Chapter 5: Work, Fruit, and a Kidnapping?!

Aleks and I had arrived in a small down named Hobsnire. It was cute and there weren't a lot of people. Luckily, everyone was kind. I wonder if it's one of those cutesy little towns with kind villagers, but they all have some dark secret. I hope not, I've been enjoying the normalness of the past few weeks. Anyway, while Aleks and I have been in the town, we've managed to both get jobs. Sadly, we have different jobs so we won't be able to warn each other quickly if something happens, but at least we can earn some money now.

I'm working as a waitress and a tavern and Aleks is working on a farm. I'm not sure exactly what he does, but I'm sure it's way harder than working as a waitress. So right now, I'm going to the kitchen to get food for one of the customers. "Jane! I need the gentleman sitting at the right table's food." I called out as I entered the room, I sniffed the air and an amazing aroma of different foods filled my nostrils. It smelled absolutely amazing. "Almost done!" Jane called back to me.

Meanwhile, Aleks' nostrils were filled with the sour scent of animal manure. He was feeding the pigs, ducks, chickens, cows, horses, and then he had to feed the barn cat and sheep dog. Someone else was feeding the rest of the animals; there sure were a lot of them too. Aleks groaned. "I bet Kathrine is having a much better time serving people."

"It's ready Kat! Hurry up before the food gets cold!" Jane yelled to me. I finished writing the woman's order and then I rushed into the kitchen; I took the food and left the order. The man looked starving, and when he saw his meal a grin broke along his face and he licked his lips and thanked me as I set the food down at his table. I smiled then nodded and went to take a couple's order. I had to wear a uniform for work, and I thought it looked cute. It was a bit like a maid outfit, except different. The main color was sky blue with a white apron. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a cute little hat to go with it, but I think I can live without it.

It was break time for me, so I went to the back room and sat down to read. Aleks and I had swapped books a week ago and I was nearing the end of his book. It wasn't that interesting but it kept me pre-occupied when I wasn't busy. Aleks had informed me that he was nearing the end of my book, so we're going to buy new books soon.

I hadn't gotten paid yet, but I had only been working for a few days. I think we get our pay checks at the end of the month. I'd ask but the boss kind've scares me, and I try to avoid him as much as possible. I still have that feeling of someone watching me, and it's starting to freak me out.

The work day for Aleks and I had ended, and we were meeting at the place we were staying at. Lucky for us, a nice couple let us stay at their home. I was already in my room reading when I heard the front door creak open. Ah! Aleks is home, he was late today. Maybe he got lost, the house isn't in town. It was on a hill that was spotted with trees. I didn't bother to go downstairs; Aleks didn't really need a welcome back.

I was nearing the end of the second to last chapter, when I heard a shriek. It sounded female… I seriously hope she just dropped something on her foot, or a rodent/bug scared her. If someone else dies, I'm going to have a serious flip out. I went downstairs to investigate, my dagger in hand. I tip-toed down the hallway and peeked me head around the corner. I found Joelline (Pronounced Joe-Leen) putting down some sort of trap. Maybe it was a type of mouse trap? "What happened?" I asked.

"Oh, a big 'ol rat ran 'cross my toes. The beast scared me half to death." The beast… My mind was stuck on those words. I had forgotten about the beast, Marianne, and Jorge. Now my mind was flooded with memories. A picture of Marianne's dead body, laying on the bed, dead. I felt tears slip from my eyes and I dropped my knife. My legs buckled and I landed on my hands and knees.

Then, all of the sudden, everything around me shattered. The world was black. I expected to be in the hole, but this time I was in a different. The room was made up of black brick, there were no windows but there was a door. It was made of iron, I think. It was probably locked. I was sitting on the ground, in front of the blue-eyed man. No! I have to escape… I rushed to my feet and ran at the door. I slammed my body into it, but it didn't leave the smallest dent. "LET ME OUT! PLEASE! SOMEONE HELP ME!" I screamed out even though I knew no one was there, I wasn't going to escape, and I had to deal with it.

Tears were pouring from my eyes, and I'd given up on trying to bust open the door. Instead, I stood in front of the man. I was going to ask some questions. Before the man could speak, I asked, "Who are you?" He looked at me with a grin. "I am Andrios." He answered, he was about to speak when I asked another question. "What are you?" He looked at me for a moment, as if thinking about whether or not he should tell me. I guess he decided it was okay for me to know, because he answered with, "I am a Wendral." What the heck is a Wendral? I guess he knew that I wouldn't have known what a Wendral is. Maybe that's why he decided on telling me.

I was just about to interrupt him a third time, but then I couldn't open my mouth, it was as though someone had sewed my lips shut without me noticing. I eventually stopped trying to talk and I looked at him. "Alright then, you asked two questions. That is enough for the time being. Now, I will get on with what I had summoned you here for." I nodded. "I'm here to warn you of an attack. Your enemy is coming for you soon, so I advise you get prepared." Why was he warning me of an attack? Wasn't he the enemy? I was confused.

