Somehow They're Alive (part 20)

Welcome to part 20 of "Somehow They're Alive"! I went back to doing multiple view points for this quiz. Well the majority of it is from Jaslina's point...

of view I have some from Landon's point of view and from Ryan's. Also, I happen to put a lot of focus on Audrey in this one, so you can learn a bit more about her. Please tell me what you think! :P

Created by: Topaz

  1. ***Jaslina's Point of View/Purple Mountain: 6 Hours In*** Our legs are aching, we’re hungry, our first flashlight is starting to run low on batteries, but we’re still going for it. Everything has run smoothly so far. Landon’s homemade map is extremely accurate. A whole six hours have passed and not one dead end. Of course, we’re trying not to keep our hopes up. After all, this map was made completely from memory. Nobody could remember every single tunnel. At this point we’re happy to have any map at all. Without it and without Landon distracting Sapphire we wouldn’t stand a chance. Hopefully three days is all it takes to find them at the very maximum. Until we rethought everything we estimated that this trip would take a little over one day. Then we reconfigured the numbers. Twelve hours there and back is already twenty-four, but then we decided to add in an hour to sit and go to the bathroom once every six hours. Once we figured that wouldn’t cut it either we also added in another nine to ten hours for showering, cooking and sleeping. Altogether that makes it an estimated thirty-six to thirty-eight hours. So that puts us at a day and a half. I slightly recall Chuck calling us on the way here to tell us that our previous estimation might be off, and he was right. When he called he also said that if we weren’t back by between three and four o’clock the morning after tomorrow morning that he’s calling the police to place a missing person’s report. The idea of us getting lost in the tunnels and not getting out before Sapphire’s return has everyone spooked. That also involves Tammy, Rayla, and I. For ninety-five percent of the time we’ve been walking down here I’ve been praying to God that this map is correct. If it’s not we’re doomed. Because of how far underground we are we’d never be able call someone to come help us. Perhaps that’s the whole reason the White-dressed Woman hid dad and Josephine underground in the first place. I choose to pray another prayer inside my head. “Father, please help us find my dad and sister and get out. I really don’t want to get lost down here. If this map isn’t correct please show us the way.”
  2. My discomfort must show on my face because Rayla steps over and hugs me. “Don’t worry, Jaslina. We’ll find your father and Josephine and we’ll get out of here. Landon’s map must be correct,” she says. “I sure hope it is. If we aren’t out of here in thirty-eight hours max…” I can’t finish my sentence. “We’ll get out of here. I promise. Audrey promises too. Right, Audrey?” We turn to see Audrey writing on the wall with a black permanent marker. This confuses me, I must admit. “Audrey, what are you doing?” asks Rayla. She turns from her drawing to look at us. “What? Everyone’s so worried about getting lost that I thought I’d mark our path. If we get completely lost and have no idea where we’re at we just follow the doves back to the main path and get going again.” Now that she’s out of the way of her picture I can see a neatly drawn dove holding an olive branch. It’s unmistakable and will easily guide us back if it comes down to it. I don’t see how I never thought of that myself. “Smart thinking, Audrey,” I say. “I’m glad that you think so. I’ve been drawing them since we got in here and wasn’t sure if anyone would notice.” “Where’d you get the idea to draw doves?”asks Rayla. “From a bible story I heard once. About the man who built the big ship when the flood was about to come.” “Noah’s Ark?” I ask. “Yes, that one. I quite adored it as a child. My Auntie used to tell those stories to me before my parents made me stop seeing her.” Now we’re walking again. With the sudden burst of conversation my legs suddenly feel less heavy. “Why did your parents make you stop seeing her? Was she bad?” asks Rayla. “No, not at all. I loved my Auntie. It’s just that they didn’t get along and separated me from her.” “It must’ve been some fight,” Rayla mumbles while shifting her bag. “Actually, there wasn’t an argument at all. I was on my way to her house one day and they came and picked me up off of the sidewalk and told me not to go to her house. There was no reason that they gave me. No explanation. They told me to stop going so I did, and that’s that.”
  3. I arch my brow at her. “That’s strange.” “Not really. My parents have done a lot of weird things like that.” “By like that you mean…” I elbow Rayla sharply in the rib. “Sorry. I don’t mean to pry. I just have a natural curiosity.” “It’s alright, Rayla. I don’t mind explaining. In fact, I’m kind of glad to tell. If you want to know, that is.” “If you’re willing to share, by all means, share.” She smiles happily at our interest in her life. I think that’s the reason she’s smiling anyway. Or it could be the simple fact that we don’t have to walk in silence anymore; I know that’s the reason why I’m smiling. “So, your parent’s have separated you from other people with seemingly no reason?” “Yes. Many times they’ve done this. There is actually one example that is so strange that until this day I can’t figure it out. I’ve ran it through my brain again and again and the only thing I get is a headache. My parents told me to tell this to nobody, but I guess I will tell you anyway. Do you promise not to tell anyone?” Now Audrey has completely stricken mine and Rayla’s interest. I guess I’ve always enjoyed a good mystery so long as it’s not at another’s expense. Oddly, Audrey doesn’t seem that hurt by it. Only confusion lies in her eyes. “You have our word. What’s said in these tunnels stays in these tunnels,” I promise.
