The Unwanted (Black Water Tales Book 2) (10 page)

BOOK: The Unwanted (Black Water Tales Book 2)
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CHAPTER TWELVE

“I
suggest you use them
,

Travis said, mocking Marko’s statement about the locks. “What did he mean by that?” Travis asked as he and Blaire walked into town. He hoisted the folded metal grocery carts under his arm.

“I don’t know. That’s all he said.”

“He is so
weird
. Even though I guess I can understand about the children hurting themselves with no night caretaker.”

“Maybe I’ll just start doing my own checks during the night…” Blaire thought aloud.

“…and then teach all day? Doubt it,” Travis countered.

“Have you spoken to your parents?” Blaire asked, as Travis had made no mention of his family since they arrived. Travis was quiet for a moment before he spoke.

“I spoke to my mother when we first arrived. My father was not in. I tried them again this morning, and I spoke to my mom for a bit. We were on the line just long enough for her to tell me that my father was still not in before I lost reception.”

Blaire looked down to her feet after seeing the childlike joy drain from Travis’ face. “How about you?” he asked.

“No,” she responded without explanation as they entered the store.

They were greeted by a wisp of a woman with a face that sagged. The sorrow in the woman’s eyes hung heavy in the store’s air, and it seeped into Blaire’s pores like a poisonous gas.

“First things, first,” Travis announced as he made his way over to the deserted tower of sunglasses that held exactly three pairs.

Forty
-five minutes later their carts were filled with everything from blankets to books to basic medical supplies. Standing in front of the register to pay, the pair had lined the counter with items that piled up so high that they could hardly see over them to the store owner. Blaire pointed to a box of cigarettes that were behind the counter, and she could feel Travis’ eyes on her.

“I know it’s bad for you and I am trying to quit. I am actually doing very well.”

“Uh
-huh.” Travis seemed unconvinced.

“Oh,” Blaire said, allowing a slight gasp to escape her when she saw film along the back wall. Her thoughts went to Danya. Blaire explained the type of camera to the woman, who grabbed a couple of different packs of film from the shelf behind the counter in hopes that one would work.

The woman eyed Blaire and Travis as she rang up all the items.

“$827.53.” The voice was quivery, laden with the hardships of her life.

Travis turned to Blaire who pulled a titanium credit card from her wallet and allowed the woman to swipe it through the ancient machine.

“Margaret Dobish” The woman introduced herself after the pair proved they could pay.

“I’m Blaire Baker and this is Travis Wells.”

“Why are you at St. Sebastian?”

“Word travels fast,” Travis remarked.

Blaire cleared her throat. “Uh, we’re volunteers…to help with the children.”

The woman eyed him for a moment. “It’s not a good place.”

“What do you mean?” Blaire asked.

“My aunt used to work there. It’s haunted,” Margaret informed them.

Blaire looked to Travis quickly before he responded. “Okay, great, thanks for the info. Anya, who works up at St. Sebastian, told us that we could get our items delivered if there was too much to carry, can we?” he said completely ignoring her unsolicited information.

“I will have it delivered this afternoon,” Margaret answered.

“Great,” Travis said, as he finished loading the metal shopping carts with the bags that they could carry.

“What is with these people?” he said when they were finally back on the street. Blaire looked back to see that Margaret had come to the door. Her sorrowful eyes watched them as they continued along the sidewalk.

“Don’t tell me that you believe that crap? Oh, come on!” Travis said as if he felt completely let down by the person who was supposed to be his educated, sensible partner. What he didn’t know was that when you came from a place like Black Water it was very easy to believe in ghosts.

“I don’t believe it’s haunted. I guess, it’s just the traveling and being in an unfamiliar place. It’s…it’s…it’s just a little creepy sometimes.” Blaire was relieved to finally get it out. “Have you noticed anything strange at St. Sebastian?”

“Yeah, the people, the building, the food. Have I covered everything?” It’s just different, Blaire, but not haunted. Can we at least agree on that?”

“Yes, Travis, we can agree on that,” Blaire said with a tentative smile.

“Great and now that we have gotten over that, can we focus on more important business, like how in the hell could you just have spent eight hundred dollars back there, like it was eight?”

Blaire laughed lightly and said, “Okay, remember when I told you that I wasn’t rich?”

“Uh
-huh,” Travis said, perking up astutely.

“Well, I kinda am…”

“I knew it! I just knew it.”

Blaire laughed. “What do you mean?”

“I just knew you were different, that’s all. Hey, you wanna pay my student loans?” he asked with a big grin on his face.

“SURE!” Blaire agreed dripping with sarcasm.

“Just kidding,” he said. “…unless you’re serious…” He raised an eyebrow.

“I’m not,” Blaire responded as they broke into laughter, tripping over one another playfully in the street.

