In the Sky-Chapter 4

This is a chapter continuing from chap 3 by mirlotta.

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1. Welcome to the Tannenbaum's Food and Lodging

 

 WELCOME TO TANNENBAUM’S FOOD AND LODGING

As the faint pungent smell began to fill in her nostrils, things became clearer for Izalla.

“Lassie…?” she heard someone speak.

Izalla felt weak and helpless. She wanted to remain unconscious.

“Girl!” A shrill loud arrived and Izalla was awake.

Izalla found herself on a dark, moth-eaten sofa inside a dim-lit room. There was an old wooden desk on one side and an old, dusty chandelier hung from the ceiling. The faint smell was still there. Izalla tried to make out from where it was coming but the aroma was just too befuddling for her senses.

“Are you all right?” Izalla then turned to the old woman sitting in front of her. “Girl…”

“I am fine” Izalla replied quickly. “It’s Izalla, by the way.”

“If that was the case then, Izalla, we wouldn’t have found you unconscious in the middle o’ the street” the old woman replied. She was thin and frail and was dressed in the strangest of clothes. A brown jumper accompanied by a purple skirt. She also wore ear-rings with owls on them.

Izalla let out a weak smile. She was dirty, wet and confused. Her heart thumping-louder than ever, it merged with the clear downpour. The atmosphere remained tense but she realized that the old woman was just trying to make her feel at home.

A boy appeared. He was tall, dark & carried a mug. He silently placed the mug on the table and returned to his corner. “Thank you, Jon” said the old woman as she offered Izalla the drink.

Izalla refused. “Have it. It’s just coffee” she replied. Izalla couldn’t but she forced herself to gulp down some of the disgusting drink.

“Don’t give every other person who falls unconscious in front of your place a warm welcome!” Izalla turned to a man sitting by the desk. She hadn’t noticed him. Hiding in the darkness, he almost seemed invisible- until now. “Some of them may turn out to be muggers” he spoke in his cowboy accent.

The old woman burst into laughter. Although Izalla was not amused, she found the man’s remark rather rude.

“I’m sorry, my dear” the woman replied finally stopping her laughter. “Now, Darius, what harm can a scared, pretty gal do?” Her voice merged with the pitter-patter outside. She came and sat beside Izalla and began wiping the latter’s wet face.

Izalla was surprised at the gesture but she didn’t protest at the hospitality.

“Look how pale and frightened she is!” the old woman exclaimed. “And Darius is that how you address guests? Calling them muggers is just preposterous!”

“Sorry, Greasy Sally, I was just advising you to be on guard” said Darius icily.

Greasy Sally turned to our protagonist now.

“What happened?” asked Izalla trying hard to recollect. The train-ride, which seemed to have happened ages ago, was the only incident which played in her mind.

“You fainted, my dear. Luckily, Jon found you when he did or you’d be out in the cold rain” replied Greasy Sally.

Izalla turned to Jon who stood quietly observing. She managed to catch a glimpse of his blue eyes- his most striking feature. He looked like a savior for her. “Thank you” she murmured. Jon gave a weak smile.

“Now, my dear, you must go home now. I guess your parents must be worrying. Tell us-where do you stay?” asked Greasy Sally trying to sound polite.

The thought of an angry Julie welcoming her made Izalla nervous. She didn’t want to go back to her father who turned his back over her. Neither did she want to see Julie, her baby, nor go back to her dilapidated apartment.

“Oh! Are you lost?” Greasy Sally wanted to help. Before Izalla could open her mouth to speak, Greasy Sally understood her expression. “Never mind, dear. Darius will help you get back to your house.” Izalla could manage to see him from behind the desk. “Until then,” Greasy Sally continued and in a high pitched excited tone said, “you can have a free stay at the Tannenbaum’s Food and Lodgings.” She turned to Jon and said, “Go and prepare Room Number Forty two.” Jon gave a short nod and went away.

The sky was illuminated for a moment which was followed by a deafeningly loud thunder.

Greasy Sally got up, walked to the window and looked out. She found the City getting drenched under the clouds. Another thunder and Izalla felt a sharp sensation pass through her hand into the fingers. The pain stopped and it seemed to have been collected in her right hand’s fingertip.

“Darius,” Greasy Sally’s voice became serious. “Better close the windows.”

“What are you seeing? Is there anything wrong?” asked Darius carefully.

“The way it’s raining is so … peculiar. I have never seen the clouds so dark and grim. The rain doesn’t seem to stop,” continued Greasy Sally.

“What does that mean?” Izalla was curious.

“Something nasty has happened with the clouds,” Greasy Sally’s words stung Izalla sharply. Another bright bolt of lightning was shot aimlessly into the countryside. The smell lingering was still too much for the senses. Izalla, tired sank into the sofa.  

 

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