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As Seb begins to gain consciousness, he soon realizes where he is at: his childhood home. With the rodents chanting in the background, his eyelids crack open to reveal a warm spotlight directly on his face.
“Wait, why am I here?” Seb manages to squeak.
With no response, Seb continues to look around. It is his childhood home with no doubt, but something is different about it; it appears that someone, or something, replaced all the furnishings with prehistoric couches, chairs, faint beds, and paintings of people he didn’t recognize.
Just as Seb was beginning to wonder if he’d ever get an answer to his question, someone’s footsteps become increasingly loud behind him.
“Sebastian,” says the voice. It has a strange familiarity to it.
No one has called him that since he was a boy.
“I have something for you.”
Just as he begins to turn around, the contents of a jar leak into his lap.
“What is this stuff!?” Seb shrieks.
“It’s what we made you for dinner. You don’t like it?” the voice coyly refutes.
Seb looks down onto his lap to examine what has been poured onto him. As much as he’d like to reach out and touch it, the rodents have tied him up. He moves his legs the bit that they are able to move and discovers that the liquid base is not as viscous as he’d guessed. It was a deep brownish purple, with light beige specks scattered throughout. As he watches the liquid, the beige specks start to move. He begins to focus his ancient eyes to see that the specks are head lice swimming around in the liquid. Seb lets a curse word slip and shakes his legs violently.
“Not to worry, Sebastian. We’re going to take good care of you here. The beautiful creatures that we have presented to you have been specially engineered for you, a gift from us.”
Seb considers his options on what to say, which route to go with his response. He decides to stay on the unseen man’s good side and just ask questions. There were answers he needed.
“Sir, listen to me. I’m just an old man trying to stay alive. All I ask is that you let me go. At the least, I’d like an explanation as to why I’m here and what I can do for you. If you tell me, I’ll go about getting whatever it is you want via the quickest route available. I’m sorry for any inconvenience I’ve caused you and your… friends.”
Seb peers down at the rodents. He’s never seen so many in his life. Each disgusting creature is large enough to fit in a decently sized saucepan.
“Well,” the voice begins, “there are a few things you can do for my friends and I. First, we need you to treat the friends that have been bestowed upon your lap. They haven’t been feeling well lately.”
He reluctantly looks at the lice. They begin to turn crimson red and triple in size. As this happens, they multiply and the parent dies.
“Whenever they reproduce, they seem to not be able to live through it. We obviously want plenty of our little friends, and we need you to fix that in order for us to accomplish what we need to get done.
“What makes you think I know how to fix your disgusting, mutated rodents?!” Seb wails in response to the ridiculous request.
Immediately after this response, the room once again returns to darkness.