Hey, everyone. The general reaction to the ending of Hershey Kisses and Salt Lines was, understandably, very upset! Poor little Oscar was left behind in the wake of the Winchesters fleeing a monster, and had to resign himself to life on his own in the Knight’s Inn once more.
This story is an update on the little guy’s life in the motel.
Oscar took slow breaths. He had to focus. He was getting better at this all the time, but it still only took one mistake for everything to go wrong. Two years of surviving by himself, down the drain if he got caught. He couldn’t let that happen.
Most of the smaller folk wouldn’t risk hiding in an occupied room. The risk of humans spotting them was simply too great. Even Oscar felt his heart hammering as he huddled in his hiding spot under the bed, close to the wall. A large tangle of lint and dustbunnies provided a good barricade while he waited.
The motel was more packed than it had ever been. A glimpse outside had revealed a bus in the parking lot, and seven rooms were booked out with four humans to a room. Teenagers, a whole class of them, on a trip. Their presence made waves … mostly sound waves.
Oscar had tried to check all of the new faces for a familiar one, just in case. They were all the right age. But they confirmed his doubts.
Dean wouldn’t have come with a group like this anyway.
It was far from a total loss, though. Human teenagers, left mostly to their own devices, ate a lot of food. They didn’t clean up after themselves as much, either.
Oscar would never dream of venturing near the room where most of them had gone, calling it a “party room.” But one closer to home was promising enough. Oscar instead staked out a room with four girls that had decided to watch TV and gab the evening away. He didn’t follow most of what they said, but he noticed every time they dropped some of their food. Several crumbs and even an entire potato chip lay just under the shadow of the beds, willfully ignored by the humans piled on top of the blankets.
Waiting in the room would work well. As soon as they were all asleep, Oscar could make his move. After watching each crumb fall, he wouldn’t even need to search, and he could grab all the food on his way back into the walls.
The risk of being caught was always there. Oscar huddled even smaller as he imagined one of those humans kneeling down and seeing him. With four of them, it’d be easy to herd him into a corner and catch him.
They might not be nice like Dean. In fact, it was very unlikely. Dean had been a rare human indeed, with his tiny brother Sam helping him realize that smaller folk were people. Not animals or pets or toys.
These girls might not be mean to Oscar, either. He’d figured out that a lot of humans liked small, cute things. Oscar was a tiny, ten-year-old boy. He would probably become a favorite living doll, or a pet that they loved to coo at and make faces at through the bars of a cage. He drifted into thoughts of how well he might be fed in that scenario, the only light in such a bleak imagined existence.
Even for all the food he could ever want, Oscar wouldn’t want a cage.
He waited for a long time in that room. His stomach pined for the food within view. But he waited. Oscar was very used to waiting. His patience kept him huddled safely out of sight of the humans. More crumbs fell from above. The TV droned on.
When the girls finally settled into their beds and switched off the lamps, Oscar was rubbing his eyes sleepily. He waited at least thirty minutes more before moving. He had to be sure they were all asleep.
Then, he was off.
Oscar collected every last scrap. The full potato chip he tucked under his arm, it was so big. His bag actually filled up. As he scurried back to his entrance into the walls with that reassuring weight bouncing along to the rhythm of his run, his heart lifted just a little. It was probably enough food to last him several days, if not a full week.
With a life like Oscar’s, every little silver lining counted.
When he brought everything home, after not once being noticed by the humans, Oscar enjoyed himself organizing the food on his pantry shelves. He still wasn’t tall enough to reach the highest ones, but the lower shelves he could fill with crumbs and the stacked shards of the potato chip.
Once everything was put away, he picked up the piece of chip that he’d set aside for his meal for the day. His stomach thanked him profusely as he wolfed down the salty, starchy snack. His brown eyes even fluttered closed for a second. He didn’t let any of the food go to waste. The oil and salt it left on his fingers was licked clean and then Oscar went about getting ready for bed.
He washed his hands and his face from his bottle cap of water. He made sure his door was closed tightly against any bugs, and made sure no bugs had already snuck in. He peeked into his pantry one more time, to reassure himself that everything was still there.
It was, and he smiled faintly. “Good,” he breathed.
Finally, Oscar crept into the partitioned off bedroom where his nest of blankets waited invitingly. He pretended they were proud of him for doing such a good job getting supplies that night, and snuggled up under the whole pile to keep warm.
“Goodnight,” he said to the empty home. He pretended that, wherever they were, his friends heard him.