The girls were almost staggering back at the pound of his words. “We should play it dumb,” Annabel whispered into her adopted sisters’ ears. They all nodded.
“It’s who?” Kaylin asked. The man, Kone, was smiling and had wide eyes. He rose his finger and pointed at the kids. Their faces turned red and Della’s lip quivered with guilt. She didn’t know why, but she really felt bad for acting like she wasn’t herself.
Kone turned to Samantha, avoiding thier forcefully innocent looks. “They look just like the china dolls from Grandmas’!” Samantha put on a sad expression. “I-I thought I recognized them.”
Elmi puffed a sigh of relief. The others leaned together and smiled with a comforting feeling of safety. But, Annabel was still looking over to Kone and his sister. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Oh, just-” Kone interrupted Samantha. “Our Grandma.”
“What about her?” Annabel asked, confused.
“She had a shelf of amazing dolls, new and old,” Samantha replied. “There were three china dolls with blond hair and one with black. They looked just like you. (Samantha looked worriedly at Kone.) The smallest things can bring back memories.”
“Is she… or…” Annabel asked.
Samantha sighed heavily. “One day, Kone and I were playing with them. Grandma usually used a stool to get up to the shelf, but today we had pushed it into the playroom.” “We asked to get it, but she said it was okay!” Kone said in a voice that sounded almost like a sob. Samantha patted his hand.
“She slipped on her tiptoes, trying to put the dolls back on the top shelf.She tried to grab the shelf but it fell. On her. It was a solid wood shelf, holding heavy things there.”
“I’m so sorry,” Annabel said. “She wasn’t alright after that, was she?”
“No,” Samantha said. “It was all our fault.”
Annabel couldn’t think of anything else to say, so she backed into the crowd of her sisters. After the two siblings finished their sudden sadness, they tended to their patient’s wound. It was really not too bad, but she was feeling a bit woozy from the impact.
Samantha and Kone server the sisters some fruit shaped as owls with chocolate wafers as the feet and mini jelly tarts as the eyes. It came with a garden shaped dish of cabbage, candied carrots, and cream with lemon tea. Elmi, Annabel, Kaylin and Della were very grateful. “Its… Its-Its Scrumptious!” Della said happily, jelly smeared around her face. Clearly, Kone and Samantha had not adopted their mother’s cooking.
Just as the cubs were leaving and thought they would get out fine, Samantha asked the deadly question. “Where are your parents?”
The girls pointed all directions and talked at once. “At the store!” Annabel said without thinking.
“Fuzz!” Kalin said.
“Home!” Della squealed.
“Hawaii!” Elmi croaked, pointing with both hands in different directions.
At first Samantha looked serious and skeptical, but her face softened. A smile came further, and she smothered a laugh with her hand. By this time, people all over the room began staring. (They had left the busy kitchen) The plates stopped clicking against forks as the centre of attention slowly built to the cubs.
“It’s okay, I just want to know you’re not street kids,” Samantha assured them with a grin. The girls sighed. “We’re not.” Samantha nodded them out, and they quickly scattered away from the following eyes.
“Just need to get to a boat rental and get out of here,” Elmi said under her breath as they speed walked through the streets, hoping to get to the edge of the island. Annabel nodded. “You’re right. We’re attracting too much attention.”
“Speaking of attention,” Della whispered. “Someone’s been trailing us. Don’t look, but I think it’s that monkey from before.” Kaylin’s eyes widened, but she didn’t move. We’ll have to lose him.
Speed walking turned into jogging, which turned into a steady run. At every corner they peeked at the Black magic user. He blended in surprisingly well and could not be shaken off. “There!” Kaylin shout-whispered. She made a slight gesture towards an alley coming up. It was perfectly positioned next to a turning curb, so it would just look like the four rounded a corner.
Della was having a hard time keeping up, but would not let down for the world. The others suddenly made a sharp turn, but she halted in her tracks to see was was being done. They had dove into an alleyway, so she followed, but it was too late. The robed man had seen the early turn and the cubs knew it.
There was not much time. “Into that dumpster!” Elmi ordered. Kaylin had a better plan. “No, he’ll expect us to do that! Can you squeeze under there?”
Everyone squished under the low pile of lawn tables and chairs, a small opening to the enclosure inside was where they tried to fit. It was a rushed business, and the man wouldn’t have noticed their presence if he hadn’t caught a glimpse of Elmi’s shoe.