  4. With relief she grins. “Okay. When I was a little girl, perhaps eight or nine, my family lived up the street from a little girl named Sophia. She was my best friend. We did everything together. Every single day I would wait for her to get home from school and finish her homework so we could play together. In reality we should’ve gone to school together, but they wouldn’t let me. I’ve been homeschooled since I was old enough to toddle and they weren’t about ready to change their minds. Anyway, one day when Sophia got home from school I went over to her house and we played as usual. We were in her room with the window seat, small table, and tiny chairs; the walls, bedspread, and curtains were all pink and purple. We were all spread out on the floor, me with my doll and her with hers. Somehow we got onto the topic of what she was learning her science class. I imagine that I had probably asked her about what she was learning in school. Never having gone to school with other children I was always asking questions like that. Even nine years later I can still remember the conversation about her science class exactly. I don’t think that I’ve forgotten a single detail. She said that the topic they were learning about was family traits and/or the traits that one inherits from their mom and dad. ‘My nose looks exactly like my mommy’s, and my hair and eyes looks like my daddy’s’ Sophia told me. ‘Mommy also says that I have her drawing skills and sense of humor. When I asked her if I get my baking skills from her she laughed at me and told me that I most defiantly get them from daddy. Audrey, you’re a really good painter. Do you paint like your daddy or your mommy?’” Audrey stops talking as if she can’t go on. “Audrey if this is too hard for you to tell, you don’t have to. Nobody’s making you,” I say. “It isn’t that I don’t want to tell it. It’s just that it gets strange right here. Very strange. I do wish to tell you.” “Are you going to be okay telling it?” asks Rayla.
  5. “Yes, I will. I must tell someone this story. For the past nine years it’s been eating me from the inside.” She pauses before continuing. “Alright, here is what happened. After she asked me that I didn’t know what to say. I thought about it really hard and realized that neither of my parents could do art at all. My dad was a business man and my mom was a scientist, and I’ve seen them paint before. They couldn’t paint to save their lives. Finally I just had to break down and tell her that I didn’t know. After that she asked me if either of them could sing like me. I said no to that. Then she asked me about my reading skills, cooking skills, and my love for swimming. Nothing matched. Everything I was good at my parents were bad at and the same thing the other way around. “Talking about personality traits was bad enough but when we got into physical traits it got weirder. It was like Sophia wasn’t asking me questions anymore. She just started pointing things out that didn’t make sense to her. ‘You have curly, brown, hair,’ she said to me. ‘Your daddy has red hair and your mommy has blonde hair. That isn’t right. Why is that?’ ‘I don’t know,’ I told her. From there she continued on saying that my eyes are blue, while my parents’ eyes are brown! My skin is tan while my parents both have pale skin! My cheeks are thin and my nose is tiny while my parents have round, cubby, cheeks and noses the sizes of doorknobs! ‘Why is that?’ Sophia would ask me. ‘Why aren’t you like your parents?!’ All I could say to her was, ‘I don’t know, Sophia! I don’t know!’” Audrey is starting to tear up. We try to get her to stop, but she continues on telling the story anyway.
  6. “That night I went home and asked my mom and dad why I don’t look like them. I asked them why they’re both so good with science and numbers while I’m artistic and love to read. They didn’t even respond. All they did was asked me why I got so curious about this all of the sudden. I told them Sophia. That was the biggest mistake I ever made.” Now she’s crying much harder, but she still continues in a strained voice. “The next day I went to Sophia’s house to play. Nobody was home. I went over to that house everyday for two weeks, and still nobody was home.” I walk up to her and put a hand on her shoulder. “Audrey, that’s awful.” “I know they did something to her! I just know it! What did they do to Sophia?!” Audrey is now in tears. I have absolutely no idea what to do other than hug her. “It’s alright, Audrey. Everything will be fine. We’ll find everyone, including your parents, and get out of here. You can look into the situation once we’re safe .” “That’s just it. I’m not sure if I want to find my parents, Jaslina.”
