I only got a quick glance at the tall, brunette girl before I slipped into the familiar darkness. When I could see once again there was a similar looking woman standing in front of me. She had long, dark brown hair that was pulled back into a perfect braid. Weaved through the braid were long ears of wheat. She wore a long, flower dress that fit her perfectly.
“Hi Sophia. Congratulations on figuring out that Katrina is inhabited.” The woman thanked me.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am Demeter, goddess of Agriculture.” She told me, “I must leave you now.” With that she had disappeared, and I was back in the truck with the other inhabitants.
“She’s inhabited too, isn’t she?” Mila asked me as soon as I regained my composure.
“Yeah, we better go and talk to her.” I said. “Who wants to come with me?”
Several of the other inhabitants had woken up and were looking around confusedly.
“Why doesn’t Dylan go with you and I’ll explain to everyone what’s happening.” Daniel replied from his spot behind the steering wheel. He turned to Dylan and prodded him in the side.
I watched as Dylan yawned and rolled onto his other side.
“Get up!” Daniel yelled in his ear and Dylan opened his eyes and sat upright.
“What do you want?” Dylan yelled back at him.
“We found another inhabitant,” Daniel started, he pointed out the window and towards the girl who was still talking on her phone. “Go with Sophia to talk to her so she can help us.”
I opened the truck’s door and slipped off the seat onto the sidewalk. I heard Dylan do the same behind me and we started off towards Katrina.
As we approached her she put her phone back into her pocket and started to walk away.
“Wait!” I called out to her without thinking. My footsteps grew quicker and I ended up running to her. I could hear Dylan’s footsteps echoing mine.
“Who are you?” She asked, looking at us in confusion. I could only imagine how we look to her. It had been at least a day since I ran away. No shower, I haven’t changed, my hair was probably a disaster, dark circles under my eyes, and I hadn’t eaten since I left.
“My name is Sophia,” I turned to point at Dylan, “And this is Dylan. Do you know anything about Greek gods and mythology?”
“I know a little bit, but basically only what we learned at school.” Katrina responded, still looking confused.
I took a deep breath before continuing. “The Greek goddess Demeter is inhabiting you. The gods were trapped and used almost all their power to break out, when they broke out they didn’t have enough power to take full form, so they inhabited us. You are one of us, and we really need your help. I can’t explain it all that well right now, but I can tell you that you can trust us and that we need you to come with us.”
Katrina looked terrified, her eyes were darting quickly between Dylan and I, and she seemed like she didn’t know what to do. “Where exactly are you guys going?”
“Niagara Falls.” Dylan and I responded together.
“That’s hours away!” she gasped. “What am I supposed to tell my parents?”
“We don’t know how long we’ll be gone, or if we’ll come back at all, what we’re doing could be extremely dangerous. We all wrote letters to our parents to let them know as much as they need to know.” I tried to explain the concept to her.
Katrina still looked doubtful. I took a step towards her and continued on, “I need you. My twin brother was taken away by a Titan, we’re going to rescue him from the underworld.” I could feel my voice shaking as I finished my sentence. Tears built up in my eyes and when I spoke the last word they spilt over onto my cheeks, and rushed down my face. I felt their warmth spread from my cheeks to my neck, and I reached up to wipe up the tears on my sleeves.
I was surprised when Katrina reached out to me. She stepped up beside me, before Dylan could even respond, and put her arms around me.
“It’s okay, we’re going to get your brother back, I’m going to come with you and make sure the two of you see each other again.” Her voice was raspy but comforting.
I pulled away from her and looked into her eyes to see she had her own tears rolling down her cheeks as well.
“We have one issue.” Dylan told us, looking back at Daniel’s truck. “There’s definitely not enough room for another person, we already have two more people than seatbelts.”
“I can drive and have a car that we can take.” Katrina told us.
“Is it here?” Dylan asked.
“It’s just parked on the next block.”
“Perfect!” I grabbed her hand and led her over to the truck.
Dylan reached in front of me and opened the door.
“This is Katrina.” I announced to everyone. “Her car is just around the corner, so a few of us are going to go with her and we’ll all meet up when we get to Niagara Falls. Who has a cell phone with them?”
“I do.” The response came from several people at once; Rachel, Dylan, Daniel, Katrina and Samantha.
