3. Chapter Two

"Come on, I think they went this way!" Angelo called. He was standing at the edge of an old street, surrounded by the ruins of old mansions and buildings. Hope looked up at the street sign to see the words, Salem Way, slowly fading from the metal.

"Jeez, what a wreak," Sil stated. "It looks like these things have been vacant for centuries."

"They have been vacant for centuries, Sil," Hope told him. "Most of these place haven't seen a human being since Obama was President of the United States."

"Who's Obama?" Sil asked. "And what's a president?"

"Yeah," Angelo piped in, "and what's a United State?" Hope sighed. She had forgotten that niether of them had ever been to school before. 

"I'll explain it some other time." She picked up her skirts and started running down the street. "Do you know which house they're in?" 

"Probably the big one on your left," Angelo called. 

"They're all big ones!" 

"She's right, Angelo, they're all huge. What do you think these looked like when they were intact?" Hope shuddered at Sil's words. She knew all too well what these buildings had probably looked like, and she didn't like it. Hope had a bad history with mansions.

"Hey guys," a vioce called from the rubble, "we're over here!" Hope turned to see a tall, redheaded boy popping out from behind an old column.

"Hey Mick!" she replied. "Where's Mit?"

"I'm right here!"Another boy, identical to the first, appeared from behind another column. "You guys need to check this place out, it's amazing!" Hope started heading towards the boys when she saw something green flicker to the right. Confused, Hope switched course to investigate. There it was, a little green light, glowing in corner of the house next door. She started climbing over the rubble of the house, only to find a pit full of the ruins of the old building.

"Hey Hope, where are you going?" Mick came climbing up behind her. 

"I saw a light, and—"

"A light? In this rubble? You've got to be kidding me."

"No, it was green and..." Hope searched for the light again, but it had disappeared. She starred around in bafflement, trying to figure out where it had gone.

"Green, Hope? A green light? Why on earth would a light be—"

"Do you hear that?" Hope interrupted. Mick listened for a few seconds, only to be rewarded with nothing. "It sounds!" Hope got up and ran through the rubble, trying desperately not to fall.

"Gosh, Hope. I think you're going craz— oh my gawd." He had heard it too, a soft tinkling of music floating over the ruins. He raced after Hope, not wanting to be left alone in this erie place. 

"I think it's coming from over here!" Hope dropped to her knees and started clearing around the debris. Mick started to join her, and soon they had found an old rusty, metal wall, slightly destroyed, leaning against the house's main wall. She picked up the wall, and bent it out of way. The metal snapped in half and fell to the side, exposing a small room, mostly clear of rubble, underneath it. In the corner of the room sat an old, wooden box, no bigger than Hope's hand.

"See Mick, I knew I wasn't crazy!" She carefully picked up the old box and opened it, praying inside that it wouldn't break. 

"What is that thing? Some sort of chest?" Mick peered over Hope's shoulder, trying to get a better glimpse of the thing she was holding.

"No, silly, it's a music box! You wind it up, and it plays music. See?" She turned the thing over and carefully turned a little crank on the bottom. A slow song started to pour out of the box.

"Hey, I know this song!" Mick cried in delight. "My mother used to sing it to me when I was little." He started to sing with the music, leaving Hope staring in bafflement. Again.

I was dancin' with my darlin'
To the Tennessee Waltz
When an old friend I happened to see
I introduced her to my loved one
And while they were dancin'
My friend stole my sweetheart from me

"I didn't know you could sing."

"That's the only song I know. My mother told me that her mother used to sing it to her, and her mother before that, and so on. She called it a family tradition. Apparently, the song's older than dirt, and my mom thought it was our duty to keep it alive, or something like that."

"Mhmm..." Hope had gone back to studying the room, and Mick had gone back to singing. A few minutes passed, and Hope was getting ready to go back and join the others, when Mick stopped singing.

"Oh my gawd. Hope, there's a person under there!"

"What?" Mck pointed towards a beam that had fallen in the corner of the room.

"There's a person under that beam, I can see their foot!"

"That's impossible, Mick. No one's been down here in ages!"

"Then who turned on that music box you found? Come on, help me move this thing!" Hope put down the box and helped Mick lift the beam. Underneath it was dirt, cockroaches and...  a leg. Hope screamed and dropped the beam, almost crushing Mick. He grabbed it last second, and pushed it out of the way. Everything was surprising light here, but then again, most of it was centuries old. 

"Guys!" Mick yelled. "You have to check this out! Get over here now!" The others started racing thrugh the ruins, and it wasn't long before they were standing right beside Hope and Mick.

"Is that what I think it is?" Angelo asked. Hope slowly nodded her head, still in shock. "Well, what are we waiting for?" Angelo decided. "Let's did it out!" He got down and started clearing away the extra debris, trying to free the rest of the body. The others leaned down to help him, and it wasn't long before they had finished. There, right in front of them, sat a girl, around thirteen, wearing clothes Hope had never seen before. Her dress was ripped all around the bottom, and the flatness of the skirt made it was obvious she had forgotten her petticoats. The top was missing it's sleeves, and her long brown hair tangled in knots around her face.

"It's a girl," Angelo said in confusion. 

"Yeah," Sil told him, "what did you think it was going to be, a turtle?"

"There's just no way..." Angelo trailed off. "I mean, no ones been down here in forever."

"That's exactly what I said," Hope told him, "but I guess I was wrong."

"Is she dead?" Mit asked. Hope leaned down to check for a heart beat, but couldn't find one.

"Yeah, I think she's—"

"Hello?" the girl asked. Hope screamed and jumped back. 

"Oh phew, she's alive." Mick said. The girl slowly sat up, staring in shock at the people around her. 

"Who are you people?" she asked.

"We could ask you the same thing," Sil replied. He had crossed his hands over his chest and taken up his, Don't you dare mess with me face. The girl looked around at the rubble in confusion.

"I have no clue who I am. Do you?" She looked up at Hope, her eyes begging for answers. Hope simply shrugged and helped the girl up.

"Sorry, I've never seen you before in my life. Do you know where you live? We could help you get hoe if you'd like." The girl just shook her head. 

"Jeez," Angelo stated, "you know nothing about yourself, do ya?" The girl just shook her head again, a look of pure bafflement filling her face. 

"Hey Sil," Hope said, "can I talk to you for a minute?" Sil shrugged and shot the girl one last look, causing her cower back a step, before he walked off to join Hope in the corner.

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