Claudia encounters things that she never had imagine she would meet. Things and people.
"Good morning sunshine!" the figure said in a husky voice as they stood up quickly, stretching his hands above his head as a sly smile played on his face. "My name is Felix. Yours?"
"Er," Claudia sat up, rubbing her temples with the palms of her hand and closed her eyes. She opened them ready to give the figure a good look. "I'm Claudia."
The man standing in front of her, Felix, was tall and, although he was covered neck to what seemed every other place, he had an almost warm atmosphere to him. His hair was blond and swooped over his eyes but was cut short at the tip of his neck and curled a bit at the ends. His eyes, although they seemed to be darkened by lack of sleep, were a bright blue, the kind that seemed to come directly from the ocean. But all that went through Claudia's head (and escaped through her mouth) was:
"You're very attractive," Claudia covered her mouth but giggled through her fingers as Felix extended a hand to help Claudia up. "Do you know why I was sleeping on the ground? Such a silly place to sleep!"
"You were knocked out I'd guess," Felix answered as he yanked Claudia off the ground. He wrapped one arm around waist and used the other to pull her arm over his shoulders. "By the, er, lights."
"The pretty lights?" Claudia hiccuped, her eyes widening as she glanced up at the lights blinking in the distance.
"Don't look at them," Felix snapped, causing her attention to shift to him. "They are a precaution so people from towns don't come treading in here."
Claudia laughed hysterically and eyed Felix before leaning forward. "Well thank you for saving me, Superman!" she giggled once again and leaned forward so her lips met his cheek. Felix blushed but turned his head so Claudia's head dropped to his shoulder.
"I feel funny," she said with a slight hiccup.
"The lights do that," Felix fumbled through his words but nodded once again, as if he was acknowledging someone. "I don't know why, but they trigger things. I don't know what things but they trigger something."
Claudia snorted and brought her head up straight. "Smart answer," she taunted in an almost childish way.
"Thank you," Felix turned his head to a big black parlor, its windows boarded with blocks of wood nailed down by sorrow and the empty feeling of abandonment. It's door was knocked off it's hinges, the blue paint was now covered in scratches of fingernails and claws. Who had been there obviously wanted nothing to do with the parlor anymore. "Home, sweet home."
"Home?" Claudia sounded as if she had gargled salt water mixed with a hint of poison and swallowed the tiniest bit.
Felix grinned as he carried, or rather dragged, Claudia up the steps to the doorway of the parlor. "It's not much," he admitted as he gestured into the house, allowing Claudia to stumble into the house on her own. "But it's home." The home was covered in scratches and clawing as well as torn curtains, sheets, and anything else that could physically be harmed was harmed. Claudia grimaced as Felix flicked on so she could notice the peeling of paint and the old paintings of pain and tragedy captured into a frame.
"What do you do for a living?" Claudia asked in that childish voice of her. It seemed to be the only positive thing in the entire house, at least except for Felix.
"Well," Felix shifted oddly and bit his lip in concentration as he searched for some way to describe his job. "I work for the capital. I'm like a security guard of some sort. I try to protect people from the lights."
"Why are you helping me?" Claudia blurted out without a single thought.
"It's my job," Felix shrugged at the question, although he didn't seem to mind it at all. "And you didn't wake up and it had been a while so I was worried."
"Why bring me to your house?" Claudia folded her shoulders as she tried to lean against a peeling wall.
Felix laughed and hit his forehead with his palm. "I know you're a run away. I'm keeping you, you see. No, not keeping you. I'm giving you a place to sleep."
"Aren't you not allowed to help runaways?"
"So? I can break some rules if I want."
Claudia laughed and looked at her feet in a sincere manner. The silence in the room seemed to cause Claudia to feel like she could drown in the nostalgia she felt at that moment.