‘I think our plan is clear already,’ Prince stated to his mates on the next day.
‘Our first priority is to find your old house,’ Mono told Ciblue.
Shilo and BB nodded.
‘But Mum is already safe, and I don’t know about Nyami, is he okay? Is he …’
‘Mate look, all the clue we have right now is all about your old house, and how do you know if your mother is safe? I mean, what if they – whoever who did it – do the same to your mother?’
However, everything Mono had said sent Ciblue into a shocking stage, he was never thinking about those possibilities. Along this time he thought that his mother was still on their old nice house with proper meal and sleep.
‘You shouldn’t have saying those things,’ BB said at once.
‘We have to prepare for the worst,’ Shilo added.
‘Ahh don’t worry, we’re still your friend, aren’t we? You can live here as long as you want,’ Prince cheerfully said.
‘Now firstly … ahh I forgot, we don’t have him anymore,’ and Mono’s face turned sad.
The cheerful morning turned as if they were at the funeral at once, nobody talked or moved, all of them looked straight to the distance, to the place that Ciblue was unable to catch and what Ciblue can do was wondering what happen with sudden change of mood.
‘We called him Old Captain,’ finally BB said after long pause among them. ‘He’s an old dog but he was protecting us very well and very caring to us. One day, he was about to save me when they took him away –’
‘The ones with uniform?’ Ciblue asked.
‘– I couldn’t do anything; neither to safe him nor to release him from that terrific place, we all tried everything but always failed and one day we can’t see him anymore, forever, gone.’
Four met Old Captain when they needed shelter as the heavy storm stroke the town 6 months ago. Four walked under the rain and shivered from cold and all drenched, after sometimes they decided to hide under the park bench and tried to comfort each other since the rain was getting heavier.
Mono tugged Shilo’s shell and he stretched out his head,
‘What?’ Shilo asked.
‘Look straight ahead, do you see a huge dog?’
Shilo shook his head, ‘you know my eyesight is awful,’
‘He keeps looking at us –’
‘Don’t say that he wants us as his lunch –,’ Prince suddenly said.
‘He’s a dog isn’t he? It isn’t possible,’ BB did not continue his word when Mono looked more alarmed as he acknowledged the dog started to move, approached them and Mono hissed to warn their fellow.
‘You three run now or hide, go!!!’
‘What about you?’ Prince asked.
‘Hide now or I don’t have time to run!’
Shilo, BB, and Prince did not move until Mono shot them with fierce glare. Reluctantly Three left Mono whose heart was pounding hard as the gigantic dog was getting near and nearer.
From the corner of his eyes, Mono checked whether his fellow was already safe, but not yet, Shilo was not completely safe and now he had no time to run as the herding almost approached him.
BB kept his eyes on to his fellow; his heart was beating like crazy. Expecting something worse to be happened and for the second time, he had nothing to do but witnessing how it happened.
Mono was ready to fight but the herding seemed like he did not want to confront or attack him.
‘Hey,’ Mono stiffened and the herding shook his head, ‘I’m friend, don’t worry.’ Mono tilted his head and pierced the huge herding in front of him.
The herding said he is a friend, a friend? But judging from the way he approached Mono, maybe he was right. Mono took glance to BB who moved and perched on the branch closer to them now.
‘I have a small shack that might be better than park bench, the rain will get heavier and your tiny friends need a better shelter.’
Mono did not answer but his face reflected hesitancy.
‘I’m too old to hunting someone down,’ the herding said, seemingly understand what was in Mono’s brain, ‘I may be strong when I’m young but now you can strike me just by one hit,’ he went on.
For the second time Mono glanced to BB, and he was still not sure with the huge herding but the offer was tempting. Mono then looked up to the sky, the herding seemed right, the rain was still pouring and likely it would get heavier. What if it turned to be a storm? They surely needed a better shelter.
‘Okay,’ Mono finally said, ‘guys we’ll move.’
That was their first encounter with the Old Captain and from that time on Four became Five and they never left the Collapsed Old Shack.
Mono left the house followed by Shilo, while BB and Prince remained still.
Ciblue however, he regretted listening to the story, and suddenly he remembered the one Mono had talking about some days ago it was Old Captain.
He wanted to erase it from his head, instead everything that BB had told ringing inside his brain word by word pretty clearly.
He began to think about his mother and brother, what happened to them? If it is true his mother was neglected somewhere else just like them and Animal Control Officer caught her, what will they do? Will they do the same thing that they did to the Old Captain? And Nyami, did he find a loving Master?
Those things popped out inside Ciblue’s mind without permission, infecting like contagious disease. He was about to lose hope right now, he couldn’t stand if those happened to his family. What if … what if …
‘Are you okay?’ Prince waved his hand in front of Ciblue’s face and startled the tiny kitten.
‘Oh, eh … yeah,’
‘What were you thinking?’ Prince asked.
‘Well, I was just thinking what if those things had happened to my Mum and my brother.’ Ciblue shrugged.
‘How many times do I have to tell you? You have us, and we’re your family now,’ Prince smiled.
Fanart by Min.a