  7. “Don’t say that. I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding. Maybe your mom and dad didn’t do anything to hurt Sophia at all.” “What if it isn’t a misunderstanding? What if they did away with Sophia and her family to keep something hidden? They scare me, guys. Every time I think about the situation with Sophia and other situations of the past it scares me. What if I’m not their daughter and they’ve hidden it from me all these years?” We take a seat on the ground to beside her to let her cry this out. The turmoil inside is just busting out of her. When I first saw her back at the restaurant I could tell that her and her family had some disagreements, but I never would’ve suspected this. Eventually she works through the tears enough to stand up. “Forgive me. I just had to get that off my chest. I know that this is a bad time for confessions considering the situation, but I just couldn’t refrain myself. I was afraid that if I did I would change my mind and keep it a secret.” “Its fine, Audrey. We’re glad that you trust us enough to tell us something like this.” “I do trust you. I trust you all ten times more than I trust my own family.” She pauses and then continues. “We should probably find Jaslina’s father and sister. We’re on a limited amount of time, and I haven’t helped any.” We continue onward with Audrey’s story in our minds the whole way.
  8. ***A Hotel Room: Somewhere Near Wexford*** "Oh, Landon! I'm so glad that you came back to me! What took you so long?" Sapphire sits on the bed wearing a long, red, sundress. Her hair is up in some sort of complicated bun. Landon had never seen her looking more beautiful. Yet, at the same time, the red color of the dress could very well reflect the devil if it's being worn by Sapphire Caroga. While she sits indian style on the bed's expensive silken comforter Landon stands near the window. The lake looks beautiful in the glow of the early evening sun. For any other couple, this would be the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Not for Landon. All he can think about are Rayla, Jaslina, and Audrey. Are they navigating the tunnels alright? Did he forget to add in any tunnels? Did he label anything wrong? "Landon, honey, haven't you missed me too? You seem awfully quiet." "What? No nothing's wrong. Not at all." "Don't. I can tell when you're lying." For a moment he's sweating nervous. However, Sapphire's response calms him. "It's my dress isn't it? Don't worry, I didn't steal it. I payed full price for it. Really, it was much cheaper than it looks. Don't you like it?" "Like it? No. I love it! The red complements your skin fabulously." "Thank you. I bought in especially for this occasion." "I'm glad that you did. It's perfect." "I know. Now let me change into my bathing suit so we can go hit the pool." "Okay. I'll be waiting right here." Once she's gone he takes a deep breath. Hopefully he can keep up this ruse for three days. It shouldn't be hard considering Sapphire's love for him. Trying to pretend that he still cares about her is what's going to make this difficult. Even more difficult, trying to pretend that he's not tricking her into staying away from the mountain.
  9. ***Ryan's Point of View*** The past few hours have been a repeating cycle of filling baskets with plant roots and vegetables, dumping them in a big barrel in the kitchen, and going back out to the greenhouse to fill the basket again. It's no wonder that Chuck wanted us to stay behind; these baskets are heavy! How did she haul these things inside at all before Jay and I came along? I throw a few more roots into my basket before looking at the clock she keeps on the wall. It's almost six-thirty. Landon should be long gone with Sapphire. Where he's taking her I haven't the slightest idea. As long as they're far away from Purple Mountain it's fine by me. Truth be told, my real worries are aimed at Jaslina, Rayla, and Audrey. Hopefully they aren't getting themselves lost. If only Landon would've been able to go with them to help guide them through. I know that he made the map, but is it enough? It was made off of nothing but memory. Who knows what mistakes it could contain! Satisfied with my basket's contents I stand up and walk toward the house. On the bright side of everything, Tammy is doing a lot better. However, Chuck and Michiko were right about a few things. One thing being that Tammy would've never been able to walk all that way. She was very lively earlier, but now she's sleeping away on the couch. It really was necessary for her to stay back. Only, I wish that it wasn't necessary for Jay and I to stay behind. Jaslina, Audrey and Rayla could probaby use our help.
  10. "Ryan, you've been awfully quiet. Are you concerned?" Michiko's voice startles me, and I jump dropping everything. Immediatley I crouch to pick everything up. "Sorry, Michiko. I didn't see you there." "It's quite alright. I'm worried too and so is Jay. None of us will sleep well tonight." "Oh. Well, I'm glad that the both of you share my concern." She comes up and pats me on the shoulder. "Ryan, aren't you a praying man?" This question shocks me. "Yes, ma'am. For about a year now." "Then pray. Prayer helps." "Yes, ma'am. I will. More than anything I will."

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