15. The Journey Onward
“Who are you?” he asked.
Great! He did not remember who I was. Just then though, before I had time to process Harry’s question, Rita and Dylan came running out with worried faces.
“What in the heckled diddly-squat clementine-like world is going on here!” exclaimed Mr. LaVita with his hands in the air.
I wanted to respond with, “You’re wife just tried to axe me to pieces!” but restrained myself. I instead responded with the simple, “I found my friend.”
“Where?” asked Rita.
I looked at her oddly. “You know exactly where I found him!” I yelled.
“What a queer boy,” Dylan expressed to Rita. He turned to me and asked, “Why
would she know where he was?”
Rita looked at me menacingly.
“Because she looks smart,” I blurted out, not knowing what to say.
“What a silly boy!” exclaimed Dylan picking up Harry by the arms. I helped him by
carrying the feet.
I looked at Harry’s confused face. He looked disoriented and exhausted. “Where
are you taking him?” I asked Mr. LaVita.
“To your room of course!” he explained. “You can sleep on the ground.”
Sure enough, Mr. LaVita lead Harry and I to the guest room. He laid Harry down
on the bed gently as Rita pulled the bedsheets down. The strange couple were soon out of the room. I was left with a teenager that appeared not to know me.
“What’s going on?” he asked drowsily when the couple left.
“Harry, do you remember me?” I asked, dying to know.
“No, do you know me?”
Harry asked this in such a plain voice that it made my heart sink. “Get some rest,
Harry. Your memory’ll come back to you. See you in the morning.”
He seemed to like the idea of sleep for he closed his eyes and started snoring
the moment I finished talking. I laid down on the floor but could not close my eyes. The image of Rita with her axe scared me. I was afraid she would kill me in my sleep. That is enough reason not to sleep.
The sun rose ever so slowly, but I watched the walls of the room go from black to red, red to orange, and orange to the colour of dark yellow which the wall was painted. Ugly colour really. I still remember it. It is then that I sat up and looked at Harry. He seemed knocked out. I woke him up. He jolted awake.
“Harry!” I whispered. “We need to leave now!” “Why?” asked Harry.
“I believe you’ve been drugged!”
“Drugged? By whom?”
“Ssh! By Rita.”
“The lady from yesterday?” “Yes. Now let’s go!”
He stood up and followed me down the stairs. When we got down, I gasped. There were, right over the kitchen, papers hung up on clotheslines to dry. Dylan was there, looking at one of them. He looked up at us and smiled. He displayed the piece of paper he was looking at to Harry and I. “This is you when you grow up,” he told me, pointing at the picture that I had seen before crossing Seaweed Lake.
“But the file sank!”
“Yes, but this smart boy saved them!” Dylan responded, pointing at Harry. “Of course, he also looked at the pages!”
“What does that entail?” I asked.
“It’s dangerous to know the information you see hung up in front of you. I asked Rita to wipe his memory so that if ever he ended up in the wrong hands, he could be safe from harm.”
“You can’t just wipe away someone’s entire memory just because they have valuable information!” I yelled.
“I didn’t want to. Rita gave your friend too many pills. Sorry. It was out of my control.”
“How dare you!” I exclaimed. I started to rip the pieces of paper down. “That’s what I think of your idiotic obsession with these darned papers!”
“Who said I was obsessed?” Mr. LaVita asked calmly.
“Oh you’re obsessed alright!” exclaimed Rita, having just come down the stairs. I turned to face her. “Have you come to axe me to death!?” I asked rudely. “No,” she responded smoothly. “I’ve come to wish you luck as you head off to
“Why would I go there?” I asked, perplexed.
Rita laid her hands on my shoulders and said, “These papers you ripped down
were the only written documents of the Hibernation Project outside of Trench. Go to Trench, and you can receive information.”
“Why don’t you just tell me what the Hibernation Project is?”
“Because I don’t know! No one knows! We just know it exists and that it is important to certain people, like you.”
“How would you know that?”
“I knew what the project was about long ago, but the drug was used on me and now I only remember the name! Those pieces of papers had the answers we were looking for, and you ripped them up!” Her face started to get red. “We kept the information from you so that you wouldn’t be hurt by it!”
“Clyde said not to trust you,” I said cooly. “I don’t trust you.”
“Clyde is just a sexist bastard!” she yelled.
“Shut up Rita!” Dylan said, now his turn to yell. “You tried to kill everyone in the
“Organization?” I asked. “What organization?”
Rita looked at her husband worriedly, but Dylan nodded his approval. “The
organization that keeps track of patients of the Hibernation Project. We know who the patients are, but we’re not quite sure what the project itself is about.”
“So far, we’ve been a failure,” the old man said. “Three patients died about a month ago in Trench.”
“This may be a lot of information to take in but-”
“I want more information,” I said. I looked over at Harry who was watching the whole scene in confusion. I wished he could have helped me.
“We don’t have time to give you all the information,” explained Rita. “The answers’ll come with time. For now, you will need to trust me.”
“You tried to kill me yesterday!” I reminded her. “How can I?”
Mr. LaVita stood up and pulled out a pistol from his sweater. “Now my wife and I have a reputation to keep up in the acting business in Trench. We can’t afford going undercover in Trench. That is why we are forcing you to do it for us.”
“What if we don’t want to?” spoke up Harry.
“Then I’ll kill you. And, oh, I’ll kill Liam’s friend Jim as well.” He said this so softly that I shuddered.
“Get answers,” Mr. LaVita replied.
“About everything,” put in Rita. “The Hibernation Project and everything revolving around it.”
“We are going to Trench in a month,” explained Dylan, sitting down again. “Meet us at 1345 Forest Grove in exactly a month and tell us all the information you’ve gained.”
“October 27th,” cleared up Rita.
“It’ll probably take us a full ten days yo get to Trench!” I exclaimed. “And plus, can’t you only get in through means of airplane or helicopter?”
“Naïve little boy, eh?” expressed the old man.
“There’s an entrance on the east side of the city, heavily guarded to get out, and not heavily guarded coming in.”
“So one you get in, you never get out?” asked Harry.
“This boy’s smart,” Dylan said. “Now will you two go?”
I looked at Harry. This was so unfair. We had no choice. We were being
threatened. “We’ll go,” I decided for the both of us. “But first,” I continued, “Where do we start?”
“At 587 Crescent Moon Avenue,” detailed Mr. LaVita. “There you’ll meet my son Ike. He will help you.”
How do you know he will?” Harry asked.
“He’s a revolutionary,” Dylan answered. “I’m sorry for the threat, but you wouldn’t volunteer yourselves.”
I looked at both adults. I hated both of them. Rita was a killer and Dylan was a blackmailer. I could not even begin to know what trusting them felt like.
“Now let’s get you going,” the old man said, standing up and stretching his aching body. He and Rita began packing food for us. I felt like running away. Both their backs were turned. It was tempting, but I decided to play it safe. I stood there, watching. They Rita turned around, looked at me and went up the stairs. She came back down with two backpacks in her hands. She dumped all the food in the backpacks, closed them, and handed them to Harry and I.
“Now off you go!” she said shooing us away.
“What did you put inside these backpacks?” asked Harry.
“You’ll see once you open them,” Rita said.
We were soon out the door. Rita looked at my and added, “Oh, and don’t kill
“I’ll try not to,” I said back, misinterpreting what she said.
“No, I mean don’t commit suicide,” she cleared up for me.
“Why would I?”
“Because some people just might convince you that it’s worth it.”
To be continued…