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Mar 06, 2021 2:59 AM
Henry in the Victorian Mansion CYOA
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He eventually finds a working clock or at least one that ticks when wound up.

It has been a day and change. The police ought to have been contacted by now, right? Not that Henry expects them to find them today.

Best case scenario a camera caught the lady at the Jaces' house or Henry with them. But Henry doesn't think that is a likely scenario.

He decides to go back to cleaning. It's meditative and calming enough that it beats despairing over the situation. Or Gabe's situation.

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By the end of the day, he will find himself with a clean bathroom and some salvageable toiletries that were mercifully (and maybe mysteriously?) salvaged from the years of accumulated grime: a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a roll of toilet paper, a washcloth.

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One roll of toilet for a year? It's not the worst thing about the situation, but it's surprisingly disappointing.

He remembers to check the mailbox, and... yeah, it already contains his dinner salad. Considering it's dark already he shouldn't be surprised.

Henry decides to not touch the salad before washing his hands. He might as well enjoy the spoils of his day of hard (and disgusting) work.

He washes his hands and face.

He blinks at the face in the mirror, cleaning his eyes. Okay, that was definitely an optical illusion and not his face turning shifting before his eyes. Maybe the food is laced with something?

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Ultimately, Henry decides to eat the salad anyway. Mostly because he knows that starving doesn't make one less likely to see things. Then he goes to sleep.

It takes a while, he can't stop thinking about what Gabe must be doing right now. At this point even Gabe might be getting desperate.

He is restless and his sleep suffers, the next morning he wakes up knowing it's too late to catch the lady delivering breakfast. Sigh. Maybe he should search to write her a note. For all the good that might do.

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It takes a while to find the materials for a note. Most paper around would probably just be considered garbage or an attempt to inconvenience his kidnappers. And they control his food.

He takes the time to evaluate what he can do to improve his chance of escaping and survival. Maybe at some point they will come inspect the house to see if he is working? Henry is not at all sure if they are actually keeping him in to clean stuff, but... he is at loss. It's not like there is any money to be made with a ransom. His minds wonder in the vague direction of "human trafficking" but that too is weird given he is being kept here. He might not have figured out how to escape yet, but a house full of stuff is not a place to store a would be slave. Ugh.

Investigating the ground floor, Henry finds a room which he suspects is some kind of pantry. There are piles of hard-to-identify clutter blocking his way, but he is pretty sure that is some kind of preserved fruit there in the back? With similar jars. Those can last a long while.

On the other hand, maybe the kitchen will have food as well?

Or maybe he should work on the garden...

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Or maybe, he can work on the vestibule instead. And try to catch when the old lady delivers the food. Now that he thought about it that sounds more immediately useful.

He will even clean the place for the old hag. Better than staying in a small cramped room that has been used to store the dirt from outside. Or at least it is how it has been "used" lately. How does a house get so dirty while vacant?

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It's a mystery. The vestibule doesn't really provide further answers. Only evidence of how much mud, dust and random debris a place can accumulate in a small area.

Time passes him by. There is no sign of the mailbox being open or disturbed from outside.

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Henry gets distracted with cleaning. Once he gets a sense it's around noon he decides to check. No lunch. He goes back to cleaning. A short while later he checks again.

Yup that is the sandwich.

He... probably just didn't hear. It must be that. He will try again around dinner time.

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Henry eventually finds a piece of paper that still can be used without being thrown away immediately out of revulsion. And among the random assortment of stuff there is what appears to be an inkwell. He even finds feathers to complete the set, but decides to use a stick instead.

He tries to think of a note. "Dears kidnapper" is a waste of space. And dangerous.

Pleas for help won't do anything he doesn't think.

Calling them both bastards, won't be cathartic enough if they cut off his food.

Let my family know that I am alive.

 

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Henry doesn't immediately go back to cleaning. But it's not like there is anything to do.

So he just sits on a piece of presumed-furniture, staring into space. With the inkwell flask still on his hand for a while.

Gabe would probably use it to draw dicks on the walls. Because he was still a teenager, even if he had been eighteen for a few months longer than Henry. Also, because he unashamedly liked them. At they least they were very nicely draw dicks. Henry debates trying doing that himself, but isn't enthusiastic about the idea. Gabe would've done that from day one.

Maybe Gabe would even have thought of a way out. Or more likely would've poked Henry about the possibility instead of being resigned to his fate like Henry is. How long it took Henry to give up banging on the doors? How long have him being here?

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Starting a calendar might be... useful? Practical? Better than not and lose track of time. He cleaned the Hall on his first day. Then the bathroom on the second day, yesterday.

He gathers the rejected-for-the-note papers, and stabs them through a coat hook. Then he writes:

Day 3

After staring at it for a while he resumes cleaning.

It's something to keep himself occupied.

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Day 6.

Henry wakes up to find his breakfast warm and smelling delicious, reaching all the way to his nose where he was sleeping. Which is good. Because it means that his kidnappers didn't take yesterday's outburst too badly. Or maybe they don't actually come by to deliver the food, and have some automated method or something hidden in the mailbox? It's too early to think of that. And he is hungry after throwing yesterday.

He starts eating his breakfast very slowly, letting the food pass through his throat without hurting it further.

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Day 8.

Henry decides to start talking out loud to be sure his voice doesn't fade away with misuse or the next time he has an outburst. He starts by counting out loud the payment he got from the old lady.

Then he talks at length how freaking bizarre the situation is and how disheartening it is to be under the control of a clearly insane person. He stores the money. There is a very well ingrained instict to save money stilled in him through years of counting every penny's worth.

Day 9.

Not having many topics to discuss in his isolation, Henry experimentally decides to just talk whatever comes up in his mind.

There are a lot of variations of "If Gabe was here".

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Day 10, is the day of a surprising appearance.

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Yeah.

That is sure a cat with a fancy hat and cape.

He just finally finished cleaning the vestibule when the critter slides out of the mailbox. Did the old woman left it there?

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The cat stares at Henry like it can read his confusion, then looks frustrated with something. That said, it also deigns to rub itself against Henry's legs.

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It probably just wandered off. Maybe it didn't like its owner taste in pet clothing?

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The cat leaves out a huff of disapproval. Like it thinks its clothes are dashing and fashionable, thank you very much.

It tries to climb Henry's legs.

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Henry picks her up...

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She allows to be picked up. She has an engraved collar with the name "Tama" engraved. But no address or contact information.

Tama purrs in his arms.

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Henry chokes and starts crying.

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Oh no. Kitty snuggles.

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He eventually sits down and lets the waterworks wash away. Quietly, just minutes of letting himself cry.

Once he is done he feels vaguely self-conscious for getting so emotional in front of another creature.

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