“Do you want to sit in the chair again?” Jay asked.
Isellta blinked quickly at the unexpected subject jump. “Um, I don’t know. The monsters might come back.”
“If they do, I’ll punch their teeth outside their heads. No one is going to hurt you under my nose. Not even Mark Caten.”
Isellta released him. “Would you punch Mark Caten too?”
“Gladly.” Jay stood. “Do you want to try standing?”
He hesitated before slowly nodding. “I’ll try.”
“Good boy. Uhh, let’s see. What is the best way to go about this? Uhhhh…”
Isellta raised his arms as if he expected Jay to pick him up.
“Okay!” Jay leaned forward. “Put your hands on my shoulders. Good boy. And I’ll put my hands on your waist like…this. Wait.” He thought about it. “I guess I should stand closer to you. Like this. Or maybe…” He moved over to Isellta’s side. “Like this? No, this doesn’t seem like it would be supportive enough. I’m gonna stand in front of you again and we’ll see how that goes. Are you ready?”
It took a lot of trial and error. So many errors.
But Jay eventually got Isellta up on his feet.
Isellta clutched Jay’s shirt as his knees wobbled. “uhh! uhh…”
“It’s okay. I got you. I won’t let you fall. Now, let’s try to get you to walk over to the chair.”
Isellta shook his head. “I can’t. I can’t!”
“It’s okay if you can’t, but let’s try.”
His knees swayed.
He tightened his grip on Jay’s shirt. “I’m going to fall.”
“You won’t. I promise. Okay, it won’t be easy or natural feeling, but take a step forward. Come on. Lift. Bend. Set foot down. Careful! Good. Now, the other foot. We’re just going over to the chair. It isn’t that far. Come on. Try again.”
“Set foot down.” His foot fumbled.
Jay’s strong grip on his waist kept the fey from falling. “See? I told you I won’t let you fall. Let’s try again. Okay?”
Robin, I want to run to you when you finally appear. I know you’re here. I can still feel it. That strange pull inside my chest. It tells me that you are here. You’re somewhere near.
Robin? Can you hear me? Can you feel me too?
Are you still alive?
IIIIIIISSSSSELLLLLLLLLTAAAAAA! HEY! YOU HEAR ME OR NOT? ISELLTA!
Robin wanted to stomp his feet on the floor, but he still couldn’t move them. He wanted to bash his fists against the wall, but that was a bad case of no can do too.
FREAKIN’ HOT DARNATION!
He screamed, but his inability to open his mouth boosted his frustration levels.
Come on. COME ON! Give me some sorta sign. Please let me know you hear me. Please show me I ain’t talkin’ into no void.
He huffed out a breath through his nose.
‘sellta, I’m here. Don’t you hear me at all? I’m here. ‘sellta.
‘sellta, if you’re ignorin’ me on purpose, it ain’t gonna do you any good. I’m gonna keep callin’ you inside your head. Over and over. You’re gonna get sick and tired of hearin’ my voice. You’re gonna come marchin’ down here and tell me to knock it off ’cause I’m makin’ your head hurt. Well, guess what, ‘sellta? I ain’t gonna stop. You wanna come on down here and tell me off? Fine!
He fixed his gaze on the cell door.
I wish you would. Just come to me. Angry. Happy. Mad. Sick. Irritated. Whate’er. Don’t care what mood you’re in. ‘sellta, just come to me. Please come to me.
Isellta, please be alive.