👣🚶 left behind👣🚶
Meenah writes ✍️
Lunch break. My favorite part of the school schedule.
I stuffed a novel and a notebook into my backpack, jammed my locker shut, and made my way to the cafeteria. I sighted Fred and Jack sitting at our table, the one we normally sit at every lunchtime; me, Harry, Jack, Fred, and Luke. Speaking of which, Luke wasn’t there.
I heaved a sigh of relief and walked over.
“Hi guys,” I said and took my seat.
“Hey there,” Fred said, while Jack acknowledged me with a nod.
This is like a week and some since the Harry and Jean incident, and Jack still seemed to brood. Like he really missed them.
I missed them too, but life goes on.
I made a mental note to talk to Jack and asked what’s bothering him.
I reached over to Fred’s plate and took an apple, quickly sinking my teeth into it before he could give me a disagreeing look.
“Kathy…..” he drawed out.
“What, an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” I replied with a grin.
He shook his head and went to the counter. Then he returned minutes later with a lunch tray similar to theirs, except that he took my apple.
“Fair enough,” I shrugged and began to eat.
“You know, I think we should visit Harry’s parents again, find out how far on the case,” Jack began.
“Yeah, I think so too,” I replied.
“Which reminds me buddy,” Fred said, turning to Jack, “You haven’t been your self ever since…” he trailed off, knowing we’d get his point.
Jack sighed. “It’s my fault, you know?”
Fred and I exchanged confused looks, and before we could urge him to continue, I was blindfolded from behind.
“Hey!” I yelled, trying to free my eyes.
“Guess who?” Fred spoke with sarcasm.
I knew immediately that it was Luke. Well, not just because Fred spoke, but I knew his smell, his touch… sigh.
“Luke,” I said softly.
He chuckled and took off his hand, sitting beside me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable.
“Having lunch without me?” he asked and nudged my arm with his.
I nudged him back, and he chuckled. Again.
“OK, Jack was saying something before you two crazies interrupted!” Fred announced.
Jack shook his head and took not-up-to-a-spoon of spaghetti into his mouth. “It’s fine.”
“So what do you say, movies, Friday?” Luke asked me. For the past fifteen minutes he’d been trying to convince me to join him to go to the movies on Friday. Just us.
It seemed that lately, temptations had really been thrown into my path in all aspects.
“Say yes, please?” he cut in with a babyish pout that happened to look just so cute.
“OK, I’ll see if I’ll be engaged then.”
“Yes!” he punched the air victoriously.
I giggled a bit. “See you later.”
The four of us made our way to the Andersons house. I rode with Luke, while Jack rode with Fred. He didn’t have the knack for driving these days.
When we got in, we found the Normans, Jean’s parents, seated in the living room also. Mrs Norman and Aunt Liz, Harry’s mom, had piteous expressions on their faces. I began to feel bad. I had been so busy resisting Luke’s advances that I never had the time to really see what the real problem was.
Two girls, young. Missing. One of whom was–is– my best friend.
The tears pricked. Guilty tears, sympathetic tears, self-depreciating tears, as I rushed into aunt Liz’s embrace.
The boys, and Mr Norman were standing with uncle Jacob as they talked about next steps to take.
Minutes later, when it was quite dark and we’d all gone home, I heard the rumblings of an earthquake in the distance as I prepped to climb into bed. I froze, still holding the hem of my blanket, and listened as the sound grew louder. Not the earthquake, but sounds like thunderstorms. Everywhere grew momentarily dark.
“Kathy stay put,” mom yelled from downstairs, “Its unusually to have weather like this in Creole, I wonder what’s going on.”
I wondered too, in that few seconds of darkness. Then all cleared, and I saw the moon, shining high up in the starry sky, glowing brighter than a dark sun.
Maybe too bright.
Dizziness, accompanied by a terrible headache and a foreboding sense of danger.
Where am I?
Where am I?
I placed both hands palm down on the floor and tried to push my self up. I felt weak, my limbs and head hurt a lot.
Then I remembered, earlier. I was supposed to meet Rex in the alley. I actually saw him, but he was acting strange. And then he… oh my god!
I jumped up with sudden strength and rushed for the door at the sudden realization: Rex was evil! I should have known, I should have…
I ran towards the door and tried to open it. I was shut tight. I began banging fervently, all the while trying to hold the tears in. No sound, no movement.
I was stuck up here.
But now wasn’t the time to cry or fret. I had to get out of here. If what Juliante and Ewan told me about the Master was indeed true, then I was in a great deal of danger.
Standing more erect, I took a look around my surrounding. The room was dark, and there was only a dim source of light from an oil lamp fixed into the wall with a metal ring. Aside that, all was dark. I saw the only exit: the door which I struggled with to escape. Three bars fixed horizontally across a square opening passed for a window. The room was bare, no furniture, nothing I could use to pry the lock. And I didn’t even know anything about this damned place. I was stuck here, until Rex or whoever caused my kidnap came and gave me a hint into why I was brought here.
I sunk onto the floor, the cold hard floor for lack of anything to do.
But I wouldn’t cry. I’ll be strong. I managed to escape the forest with Jean, and I’ll do same here.
It’s just a matter of time.
The weather had finally died down, and I almost laughed at myself for thinking something was wrong. Anyway, I always had to be alert of such things, because I didn’t want to be taken by surprise anymore.
