An echo of thunder rolled around Sean, and he dove underneath the scraps of fabric that made up his ‘nest.’
Standing at only three inches in height, the young boy blinked out at the world from his protective cocoon, huge tears flowing from his eyes. This was wrong. Everything was wrong, and he was scared.
Summoned by the yelp he’d heard, Walt Watch limped around the doorway that lead to the room Sean was staying in. The older man held his side tenderly, and Sean remembered hearing that his entire home had caved in on him, knocking him just out of range of a fire that raged. Walt was as lucky as Sean to be alive.
But at least he was used to being small.
“Hey, there,” Walt said, sitting next to Sean’s protective fort. “How are you hanging in?”
Sean said nothing, just blinked blearily at the older man. Another rumble of thunder came, this time with the rhythmic sounds of footsteps accompanying it. That made him dive down, out of sight. He hated the reminder of how small they were.
Walt put a hand on the top of the piled-up fabric. Krissy and Bennett had given up the extra room for Sean, since he wasn’t used to sharing with anyone the way they were. They were staying in the same room as their mother, and Walt had the room next to Sean’s. The young boy reminded him so much of Sam all those years ago. Afraid and alone and lonely. Forced to confront realities that no child deserved.
“Look, they don’t know we’re here,” Walt said wisely. “They won’t hear us, they won’t bother us. Sam once told me that humans had a way of getting through thunderstorms if young children were afraid. He said to just think of it as God getting a shower, and the thunder as his footsteps. Those humans up there are the same. Just walking around, minding their own business.”
Sean peeked out at Walt. “B-but if they find us…” he said in a half-moan of fear.
Walt ruffled his hair. “They won’t,” he promised. “We’ve got a safe home here. Besides, if it wasn’t for humans, we wouldn’t have much to eat, now, would we?”
Sean blinked back at him, looking unconvinced.
“If you want, I can stick around for a bit,” Walt offered. “Staying in a strange place all alone can be scary.”
Sean rubbed his eyes. “I’d like that,” he said shyly. “It’s just all so… different…”
“Sam said the same thing when we first found him,” Walt nodded. Sean’s wide eyes encouraged him to continue. Though Sean had never met Sam, he’d heard all about his rescuer from Krissy and Bennett. “He was just about your age back then…”
Walt told stories about Sam’s first days cursed until Sean couldn’t hold his eyes open any longer, and the young boy drifted off to sleep.