The men stayed close to Lucy the entire way. She still didn’t know where they were going, but Sullivan had called it the village. She just wasn’t sure if he was being literal or not.
The sun had started to disappear. The trees got closer, their branches and leaves entangling with each other. The path narrowed, too, pushing the men even closer to Lucy.
Her heart started to pound.
The trees lined up like a fence and they were about to go through an opening she wasn’t even sure Wesley would fit through.
It was dark, almost pitch black, on the other side and it wasn’t until a few minutes had passed that Lucy could see again.
Sullivan stepped in front of her to lead, while Wesley stayed at the back. She was sandwiched between them again. Sullivan pushed away some brush that blocked their path.
It revealed a village.
An actual village.
The sun was shining down and a handful of kids ran by giggling and flailing their arms. Men and women were out and about, walking, running, gardening. It was quieter than Lucy would have thought, only a soft murmur of voices blended together as they walked through the dirt street.
Houses were more like shacks that protected from the rain and wind. Each seemed to come with an outhouse.
Lucy felt like she was sent back in time.
“Here,” Sullivan interrupted her curious thoughts. He gestured towards a screen door. It was on a house that sat at the end of the so-called street.
Her eyes flitted back and forth. She had been so taken back by the village so had neglected to find a way out and now the only direction she could go was inside the house.
With a glare and a sigh, Lucy pushed through the door. She was greeted by clanking of dishes in a small kitchen, at least that’s what she assumed it was. It was really only a sink and fridge.
A man stood washing dishes in the sink while a woman sat at a small table. They looked similar in age to her parents.
“Piper.” Sullivan moved to hug the woman.
Lucy stepped aside and found that Wesley was still outside, guarding the door. There was no way she was getting out, though at this point, she was pretty sure she’d get lost even if she did.
The three others were now conversing in the corner, which was only a few feet away. Lucy wrapped her arms around her, unsure of what to do or how to act.
“Ms. Lexington,” the older man stepped forward, “it’s nice to meet you. My name is Enzo.” He held his hand out.
Lucy eyed it, but decided a simple handshake wouldn’t hurt. She even tried to smile. It was debatable if it worked.
The woman came up next and grabbed her hand in both of hers. “You can call me Piper,” she said, looking straight into Lucy’s eyes. “I’m glad you came, Lucy.”
She was able to crack a grin at that, albeit sarcastic. “Like I had a choice,” she muttered.
With a knowing smile, Piper glanced back. “Sully likes to keep things mysterious and,” she paused and looked back at Lucy, “intense.”
Her voice was warm, truly mother-like, and despite the insane and probably dangerous situation Lucy was in, she felt comfortable.
It scared her.
“Why am I here?” she questioned.
Piper squeezed her hand and stepped back with Enzo. Sullivan stood off to the side.
“The book, I’m sure Sully mentioned that at least,” Piper waited for confirmation and Lucy slowly nodded, “it is very important we find it. Since you are here instead of the book, I’m assuming the WDS have it.”
“White dressed suits, terribly unoriginal, but they are not known for their creativity,” Piper continued.
She nodded again. “One came into my shop. He had a knife. I just kicked the book to him. I didn’t know,” Lucy babbled, crossing her arms over her chest.
“It’s okay, dear. We will just work to get it back. You will help.”
Lucy focused on her breathing, trying to remain calm, and glanced at the three people in front of her. They all held a slight layer of dirt over their skin. They were all calm and they were all serious.
Enzo grinned. “The book is a very important piece for history. Our history and your history.”
“What’s it have to do with me, though? I just found it.” Lucy tried to hold in her frustration.
“The book, Lucy,” he stared her straight in the eyes, “you wrote it.”
Chapters will start to get longer from now on! Thanks for reading!