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A Different World Than the Last

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The streets of Vesuvia were cold in the winter. The sky was gloomy as the stinging rain whipped with the wind across Asra's face. The usually fluffy white-haired boy was now wet and soggy. His feet were bare and had new bruises, cuts, and scrapes from running away from a screaming vendor. This was the first time he had stolen something. He felt that there was no reason to be mad at him for what he did. He had no choice.

Before he was stealing from vendors, he had a home. He had a family too. He remembered when he awoke as usual in his warm and comforting bed that was stacked with colorful pillows and stuffed animals. He lived in a homey and spacious flat. It was decorated with the colors of their auras and pictures of the three of them on the walls. The bookcases were filled with textbooks, spellbooks, and recipes for potions. And just regular dinner recipes. He knew that he was going to have the house all to himself that day. His parents, Aisha and Salim, had told him the day prior that they were off on a trip and would also take their familiars, to give the new heir of some company their newest works. His parents were beautiful magicians that excelled at almost all things magic, but with this specific work, it was alchemy. It took them years to make whatever it was the new CEO was demanding. Asra loved them for how hard they worked to support and feed him. He spent that day doing chores and a little bit more than usual. He cleaned the whole house with vigor and excitement. Then he made dinner especially for them around the time they told him they'd be back. Both of their favorites. He was waiting for the proud looks on his parent's faces when they first entered through the door. But instead, the food went cold. They didn't return. 

The next day he started to worry. Usually he wouldn't if they were on some other business trip, but he had an inkling that something was wrong with that job that they took on from the beginning. He tried calling them on their cells first. After many futile attempts, he called their studios phone number next. Nothing. He turned on the news. Was there an accident? He hoped to the Gods that there wasn't. He was grateful after six whole hours staring at the news and looking on his mother's computer that there was no accident related to the train that they took. He looked to the clock. They would've called or something, he thought to himself. Asra finally called the police. He told them everything they could, but Asra didn't think they'd help much at all though. He waited, clutching the phone to his chest with hope. 

After two weeks, he had nothing. Asra tried to use magic several times to call them through pools of water, or even sense if they were anywhere else. But still, nothing. Asra went to look for people his parents knew and asked them for anything. But after many fruitless attempts, he decided to ask his landlord. He looked up at the counter and frowned at the fact that he was so short for his age. He jumped and hit the bell on the counter and adjusted his shawl around his shoulders. His landlord looked down at him from above the counter briefly before sighing and getting up from his chair. He took his sweet time walking around the counter to stand in front of Asra. "Whaddya want, kiddo?" he asked, rubbing his face as if it was gonna rub off the exhaustion that was showing. Asra stared at him for a minute, before starting to answer his question. "I was wondering if-" but the man quickly cut him off. "Wait, wait. What time is it? What're you even doing up at this hour, kid?" Asra sighed, irritation was starting to get the best of him after the long day he had. Despite being a child, he was usually very understanding. I was going to say if you hadn't interrupted me, he thought. His head had been pounding from how tired and hungry he was, but also from his landlord's personality. "I was wondering if my parents contacted you?" Asra asked, trying to be patient. He never really liked his landlord. "Nope. I got nothing from them lately. And I also haven't gotten rent money either, " he said, narrowing his eyes down at Asra. Oh Gods, please no, Asra thought. The man continued despite Asra's thoughts, "I don't want to have to do this to you guys. You all were great tenants. But, if there's no money, then there's no place. You know what I mean?" 

After the frustrating conversation with his landlord, Asra stomped back to his flat. His flat. He and his parent’s flat . He slammed the door and that's when the tears came. He slowly slid down to the floor and fell over. He curled up into a sobbing heap. He thought back on everything: the very first day when he woke up, to the research, to the police (that barely even acknowledged his call), to his search, to his questions, and finally to when the landlord kicked him out. After a whole night of just weeping, Asra stood and packed as much as he could.