“Restaurant of Winners?” Jett read off the store sign. “That’s a weird name.”
The siblings had taken a small detour when they found a small, modest building peeking out of the woods, impossible to miss from their path down the train tracks. Outside of the building were two horses, reins tied onto a wooden pole, and an on/off-road car parked next to those, which, upon further inspection, Jett classified as a Jeep Wrangler. (Jett actually found a fascination with cars after researching them for a while, wanting to pick one out that was good for her in the hopes that her mom would buy her one.)
“Let’s check it out!” Finn rushed past Jett, headed for the door.
“Finn, we have no money!” Jett objected, but it was too late. Finn threw open the door and skipped into the restaurant. Jett looked down at the baby and sighed. “Brothers,” she tsked, shaking her head and following Finn inside. She figured they could at least get directions to the nearest train station.
For the emptiness presented to the two kids by the train tracks, the cafe was surprisingly crowded. Not very crowded, but there was still more people than they expected. Groups of tables were separated by a single aisle, leading up to the host desk, doubling as a bar. Finn and Jett shot each other a look of curiosity before approaching. A man was scrubbing a glass with a rag. He looked up and raised a dark eyebrow at the two kids.
“Can I help ya?” he said in a snappish tone.
Jett cleared her throat. “Yes, we were just wanting to get directions-”
“Play nice, Jack,” a woman said, sitting on a bar stool, covered in a long, black hood with her back facing the counter, leaning back on it on her elbows and staring out into the crowd of tables. “They’re just kids.”
“Yer one ta talk,” the bartender, Jack, mumbled under his breath, focusing on his glass cleaning. “Where are ya kids plannin’ on goin’, anyhow?”
“We’d just like to know where the closest train station is. We’re trying to get home and-” Jett was interrupted by the hooded woman yet again as she snickered.
“Train station?” she chuckled, still facing away from them. “You must be joking.”
“Why on Earth would ya be lookin’ for a train station?” Jack asked, looking up from his glass with surprise. The hooded woman’s head tilted with intrigue.
“To get home,” Jett barely got through her answer before she was interrupted again.
“Isn’t it obvious, Jack?” the woman spun on her stool to face the counter, leaning her elbows on the surface and resting her chin in her fists. “They’re Lost.”
Jack winced away from the woman. “No. Ooooh no, not in my restaurant! Yer not pickin’ a fight in my restaurant!”
“A fight?!” Finn gasped, looking up at Jett with worry.
“Oh, I hope you don’t think I’m the one fighting,” the woman giggled innocently, placing her hand on her chest. “You know I'm too small for that kind of behavior, dear! Jack, sweetheart, take these sweet kids outside.”
“Do it!” the woman growled, her voice suddenly low and menacing. Jack flinched and grabbed Jett by the back of her camouflage tank top.
“Sorry kid, yer comin’ out back with me,” he mumbled, pushing her forward. Jett clung to the baby in her arms, tripping as she was shoved out the back door and into the backyard, which was just sand, dirt, and gravel. Finn ran after them.
“You let go of my sister, mister!” he scolded as threateningly as he could. Jett couldn’t help but smirk a little at the effort.
“Sorry, kiddo, but I got no choice,” Jack shrugged apologetically as the hooded woman stalked up beside him, surprisingly much shorter than he was. “I don’t want her makin’ another wreck in my restaurant,” he shook his thumb towards the woman, who chuckled and tossed off her hood.
“YOU!” Jett gasped, taking a step back and hugging the baby to her chest. It was none other than that annoying little kid, Good.
“Me?” she chuckled, fixing her choppy black hair. “Sorry, Jetty, but I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure.”
“Quit stalking us, Good!” Jett spat, and the kid nodded with realization.
“Oooooh, you think I’m her!” she laughed, flicking her hand. “Ah, no, you’ve got the wrong girl,” she bowed before slipping off her brown scarf, revealing a thin black line wrapping all the way around her neck, like a tattoo.
“Woah!” Finn gasped, pointing and remembering the time Good slipped off her own scarf. “That was not there before!”
The girl laughed. “There’s a fine line between good and evil,” she reminded, running her thumb along the line on her neck. “That other girl you met was Good.”
Jett groaned. “Let me guess. That makes you Evil?”
Evil cackled, wrapping the scarf back around her neck. “DING DING DING! Right you are, Jett!” She smoothed her hair back and snapped her fingers. “Take the baby.”
