Anna always loved the way that Asteroid Bites’ door dinged when they pass through it. A loud and annoying sound that became happy and sweet in Anna’s life, because it remembers so many happy moments in her childhood. Moments that she will never forget.
They crossed the restaurant and moved to their seats. A pair of red sofas divided by a rectangular table.
Seconds after they had seated, Amanda the waitress walked in their direction with a big smile in her face. The kids were ready to order.
“Good Morning guys, what can I get for you all?” she asked calmly.
“Same as usual” answered Martin before everyone else.
“What about you Stuart?” asked the waitress
Anna forgot about the mentor, she was not paying attention at all, only thinking about the radio and what could happen to the old man if no one helps him.
Amanda walked away after writing everyone’s orders. Anna didn’t hear what Stuart ordered to eat.
“Well, how have your day been so far?” asked Martin looking at Zack and then Anna.
“Excellent!” answered Zack almost jumping for his seat. The sugar was making him anxious and excited.
Anna was still a little grumpy, she wasn’t too sociable right after waking up. She was peacefully sleeping less than an hour ago, maybe it wasn’t a good idea to get ice cream so early in the morning after all.
Zack and Martin were both excited and talking to each other, discussing about school and making funny jokes about Stuart’s appearance.
“Stop with that, kids! It’s too early for these types of actions. Bullying and insultations are not allowed in SpantVille” said Stuart quieting down both.
No more talking in the table. It was quite boring.
Anna closed her eyes, trying to get some rest after waking up earlier than normal. But a few seconds after that, Amanda came with their orders.
“Here it is guys! A hot chocolate sundae for Zack, a blue malinova for Martin, a strawberry milkshake for Anna and a croissant with cheese for Stuart”.
Amanda was walking away when she suddenly came back and said:
“Oh and before I forget, an early happy birthday for you, Anna! You are getting older every time I see you”
The girl seemed confused.
“Thank you, but how do you know my birthday is tomorrow? I never told you that” asked Anna.
“Oh… I can’t remember who told me that” answered the waitress.
Anna looked at Stuart, he was serious and seemed a little nervous.
“ That was probably me, Miss. Banchell. I think it was me who told her that” suddenly said Stuart with a smile in his face.
Amanda agreed with her head.
“ Oh good! I’m going to have a party tomorrow in my house, only for friends and family, you should come” said Anna to the waitress.
“Thank you for the invitation, I will try to leave work earlier to be there”
Amanda said goodbye to everybody and walked away. At the table she left the food bill for Stuart to pay.
“Why don’t you guys go outside while I pay for it?” offered Stuart looking at the kids.
“Let’s go do something!” said Martin leaving the restaurant. Anna was the second to leave.
Zack got off from his seat next to Stuart. He was writing something with his black pen.
The young boy needed to tie his shoes. He tied them and got up to leave the restaurant. But he wanted to check out what Stuart had written. He waited close to the table. Stuart finally got up from the sofa and walked away after finishing writing.
Zack bent over to look at the paper. He got surprised with what was on it.
At the food bill the amount to pay was marking $0.00 and right below it was a message from Amanda’s red pan.
She was curious
Zack looked at Stuart response.
Don’t worry, I ordered the bracelets.
“Zack let’s go!” heard the young blond boy. A voice coming from outside, probably from Martin.
“Weirdos” said him referring to Stuart and Amanda. He then ran away passing through the door which made a loud ding noise
1 day later
Anna opened her eyes. It was dark. She couldn’t see much.
The girl looked around without moving. She was lost.. SpantVille wasn’t a huge village, almost impossible not knowing where she was.
She tried forcing her vision, looked around again. This time she knew the place.
The forest. Located in the Western part of the village.
Suddenly her legs started moving, at the direction of the forest, getting into it. She couldn’t control it.
Anna tried screaming for help, nothing came out from her throat. Her legs started moving faster until she suddenly start running.
Deeper into the forest.
Dodging trees, woods in the floor and high grass. The blond girl tried to stop the legs by holding them with her hands. Nothing happened.
Anna looked forward. She was reaching the wall. The huge wall that makes the north and east borders of SpantVille. A huge and thick wall.
The western and southern borders were surrounded by the sea. There was no land or island as far as the horizon line met the sun.
She was closer and closer to the wall as each second passed. Anna knew her legs were not going to stop until she hits the wall.
Seconds separated Anna from the wall.
“This is going to hurt…” she thought before being interrupted by a sudden man in the woods who took her attention away. He was hiding himself from her, but Anna could see him, and she was able to describe the man. He was old, probably 70 years old. He was bald, with a white long beard and huge eyebrows.
Anna looked forward, for one moment she thought she would be able to pass through the wall, find out the mysteries and creatures that would be, beyond the wall.
It was too late. The blond girl hitted her face directly into the wall. She finally had control of her body, and her legs stopped moving. Anna started crying, blood was coming out from her nose, making her hair a reddish-yellow tone. The girl was sobbing due to the pain.
She heard noises coming from the right direction. Noises of someone moving in her direction, grass and plants being stepped and smashed by someone’s foot.
The old man stood beside her, really close to her face.
“Wake up birthday girl! wake up birthday girl!”
Anna jumped of her bed after the horrible bad dream she had. Toro was seating at the edge of the bed, a little confused by her reaction.
“ Are you ok Anna? Were you having a nightmare?”
“I think I had, but it seemed so real, I could actually feel it.” she responded, scared for the first time in her whole life.
“Anna your nose is bleeding, are you sure that you are ok?” Toro asked running into the bathroom to get some paper to give her. “That’s not a good way to start a birthday”.
Anna forgot. Today was finally the day. Her 16’s birthday.
“Today at night we are going to have a talk, it’s important for you” said her uncle apparently nervous.