“Samantha, Bridgit, and Rachel stay with Daniel. Dylan, Matthew, and Mila come with Katrina and me.” Everyone moved around and a few of us followed Katrina down the street and around the corner to her car.
We stopped in front of a small, blue four door. Its paint job was pretty and sparkling in the sunlight.
Katrina reached into one of her many shopping bags and pulled out a keychain, there was a beep and the doors were unlocked.
“Everybody in.” she said.
I climbed into the back seat between Mila and Dylan while Matthew climbed into the front seat beside Katrina. The car started and we were continuing on our way to Niagara. In the mirror I watched Daniel’s red pick-up truck follow us onto the highway.
I tried to explain more of our situation to Katrina as she drove, but after a little bit I fell asleep.
* * *
That night we arrived in Niagara. We found a small Inn just a 10 minute drive from the Falls. We parked and I got out my phone to call Samantha.
“Hello?” she answered, sounding like she just woke up and still had her eyes closed.
“Hey Sam, where are you guys?” I asked her.
“I’m not really sure where we are.” She informed me.
“We’re like 10 minutes away from the falls.” Came Daniel’s voice, carried fuzzily through the phones.
“We stopped at an Inn. You’ll see us, we’re the only car in the parking lot. We’re gonna get a room and stay here overnight, we should rest before continuing.” I finished telling them and then said bye and hung up the phone.
Everyone was awake and looking at me expectantly. “They’ll be here in a minute.” I informed them.
We watched as the red truck pulled into the empty parking lot and stopped beside us.
After both car and truck were parked, we all got out and started towards the entrance. A tattered sign hung above our heads, only one of the ‘A’s and one of the ‘N’s still lit up. The sign was dark and dingy, reflecting the look of the entire Inn, and read; “Niagara Inn”. The actually building had turned from white to yellow and brown, the paint was peeling off the walls and the windows were tinted with dirt and bugs.
The inside looked just a little bit better and cleaner. A rough looking man was sitting at the desk when we walked in. He was going old and looked a little bit terrifying. His dark brown, almost black hair, hung in patches on his pale head. His teeth were crooked when he smiled at us. He was wearing several layers, and all looked dingy. He wore a dark cat on top of a black sweater. His black jeans were loose fitting and at the end of them were just a pair of big, black socks. He wasn’t wearing any shoes.
“Welcome.” The man cackled. “What can I help you with?”
“We would like 3 rooms please.” I said, stepping forward from the group to talk to the man.
“How many nights?” He asked.
“One moment please.” The man told us.
Other than us there were either no other people there, or they were all asleep in their rooms. Most likely the first option.
“Here are your room keys.” The man handed e three sets of keys. “Room 201, 202, and 203.”
We nodded gratefully and walked up the stairs behind him. The carpet that covered the middle of the wooden staircase looked as if at one point it had been blood red. We followed the turn to the right and continued into a hallway.
There were only five rooms in the hall; 201-205. Each door had an antique looking, glass door-handle, and each one was different.
“So who’s going to be in each room?” Daniel asked.
“Why don’t we see how big they are first?” Mila suggested.
A couple people followed me into the first room, 201. There was two small beds and a chair in the room. A window just above my height could be seen on the opposite wall. A couple of the other inhabitants had followed me into the room and were looking around.
I turned back to the others and thought a little before deciding.
“Sam, Bridgit, and Matthew can have this room. Katrina, Rachel and Mila can have one. And that leaves, Dylan, Daniel and I in the last room.” I handed out the room keys and was followed by the two boys into the room across the hall.
My feet were aching, my whole body was aching. A loud pounding echoed through my head, over and over again. The sound pierced my ears and made everything sound faded and blurry. My eyes felt heavy and it took all of my energy to restrain myself from closing them. My arms were heavy at my sides and my feet were dragging against the carpet. I reached the room, opened the door slowly and fell immediately onto the closest bed, not bothering to take my back pack off my back, take my shoes off, or change my clothes. I heard one of the boys take off their shoes and fall onto the other bed, he sighed as his body relaxed into the sheets and blanket.
“I guess I’ll take the chair.” Dylan chided, he fell into the circular, cushioned chair.
I listened to their breathing as I drifted to sleep, I must have been too exhausted to even dream.