I sat there with a confused look on my face, and I guess Andrios didn't feel like explaining anything right now because the world around me crumbled instead of shattering, then I snapped awake. I was sitting on a chair in the kitchen, Aleks was sitting beside me and Joelline was staring at me. Aleks must've understood what had happened. "Oh, you're awake! I thought you were diein'. Luckily, Aleks 'ad just come home when you'd collapsed and passed out." I looked over at Aleks thankfully; if he hadn't been there Joelline probably would've freaked herself out to death.

"I'm okay, Joelline. You can go back to doing whatever you were doing, I need to talk to Aleks." I told her nicely. Aleks sat up and so did I, then we went to the room I was staying in. I explained to him what had happened before I'd passed out, and then I started on telling him what Andrios had said. "He told me to get prepared because the enemy was going to attack soon. It's confusing, because I thought he was the enemy. Oh, by the way, his name is Andrios. He also told me he was a Wendral… I have no idea what that is. But anyway, why would he warn me if he's the enemy?"

"Maybe he was saying it instead of just surprise attacking us? Maybe he thought it was cowardly to attack without warning." Aleks suggested. "I don't think that's quite it…" I answered. "Why do you think Andrios warned you then?" Aleks asked. "I'm not sure, but I think he may be on our side." It was possible, "But then why did he kick you into a hole? And didn't he send the beast?" Aleks took the words right out of my mind and said them. "I don't now… But I guess we should get prepared. How much money do we have altogether? I need to buy a sword and then you need to train me." I replied. After that, Aleks and I gathered up the money we had left over and it was a total of thirty-six silver coins, twenty-eight bronze, one hundred and two gold coins, and then one styrite coin. Apparently styrite was some sort of material in Adara.

"Is it enough for a new sword?" I asked Aleks. "I think... But we'll have to bargain. We could try selling some things? We can hurry and finish our books then try to sell them. Maybe you could make some bouquets to sell?" Aleks replied. "That could work… Well, let's get started on reading. Tomorrow after work, I will go out to the fields and pick some flowers for the bouquets." I said to him. "Alright. See ya' later." Aleks said as he walked out the bedroom door. I lay down to read. Every time I read an interesting story, I can completely forget about the real world.

I walked down stairs to get something to eat. I'd just finished my book a few minutes ago and then headed to the kitchen for some food. I found a basket on a table, and it was loaded with fruit. I decided on eating an apple. As I bit into the red apple, bursts of flavor exploded in to my mouth. It was an incredibly sweet apple, they were much better than the ones I was used to back on Earth. Much more juicy and crisp, and they even smelled sweet like a flower. The seeds were white instead of brown or black. I wanted to try a banana too, I haven't had one since I've entered this strange land.

As I bit in to the soft banana, a creamy flavor filled my mouth. It tasted a bit like creamy yogurt, or creamy frozen yogurt. It was amazing! I wonder what grapes tasted like. I saw some grapes in the basket, and I popped one into my mouth. More bursts of flavor exploded in to my mouth, and it tasted like grape candy! I had an apple and grapes back at the tavern, why did these taste so different? As I munched on the fruit happily, I noticed some odd shapes and colors. My hands were grey? And the sun outside was black? What was going on? I was starting to get dizzy, and everything seemed to be in slow motion. The world around me was black and white like an old movie.

I saw Joelline enter the kitchen, followed by her husband. What were they doing here? And why did they have such evil grins on their faces…? I was just about to black out when I realized I was right about this town having some sort of secret. I didn't know quite what it was, but I knew they had one. I hope Aleks comes down here to save me, or at least realizes what's happened quick enough to find me!

Aleks had just now finished the book he was reading, and he went to Kathrine's room to inform her of this. When he got there, she was gone, so, he went downstairs to check for her. Maybe she got hungry? As soon as Aleks had reached the kitchen, he noticed a toppled over chair, grapes on the ground, half of a banana, and an apple core. But Kathrine was nowhere in sight. Where had she gone? And why was the kitchen a mess? Sudden realization that someone could've kidnapped her washed over Aleks, and like a cold summer wind, it made him go cold.

"Joelline!? Daniel!?" Aleks called out their names a numerous amount of times, but they never answered. He went outside and saw tracks in the dirt. There were two sets of feet, and two long lines dragging in the dirt in-between the two pairs of tracks. They took her, and I hadn't even noticed. How could I have not noticed? And I promised I'd protect her. I'm going to find her and save her, and then I'm not going to let her out of my sight. So, Aleks started to follow the tracks but he soon came to a grassy area. . Luckily, they had trampled the grass and he was able to follow it with little difficulty.

Aleks was pretty lucky for Kathrine to have been captured by such amateur kidnappers. If they were pros, then Aleks might never have gotten Kathrine back, but who knows. Anyway, as Aleks trudged through the grass he tripped over something. The grass made it to his upper knee, so it was pretty hard to notice things in the grass if you weren't looking down. He picked himself up and checked out whatever it was he had tripped on. It was a trapdoor! And it was pretty well hidden; the kidnappers had covered it with grass and weeds.

