Always stick together
Maybe they would have been your average family. Maybe they would have had a normal life and never would have been split apart.
But that wasn’t the case, not after the decisions that were made that would impact everyone and everything.
“Daddy can I please turn the knob?” Sophie Scerd asked.
They were in their backyard having a picnic. It was always a tradition to have ice cream sundaes, on Sundays for the Scerds.
“In a little bit,” Dad said, turning the knob on the ice cream maker.
They sat at the wooden picnic table on the porch. Dad was standing up with the ice cream maker on the table. The two nine year old twins-Penny and Sophie were sitting on the bench beside him, anxiously waiting for the delicious ice cream. On the other side was their mother who was really enjoying spending quality time with her family. Little Yasmine sat on her lap. She was only two and could only say little words.
They were all enjoying this moment as much as they possibly could, a moment like this was extremely rare and never seemed to come.
Mother had always been ill and had never been well enough to do much at all. She spent most of her time in her room, staying withdrawn from the outside world.
Mother had recently started feeling much better. It had been almost a week and everyone was enjoying it. They knew it probably wouldn’t last long, but they all had their hopes.
Sophie and Penny had barely known their mother and getting to know her was amazing. So far, it had been the best week of their lives.
Sophie began turning the knob on the ice cream handle. She sighed. “This is too hard Dad,” she said.
“You know what, I think that it’s about done,” Dad said.
“I’ll go get the bowls,” Penny said and she walked into the house.
“Just wait until you taste it Mom, it’s the best,” Sophie said.
“I’ve heard,” mom replied.
“Would you like some ice cream?” Mom asked Yasmine.
“Yes!” little Yasmine immediately said.
Penny returned with the bowls and Dad began scooping the ice cream. He gave bowls to Sophie, Penny, and Yasmine. He then scooped ice cream for Mom and handed the bowl to her.
Mom frowned, “You know what, I’m not too hungry,”
“Mom you have to try it, it is so amazing, you won’t regret it,” Penny insisted.
Dad made brief eye contact with Mom and sighed.
She set Yasmine down and got up from the bench. She then walked across the porch, and entered the sliding door into the house.
She looked out the door, “Girls there is something I always want you to remember, always stick together and never give up,”
Penny and Sophie knew something was wrong. They watched from the door of their bedroom, as Dad paced around the hall. They had never seen their father this nervous before.
It had been like this ever since Mom had left ice cream Sunday. Even Yasmine could sense something was off.
After a few days, Dad gathered the three girls into the living room.
“What’s going on? You’ve been acting strange lately,” Penny commented.
Penny and Sophie sat on the sofa, Sophie picked up Yasmine and sat her next to her. Dad took a seat in the chair not far from them.
“Girls your Mother, she’s past away,” Dad said slowly.
Sophie and Penny’s expressions fell and there was a long pause of silence.
“But-but I thought she was getting better,” Sophie stuttered, breaking the silence. Penny and Sophie had tears flowing.
“Apparently she was not,” Dad mumbled.
“I just can’t believe it,” Penny said.
“Me too,” Sophie replied.
They were in their bedroom they shared. It had been a day since Dad had told them what happened to Mom.
“I’m just not sure,” they heard a muffled voice.
“That’s Dad, maybe he’s talking about Mom, let’s go,” Sophie said leaving the room.
“Wait, Sophie we can’t just spy on him,” Penny whispered.
She hesitated then followed her sister. They were right by their Father’s room, careful not to make a sound. He was clearly talking on the phone.
“Her dying has made me realize that they won’t stop targeting us, I need to prepare something for shelter maybe?”
“How could it be found though?”
Dad sighed, “This is going to be a hard work,”
It had been a few weeks since the tragic news had been delivered. Nothing seemed the same. Penny and Sophie-being homeschooled, had been skipping out on their normal lessons. The atmosphere just didn’t seem right. It was almost as if the house itself was depressed. They stopped having ice cream Sunday. The one with Mom had been their last one.
Penny and Sophie were playing with Yasmine in their room. Dad had showed the twins how to take care of their baby sister and they were quite good at it. They helped Yasmine learn her shapes and what things are. They even fed her and changed her diapers from time to time.
The three sisters began hearing a loud noise.
“What is that?” Sophie asked.
Dad then burst into the room and opened their closet, looking for something.
“Dad, are you okay?” Penny asked, standing up.
He pulled out a large gray duffel bag out of the closet and handed it to Penny. Penny fell over, the bag was really heavy. She then got a grip on the bag and picked it up.
“Take this bag and follow me girls,” Dad said.
Sophie picked up Yasmine and they followed Dad into his room. Dad opened his closet and opened a small door, they looked down it. It looked like a small tunnel.
“What is that?” Penny asked.
Dad took the bag from Penny and pushed it down the tunnel.
“Girls, I need you to listen carefully, go down this tunnel until it ends, do not turn around and I mean it. Find a waterfall, go behind it and then come out. Then find a small shed and go inside, then open the bag and read the letter I left for you, do not turn back,” Dad explained.