She agreed and cleaning her nose, started planning and preparing herself for the big party that was going to be at night.
“Anna they are almost here. You were supposed to be dressed by 7:00pm!” screamed Toro from the dining table.
“Sorry sir!” she replied back.
Zack ran across the hallway to go talk to his uncle.
“Come in” she heard Toro say to the people that were invited.
She was anxious to see them. Martin, Amanda, Martin’s parents, David Weel and Martha, etc…
She was finally dressed up and it was the show time.
She ran through the hallway to meet them. The guests were wishing happy birthday, asking for photos and hugs. Anna had a big smile in her face, definitely the best day of the year. The music started and people start dancing.
Time passed fast, it was almost time to cut the cake.
“Anna” she heard a voice coming from her room.
She ran to her room to see if it was someone trying to prank her.
It was Toro, he was sitting at the edge of the bed and had a mini-radio in his hands. He had a serious face.
The birthday girl was confused.
“It’s time for we to talk” said her uncle “Close the door. We have no time to waste, people will notice that we are not at the party”
She walked in his direction and sat right next to him.
“What do you wanna talk about it?” Anna asked
Toro turned the radio on, the volume was low. He turned it up to the maximum.
“They can’t hear us” Toro said “They will hurt us if they do”.
Anna was starting to get nervous, she could see fear in Toro’s face.
“Anna, listen carefully what I’m going to say.”
“This place, SpantVille, it’s not safe…”
“ This place is not what you think, it’s not supposed to be a happy place…”
“Trust no one, be curious…”
The birthday girl notice that she had her mouth opened. She was shocked, confused and feeling sick.
Both stayed quiet for a moment.
The radio started making noises, the music disappeared. The weird noises were back.
The noises became voices. A voice. From a girl, probably 10 years old.
“My name is Lucy, I’m 9 years old. My parents are feeling really sick, we need help, our coordinates are…” Toro turned the radio off.
“Helping them is impossible and you will find out why” said Toro “I love you girl. I don’t want you to get hurt or anything even worse than that”
“Worse than that?” thought Anna. “What could be worse than getting hurt?”
She didn’t know the answer.
“Pack it up” said her uncle.
“What? Pack it up?” she asked confused, everything was happening to fast…
“You are going to sleep in Martin’s house with him and his parents. You and Zack. It’s your birthday, and I know that you two would love that” he said.
Anna wanted to sleep at Martin’s house. It would make her head distracted so that she stop thinking about all things that Toro said to her.
They both passed through the door and finished celebrating the party. All guests in the party were eating and laughing.
“Anna you need to prove this piece of cake! It’s delicious!” screamed Zack to Anna
She took the plate from her brother’s hands.
“ Thanks Zack” she said with a big smile in her face.
After the party Zack and Anna got their things and said goodbye to Toro; who stood at the door of the house watching them cross the road in the dark of the night.
“They are only kids” he thought “It was too early to tell her”
The uncle of the two blond siblings close the door behind him and got into the house.
While Anna and Zack got into Martin’s house.
The birthday girl was tired from the party and also confused with all the thoughts she had after the chat with Toro.
“I just need to sleep and rest” she thought.
Martin and Zack tried to make her feel better so that they could play during the night, but Anna didn’t want to. She couldn’t stop thinking about Toro’s words.
“Trust no one, be curious”.
Her eyes closed and her thought became dreams.
“Anna wake up”
The girl opened her eyes.
Martin was standing, staring at her.
“Stop being creepy” she said getting up from the bed.
Both of the kids walked to the dinner table. Zack was already there, waiting for Martin’s parents to cook something for them.
Martin was kind of sad that it would take 4 more days for them to eat sugar again.
“Stupid rules” he thought
The 16-year old boy looked at his best friend. She was not feeling good. He could see that Anna was tired and some way different from normal.
“Are you ok Anna?” asked Martin
The girl moved her head forward showing that she was ok.
The kids ate their whole grain cereal with oatmeal.
“This thing sucks!” said Zack laughing about his own comment.
“I know, I hate oatmeal” responded Martin making ugly faces.
They both laughed and made jokes with each other.
Zack always felt like a little brother for Martin. He would do anything for him, everyone knew that.
“Guys, stop joking around” asked Anna
They acted like they hadn’t heard it.
Anna was starting to get nervous with both, but she also didn’t know what would make them stop.
“You know what? I’m not feeling so good and you two are giving headache, so I’ll just go home. Sorry about that Ms. Dockree” she said
Martin and Zack were impressed by Anna’s reaction.
“It’s ok, go home and rest. I hope you get better soon” said Ms.Dockree
Anna got up from the blue chair and went to get her things in the room.
Martin ran to help her packing.
“You don’t need to do this, I was just joking around with your brother” Said Martin with a sad face
“I know, I just want to go home Mart” responded Anna with a tired voice.
She walked and passed through the Dockree’s door.
Leaving the house and walking approximately 6 minutes to get into hers.
Anna passed the entrance with the front yard. She noticed something different.
The door was half closed.
She threw the bag on the grass and walked in the door’s direction.
Questions were all over her head.
“Why is the door opened?” “ Did Toro forgot to close it?” “ Did Toro know that she was coming earlier home?”
She finally reached the white door which looked much bigger at the moment.
Anna gently pushed the door to see what was inside.
What she saw made She stumble back, almost falling in the wet grass. Anna was shocked, scared, confused. All prohibited emotions in SpantVille at the same time.
The house was destroyed inside, everything was out of place, like if someone had robbed them. There was broken furniture all over the place. The dining table was crushed in half. It looked like someone had a fight and broke it.
But Anna didn’t care about that, she didn’t care about the house condition, she didn’t care about the furniture.
She cared about Toro. And he was not there.
Someone had captured him.
End of Part 2