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PART two: omli

Chapter 8: The Bond

OMLI confided more and more in his furry friend as time went by. It started with him telling the SKIMMA everything he remembered about his earlier years. The places he played in, the games he remembered playing, the parts of the village he lived in that he still remembered. Eventually, he told the SKIMMA about what little he remembered of his family, whatever he could recollect about his mother and father’s face, along with the few hazy details he could remember about some of the siblings he had.

It took OMLI a while, but the SKIMMA managed to finally bring his walls and defenses down. And OMLI, teary eyed, finally confided in his SKIMMA, and told it about the inner turmoil he felt every so often. OMLI told the SKIMMA everything he remembered about the day it all happened, the day his life changed completely, a day that he was still not able to make complete sense of. He felt like he understood more of what had happened with each passing year, but why it had happened in the first place was something he just couldn’t figure out fully. 

OMLI remembered waking up, slowly, and without fear, the way he usually did all those years ago, when he slept in the comfort and safety of his own home. He could still clearly recollect that his mother fed his siblings whatever little food was present in their hut that day. He was given nothing for some reason, and was instead asked to go to his father. OMLI could vaguely picture watching his father finish his breakfast. When his father was ready, he led OMLI through their village, and into a field that took them a few hours to get to.

They ended up entering one of the dimly lit rooms in the corner of the tiny house that stood at the edge of the field, a room in which various scary looking OSZA examined OMLI from head to toe. The OSZA made a gesture to OMLI’s father once they were done with him. OMLI couldn’t remember if it was a motion of the hand, or a nod, or something else. All he remembered was that his father simply began walking away. OMLI ran after him, but his father simply turned him around and asked him to stay. OMLI didn’t remember the exact words that came out of his father’s mouth, but it was something to the tune of how there wasn’t enough food for the entire family, and this was the only way.

OMLI remembered that he had refused to do as he was told, and had instead tried to follow his father out of the room, despite the commands he had been given, but the scary OSZA had grabbed him and held him back. OMLI remembered screaming. He remembered pleading with his father, begging him to not leave him there. He remembered screaming at his father as he walked away. Screaming that he would do whatever his father wanted, that he would never eat again, that he would work day and night to feed the rest of the family. Screaming that he would do anything to not be left there. The scary ones had eventually put their hands on OMLI’s mouth, and his muffled screams had continued until his father had walked out of the room completely. The screams had died out as soon as the room’s door shut, when the sheer terror of the situation had made OMLI pass out.

OMLI didn’t remember much of the next few days. He remembered being in a small cage somewhere in the house by himself, after which he was put into a larger room with other children. The room had no windows, only a number of holes in its strange, cold, metal walls. OMLI remembered a lot of wailing. He remembered how he ended up simply crumbling into a corner of the room after a while, and how much scarier everything was once his eyes had adjusted to the darkness. OMLI remembered almost jumping out of his skin when the room began to move.

What happened beyond this point OMLI could recollect only in flashes. The room continued moving for a long time, until there was a loud sound, followed by even louder sounds. The room began to shake violently, and all the children in it were tossed from side to side. They all lost consciousness, and OMLI woke up to find a large hole in one of the room’s walls. OMLI could vaguely recollect walking out of it. To this day, he had no idea how he, and some of the other children, reached the slum he currently lived in.

In the months that followed, OMLI tried everything he could to find his village. A handful of the OSZA in the slum did their best to help him. But they got nowhere. OMLI ended up accepting his fate, and he did what he could to survive. He did his best to stop thinking about his previous life, to stop remembering his parents, to stop calling out for his mother, but the past always came back to haunt him every so often.

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