The twins eyes widened and they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
“We know you are here!” the heard a broad voice shout.
“I just want you girls to know that I love you very much, now go now!”
They hesitated, but then crawled into the cramped tunnel. Sophie turned around, Dad had shut the door. Penny lead the way, pushing the duffel bag ahead. She pushed the bag down a flight of stairs. Penny and Sophie walked down the stairs, with Sophie holding Yasmine. Penny picked up the bag. Yasmine began crying. Sophie tried to calm her down.
The tunnel expanded into a large hallway, the floor was made of concrete and the walls made of brick. They looked at the hall in disbelief. This had been there the entire time?
They started to hear voices and noticed some light coming from the ceiling. They looked up and saw a vent and through it the could see men in their backyard and a helicopter with its propeller making a loud noise. Although their vision was limited through the small vent, they saw two men forcing their father into the helicopter.
They both gasped. Penny covered her mouth with her hand to muffle a shriek. Sophie had calmed Yasmine down, so they were completely silent.
Penny was frozen. Sophie grabbed her arm. “Come on Penny we have to go!”
And so they went down the long tunnel. It never seemed like it was going to end. Their legs were exhausted, they had to pause a few times to rest. They kept on going though. No matter how much Yasmine complained, no matter how heavy the duffel bag was, no matter how much their feet hurt, they kept on going, until they reached the end.
There was a flight of stairs that they climbed up and opened a door at the top. When they walked up the stars gazed at them. They heard a rush of water not far. It had been morning when they entered the tunnel.
“Food,” Yasmine complained.
Penny picked her up, “You’ll get some food soon,”
“We need to find that waterfall,” Sophie said.
“I think I heard it, It cannot be far,” Penny said.
They followed the sounds of the water and came across it. They went under the flow of water to get under and they got soaked. Yasmine started crying. “It’s okay, it’s okay,” Penny said
They didn’t question why they needed to go under the waterfall, they just did so. They came back from under and saw the scene of the woods. Something seemed different. They were still in the woods, but the scene looked as if it had changed.
The rush of water began to slow down. The turned around and the waterfall was barely visible anymore. Then water stopped dripping off the hill.
“What the?” Sophie said.
Finally, in the dim light, they saw the shed. It was made with dark wood and had windows sealed, you couldn’t see inside. The door was locked and secured tightly.
Sophie reached into a pocket of the gray duffel bag and pulled out a key, she unlocked the door and went inside. It was hard to see anything. They opened the duffel bag to find four flashlights. Sophie took one and turned it on. The shed was a fairly good size. On the far side of the wall was small, thin mattresses with pillows and blankets. There was a fairly large table with three chairs. There was a smaller table on the far wall. In the corner stood an unrecognizable object. It looked like two silver poles with a phone screen on top of them.There was a lever sticking out from the side of it.
Penny noticed a large envelope in the duffel bag. She picked it up and opened it to reveal several pieces of notebook paper stapled together. She could recognize Dad’s handwriting, Sophie shinned the flashlight on the paper.
Sophie, Penny,
By the time you are reading this, you must be very confused. I don’t blame you. There are things I wish I could explain to you. Hopefully you are in the shed right now. Now, I know this sounds crazy, but bare with me. I need you girls to live in this shed for a couple years or so. I know insane. You need to find ways to survive, but I need you girls to learn. I’ve watched you, your whole life and I know you are capable. There is a secret door by the beds, sort of like the tunnel in our house. It is where you go to hide. It is also where to find supplies. There is a well in front of the house to drink water, I have other drinks downstairs and ways to flavor the water, but it won’t last. I can try to get a goat to you somehow, if you find one, find the instructions for milk and making cheese. (Idk if i should leave that part in) There is a full grown apple tree up front. I have left you flashlights, but they will not last. I have large supply of candles that should endure for a long time. Don’t use them unless you absolutely need to. I have instructions on how to start fires, how to hunt with bows, how to make new arrows, how to fish, how to weave, and get everything you need to survive. In order to do so, work really hard everyday. Teach Yasmine to work hard and teach her to walk and talk better. Teach her shapes and colors and how to count and do basic math. I’ve left books and things that might help. I also have pictures of basic objects, use these pictures and teach to her what they are. Teach her to read simple words if you can. Most importantly teach her to be strong. I have many supplies and many instructions in the hidden basement. I’m sorry I cannot provide you with more. There is a lake, use the lake to teach Yasmine to swim and learn to fish. Use the well water to keep as clean as possible. I have many more supplies and many more instructions downstairs. Read it all. I know this may sound weird and confusing, but you need to listen to me. Do not leave, do not try to find the house. Wait until I come and get you. There is an object called the decamend, it is one of the objects I work with. It should be in the corner. Everyday crank the lever it will tell if there are signals of devices basically. It says if anyone is near, I guess is a way I could say it. If you ever detect any signals take the decamend and head into the secret door to the basement and hide there. I really wish I didn’t have to leave you alone like this, especially after what has just happened. I would do anything for it to be different. I love all three of you so much. Please promise you’ll not try to get back to house, please. Work together, stay strong, and never give up.
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