you two,” the biped mumbled nervously, never breaking eye contact with Alstro. “Do you... need anything? I can get some water if you’re thirsty, you should try to stay hydrated.” She looked away after that, smoothing out her ruffled feathers.
Alstro tried to say something. He was so thirsty, it felt like his throat was on fire! But instead of words, all that came out of Alstro's mouth was thick clots of tar colored blood. He wanted to throw up; nausea wracked at his insides, but his stomach was empty for so long… he had thrown up so many times. All he could muster was a weak gagging sound, his sides heaving as his whole body shuddered and shivered.
It hurts… make it stop…
The blue wyngling looked even more concerned, and Alstro could have sworn he saw tears in their eyes as they turned to the adult. “Yes mother… water would be good…”
As the biped left the room, Alstro closed his eyes for a moment, trying to think of anything to get his mind off the agony tearing his body apart.
The voices were growing weaker. The usual torment and painful words replaced by questions.
Why does this wyngling care?
I'm supposed to be useless.
The wyngro no one wants.
Why… why… why…
Alstro stared warily at the blue biped as she returned, a glass in her hand, and his eyes widened. Water!
The blue wyngling thanked his mother, and took the glass, turning to Alstro. “I have some water here, will you try to drink some? Just a sip?” His voice was gentle as he approached.
Alstro nodded weakly, and with the help of the other wyngling, managed to drink some of the water. It almost felt like life itself was in that glass, and he found the strength to greedily drink the rest of the glass in one sitting.
“There you go,” the wyngling encouraged. “Good, good! Is that better?”
Alstro stared at the mysterious wyngling, the look of relief on his face slowly twisting to confusion.
Why? Why does he care? I don't… understand…
“Are you okay…?”
Alstro had run out of tears long ago. He wanted to cry, but couldn't. All he could do is ask questions in his head. Why? No one wants me… so why...
He tried to speak, but he broke into another violent coughing fit. Blood dribbling from his lips, he whimpered in pain as his throat began to grow raw. The wyngling hastily grabbed a cloth to wipe the blood off, which confused him even further. Despite the pain, however, a single word managed to get out of him.
The wyngling seemed taken aback by Alstro's question, amber eyes blinking in confusion. “Why…? What do you mean?” He asked gently, tilting his head.
“Why… why are you helping me…?”
“Why wouldn't I help you? I couldn't just leave you in that alley… you needed help.”
Alstro stared at him, his head lowering as he began to tremble. “N-no… I don't deserve this… I don't… understand…” he used what little energy he had left to shift uncomfortably, his forehead starting to bead with sweat. Why was it suddenly so hot? It reminded him… of that awful day…
It was so hot…
He felt a gentle paw help him lay down, and the blue wyngling gently placed a cold, wet cloth on his burning forehead. The coldness made him flinch and groan as shivers wracked down his spine.
“Of course you deserve help,” he murmured. “No one should have to suffer. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness… and to get help if you need it.”
Alstro was taken aback by those words. This wyngling thought… he deserved help…?
Someone… cares about me…?
Alstro felt a small smile creep up on his face; the feeling was foreign. When was the last time he had smiled…?
Taking in a shaky breath, Alstro opened his eyes to stare at the young blue wyngling.
“...Thank you… I… I never had… a friend… before… I…” His voice trailed off as it suddenly grew hard to breathe. Everything hurt, yet at the same time, Alstro found himself at peace. He thought he was truly alone in this world. But… but he wasn't. Someone out there cared for him. And that was enough for him.
A rest… yes… he just needed to rest a while…