PART five: diin
Chapter 42: The Strange Ones
The days passed in the same manner. DIIN and CREFY woke up in their cage, and they went to sleep in it. They had no conception of time. The building they were in barely had any windows. They couldn’t tell if it was day or night. They made a few friends who helped pass the time, but nothing helped them feel less miserable. Their parent’s faces began to blur, their memories of them got hazier, despite them doing everything they could to keep their families in their minds. The kind OSZA were always a sight for sore eyes, and the mean OSZA a constant source of terror.
Nothing they did pleased the mean OSZA. All they did was yell at them. They even yelled at their SKIMMA when DIIN tried to introduce it to one of them, thinking that the SKIMMA could make the mean OSZA her friends. The little creature had made CREFY her friend after all. But the mean OSZA wanted nothing to do with it.
There was a great commotion on one of the days. A great deal of shouting took place, and the screams and the cries were more painful than usual. A number of uniformed OSZA arrived, and they carried out one of the younger children on a weird bed of some kind. Neither DIIN nor CREFY understood what was happening. Why was a child who seemed to be as old as them, if not younger, carried out that way? Was he leaving this place? Maybe his parents were here? But why was he carried out? Why wasn’t he woken up and asked to walk? And why was his body so eerily still? Something seemed wrong, but they couldn’t put their finger on it, and luckily for them, the older kids in their cage, and in those around them, didn’t alert them to what had actually happened.
A number of strange OSZA, ones they had never seen before, came in on another day. These OSZA spoke their language, but they didn’t pronounce many of the words the same way DIIN and CREFY did. It didn’t matter to the children though. These OSZA were kind. They spoke to them lovingly, and they didn’t scream at anybody. They asked them about how they were, and whether they were being treated well. DIIN and CREFY wanted to tell them the truth, but they couldn’t. They could see the bad OSZA watching them. They didn’t know why, but a voice inside their heads told them to not say anything that would make the bad OSZA angry. All they told the kind new OSZA was that they wanted their parents. They wanted to see their mommy and daddy again.
“Where is my mommy?” DIIN asked the kind female OSZA who sat with her and CREFY.
“She is in a place just like this, looking for you, just like you are looking for her, little one,” the kind OSZA said.
“When can I see my daddy? I really want to see him. I miss him a lot,” CREFY said.
“Soon, little one. Soon. Tell me about your parents. Both of you,” the kind OSZA said.
“Like what?” DIIN asked.
“What are their names?” the kind OSZA asked.
“My daddy’s name is daddy,” CREFY answered.
“Mine too. And my mommy’s name is mommy. But sometimes I call her mom,” DIIN answered.
“What else do you call them? Other than mommy, mom, daddy, dad. My children also call me mommy. But my name, what others, like my friend over there, call me, is DIALA,” the kind OSZA said.
DIIN and CREFY thought for a moment, as hard as they could.
“I don’t know,” CREFY said.
“Ok. Tell me what they look like,” the OSZA called DIALA asked.
“Like my mommy and daddy,” CREFY answered.
“Of course they do! Good!” DIALA said, bringing a smile to DIIN and CREFY’s faces. Smiling made DIIN feel strange. It was something she had not done for a long time. Smiling brought back memories, memories of her parents and her home, memories of her canine and feline friends, memories she couldn’t deal with, memories that made the place she found herself in seem even scarier, memories that made her feel even lonelier.
“So… what was the color of their eyes? Let’s start with your fathers,” DIALA said.
“I don’t know,” CREFY answered.
“Hmm… Were they like mine? Or maybe they were like yours? Or maybe they were like your friend DIIN’s?” DIALA asked.
“I don’t know. I can’t remember,” CREFY said, as tears began to form in his eyes.
DIIN’s eyes started tearing up as well, but DIALA gave both of them a big hug before either of them could burst out crying.
“It’s ok, little ones. It’s ok. We will find them,” she said, giving them a smile that felt all too familiar to DIIN. It was the same one her father had given her, the one that seemed to take a lot of effort to muster. DIIN didn’t understand his smile back then, but she felt like she understood it now. She felt like this would be the only kind of smile she and CREFY would ever be able to give from here on out.