That evening it took them hours to sort and organize their haul, but the mood of the children when they were served salad, spaghetti, and garlic bread, instead of slop for dinner, was priceless. They ate until their stomachs where rounded out in rock hard protrusions of satisfaction.

Blaire found Danya and presented her with the film for the camera that was always loyally around her neck. Her face lit up as they fumbled with the various rolls of film until she inserted the correct one, which she knew only because the camera suddenly woke from the dead in a garish flash of light that burst into Blaire’s eyes.

Danya hugged Blaire tightly, burying her face in her new teacher’s abdomen, as Blaire hugged her back and stroked her bushel of tangled hair. Danya backed away and pointed to her camera then to Blaire.

“You want me to take a picture?” Blaire asked. “Ivan” She called out to the boy who was standing close by, and pulled him over delicately. Ivan’s expression was muted as the flash went off capturing a little piece of them both.

After dinner Blaire pulled out some of the new games purchased and the sound of the children’s joy echoed off the dingy walls for hours. Blaire was inspired with wonder, but also a morsel of dread as the children rediscovered what seemed to be old, cursed treasure, their laughter. That evening Anya and Vesna tucked the children into their newly blanketed beds in soft new pajamas. An ephemeral peace settled on St. Sebastian and if Blaire had any doubt before, she was sure now that she had a purpose here; she was in the right place.

Travis spoke as he prepared his bed, “I’ll check on the kids at about midnight and you can make a second check a few hours later. Will that make you feel better?”

Blaire smiled as she snuggled under her blanket. She had not been wrong about Travis, he was amazing. “Sounds great,” she said before setting the alarm on her phone and closing her eyes.

St. Sebastian was still covered in darkness when Blaire woke. The soft, recognizable scratching on the walls made her afflicted hand come to life with a familiar throb.

Blaire looked at her phone; it was 2:59 a.m. Travis lay in a restful sleep, his chest slowly rising and falling with slight breaths every couple of seconds. Blaire wondered if he had completed his bed check at midnight.

Deactivating the alarm on her phone, Blaire roused her body from the bed. She grabbed her keys, pulled her new flashlight out of her dresser and set out for the second floor. Everything was eerily quiet, and the only things that she heard were her own soft movements through the barren corridors. One by one, Blaire went to each room on the second floor, pressing up on her tiptoes and peeking into every window, flashing her light around inside in order to make sure that nothing was out of place.

As an icy chill suddenly swept through the room, Blaire slipped back into her own bed happier than ever that she had purchased the thick blankets. Burrowing deep under the covers, she listened to the silence that soon gave way to the scratching of the rats. Blaire’s eyes were almost completely closed when she heard a soft melody, a song that someone was humming. There was a scraping noise, but it was not that of the rats, as this was loud and long, and then pacing, soft footsteps patting the floor. Blaire got out of bed and crept to the door, which she had left slightly ajar, ignoring Marko’s mysterious advice. It was Hannah, she told herself. Maybe Hannah could not sleep. Blaire contemplated peeking into the hall, but that icy chill returned, racing up and down her back until she could hardly stand it. She pressed her door to a silent close and turned the lock.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

A
f
t
e
r
b
r
ea
k
f
a
st T
ra
vis
w
a
s in his o
ff
i
c
e
s
w
ee
pi
n
g the
f
loor
wh
e
n he
h
ear
d
a
k
no
c
k. M
ar
ko w
a
s st
a
nding
in the
do
or
w
a
y
with his
ar
ms
f
ull of
b
a
tt
ere
d m
a
nila
f
old
er
s.


L
e
t me
t
a
ke
tho
s
e
,”
T
r
a
vis s
a
id,
r
ushing
to
f
ind a
pl
ac
e
f
o
r
the
b
e
a
t
-up b
r
o
om, and then li
f
ting the
st
ac
k of
f
il
e
s
f
r
om M
ar
ko
e
f
f
o
r
tl
e
ss
l
y
. T
ra
vis
s
a
t the
m
a
ssive
pile
on his d
e
sk.

He
e
y
e
d the
s
t
ac
k wh
i
le
r
unning
his h
a
nd
a
lo
n
g the
f
old
er
s, op
e
ni
n
g
so
m
e
f
or
a
qu
i
c
k
g
l
a
n
ce
. The
in
f
o
r
m
a
tion seemed sp
ar
s
e
.


I
s this
e
v
e
r
y
thi
n
g
?

T
ra
vis
a
sk
e
d still stu
d
y
i
n
g
t
h
e
p
a
p
er
s.


Ev
e
r
y
thi
n
g
th
a
t
y
ou n
ee
d.
I
will
g
ive
Ms.
B
a
k
e
r
the
e
d
u
ca
tion
f
il
e
s,
but
I
k
e
e
p the
c
hild
re
n

s p
e
r
son
a
l
f
il
e
s in my office
,

M
ar
ko said. T
ra
vi
s

e
y
e
s d
a
r
t
e
d up to the
m
a
n, and th
e
n swi
f
t
l
y
b
ac
k to the
st
ac
k as he pull
e
d out one
m
a
nila
f
old
er
,
op
e
ned
it
a
nd
f
lipped
t
h
r
ou
g
h the
p
a
g
e
s thou
g
ht
f
ul
l
y
.