Jack, albeit dejectedly, reached for the baby in Jett’s arms. “No!” she snapped, pulling away. Jack rolled his eyes and pushed Jett by the shoulders. She stumbled backwards in a moment of weakness, and he snatched the baby from her arms. “NO!”
“Finn 2!” Finn gasped at the same time.
“Sorry, friends,” Evil studied her fingernails casually, not looking sorry at all. “I’m not as nice as that Goodie Two Shoes.” She held out her arms and let Jack hand her the baby. She bounced her gently, and the baby cooed, reaching up for Evil’s face. She smirked up at Jett. “This is almost too easy,” she giggled before nodding at Jack. “Mess ’em up a bit. Just for fun.”
“B-But-!” Jack started to object before Evil let out an exasperated-
Jack, hesitantly, walked towards Finn and grabbed his arm viciously. “AH!” he yelped in pain.
“Let him go!” Jett grabbed the boy and promptly yanked him out of Jack’s grasp, stepping in front of him protectively. “Don’t you hurt my-”
Her threat was cut off as Jack let his fist swing at Jett’s face. There was a terrible CRACK upon impact, and poor Jett was sent flying backwards. She twisted around mid-air and skidded across the ground on her elbows and knees, getting scratched by the gravel. Then, she collapsed to her face.
“JETT!” Finn gasped, rushing to her side. Jett moaned and slowly sat up, twisting back around to face him and Jack. She had small, bloody scratches down her arms and legs from the small stones, and one hand over her left eye.
“Ooh, that was a good one,” Evil chuckled, rocking the baby. “Probably turned her concussed brains into mush!”
The punch didn’t help Jett’s headache, sure, and it left her in a dizzy daze. But she let Finn help her back up anyway. She rubbed her forehead, looking irritated.
“Look Good, Bad, whoever you are-!”
“Evil,” Evil corrected.
“I don’t know what you want with us...or the baby,” Jett growled. “But it’s getting on my nerves! Just leave us ALONE!” With that, she lunged forward, swinging her foot around in an elegant yet strong kick. Her flexed heel nailed Evil in the jaw. Her arms gracefully flew up with the kick, swinging back around into a turn and falling instinctively into a beautiful lunge. The baby slipped out of Evil’s arms and right into Jett’s as the girl fell backwards against the back wall of the restaurant. She slid to the ground, rubbing her jaw in pain.
“Come on, Finn,” Jett grabbed her step brother by the wrist, dragging him away from Evil and towards Jack. “We just wanted directions to the nearest train station!”
Jack took a step back, a surprising action for such a large man. “There isn’t one near here.”
“OF COURSE THERE ISN’T!” Jett shrieked, spinning on her heel and dragging Finn away. “Then we’ll keep moving until we find one!”
“That was awesome!” Finn gushed, letting Jett drag him across the ground. “I didn’t know you could fight!”
“I can’t,” Jett said sharply, storming forward. “Ballet gives you strong legs. Ugh, my head is pounding...and my eye! Jeez, does it look swollen?” Jett turned to let Finn see. He winced, noticing her left eye was turning purple, squinting at him.
“It’s turning purple, Jett,” Finn pointed out, and Jett groaned outwardly.
“Mom’s going to kill me,” she muttered, releasing Finn to hold the baby with two arms. “Hey, if she asks, just tell her I...walked into a pole.”
“Yeah!” Finn cheered. “And then the pole punched you in the face!”
“No!” Jett snapped.
“And then you kicked the pole’s friend in the mouth!”
“Finn, no!” Jett begged. “Mom hates fights. But those guys were picking on us, and I was getting sick of it.” She sighed, shaking her head and finally starting to calm down. “Why is that Good kid so obsessed with us, anyway?”
“That wasn’t Good,” Finn corrected. “She said her name was Evil.”
“You don’t honestly think they’re two different people?!” Jett rolled her eyes. “They are completely identical!”
Jett scoffed. “Sure. At the moment, all I care about is finding someone who is not crazy, and can get us out of here!"
Jack turned back to Evil, still slumped against the wall and holding her jaw. He knelt by the child and gently took her elbow, helping her up. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I didn’t expect her to kick you.”
Evil spat a bit of blood on the gravel before looking up at Jack with a cheeky grin, teeth stained with small blots of blood. She wiped her chin on her sleeve. “No need for apologies, Jack,” she said smoothly. “That was actually quite amusing.” She rose to her feet, adjusting her scarf. “I knew getting that child would be harder than I thought.”
“Are you going to go after them?” Jack asked, watching as Jett and Finn left.
“Trust me, Jack,” Evil turned her back to them. “Those two aren’t going anywhere.”