Another morning in the cabin had Anna woken up to. A frown found its way on her face when she realized Ava had nothing to do with her getting up. She got down from her bed and without haste, advanced to leave the room to search for her sister.
As she stepped out of her room, Beck, who was well shaven and whose hair was neatly and nicely cut, appeared in front of her.
They exchanged pleasantries before he said, “You’re up early, again.”
“I already told you,” said she impassively, “this is time Ava wakes me up. My body’s used to it.”
He glanced at Anna’s door. “Is she in there?”
He looked back at her. “She’s still asleep?”
“I think so. I haven’t checked for her in her room yet.”
He nodded. “Well, I’m going to the town to get the battery charged and get some foodstuffs. I’ll be back late.”
“I also made breakfast. You girls would have to make lunch for yourselves. If I’m not back by sunset, you girls shouldn’t wait for me to make dinner like yesterday.”
She smiled. “Thanks, Beck. You’re really kind.”
He reciprocated the smile. “You’re welcome. I’ll be going now. Bye.”
“Bye.” She waved at him as he left.
Right after he climbed down the stairs, Anna went to Ava’s room. It didn’t take long before she saw her sleeping soundly with a broad smile on her face and hugging her other pillow. Anna shook her head, being disappointed at the blonde. Exactly when had Ava begun to sleep in? This was the second morning she did so.
She went to the bed and stood above Ava.
Then, a frown appeared on Ava’s as she mumbled, “Beck, please don’t leave me.” She hugged her pillow tighter and was quiet for some time. “No. Don’t go. Stay. Please.”
Anna covered her mouth with her hand, muffling a laugh. She bent over and tapped Ava. “Ava, wake up.”
“Go away, Anna,” she said with her eyes still shut. “I want to be with Beck.” She hugged the pillow tighter. “Oh, Beck,” she breathed.
Anna laughed again and tapped Ava harder. “Seriously, Ava, get up.”
Slowly, Ava opened her eyes. Her eyes met Anna’s and she jumped a little, being frightened. “Anna, what are you doing here?”
“Hello!” She gestured to the window, which had its curtains open. “It’s morning!” She rested her weight on one leg and crossed her arms over her chest. “You’ve been sleeping in these past two days. Are you okay?”
Ava sat upright and rubbed her eyes. “I’m perfectly fine, Anna.” She stretched and let out a yawn so loud you would think rhinoceros was in the room. “Have you seen Beck this morning?”
She nodded. “He went to Strangeville to charge the battery and get some foodstuffs. He said he’ll be back late.”
Ava frowned and pouted. “Here I thought,” she muttered to Anna’s hearing, “I’ll get to see him this morning.”
There was a smile on Anna’s face. She was happy that Ava finally had interest in a man after her ex—even if she had just met him the day before the previous day.
She first noticed her sister’s interest in Beck the previous day’s morning when their eyes first met each other. Ava’s feet were practically glued to the floor as she stared at Beck’s neatly shaven face.
“You shaved!” she had said. Anna was surprised Beck had shaved too. However, the way Ava said it made her believe there was something more to that.
Her suspicion was confirmed when Beck said, “Thanks for your offer last night, but I thought I’d do it myself.”
Ava bowed her head and sadness clearly was written on her face. Anna had never seen such a look on her sister’s face. It showed that Beck’s words were not as pleasing as she mayhap wanted to shave him. Why Ava wanted to do that, Anna didn’t understand.
When Beck went to get some gas for Ava’s car, Ava became unusually quiet. Yes, Ava was a quiet person but she was actually isolating herself from Anna and was daydreaming, something that rarely happened with Anna or Bruce.
Before she could ask if Ava was okay, Ava threw her hands up in frustration. “I can’t get the color of his eyes out of my head,” she muttered.
Ava looked at her as if she wasn’t meant to hear those words. “Um . . .” She shifted in her seat. “Beck’s. They’re really beautiful, and I can’t seem to get them out of my head.”
She wiggled her eyebrows and mischievously smiled at Ava. “Ava, are you actually thinking about a guy?”
She frowned. “No. I’m not. I just—” She sighed exasperatedly and turned her gaze away from Anna.
“You just . . . .”
She waved her hand. “Forget it, Anna.”
When Beck came back with his hair short with messy bangs, Ava was much quieter. She didn’t utter a word unless spoken to. That was because she had fixed her attention on Beck’s new look.
Beck must have noticed Ava’s demeanor, causing him to avoid her gaze. Things were awkward between the two of them. If it wasn’t that Anna kept asking Beck questions and forced him to tell her in details how he helped the townspeople, she knew the awkward atmosphere wouldn’t change.
Anna knelt beside the bed with the smile still on her face. “You like him, don’t you?”
Ava’s face was scrunched up, probably due to her disgusted state. “No. I don’t like him.”
