Life was hard, that was something that Aladdin had learned well over the years.
Ever since he had been a child, the world had been an exciting and wonderful place. The bright colors of a spring morning would beckon him, the sultry summers would have the bright ocean call to him, summoning him for hours until he would be forced to step back into the house and apologize for leaving his father to play in the sun. Nothing had ever been awful. He had wanted for nothing. Every toy that was on television that caught his eye would soon be his, every person who played with a gadget that he admired, that gadget would be his. There had never been a time when his father had ever left him wanting anything…
Except a friend.
Oh, his father, Ugo had been more than happy to play with him, but they moved often. Sometimes they would live in the middle of a nice quaint town on the harbor, living by the sea. There was one time of course that they had lived in a farm town where there had been a lot of lakes and there had been really nice people who would give them free food every once in a while or invite them over to play. The other children were not so kind to him though.
Ugo said it was because he was special. He was born with the blessing of being an academic mind and being respectful of others. It was also his reason for not letting him cut his hair which was one of the other children's main points of ridicule. After a while, Aladdin had gotten used to the insults, remaining steadfast to his father and ignoring the other people in the world. Yet a friend, just one friend would have been so nice. He would have liked to have shared with someone else.
He donated his toys after he would grow bored with them, giving them to a child who would love them far more than he would. Maybe those kids would have great times playing with the toys and their friends. Perhaps they would feel just a little bit less lonely if they had a toy.
In the end, it was probably that loneliness that started the real problem. It was always the loneliness in him that caused him to leave his father's sights after all.
He had left, wandering out into the grass of the home. They had moved to California. It was overly hot out this morning. That morning had smelled like rain and the ocean. Without any doubt that had been what had made him go to the window. When he had gotten there, he had wandered to the door, slipping his little sandals on and heading out into the morning. He had taken the stairs, wandering down to the beach. His toes met the hot sands only for a smile to hit his face. It was perfect outside, amazing. The great waves crashed against the shore, beckoning him forward.
And with only to much of an eagerness did he go. He wanted to feel the morning waves, feel like he was connected to something far greater. He wanted some kind of purpose and what better thing to give him that sense of excitement than the morning waves? The waver felt nice after a long time sleeping. Between the hot sand and the cool waters, he was in paradise, if only for the time being. His eyes went to the skies as he enjoyed himself, spinning around and splashing in the ocean. He watched a plane pass overhead. He watched a group of seagulls fly overhead. He watched the world around him and sighed to himself a bit.
It was so nice here. Truly it was, but there was just a piece of him that felt missing.
He fell back onto the sand, shutting his eyes as he relaxed. People would just laugh at him if he ever tried to get close to them. He had long hair and he liked to run around in a vest and loose fitting pants. He braided his hair, which for some reason seemed to be a bad thing for boys to do.
He didn't fit in at all with anyone else. There was just himself and Ugo. That was all he needed though. Ugo said he would always be around. With that in mind, he should have felt more at ease. The other seemed to get so sad sometimes though. Maybe that was what was the problem.
He looked around, kicking at some sand as he thought to himself. He knew that Ugo wasn't his real father, but he was close enough. His real father had died. There was no chance for him to come back, but he had Ugo and Ugo had seemed really close to his father.
His mind paused on that melancholy tangent as he saw a large conch shell on the shore. His eyes widened as he moved closer, looking at it with interest. Ugo had said that they were homes for crabs, who traveled like they did, roaming from place to place. His hands wrapped around the colorful shell, picking it up before he turned, running back towards the stairs and heading towards the house. He would have to show Ugo! That would be a great way to start the morning.
Eager to please, he sprinting up the stairs, two at a time. His eyes were on the house up the way. He would have to apologize as well for leaving the house, he knew that, but Ugo always forgave him. He knew that he got bored. That was why their homes were tending to be more and more isolated from the towns and cities now. That way no one would pick on him ever again. He was really nice like that.
Aladdin ran to the driveway and paused, seeing a collection of cars. His eyes went to the house, seeing the front door open. They… had guests? They never had guests though. His heart pounded against his chest as he hurried towards the house. Almost there, he had to stop when he heard a scream pierce the morning air.
