Jasper had never been the type to hurt something innocent, but the constant quacking in his ear was drawing his fingers closer and closer to his lighter. He snarled. There were too many people walking around outside, and he knew for a fact that he couldn't cause much another scene. Not yet.
Slowly, the boy dragged himself down the street, occasionally kicking a duck or two out of his way. His energy had all but vanished. People were starting to give him the look. Good. If he looked tired and distressed enough, someone would feel bad and give him some money for food. All of it was a chain reaction. The boy made a point to sulk. Bending his back ever so slightly, he continued to drag his feet across the ground.
But then it started to rain. To anybody else, this wouldn't have been much of an issue, but Jasper froze. His body went numb. The water soaked his hair and drenched his black sweater, yet he stood completely motionless. Like a statue. A loud, ripping noise erupted from the sky and he knew it to be thunder. Thunder topped his list of enemies. It was the only one that he couldn't fight. He was powerless to the way that it could turn everything dark. He was powerless to the way that it could turn a calm sea into a raging one. He was powerless to the shivering that had started to shake him. Water filled his glued open eyes.
It burned. Burned exactly like the way that the salt water had when he felt it rip apart his lungs - when he watched it rip up Sandra's lungs -- She had grabbed his hands. Her grip was so tight that even the waves couldn't loosen it. Jasper was screaming her name - over and over, but it was impossible to hear over the cracking of thunder. She couldn't hear his honest attempts at comfort. She couldn't see the tears that stained his eyes that seemed to hurt him more than the ocean water.
The boy found himself sprinting into the nearest open store. Pale fingers had curled into fists at his side, but he was trying desperately to calm himself down. Wherever he was was no place for a runaway. It was fancy. The lights were slightly dimmed, and the tables were set with some sort of Asian style food.
"Can I help you?" an man's voice questioned. Jasper instantly turned himself around. The shorter man's face grew into one of sudden fear. You remember that, don't you, Jasper? That look of fear that you seem to like so much. You didn't like it on her face.
Jasper's feet tumbled backwards. Another body smacked into his own. A strong smell of floral perfume made him start to cough, yet he didn't bother to apologize. A feeling of ice had spread throughout him entirely - his familiar fire was somewhere tucked away, because all he could feel was bitterness. You're cold. Aren't you, Jas?
"Excuse me, sir. Can I help you? Would you like a table?"
The boy had to think quickly, but he couldn't even think at all. The water had soaked deeply through his clothes. It had sunk through his skin, really, because it felt like his brain was drowning in it. All he could do was follow his instincts.
"Sorry, I-- I don't have money-- I didn't mean to--"
"I'll pay for him."
A woman stood from across the room. Jasper turned around. Rather interesting looking, she was. Friendly. She gave him a gentle smile, but he couldn't even bring himself to return the favor. All he could do was throw himself into a chair.
The manager didn't even bother to take his order. He simply brought Jasper small plates of what seemed to be everything - white rice, steamed vegetables. It all smelled heavenly. Enough to cause him to make an irrational decision, considering he downed all five plates within a matter of minutes. It only took a few seconds for his stomach to start to rumble. Eating too much after days of not eating was never a good idea. The lady kept her distance from across the restaurant, most likely because Jasper looked (and smelled) like hell. But he couldn't help the small feeling of gratitude that rose in his chest.
When the sickness felt like it was about to become too much, he left the restaurant in a hurry. Outside was still humid but the pouring had come to a temporary stop. Good. He could at least focus. He almost felt calm, really, until a curb on the ground sent him stumbling forward. Blood instantly rose from the new scrape on his knee. His toe felt like it'd been twisted in half - a mix between a cry and a whimper left his lips, but he simply bit down on his hand to keep himself from drawing anymore attention.
The alley that he'd fallen in had a wall that was painted into flowers. Roses. Like the ones that Sandra used to keep in her bedroom. The two of them would pick the roses when they were younger. Bring one each to mom and one to dad. It was such a childish tradition, but the memory instantly sprung warm tears into his eyes. He simply couldn't hold himself up. The blood was dripping from his leg in the same crimson color as the roses. It stained the water that rushed into the street drain. His back rested gently against the wall. Sickness rose in his throat. There was no point in trying to keep it down. Coldness once again filled his veins, and he dropped his head as he threw up, shutting his eyes rather tightly so that he wouldn't see the damage. Jasper was more than exhausted. He was bleeding, shaking, tired, though not hungry - but somehow his body drifted into sleep.
The graveyard in his dream was occupied. People filled the place - dressed head to toe in different articles of black clothing. Somebody's father was speaking. His words told the story of a family with children whom continued to pass. Six dead. A young, blonde girl had been killed, and this must've been her funeral.
He didn't know why he was here. A bouquet of roses fit perfectly into his hand. The crowd of people around him started to give him sympathetic stares. The casket on the platform was left open. Somebody pushed Jasper forward. The bottom of his black suit was stained with blood, but nobody seemed to notice. There were no worries here. Simply nothing. Jasper knew that he needed to pay his respects. He inched closer, closer, closer-- But the body was not the girl named Alice. It was the body of his younger sister, torn apart by the ocean waves, dark hair spilled into some sort of beautiful mess, He was not a beautiful mess. He was not any sort of beautiful - But he was a rose. Red, pink and orange like fire - covered entirely in thorns.