I
p
r
ob
a
b
l
y
wo
n

t
g
e
t to do too mu
c
h with N
a
t
a
lka
sin
c
e
she

s l
ea
vi
n
g
so
o
n,”
T
ra
vis
c
omm
e
nt
e
d.


L
ea
vi
n
g
?

M
ar
ko inqui
re
d.

W
h
er
e
is she
g
oi
n
g
?


I
sn

t h
e
r
fa
th
e
r
suppos
e
d to be
pi
c
king
h
e
r
up?
N
a
t
a
lka
told
Blaire
th
a
t th
e
r
e
w
e
r
e
pl
a
ns
f
or
h
e
r
fa
th
e
r
to
take
h
e
r
home
soon,”
T
ra
vis
explained.

M
ar
ko s
c
o
f
fe
d,

S
h
e
s
a
y
s th
a
t
e
v
e
r
y
y
e
a
r
.”


W
h
a
t do
y
ou m
e
a
n
?

T
ra
vis was taken aback by his gullibility.


N
a
t
a
lka
w
a
s b
r
o
u
g
ht to
St. Sebastian
s
e
v
e
ra
l summ
e
r
s
a
g
o. H
e
r
fa
th
e
r
blind
f
o
ld
e
d h
e
r
f
or most of
the
t
r
ip
a
nd
told h
e
r
th
a
t he
w
a
s t
a
ki
n
g
h
e
r
on a
sp
e
c
i
a
l
a
d
v
e
ntu
re before dropping her here
. Th
e
r
e
a
r
e
no
pl
a
ns
f
or
h
e
r
fa
mi
l
y to
c
ome
a
nd pi
c
k h
e
r
up

e
v
er
.”


B
ut she
told
Blaire
th
a
t
he
w
r
ote
to h
e
r,
s
a
y
i
n
g
th
a
t he
would be
c
omi
n
g
to
pi
c
k h
e
r
up.”


I
ca
n
a
ssu
r
e
y
ou t
h
a
t she
is not
rece
ivi
n
g
a
n
y
l
e
tt
er
s of
the
so
r
t.
S
he
is not
g
oi
n
g
a
n
y
w
h
e
r
e
.”


Th
a
t

s
a
w
f
ul,”
T
r
a
vis said.


Ev
e
r
y
y
e
a
r
s
h
e
p
re
t
e
nds
th
a
t it is the
y
e
a
r
th
a
t h
e
r
fa
mi
l
y
is
c
omi
n
g
to pi
c
k
h
e
r
up, to t
a
ke
h
e
r
home,
a
nd
e
v
e
r
y
y
ea
r
c
o
m
e
s
a
nd
g
o
e
s,
a
nd
she
is still h
ere
, but
I
th
i
nk th
a
t she
is
g
e
tti
n
g us
e
d to the
fac
t t
h
a
t she
will be
h
ere, and
t
h
a
t this is h
e
r
home
now.”


W
h
y exactly
is she
h
e
re
?

T
ra
vis
a
sk
e
d.


Mild m
e
nt
a
l illn
e
ss mo
s
t lik
e
l
y
, but th
er
e
is no o
f
f
i
c
i
a
l di
a
g
nos
i
s.
S
he
is a
g
i
r
l with a
m
e
nt
a
l illn
e
ss or learning disability, which added to her gender m
a
k
e
s h
e
r
e
v
e
n w
e
a
k
er
,
e
v
e
n
l
e
ss d
e
si
ra
ble
to h
a
v
e
a
r
ound.”


W
h
y
did he
blind
f
old h
e
r
?


S
o th
a
t she
c
ould n
e
v
e
r
f
ind h
e
r
w
a
y
ho
m
e
,”
M
a
r
ko s
a
id b
ef
o
r
e
he
dis
a
pp
e
are
d out the doo
r
, seeming to take all of the oxygen with him.

S
e
a
b
ree
z
es
r
u
ff
l
e
d
Blaire

s h
a
ir
a
nd
c
ool
e
d h
e
r
f
a
c
e,
a
nd she
f
e
lt
a
liv
e
. A white
f
ish
er
m
a
n

s s
w
ea
t
e
r
sw
a
l
low
e
d h
e
r,
a
nd
Blaire
pull
e
d the
lengthy
sl
ee
v
e
s d
o
wn to
c
ov
e
r
h
e
r
h
a
nds. The mass of water
w
a
s
e
ndl
e
ss, it s
ee
m
e
d. As Blaire sat on the rocks watching the waves, she tried to get lost in them.

BOOK: The Unwanted (Black Water Tales Book 2)
9.56Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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