"WHERE IS THE BOY?"
Aladdin's ears rang as he ducked behind some bushes. He dropped the shell in his hands, crawling to the stairs of the home and ducking under the paneling. Ugo had done it once when a cat had gotten stuck under there. The cat had been really hidden, it was only its crying that had let them know it had been there. Hopefully it would work for him too. He listened carefully, not wanting to be seen yet when he had sworn that that scream had sounded like Ugo.
"I don't know what you are talking about."
A loud cracking sound was heard, making Aladdin cover his mouth.
"You have property of the Alma Toran corporation. We want it."
"Then contact them."
"You were Solomon's friend. You must have known more about it than anyone. You would have been entrusted to the boy as much as you were entrusted to the rest of his finances. That's why you've been running."
"I wanted a new life. My friend Solomon knew I was a traveler at heart."
"There's a kid's room here. The boy's definitely been here," another voice said, making the one talking to Ugo speak up again.
"Where is the lost magi? Tell us and we won't have to murder you. If you tell us, we will take you both. You can remain together under our corporation's funds."
"There is no lost magi," Ugo replied.
Aladdin frowned at that name, wondering what a magi was when he heard gunshots. His eyes widened as he looked up towards the floorboards underneath the house. Had they… but they…
His heart raced as he listened with bated breath.
"That was pointless use of ammo."
"He wasn't telling me anything. Search the area, we don't have long until the familia comes this way to find the idiot and question him as well."
Aladdin remained still, shaking in the darkness. He felt something slither near his feet, making him quiver more. ugo wouldn't want him to be found by these people. Whoever they were, he was supposed to stay far away from them. He felt his eyes watering a bit as he curled up in the darkness, waiting for them to leave. He listened to their wrecking the house, to their frustrated sounds and yells. He listened to them smash valuables and objects. The clattering rang in his ears. He looked towards the small opening, worrying a bit over whether or not he should try to cover it. There was nothing to cover it with though. He wouldn't run away. They would see him fleeing the area.
Instead he curled up more, waiting.
"We need to leave! There's no time for burning the place down. Leave the body for someone else to take care of."
The group went rushing for their cars. Aladdin peeked out of a crack in the bottom of the stairs, seeing the white hooded people running for their cars and driving away as fast as they could. His gaze went to a series of sleeker, more well designed cars, speeding up the hill towards the house. Aladdin watched the cars try to hit the people that had hurt Ugo. The others managed to maneuver around them though, speeding out of the area loudly.
He pressed his hands to the stairs a moment before he heard the others get out of their cars. These people were different. One played with his hair a bit as he shook his head. He moved his sunglasses from his face and cursed loudly. "Damn it all."
"They might have gotten-"
"They probably did… Fuck my life, but we're late to all the shows around the area lately."
Aladdin shivered as he saw the other's angry glare, focusing towards the building.
"You think they left anything behind," the man next to the sunglasses man asked, looking at him. "Sin, we should-"
"I'm going to look before we try any running after. The second squad should be chasing after them anyway. I'll have the police in San Francisco running after them in a heartbeat."
"I will make sure they are informed of the situation."
The second man stayed behind as 'Sin' headed towards the building. His person only seemed to be larger as he moved forward. He was extremely tall, perhaps because of Aladdin's hiding, perhaps because of what had happened; Aladdin stopped watching, waiting for him to leave as well. He wanted to know what was wrong with Ugo. Was Ugo okay?
"We've got a dead one up here, Ja'far!"
Those words rang louder in his ears than the gunshots had. Aladdin broke, beginning to cry a bit. He sniffled, gasping a bit when he heard the other speak again.
"Hello? Where are you?"
He felt his heart racing once more. He hid deeper in the darkness, away from the small opening. The other needed to leave. There was no one that Aladdin could trust right now.
"Ja'far! We have a live one somewhere. I heard crying. Bring Alibaba and help me find them." The sound of footsteps could continue to be heard as the man looked for him. "Hey, I'm not here to hurt ya. I need to know where you are though. Come on, have you ever ridden in a purple Mercedes convertible? I like to drive fast. Are you a car person?"
