Uhh... hi. So, after my friend read this, she told me I should post it here. So I did! I hope you like it! Please, on the offchance you feel the need to, ask before posting this somewhere. I don't know if that's a problem or not! XD While this isn't my first story, it's the first one I've posted to the public, so any thoughts are much appreciated! :3
"This was where I 'lived' for a very long time..."
Hatchworth looked around slowly, taking in every corner of the small lead room he was trapped in for so long. He wanted to show The Spine where he had been. Rabbit and The Jon tagged along. The room was too small for all of them though. So each got a turn. Rabbit first, since he's oldest. Followed by Jon, then Spine. The Spine looked around, stunned that anyone would have to go through living like that. Hatchworth went last. He wanted to say goodbye to the dark prison. It would 'signal a new start'.
"I still can't believe anyone would l-l-lock someone up for so long..." Rabbit said, looking at the small entrance to the hidden room. It was concealed behind a bookshelf in the workshop, leading deep under the basement. Jon frowned, inching closer to his brothers. The Spine walked over to the entrance, poking his head in.
"Hatchy, you okay?" he asks quietly. Hatchworth nods, turning away from the windowless box. He placed a hand on the knob to close the door behind him. Which was a mistake. Suddenly the door slammed shut, the two inch iron door locking in response to his touch. Hatchworth slammed a fist into the door. "Guys!? The door was rigged! It was made so I couldn't escape! The door has a triple security code on it... and it locks all three when I try to get out..." Everyone went silent. The three bots on the outside looked at the door, trying to figure out what to do. Jon jumped up. "I'll just get the humans! I'm sure Walter VI can help!" he went to run out, but Rabbit gripped his arm.
"Why not Rabbit?!"
"They left this morning. For two weeks..."
Silence. Spine looked up.
"What if we call them?"
"Sadly, that's out too..."
The Spine crosses his arms.
"Why?! He's trapped in there!" panic enters his voice. Rabbit sighs.
"They went on an 'anti-electronics' retreat. Something about not having enough human time... so there's no electricity where they are. And no phone service..." he says quietly. The silence continues, a realization settling around them. Hatchworth is officially trapped again. But this time he's awake. The first time he was shut down to prevent his core from cracking any further. Hatchworth speaks, breaking the silence.
The Spine answers.
"Please don't leave me alone... I just got used to being with you guys. I can't lose that again. I was alone for so long, and when I came back, everything was different. And I was still alone. But you guys included me in your family, and you made me feel like I belonged somewhere. I don't want that to disappear... like last time..."
Hatchworth speaks so quietly, almost silent, fear in his voice.
"We won't. Promise."
Hatchworth sits. Not that he has a choice. The lead room is small, and all he can do is stand or sit. Sitting is a bit better. He closes his eyes. The darkness in his prison is always worse than when he shuts down his photoreceptors. At least when he's got his own darkness he can imagine a light. He hears a shift outside his trap. One of his brothers is always out there. It's been six hours, apparently, since the door shut, and they decided on a compromise. Each one of them would spend time down with him, while the other two would keep the public unaware. He listens to the soft hum and smiles.
A loud thump.
"How'd you know it was me?!" he asks, stunned. Hatchworth laughs, despite his situation.
"You hum when you're scared. I tend to do that now too..." Hatchworth says. Jon laughs. "You caught me! What do you want to do?!" Jon asks, trying to make the situation seem like it was no different than usual. Hatchworth laughed again. "We could sing a song!" he says. Even though he can't see it, he can tell Jon's smiling. "How about this one!" Jon doesn't pick one of his own songs. He picks one that fits the entire situation. He hums out the beginning. Hatchworth grins, kicking in with the chorus.
"It's a scary, scary world,
And there are scary, scary things~"
They sing quietly with each other, Hatchworth happily lost in the song.
Each bot comes and visits, as promised. And that's the only thing that keeps Hatchworth from losing his mind. He's slowly becoming aware of every tick in his body, every creak and clank of each mechanical shift that keeps him running. He needs a serious distraction.
"Hiya Rabbit. What am I missing?" Hatchworth asks. He hears his brother click as he presumably shrugs.
"Not a whole lot. Jon almost got the glue again..."
Hatchworth laughs, listening to what could only be Rabbit sitting with his back against the door. Hatchworth shifts, leaning against his own side. Rabbit clears his throat. Not that he needs to.