I left the windowsill, ignoring that gut feeling. If Harriet decided that it was cozy enough to go on some stupid date in the mid of the night was a suspicious guy, then it wasn’t my business. She’d been with us for all of a week, and I couldn’t say I knew her at all.
But this thing… this bond thing Juliante has been breathing down our necks with. It still puzzled me sometimes. What was it all about? And why her of all people?
I sighed and made to pick up a book which I was reading earlier from Juliante’s desk, and my mind went to the kiss.
I didn’t know what even pushed me to do that! I knew that I’d be up for a long time thinking about it and the aftermath, but I didn’t know I’d begin lusting over it as of now.
I shook my head to clear the thought, and that’s when I saw Zoe in the door way. How long have she been standing there?
She broke into a small smile when I acknowledged her.
“Hi,” she said.
I regarded her for a moment before asking, “What’s wrong?”
I’ve known her since we were little, and I knew that she was always short of words when she was troubled.
I mean, who says hi in the night?
She shook her head and walked into the study and paused in front of me.
“Ewan….” she trailed off and twisted her fingers, her gaze skittering allover the floor.
I his an amused smile.
“Zoe, what’s wrong?” I repeated, this time in a singsong manner.
She giggled a little at this.
“I..well it’s nothing much. Just that there’s something I’ve always wanted to tell you for a long time now.”
I wondered what it was, because as far as I knew, we knew any and every thing about each other. So far. I haven’t told her about Harriet and me bonding, or about the kiss. Not that it’s a big deal.
“Hmm?” I said.
“Well…” she edged closer to me, and I wondered again what this was all about.
We were interrupted by Juliante barging into the room with an agitated look on his face. He looked hassled as he glanced around the room. Then his eyes settled on me, and his expression grew angry.
“You!” he growled, charging towards me. Zoe and I exchanged looks, because we’ve never seen him react this way.
“Me?” I asked, still confused.
“Yes! How did you manage to block me out of your mind?”
I frowned. “I didn’t. I don’t even know how to do that stuff!”
“Then it must have been someone else. Where is Harriet!?” he asked, or demanded.
“She’s out with Rex,” Zoe supplied.
“Some guy she’s been seeing.” said Zoe.
Juliante went over his books, scattering and throwing them as he searched for whatever.
“What is all these about?” I asked finally.
“Ewan I don’t know yet. But I hope to the Spirits that you haven’t told her about the Harmony Horn.”
I tried to digest this. Why would he ask me to tell her about the horn one moment and then ask me NOT to tell her the next?
I walked over to him and looked into his face.
“Juliante what’s going on?”
He took a second, and then said, “It seems the Hood are striking again. Ewan you have to be very careful.”
I turned to Zoe. She had a frightened look on her face. I knew how she felt. If the Master struck again, then there would be no hope for Amazon. Or for me.
“Harriet, where is she?” I asked suddenly, feeling the need to keep her safe.
“Ewan I said she is–”
“I know. She should return soon, I don’t trust that Rex guy.”
“Why?” Juliante asked.
There was something he wasn’t telling me. So I wouldn’t either.
“He reminds me of someone I’d rather not talk about,” I said and walked out as I passed by Zoe, she bit on her lower lip so hard. Something was seriously bugging her, and I’ll find out.
After Harriet returned home.
Seconds, minutes, and an hour passed by. She didn’t return. Now I was convinced that the gut feeling wasn’t jealousy, phew, but it was a warning that something had indeed gone wrong.
“But where is she?” I asked Rex again. I was really getting scared now. Ewan won’t stop pacing ever since Harriet didn’t return, so I’d sneaked out, hoping to look for her and ensure nothing happened. I’d arrived at the alley, but I didn’t see anyone, when all of a sudden Rex appeared out of nowhere from behind me.
“I’m doing the favor, Zoe. Keeping her away like you asked me to. Don’t worry, she’s okay. But you have to make sure that Ewan doesn’t look for her, or worry. Tell him she’s staying over at mine for the night.”
I nodded slowly, still unconvinced. But it was good. I’ll just have to get Ewan to stop worrying, and then I’ll have him to myself tonight.
I smiled now to Rex.
“OK, and please tell her I said hi.”
He already walked away. Then he stopped a few metres away.
“Oh, and Zoe? You did a marvelous job.”
I wondered what he meant by that, and by the time I looked up, he’d gone already.
My heart hammered in my chest as I hurried home.
I immediately stood up from the floor when I heard the lock clicking. My heart rate increased because I didn’t know what to expect. I could remember that it was the monsters…. gross. I prayed that I wouldn’t get to see their disgusting faces.
I’d contemplated talking to Ewan, telling him that I was captured. But I was so sure that it was the Master that got me. And Ewan had asked me not to do the mind talk because it paved a way for the Master to search his thoughts. It must have been really painful, and I didn’t want a repeat of that for him. Besides, I knew I was going to escape soon.
The door opened, and the view I had made me scream.
The four foot something monster, dark green scaly skin. Reptilian tongue sticking out of a mouth with razor sharp teeth a prominent canines. It stood on it’s haunches, with it’s knees sticking out.
It roared in my face, spreading sticky all over my face.
But before my scream could die down, it hit my head with a club.
I passed out immediately.
When next I opened my eyes, I was tied to a chair, unable to move, and staring into the eyes of the one they call the Master.
To be continued