"Sin, don't be bragging about your new car just because you think it will help us find the person. How do you know it's a kid anyway?" The other person had gotten up to the house fast. Aladdin couldn't hold the air in any longer. He let it out shakily before holding his breath again.
"It's definitely a kid. You can tell from the room next to the bathroom. There was two people here and one's on the ground. They forgot a person. They might know something.
"Sin, if it's a kid, the likelihood that they know anything-"
"I know, but it's something we can spread quietly. There's nothing more interesting than spreading a rumor and watching the other mafia families react."
"That's what led to the death of the Balbadd familia," a third voice told Sin, making him laugh a bit.
"Almost death, you're still around, Alibaba."
Aladdin felt his only chance come up. They were still talking. He would have to leave now. Taking another shaky breath, he hurried to the opening, ducking out and making a run for it. The wind pushed at him, the trees and cover was just up ahead a bit. He had to get-
He fell as something collided with him. Purple hair fell into his face as he began to fall towards the ground. He felt their bodies turn as they fell. His face caught a glimpse of the other man, Sin. The man's face was stoic as he tackled and took the most of the fall.
When they landed, he was on top, but he was trapped against the other's chest. Two people ran out from the house, seeing Sin force them both into a sitting position.
"Hello there, little one," the man who had caught him greeted.
"Let me go," Aladdin said hoarsely.
"Do you live here?"
The man frowned at him, "See, now why do I believe you are lying to me?"
"Let me go?"
"Did you know Ugo? Why are you here," the man asked, making Aladdin feel like crying more.
"Let me go. Please, let me go."
"He's dead, you know. Lying up there with bullets in his skull."
"SIN!" The white haired man hurried forward, pulling Aladdin away from him as Aladdin felt himself begin to cry. "Damn it all, he's right but that's definitely not your fault, child. Don't cry. Sinbad is just an idiot most of the time." The man hugged him tightly, rubbing his back comfortingly. "What's your name? My name is Ja'far and besides that idiot Sinbad, our other friend with us is Alibaba."
Aladdin shook his head, burying his face into the other man's chest. He couldn't speak, thinking about what had happened. Dead, shot.
"He must have heard, Ja'far. I don't think you can miss hearing guns being fired that easily," the other went quiet though. Aladdin couldn't see what had happened to make him shut up, but he was grateful that he did. It was his fault. He was whatever a lost magi meant. That was what the others had called him. Then Ugo had been lying.
"He's not going to talk now, see what happens when you're a negligent idiot and try to break a child?"
"Hey, I was just trying to get him to tell the truth." Sinbad sighed though, moving forward to pull Aladdin out of Ja'far's arms. "Come here, little one. I'll hold-"
"Take him from me right now, Sin, and I will personally not be responsible for handing this child the weapons that will be the reason for you being a eunuch for the rest of your life."
"Alright, but let's get him out of here."
Aladdin looked up, "But Ugo!"
They all paused, the look on Sinbad's face showing a small smile before he moved forward. "We'll put him in a body bag and take him back with us, if you would like."
Aladdin nodded, clinging to Ja'far still.
"Can you tell us what happened?"
"Or your name," Sinbad added.
"…I don't know what happened. I went swimming and came back to find those people… I don't want to talk about it."
Ja'far smiled a bit, patting him in comfort. "Then don't worry about it. We'll take care of Ugo and you can come home with us. You don't have to worry about anything."
Sinbad stood up, sighing as he looked to Alibaba, "It looks like Ja'far is taking command. Let's get that body wrapped up and pray he doesn't mean I have to bleach my trunk later."
"What about information about the lost magi," Alibaba asked.
"We'll find out later," Sinbad replied, leading him away as Ja'far picked up a tense Aladdin, carrying him towards the car. He must have noticed that Aladdin had froze at the name, although he seemed to think it was because Sinbad and Alibaba had headed towards the house.
"Don't worry," Ja'far told him. "We'll take care of you."
Aladdin only nodded, wondering if he should tell them or not. Ugo didn't tell him for a reason, perhaps it was best he kept silent.
Yes, silence seemed golden.