I nodded “Alright then, let’s go back to sleep.” We both leaned back in our seats and tried to get some rest.
The next morning I was woken up by laughter. I sat up, yawned and looked outside. Nearly everyone was out of the car. The adults were sprawled on the floor just talking and the kids were running around playing. A couple of the others were still asleep in the car. Like Gerard. I giggled when I noticed him because he looked so funny fast asleep, with his mouth hanging open. If I had a camera, I’d so have taken a picture.
I got out the car, walked over to the others and sat down in between Raven and Mikey “Where are we?” Penina asked me.
“I don’t know.” I admitted “We made it here in the middle of the night and we didn’t want to wake anyone up.” I looked at the kids “How are they running around like that? It’s boiling and there’s no shade. How did we ever manage it before?”
“We stayed in the air-conditioned car. We rarely stayed in the desert for a long time during the day.” Mikey yawned “I think we should wake the others up. We’ve been waiting for long enough now. We’re all starving, there wasn’t even any power pup.”
“When was the last time you had a can of power pup?” Raven asked him “Because I haven’t even seen a can since the day we defeated BLI.”
“We can’t say we defeated BLI anymore.” Ray muttered darkly “We didn’t defeat them. We scared them away for a few years.”
“You are just so happy in the mornings.” I said sarcastically “Anyway, I’m gonna wake the others up.” I walked over to the car, opened the door and yelled “Wake up!”
“I only just got to sleep!” Gerard moaned, hiding his face in his hands.
“Quit the bullshit Gerard, you fell asleep before I did.” I laughed “Come on, we’re starving, we wanna go inside now.”
“Did no one find the power pup that I put in the seats?” Gerard asked.
“Jesus fucking Christ!” Mikey snapped.
Gerard drove up to the main gates of the city and looked outside “Hey look, there’s someone.” He started waving at them and honking the horn of the car. The person inside the gates saw us and narrowed his eyes before running into one of the buildings. Gerard squinted “I’m confused, is he going to open the gates or did he just run away from us?”
The guy returned with another guy and they both pushed open the gates for us “Drive through and park your car there.” One of the guys told us.
Gerard drove through “I can’t remember the last time I needed to use a parking space.” He laughed.
Once he’d parked the car, we all got out “Follow us please.” One of the guys said while the other locked up the gates “My name’s John. I’ll take you to meet the mayor.”
“I don’t know if I want to meet the mayor.” Danielle whispered, taking Jennifer’s hand.
“You worry too much, it’ll be fine.” Jennifer whispered back.
Although the town was extremely colourful it still reminded me of the brief time I’d lived in BLI. There was no one on the streets and everywhere was completely silent “Where are all the people?” I dared ask John.
“Either at work or at school.” John informed me “Come on, the mayor’s in this building.”
The building was beautiful on the inside. There were paintings all over the walls by citizens, shelves of books also written by citizens and through the windows we could see the garden that was bursting with life. We were taken through to the back of the building where there was a small room with the words ‘Mayor’s Office’ on it. John opened the door and all of us followed him inside “We found them on the outside of the gates.” John informed an old man with white hair and a white beard sitting behind the desk “They wanted to come in.”
“Thanks John, I’ll take it from here.” The man replied. John left and the man looked us up and down “My name is James but everyone here just calls me the mayor. And you guys are?”
Gerard introduced us all and then explained what had happened to us. The mayor frowned “And you thought you’d just bring your problems to our town?”
I shook my head “Now that we’re far enough away, they’ll leave us alone. They just wanted their town back and they have it now. We were just wondering if we could live here.”
“Except for one kind of important thing.” Frank said quietly “We don’t have any money.”
I hadn’t thought of that. In our town you hadn’t needed money, we just shared everything out. Even when BLI had been there, you hadn’t needed money for anything, it was just provided for you. The mayor nodded “Our accommodation is free so long as you work. We will then provide you with food and clothes so long as you work. As for the children, they need to go to school right away. We provide food and clothes for children for nothing but the parents still need to work. I can issue you all a job straightaway?”
Something about this town didn’t seem right. Gerard glanced at me. I knew he was thinking the same thing that I was. But I just shrugged my shoulders and nodded. We had no choice. We had to live in this strange town.