Our car slowly drives down the curvy road through the forest. The trees menacingly tilt inwards towards one another trying to block out the sun. We continue driving down the road, I can see that mom and Sam are talking to one another. I can’t make out anything as my music is blasting in my ears, trying to make the outside world go away.
They try to get my attention, but I don’t respond and eventually leave me alone. I zip up my black hoodie and make sure my belt is nice and tight. I look out the window and start to make out a structure in the distance. Looks to be a small chapel with a large symbol at the top of it. The symbol looks like a cross with a ring around the top and two line pointing out from the middle.
I look out the window and just see a log wall with an iron gate with the same symbol on the centre of it coming towards us. As we slowly approach the gate opens and Mom drives forward into the creepy community.
As we drive through, I look around to see log homes with chimneys puffing smoke out of each house. Looks to be a dozen houses on either side of the car. The people all dress in brown and grey clothes, nothing special and looks to be a very conservative community. All the people look to be around their 20s with a few looking older who wear a grey belt wrapped around the waist.
We continue driving through the town and after a few minutes we arrive at the chapel. There are three people standing infront of the chapel looking building and we park infront of them.
“Jamie now be on your best behaviour, remember this place is supposed to make things better. Okay?” Mom looks back to me and smiles.
I look to her with a cold face and her face saddens a bit but carries on with getting out of the car and meeting the three figures. Sam continues to be on his phone and says nothing to me. I get out and grab my pink bag and make my way over to the rest of the people. I eventually take my headphones off and leave them hanging around my neck.
The three people stop talking to my mom and in unison look over to me and smile and nod.
“Welcome my friend to the Community of Safety” The middleman says. He stands a little taller than the rest, full brown beard with short brown hair. Wears a brown vest and collared shirt with black pants. He also has brown sandals which I notice they all wear.
‘My name is Raphael” He begins and nods his head down. “To my right is Jaxson” He motions to a more muscular man, clothes like the other people I saw. He has a shaved head with thick sideburns which go halfway down the side of his face. He smiles and nods, but it isn’t as friendly as the other two.
“And to my right is Beatrice” He motions to the older African American lady with white hair pulled tightly into a small bun. Small glasses which hang off her neck and her left ear is missing a chunk out of it. She wears grey robes with a necklace of the symbol I say dangling down to her waist.
“We are the Keepers of the community, the leaders in more simpler terms”. He looks over to my mom and take her hands in his and gives her a big smile, “We will take great care of her.”
She smiles and moves towards me and hugs me, I don’t hug back. She whispers in my ear, “You will get better.” After which she gets back in the car and drives back down from where she came.
I am left alone with the three and after a brief awkward pause of them staring at me Raphael walks closer and holds out his hands, “You won’t be needing those”, motioning to my phone and backpack.
Hesitantly I hand them over and Raphael hands them to Jaxson who holds them tightly almost as if he thinks I am going to take them from him.
“Please, follow me and I will show you around” Beatrice pipes up and begins to walk making sure I am right beside her. I walk with her and look back to see Raphael and Jaxson walk away towards the chapel.
“There is a total of a dozen houses, six on each side divided by the road. The first three houses on the left are where the Keepers live, I am the middle house.” All the houses look the same, log cabins all with the chimney on the left. “We have a total of 27 others who live here, all ranging from 18-22. Each house has a House Head who watches over the house and watches over the others.”
We eventually walk to the last house on the left and see a man standing there. Blond hair and clean shaven with a strong jawline. He walks over to us holding an old bag and smiles to both of us, “Welcome to Safety, my name is Chase, and I will be your House Head.” He hands me the bag and continues, “This is your bag to be used for carrying our books and other resources if need be. You room is on the first-floor last door on the left, it has your name on it. Again, welcome to safety”. He finishes and smiles at me and looks to Beatrice who also smiles at me and they both motion for me to continue into the cabin.
I awkwardly make my way up to the door and look back to see them both watching me and smiling trying to welcome me. I give a nod back and enter the cabin.
Inside is a bleak cottage style home. Nothing interesting only plain brown furniture with pictures of woods and symbols of the one I saw earlier. I look around and see a small staircase leading up to three doors, all shut closed. I look down the hallway Chase said my bedroom was and make my way over to my room.
I walk infront and just stand infront of my door. A freshly written ‘Jamie’ is across the middle of the door. After a closer look I can see that the brown paint around the name is freshly painted. I hear footsteps behind me, so I quickly dart into the room and put my back to the door and wait. I can faintly hear voices down the hall.
“Did you see her?” A young girl’s voice says.
“No, but I hear that she came all the way from Alberta.” Another girl’s voice says, a little older.
I hear the front door open and close, and I am truly left alone. I look around my room. A small single bed with a nightstand beside it. A small dresser and a large mirror hanging in the corner of the wall. A pile of plain brown clothes rests on the bed and a note written in fancy cursive saying ‘Welcome’.
I take the note and put it on the nightstand and look at the clothes. Exact same as the ones I saw earlier. I move them out of the way and sit on the bed looking out the window. I can see another cabin with a window in the exact place as mine. Blinds drawn closed and I look around to see a few other kids walking about. I shut my blinds and curl up on the bed head tucked in my hands. A massive knot in my stomach starts to form and I already don’t feel good about this place. I want to go home.