Aleks opened the trap door and he peered inside. It was almost completely dark but he saw the faint glimmer of a torch. There was a latter lining one part of the wall, and Aleks had climbed on to it and started his journey downwards. It took him five minutes to reach the first torch. Another five to reach the next. After passing about six torches, Aleks wondered if he would ever reach the bottom. Luckily, he was almost there. Just two more torches to go!

As Aleks' feet touched solid ground he sighed in relief and he stretched his arms. Looking in front of himself, he saw a long corridor that was lined with torches that gave off a bright glow. After he rested for a few minutes, Aleks started to make his way down the long hallway. It took him fifteen minutes to reach the end of that, and then he had to go down another hallway which took him only ten minutes. Four more corridors, fifteen for the next, five, seventeen, and eight minutes. Nearly an hour had passed, and he hoped Kathrine was okay.

I woke up in a prison cell. My hands were cuffed and so were my ankles, there were chains attached to the cuffs and the chains were attached to the walls. I furiously shook my body, twisted and turned, but I couldn't free myself. I stopped struggling after a few minutes of failing, and decided to think about this. What exactly had happened? First I finished my book then went to the kitchen for food, I ate an extremely delicious apple and then I ate about half of a banana for I tried some grapes. All of the food had a sort of odd scent, but a magnificent taste.

Then I started to see shapes, things changed color, and everything became slow motion. I saw Joelline and Daniel walk into the kitchen with evil grins on their faces, and then I blacked out. Now I had mentally written down all that had happened, and it was time to process it. The fruit smelled weird… After I ate it I started to hallucinate… The fruit made me hallucinate and then pass out! But how, I doubt they drugged the fruit, because it was in perfect condition. No holes, bruises, marks, or anything. They did taste different than all other fruits I'd ever eaten.

It was starting to come together, there was some time of chemical in the fruit that makes you hallucinate and then pass out. The fruit is also amazing tasting so people will want to eat more of it, or maybe there is a chemical in it that makes you crave more. I think they put that chemical in candy bars and all other junk foods. Why don't they put it in healthy food too? Agh! I'm getting off topic.

Okay, so far I have figured out that the fruit was the reason for my hallucinating and black out. Then Joelline and Daniel came in to the room and took me away, did they put the fruit there, knowing I would get hungry and eat it? How could they make sure it was me…? What if Aleks had come down to get food? Maybe they would've stopped him... Saying the fruit was for someone special? I had no idea but now I knew what had happened. But why?

Andrios had warned me of an attack, but he never said what type of attack. This could've been it. Was everyone in this town working for the enemy? Maybe they were under a spell. My head was raging with questions and it felt like my mind was going to burst. Okay, it would've been nice if Andrios could've told me what type of attack it was… Ough! I hope Aleks noticed and came looking for me.

Aleks had gotten past the ladder, corridors, and now there was another long corridor. Except this one had doors everywhere. They looked like doors to a prison cell, it seemed like there were hundreds! It would take forever to check them all. But Kathrine had to be in one of them. He knew she was there, but where was Joelline and Daniel? They could be watching from the shadows, ready to attack at any moment. He didn't feel like he was being watched, so he figured

He had checked the 103rd prison cell. Still, no Kathrine. He was running out of time, and somehow he knew it. He had to move quicker, but he was already exhausted. He sat down to rest against a door. He roughly slammed on to an un-checked prison cell door. He slid down it and closed his eyes to rest. "Hello? Who's there?" Called out a familiar voice. "Kathrine!?" Aleks had immediately jumped to his feet when he realized who it was. "Aleks! Yes, it's me. Hurry up and get me out of here, Daniel and Joelline will probably be back soon!"

After thirty minutes of cutting, stabbing, and yanking of the chains Kathrine was finally free. The cuffs had cut up her wrists, and left red marks. She didn't pay attention to it, even though her wrists felt like they were on fire. Aleks noticed but she just waved him off saying it didn't hurt and that they had to move, quickly. Kathrine walked out of the prison door, only to find Daniel and Joelline at the end of the corridor. "Aleks! They're back! We have to run, get up, quick!" I yelled frantically. Aleks jumped to his feet and fled out the door. Daniel and Joelline noticed the pair and they just kept walking slowly. Aleks and Kathrine bolted for the door on the other side of the corridor, but found that it was locked.

We both bashed into the door but nothing worked. They were going to have to fight Daniel and Joelline, or find another way out. And it didn't take Aleks and Kathrine long to realize that Joelline and Daniel were armed. Daniel with a katana, and Joelline with nun chucks. "You fight Joelline, I'll get Daniel. I know you don't have enough experience but I know you can do it, okay?" Aleks said to me. "I-I can do it… I just have to believe in myself." I took a deep breathe. "I'm ready."