"You know, one time I got lost in the woods..."
Hatchworth tilts his head. Rabbit tells him a lot of stories, but the ones he makes up are always the best.
"Oh y-y-yeah! I was searching for a... Umm..."
"Sure! I w-was searching for a rabbit! A magical rabbit! I-it was made of fire, if you could believe it!"
"A flaming rabbit?! What was its name?"
"Carlos. It was Carlos the magical fire rabbit. And it told me of a strange land where all the ham s-s-s-sandwiches are sentient!"
Hatchworth listens, drifting into a dream-sequence filled with Rabbit's words.
Hatchworth loves Rabbit and Jon. He really does. But The Spine is different. He's the one Hatchworth bonded with instantly. He's the one that Hatchworth loves to talk to the most. And he's the one that's visiting today. Hatchworth listens, hearing The Jon leave and The Spine come in. Hatchworth waits, letting his brother get settled. He hears a rapping against the door.
"Hey Hatchy... you okay in there?" He's always sounding nervous, letting the fear slip out when no one can see him. Hatchworth knocks back.
"Yeah. I'm fine. Though I am scared..." Hatchworth only admits that to Spine. He hears a light clank on the door and smiles, placing his forehead against the door, just as he knows Spine is doing on the other side.
"Don't worry Hatchy, I'll get you out of there soon..."
"I know. Hey Spine..."
He hears Spine chuckle.
"I'm sorry if I'm annoying."
He listens, but only gets silence, so he continues.
"I'm sure you'd rather not deal with me all the time. I've only been around for a few months. It must be hard to adjust so suddenly..."
He speaks honestly, bracing himself for Spine to agree. After a second, he hears Spine's deep laugh.
"You're out of your mind if you think that. If we were annoyed by you, we wouldn't be spending every second down here with you. I wouldn't be worrying every time I'm not down here. You're my little brother, no matter how long you have or haven't been with us. Don't ever think differently. Okay?"
Hatchworth can't speak. Oil is streaking down his face, happiness flooding his metal body. He wasn't expecting that answer. He hears Spine cough awkwardly.
"Hatchy. I mean it..."
Hatchworth wipes the oil from his photoreceptors.
"I know... thank you..."
Today is different. The Jon didn't come down to replace Rabbit yet.
"H-Hatchy, I'm gonna go see what's up. I'll be right back!"
Hatchworth nods, listening as his brother runs upstairs. He sits, silence flooding the damp room. It feels like its been years since he's been outside. He wants to get out desperately. He starts thinking about his brothers. Suddenly he can't remember when Rabbit left. Wasn't it just a few seconds ago? Or was it hours. Days? Hatchworth shakes his head. No. They wouldn't do that to him. They wouldn't leave him. Not after they all promised to stay by his side, no matter what. That is what they said, right? The silence starts to warp reality, all of the emotions Hatchworth bottled up swirling into a pool of fear and disarray. He starts to cry again, certain that the oil will stain his clothes. Not that it'll matter. He'll be down here, alone, forever. The oily tears increase, panic gripping his core. He wishes he would just shut down and be done with the betrayal. The sound of his sobs is the only thing that fills the darkened room.
The Spines voice breaks through the silence. He doesn't know how long Spine had been calling him. He cries out.
"Hatchworth, are you okay?"
Hatchworth stands up quickly, a grin wide across his face.
"You guys are back?!" he calls out.
"Hatchworth, I am so sorry. I'll have you out in just a minute!"
Peter Walter VI works on entering the digits to unlock the door. Hatchworth listens to his brothers cheering the human on. When light floods the room Hatchworths grin widens farther than it ever had before. The Spine grips his arm and pulls him out of the lead room. Suddenly he's squished into a giant hug by his brothers.
"I thought you guys left. I'm such a jerk. I should have know you wouldn't abandon me!" Hatchworth said, slightly muffled by the bots. They all break away from each other and smile.
"Hey!" Rabbit bursts out suddenly.
"What?!" Hatchworth and The Jon reply at the same time.
"Who w-w-wants to go to an Ice Cream Parade?!"
The Jon and Rabbit each grab one of Hatchworths hands, pulling him out of the workshop. Hatchworth looks back to see The Spine help seal off the lead chamber forever before running after his brothers.
"Wait for me! I always miss the ice cream parades!"
And with that, everything is back as it rightfully should be.