The next morning I woke up, not knowing where I was for a moment. But after looking around for a bit I remembered. I remembered the car, Dave, Miss Ann, the backyard and the chocolate cake. Yes, it all came back to me and it gave me a strange, but happy feeling. I sprang up, brushed my teeth and got dressed.
While I ran down the stairs, I almost bumped into Kate.
“Wow, race monster, watch your step”, Kate laughed.
“I was on my way to wake you up for breakfast, but I guess that is no longer necessary.”
I looked at her and burst into laughter. She looked back at me for a second before doing the exact same thing. Like that we giggled our way to the kitchen.
“What’s so funny?” a small boy, with brown curls and surprisingly blue eyes, asked rather annoyed.
“Nothing”, we both chuckled.
The small boy glared at us for a second before continuing his breakfast. “That would be Tim”, Kate explained. “He came here about a year ago, and has been a grumpy growler ever since.”
“Hey, that’s not fair. I am not a grumpy growler”, Tim shouted.
“Well that would be enough bickering for today”, Miss Ann said with a bit of a frown. I didn't notice her entering the room. “I suppose I forgot to tell you that we expect everyone to be downstairs for breakfast at 9. But now you know. I would very much appreciate it if you would do so from now on, Jen.”
“But of course, Miss Ann.”
After breakfast, Kate took me to the backyard as promised the night before. “Why weren’t we allowed to do this last night? I mean, it’s not like anything would happen here.”
“Well, Miss Ann just likes to be careful and she hates taking risks, so we aren’t allowed in the backyard after sunset. It has been like that since I came here”, Kate explained.
“I just think it’s a bit odd, don’t you think?”
“Maybe, but I don’t really like seeing Miss Ann angry, so I just listen to what she says and don’t ask questions.”
“Well, okay then. Then I will do the exact same thing I guess.”
As we walked further into the yard, I saw beautiful trees, which were perfect for climbing in and the most gorgeous flowers in all the colors you could possibly imagine. But that was nothing compared to the smell. I don’t think I have ever smelled something so sweet and pure. It completely calmed my mind.
“Isn’t it great?” Kate asked.
“It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, how is this even possible?”
“I don’t know, it just is”, Kate said while sighing. “Every time I’m here, I have a hard time leaving”, she explained. “Like something wants me to stay.”
“You make it sound creepy”, I said while a shiver went down my spine.
“Don’t be silly, this place is nothing but peace and happiness, so don’t worry.”
For the next few months I ate, slept and lived in this house. Miss Ann was everyday more joyful and kind as the last. We were allowed to run some errands every now and then, but if not, I would be hanging out in the backyard, mostly alone so I could read my book or just enjoy the outdoors. Sometimes Kate or one of the other children joined me to play hide and seek, tag or any other game they came up with. But even after playing numerous games of tag and hide and seek, there was a strange feeling haunting me. It probably had something to do about what Kate had told me about this place. How could this place be dangerous? The backyard was surrounded by fences on three sides and with the fourth side directly attached to the house there was no way anyone could leave or enter this yard without even one person noticing. So it was probably all in my head, was it?
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