"What a terrible creature. Torturing such a poor, innocent youth. . . "
". . . . "
"Ah, do not be afraid, my child. I am Toriel, caretaker of the Ruins. I pass through this place every day to see if anyone has fallen down. It has been a while since a child has fallen into the Underground, such a long time indeed."
Her eyes had been so hauntingly beautiful; a combination of frigid blue and mint green. But a warm fusion nonetheless that held the spirit of a mother, a mother that craved the company of a child under her care once more.
When I fell into the Underground, It was Toriel that took me under her wing; gave me shelter, baked me pie, told me stories. My time spent with her had been one that I dreamed of for years, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and she seemed to agree.
"My child, these Ruins are not like they used to be. I am afraid that you will have to stick by my side until we get home. So do not wander off. . . "
I found it odd how empty the Ruins had been.
It wasn't a comforting vacancy that left a tranquil still in the air, the hush had been one of eeriness. My worry showed quite a bit, every monster we rarely passed had given us a wide berth; breaths held and frames still. As if we would attack at any moment. And I didn't understand their sudden fear.
Toriel. . Mother, had said nothing. Eyes trained on the path before us, as if the monsters hadn't been there in the first place; blended into the walls they pressed themselves against. I said nothing too, what words could be said when Mother didn't seem to notice. It must have been nothing important.
"Please. . make yourself at home. It has been ages since I had a child under my roof. I do hope you take well to your new stay."
I also didn't say anything about my new accommodations. She seemed DETERMINED to keep me locked in her home. And I didn't mind, not so much within the week of my stay, she made my new dwelling seem so mystical, so warm and comforting. I didn't have the heart to abandon her, not when she had lost so many before me. I just couldn't leave.
And she seemed fine with that.
I didn't know what to think to that revelation.
"Oh dear. I'm sorry my child, but it looks like we'll have to ration for a bit. You wouldn't mind, would you? I could give you my rations if you wish."
It had only been 4 months before we ran out of food. What should have been enough for one, stressed under the stomachs of two. Toriel had made it her mission to stuff me every breakfast, dinner, and lunch, the waste had led to more than half her stash being depleted. Even her own rations where split to keep me stuffed.
But that. . hadn't been enough.
In the course of 6 weeks we were left with nothing; stuck with eating the crumbs off the counters and dirty plates from last week's meals.
We didn't even have enough ingredients to make toast.
"Are you hungry?"
Of course I was hungry. We were both hungry. Starving to the point that our diets where forced to turn to water as our last remaining sustenance.
It should have been the breaking point, but it wasn't. Because I still had her stories, I still had her attention, and her love, and her hugs. I still had her. And that was okay with me, be it that we starve to death, or will continue to be hungry. At-least I still had her.
But. . . I guess that hadn't been enough.
Not for her anyway.
We were so hungry.
She didn't speak to me, didn't look at me. Acted like I was another one of her antique treasures that was regretfully left to rot in a corner, forever to be ignored until properly regarded.
I saw her talking to herself, one day; in the hall. She mumbled to herself about 'the children', and 'their safety', how it was 'unsafe for them to leave' because of the 'dangerous monsters that lurked outside'. When I asked her about the mumbles, she denied ever saying such things. Then went on to ignore me once more like I wasn't there.
It was days before she finally spoke to me. Actually looked me in the eye and asked if I was hungry. Yes, I was hungry, still hungry after she last spoke to me. I told her this and she went worryingly silent.
I should have seen the threat, the underlying danger in my mother's words. But I didn't. I was just so hungry. Water wasn't cutting it anymore.
It was on that day that I decided to venture out into the Ruins for food. I voiced my thoughts to Toriel, explained my plans, gave details on how I would keep safe. But in the end, she denied. Vehemently refusing to allow me to leave despite our circumstances. I didn't understand, we were so hungry, thinning away into nothing with each passing day. Her denials was something that I couldn't comprehend.
But I relented. How could I tell the very monster that took me in, gave me shelter, fed me her food, and told me stories that I wanted to leave, even if it was for the sake of our lives. I just couldn't do that, so I stayed, locked up in that house without complaint.
But, we were so hungry.
When I went to sleep right after. I didn't think I could sleep, too worried about our future, about my mother, but eventually I did.
I closed my eyes and dreamed a dreamless dream, my stomach twisted in painful knots and limbs weak from lack of nutrition. Hopefully, the next day, I would have an idea to make my mother happy, to see that smile again that made my stomach turn in a good way.
But. . . .
I never woke up.
I didn't understand until it happened.
She had been so hungry. . .