First chapter in Part II!
11. Alive and Not Well
My thoughts were the first things to wake up. I was thinking Denise. Why was I thinking of Denise. I did not even know who she was. The name was just there, floating in my head.
Next thing that came was the realization that I was still alive. Then came the realization that I could not breathe. ‘Crap!’ I told myself. I opened my eyes. Water surrounded me. There was light penetrating the water in an array of unevenness. It was a peaceable moment and I wished I could have stayed there, that is, if I could have breathed then.
I tried lifting myself up. It did not work. I looked at my arms which were holding me down for reasons unknown to me. Seaweed entangled my arms like a fly gets entangled in a spiderweb. I was a victim to something dead, I thought, until I realized that there was something black on one of my arms. It was like a moving mosaic of black and red. ‘Red?’ I thought, as I saw what was blood floating away from my arm like smoke from a candle that has just been blown out.
In a burst of adrenaline, I flung my arms up. My body followed suite. I was up and swimming to the top of the surface of what I assumed was Seaweed Lake. Halfway up, I started to feel faint. My stomach hurt. My chest hurt. I looked down at my body and was revolted at what I saw. I saw hundreds of leeches clinging on to my body. I looked at my arms. Same thing. I was losing blood, and fast. This urged my adrenaline to work at its fullest.
The first breath of fresh air was relieving, but I had no time to celebrate. The leaches were sucking my life out and I needed help.
I found myself twenty feet from the small beach I saw in front of me. I told myself I could not make it. I began scrapping the leaches off my arms, chest and stomach. They stuck to my hands. Finally, I managed to get enough off me to be able to swim to shore comfortably. Once a got to shore, I fell on my face exhausted. I lost consciousness for a while but when I woke up, the sky was no less darker.
I looked around at my surroundings, disoriented a bit. I saw a dense forest ahead of me and Seaweed Lake behind me. There was no sign of Harry. I called out his name but he did not answer. I realized I did not have the documents anymore. I wondered where the could have disappeared to. I assumed they were at the bottom of the lake. I looked inside the boat which I noticed was on shore. My journal was sitting there waiting for me. ‘It must have slipped out of my pocket,’ I assumed.
Seeing the boat was a relief. I now knew that Harry had safely made it across. I remembered what Clyde said about a cottage. I did not have the files, but I decided to go over there and get some rest and some food. Those Vampire Leeches had left me frail.
I looked around, this time looking for the cottage. Sure enough, on the right was a light. I went to it expecting it to be the cottage, and it was. Made of wood, the cottage looked inviting and warm. I made my way to the door which I assumed was the front door. I was right again.
An old man answered the door. He had grey hair on the side and watery eyes. His jaw sticked out as to make is chin protrude from his face. He had a magnificent nose. “Hello?” he said tenderly.
“Hi,” I responded. He looked at me as if expecting me to continue talking. Feeling obliged, I did. “Someone sent me here.”
“Clyde?” he asked with a smirk. I nodded and he went on to say, “You look terrible!”
“I lost the files,” I interjected.
“Never mind the files! Come in and we’ll give you something to eat and get you to bed.”
This was quite a welcome and I did not stop to suspect anything. “Did someone pass by here, about my age?” I asked.
“Take thee stairs up, get some rest, and then we’ll talk. I have some nice soup on the stove.”
By now I was in the house. I asked for a little more direction to which bed I should sleep in and followed the ones the old man gave me. I flopped on the bed and fell asleep, or fainted. One of the two.
I awoke by the sound of a conversation. I looked to the direction of the hallway and saw two individuals talking. They proceeded to go down the stairs.
I looked around the room. It was clean and orderly, but that is not what caught my attention. It was that it was the same shape as my room back in Cubeville was. Then I noticed that the room looked all ready for a visiter. It was as if they were expecting me. I headed out the door of the room and walked down the stairs. It was then that I realized that this was the exact same design as my old imploded house. I decided then to go to the kitchen, for I knew exactly where it was.
There were two people in the kitchen. There was an old man and a young lady in her mid-twenties. The man was the first to speak up:
“Hello! Sit down, we were just about to eat.” I sat down. “This was my favourite soup when I was your age.” I looked at the soup he served me, not knowing what flavour it was. “Those Vampire Leeches sure got you bad! All you need is some good food and some good rest.”
The lady sat down, looked at me as if revolted and started serving soup for herself. “So where do you come from?”
“Cubeville,” I responded plainly.
“Oh,” she said, as if suspicious. She was wearing black and had very cold, grey eyes. She started to eat and I followed suite.
“Oh, I almost forgot,” said the old man, “my name’s Dylan LaVita and this is my wife Rita LaVita. What’s your name?”
“What a lovely name,” exclaimed Dylan. “Don’t you think so, Rita?”
She looked at him and smiled, then continued eating.
“And your last name?”
“Oh, I see,” he said gravely. He took a sip of his hot soup.
(I still do not know what flavour it was. It was not bad, but just flavourless.)
“So did someone pass by here recently?”
“I think so,” replied Mr. LaVita. ” “Rita? Didn’t someone pass by here earlier this evening?”
“Oh yes,” she replied.
“Well who was it, hun?” asked he.
“It was a boy about your age, Liam. He said his name was Harry.”
“Where is he?” I blurted out, dying to know.
“He left after I gave him some food.”
“I thought it would be the person whom Clyde sent, but I was constipated and could not come out to greet this individual. You cannot imagine the pain I went through in that-”
“Too much information,” rebuked Rita.
“He’s allowed to know,” he said.
“He doesn’t have to, and I doubt he wants to know anyways!”
“Where did he go?” I said, interrupted the conversation.
“He went on his way to either Trench or Gildland. One or the other. He wouldn’t say.”
“I must go,” I said, standing up.
“You’re not in the condition to do so,” said Rita. “You need some rest, that’s what you need.” She looked sternly at me as if my mother. “Finish your soup and go take a shower. You stink.”
“Too blunt,” rebuked the old man. “But seriously though,” he said, turning to me, “finish your soup and go take a shower. It’d be best.”
I listened. I liked the old man. He looked sincere. His wife was a different story. I did not like the way she looked at me with her penetrating eyes. I finished the tasteless soup and went upstairs. I found some clean clothing on a chair in the corner of the room along with a white towel with writing stitched on it. I did not bother reading it.
I got into my shower and the warmth of the water surprised me. Far from Cubeville and even farther from Trench and Gildland, the water in that cottage was warm. Warm enough to be comfortable, that is.
I got out of my shower and wrapped the towel around me. As I did so, I caught a glimpse of the writing on it. I thought I saw my name. I took the towel off me and saw what was written and sure enough, my name was the first word. It read:
To be continued…