Auto Dale: Chapter 6
Posted February 27th, 2019 by Ninasilverrose
in British Columbia
"Do you know why you're here, Kate?" Kate sat on the leather chair, head down, not daring to face the man sitting in front of her. Instead she watched her legs swing about the tiled floor, the newly waxed black leather shoes gleaming in the light.
"N-no, sir." She answered in a small, squeaky voice, keeping her head down and letting her dark hair cover her eyes. That was an obvious lie; Kate, in fact, knew exactly why she was there, in the small, stuffy room, sitting on a leather chair too big for her. 'Just play dumb,' She told herself as she awaited the Dean's reply.
The Dean let out an audible, disappointed sigh, rubbing his forehead as if trying to soothe a painful stop there. Then he gently reached down the side of his wooden desk, pulling out a drawer, and put a caramel colored file on the desk, in front of Kate. He gestured to the papers sticking out of its sides, then clasped his hands together and stared patiently. Kate eyes the papers resentfully for a few seconds, then shakily reached over and opened the cardboard cover to the first page A blond haired girl smiled back at her, eyes bright and intelligent. Kate swallowed and began reading the small print underneath:
"Silvie Claire, age 10, weight 80 lbs and height 140 cm. Subdivision #38," Dreading what the next page held, her voice began to shake as she turned the page. "Silvie excelled in every one of her classes. She was an exceptional and wonderful student. Her poetry could not be competed with and the way she played the piano was truly exceptional. A very, very pretty girl," Her voice at the edge of breaking, Kate continued to the next page.
Her very own picture sat in the corner of the newspaper article, just beside Silvie Claires. She began by reading the headline:
"Two missing girls from Autodale. Have you seen them?" And before she knew it, the tears came; painfully slow and stingy, squeezing her chest where it hurt most. The Dean glared at her in an almost pitying way, but didn't ask her to stop. Kate continued after her brief pause, her voice barely audible:
"Kate Dragonhart has been found by the trusty handy men after venturing out into the woods with her friend Silvie Claire to recover her lost ball-"
"That is quite enough, Kate. Do you know why you're here now?" Kate nodded through her tears, her voice caught in her throat. "Kate, do you want these feelings to go away? Do you want the tears gone?" Frowning deeply in confusion, Kate nodded slightly. The Dean smiled in approval and reached into the drawer once more, this time putting a labeled bottle onto the table.
"Take these every morning before Faculty hall and I assure you, you will feel better in no time. Remember, we want the best for every citizen. Here in Autodale, you are as safe as can be." Wiping her wet face with her sleeve, Kate glanced at the Dean, whom nodded, a gentle expression on his face, and took the bottle into her hands. It was cool to the touch and slightly heavy. Thanking the slightly aged man, as was the way she had been taught, Kate hurried out of the room and into the halls.
The very first pill tasted bitter and uneven on her tongue, and she had to jam it in her throat to be able to swallow it without water. She had been so impatient to take it that she took one on the way home, almost spitting it back out but willing herself to swallow. And minutes later, it was as if the tears had never happened; her body felt strangely numb and her mind cleared from anything that clouded it earlier. She let go of the emotions and the sadness, and with them, she let go of Silvie Claire.
"Kate, huh. Nice name." Ben smiled cheekily, dimples appearing next to his lips. Snapping back to reality, Kate blinked and turned to the man again, realization washing over her. They couldn't possibly get away with this, could they? A frown found its way onto her face, darkening her once bright expression. The man looked confused, but didn't lose his cheerful expression as he pat the girl's head affectionately and bent down on his knees.
"Hey, what is it?" Ben asked, holding a gentle expression. Kate glanced down as far as her neck let her, trying to hide her grim expression. He couldn't stay. He just couldn't. As much as she wanted him to, it was too risky to even try and keep him here in Autodale. The Handy men weren't to be messed around with.
"You better go," She began, letting her hair cover her face further, "You can't stay. They'll find out." Ben looked as if Kate had punched him in the gut, and jolted back in alarm. His eyes had lost their spark, darkening consistently the longer she stared at them.
"B-but, this is the only civilization there is..." Ben looked betrayed, and Kate couldn't help but bite her bottom lip in guilt. Suddenly jerking her head up, Kate grabbed the mans hands and tried to look as determined as possible.
"The Outside is a scary place.. but if you keep a low profile and wear that mask, you might not need to go back." The man laughed bitterly, examining the white mask in his hand, not really seeing it. He had a blank stare and kept turning it in his hand. All Kate could do was stare at him, the man whom had wandered into Autodale, and into her life.
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