Anna raised her brows at her, knowing she was lying.
There was a faint smile on Ava’s face. “Well, I like that he’s nice and hospitable.” She looked disgusted again. “But not in that way, Anna.”
She rolled her eyes. “That is so true.”
Ava picked up the pillow she had hugged in her sleep and threw it at Anna. “Shut up!”
Anna, who noticed the blonde’s action didn’t hesitate to make good use of her lessons in dodgeball. She laughed, saying, “Just so you know, he already prepared breakfast.”
She hmmed and smiled. “I can’t wait to try it.”
Ava definitely likes Beck, Anna concluded in her mind before going to freshen up in her room.
It was a long day for Beck; however, he considered the day successful. Working for the people in Strangeville almost made him forget the happenings around him; it almost made him forget who was responsible for his current status.
“You’ve been avoiding me these past few days,” said Sara to Beck, the one person he hoped not to encounter in Strangeville soonest.
Right away, he stood still as if he were a deer caught in the headlights. This day wasn’t a good day to meet Sara. She would ask him questions he dared not to lie about the answers; otherwise, he could end up just like the strangers that stumbled upon the town while passing by.
He dropped the fruit he was examining and slowly turned around to face her. “I’m sorry,” he said, bowing his head lightly just to avoid her gaze.
“Sorry doesn’t count for your actions,” she replied him, her hands folded across her chest.
“It wasn’t intentional. I was busy.”
“What could be more important than finding the right soul to break the curse you’re responsible for?” she said, her tone rising.
He shook his head. “There’s nothing at all, Sara. That’s exactly was I busy with. I—”
“I know,” she stated, sounding really annoyed, “I’ve stated countless of times that you shouldn’t avoid my eyes when you speak with me. You don’t need to be scared of me.”
Immediately he raised his head, and just as he had thought, there was frightening scowl on her brown, almost black, oval face. Her dark brown iris brightened with ire as her jaw was tight.
He knew he had triggered the malignant side of her. Lucky he was that she wouldn’t cause any harm to come to him because she needed him alive. If she didn’t, he would have been the first person she’d use for the ritual to break the curse.
“I’m sorry, Sara,” he said quickly still avoiding her gaze. “You know I just see myself unworthy before a woman of great power.”
“And countless of times have you stated that, yet I remind you that I’m not your enemy. You came to me for help, remember?”
He raised his head to stare into her eyes that still glowed with fury in them. He knew she was mad that he saw her as another wicked witch whereas all she cared about was the wellbeing of Strangeville.
“Forgive me, Sara,” he said. “But based on how I got here, I still feel as though I should not be misguided by your kindness towards me. I’m only trying to not get comfortable with you.”
She sneered, looking as though she deliberated within herself what to do with him. “Anyways, since you say you’ve been busy, there’s an intending sacrifice I presume.” She raised an eyebrow at him in a questioning manner.
“That’s good.” The usual smile she had whenever there was another unfortunate person staying with him at the cabin appeared on her face.
Her face soon became like that of a worried person. “I hope this is the right one. It’s been half a century since this curse.”
One part of him hoped Ava or Anna would be the befitting sacrifice. That way he could finally move on from his past.
Another part still wished they wouldn’t be found by the townspeople. Nevertheless, if they couldn’t be found, they’d never be able to leave.
“Okay, now, go ahead with whatever it was you were doing.”
He nodded as she turned towards his left to go.
He stared at her as she walked away and disputed within himself what he wished was the right thing to happen to the sisters.
“How’s the sacrifice like?” someone said behind him.
He jumped, being startled by the person that got him distracted from his internal battle.
He turned around to see Quinton, the most dedicated in finding the victims to break the curse after him and Sara. Beck scowled at him, berating him with his (Beck) demeanor. “You didn’t have to startle me like that!”
“How does he or she look like?” Quinton asked again, his blue and green eyes looking troubled.
“Why don’t you go find out for yourself? You’re practically the best when it comes to capturing the sacrifices.” Beck turned away from him to survey the fruit table for which ones he’d prefer to take.
“Oh, you’re right,” Quinton said, causing Beck to glance his way. “I will find him or her.” He quickly turned away from Beck and walked away.
Beck narrowed his eyes at him, feeling like he would definitely get one or both of the sisters. He went back to his survey, but deep within his heart, he prayed to whoever could hear his prayers that both of them would be safe. Even though, it wasn’t the first time he felt this way about the unfortunate strangers that came across the town, this time was different as he believed he had a connection to the sisters, most especially Ava.
Hello, dear readers! I hope you liked these past five chapters. Communicate with me your thoughts about them. Also, what do you think about Ava, Beck, and Anna? Do you like their personalities or you despise them? If you canʼt write out your thoughts here, you can P.M. (private message) me. Iʼd really love to know your thoughts of the story so far.
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Have a lovely day! Peace.