Captured Ch. 01bySoka©
Captured: Chapter 1
Summer was considered, by many college students, to be a time for drinking, partying, and having a care-free attitude. It was summer, after all. There were no classes to attend, no homework to scribble down five minutes before class, and no exams. Summer was party season, and the little house on the corner of Greenway and Norton Rd was no exception.
The air pulsed with a deafening beat. Music had been blaring from the little blue house on the corner since six o'clock and the party-goers had no intention of turning it down. Inside, bodies formed what would appear to scientists as a giant, gyrating amoeba. The air was hot and how these young adults could stand to be so close to each other on such a hot night was anyone's guess. The fur of everyone there was plastered down with sweat and spilled beer. Beer bottles clinked and the frothy goodness was going everywhere.
A rather rowdy male tipped his beer bottle and poured the contents all over the white blouse of his dance partner. The amber liquid splashed over her round breasts and she howled with drunken laughter. The male laughed heartily along with her and searched for a place to dispose of his now empty bottle. In a drunken haze, he felt an open window was as good as any garbage can and with a quick toss, threw the brown bottle out the window, into the summer night.
The beer bottle landed with a crash next to a limp form on an aging porch swing. The sound jolted the young raccoon to consciousness. She sat upright in the swing, causing the swing to sway underneath her. Holding onto the chains attaching the swing to the porch, she tried to steady herself. Her eyelids were half-closed in a drunken fog. Another loud bang came from nearby, this time, from the front door as it was kicked open by a trio of inebriated males. They all had their arms about the others shoulders, laughing and carrying on as they tried desperately to figure out why all three of them could not fit through the front door together. Finally squeezing through, they stood on the porch, taking the last few swigs of their beer. One male, a heavyset bear, looked over at the little raccoon sitting slumped in the porch swing.
"Hey there! What are you doin' out here all alone?" His slurred speech was accompanied by the strong smell of alcohol and cigarettes. As if to prove his status as a smoker, he pulled a pack from his pocket and with some difficulty, pulled out a long stick and lit it. The small raccoon looked up at him. He wore a leather jacket and tattered jeans. Pulling the cigarette from his lips, he let out a plume of gray smoke.
"I'm waiting for my ride." She wasn't sure how long she had been out here. In all honesty, she didn't even remember walking outside. Last she knew, she had been throwing back a shot of tequila. "What time is it?" She looked down at her watch, but the hands blurred into the face of the clock.
"Honey, its two in the mornin'." The bear sauntered over to her and slid in next to her on the swing. He offered her the cigarette in his paw but she politely refused and began digging in the pocket of her jeans for her cell phone. The pocket was empty.
"Oh no! I've missed my ride. I told them I'd be out here by midnight." She began to panic, searching her other pockets and the swing for her cell phone. The bear laughed and patted her shoulder.
"Was it a blue car, cause some girl came lookin' for her friend?" The second male, a wolf, stepped over to join them. The third male who had come out with them went down the steps to the front lawn. He stumbled over to a large bush and unzipped himself. The raccoon looked away, feeling a blush rise to her cheeks. Turning her attention back to the wolf and bear next to her, she nodded.
"Yes, she was driving her blue Neon. Did anyone tell her where I was?" The bear shrugged in response. The lion sat down next to her in the swing. He wore a red t-shirt and dark jeans. His fur was the color of ash and he, too, smelled of beer and cigarettes. Unlike the bear, he was lean, and slightly less intoxicated.
"Joey talked to her I think. Said anyone who needed to, could crash here. Finding you in that mob would have been impossible. She probably left you to spend the night here." The bear nodded in agreement. The female raccoon slumped even further in the swing. Between the two large males, she seemed dwarfed and almost child-like. The bear threw a thick arm around her. Heat radiated off of him.
"When the party dies down, I'll find a spot to sleep then." She felt the wolf move closer. His nose quivered as he tried to discreetly sniff the air around the three of them.
"What is your name, sweetheart? My name is Mack." The bear gave her a warm smile. The young raccoon gave him a smile in return.
"River. My name is River." The bear gave her a puzzled look.
"River? That is a weird name." He shrugged and pulled her closer. The stench of alcohol and tobacco was strong on his breath and she pulled her head away from his muzzle. "You can bunk down with Vinny and I tonight. We'll make sure none o' them drunk punks bother you." He took another drag off his cigarette before putting it out on the swing and flicking it into the yard. River felt uneasy about the offer.
"I think I'll find my friend Lacey and try and get a ride home with her." River thought a moment, then cursed loudly. Both males jumped at her sudden, loud use of profanity.
"I don't have my house key either. Wherever I put my cell phone, my key must be there too." River jumped off the swing, landing uneasily on her feet. She swayed for a moment before continuing forward, making sure not to step on the broken glass underfoot. Mack and Vinny rose from the swing and followed her.
"We can help you find it. That key couldn't have gotten too far." Vinny looked through the front window. The party was still going strong. River headed inside, skirting around the mass of people in the living room. Perhaps she left them with Joey. She vaguely remembered him asking to hold her keys for her since she was drinking. But she would not have given him her cell phone. It must have slipped out of her pocket while dancing. Vinny and Mack were hot on her heels, searching high and low for her things.
"Do you guys know where Joey was keeping everyone's keys?" River turned to the males behind her. They thought for a moment and Mack held a finger up as if he had just remembered.
"In his office. Joey was putting everyone's keys in there. You're not going to drive home are you?" Mack gave her a look of concern. River shook her head. "Okay, good. Well, let's go check in there." Mack stepped forward and led them to a shut door on the opposite side of the dancing mass. With a twist of the knob, the door swung open to reveal a small room, complete with desk, computer, and book case. It was as simple as an office could get. The three stepped in and Mack went straight to the desk. A drawer was opened slightly and as Mack pulled it, it gave a jingle as dozens of sets of keys moved within it. With a sigh of relief, River went swiftly over to the desk to search for her house key. As she crossed the room, Vinny stepped to the side and silently shut the door behind him. He clicked the lock and stood silently as River began digging through the drawer. Mack looked over to Vinny and they exchanged a silent nod.