A/N: Ahhh...wow I really haven't written on this story in a long time. AND I OFFER A THOUSAND APOLOGIES FOR THAT! And I know this painfully short chapter doesn't offer much of an apology, but i'm having a major brain blockage for this story. Any ideas would be super helpful! :) I do hope you like the chapter, however short it may be, and I shall try to figure out where I want this story to head next. :) Love you all so much! And I hope you're all still interested is seeing this story through.
We walk into the room, and I can feel my stomach being twisted into knots. What had happened? What could have possibly happened in the two weeks that we'd been gone? Julia said she was the healthiest on the island…was there some sort of flu going around? But…that didn't explain where all of our animals were…
Julia gestures towards the couch. "Please, sit down. I'll pour you some drinks." She continues walking into the kitchen, pulling out a carton of milk.
Chelsea squeezes my hand tightly. I look over at her and feel my heart constrict with worry. I prayed that all those animals she'd raised and taken care of over the years were okay. But I had a sinking feeling that wasn't the case.
"Julia…" Chelsea starts, a horrible fear shining in her eyes. I could practically feel her trembling next to me. I release her hand and wrap my arms around her middle, holding her close to me, my hands locked over her stomach, reminding me of the precious gift that was slowly being made there.
Julia looks over at Chelsea's worried face, and gives her a slight smile of encouragement. "You guys should really sit down. This might be a lot to hear."
Fearing the worst, I gently pull Chelsea down to the couch next to me. I wrap my arm around her shoulder, rubbing softly to try and ease her tension, even though I know she won't be okay until she knows what's going on. I have to say I couldn't blame her.
Julia walks over to us, and hands us both mugs of warm chocolate milk. I grab my mug with one hand, leaving my other around Chelsea's shoulder. She grabs hers with both hands and takes a big gulp. I smile as I watch how adorable she is. My eyes never leaving her face, I take a sip of my own drink, licking my lips in appreciation for how Julia seems to manage to get hot chocolate to that perfect temperature every time without fail.
She takes a seat in a small chair across from us. "The first thing I should tell you is that there's only a handful of people on the island. It's just me, Gannon and Trent. I stayed behind in case you came back; I thought I would be the best one to break the news to you. Trent is here because I caught a cold, and he's helping me stay healthy. Gannon opted to stay behind to protect me and Trent."
"Protect?" Chelsea repeats. "Protect from what? And where's everyone else? Why'd they leave?"
I take another sip of my hot chocolate, rubbing Chelsea's shoulder. I turn my head and whisper in Chelsea's ear, "Dear, let her finish first. I'm sure she'll explain everything."
Chelsea takes a deep breath and visibly relaxes at the sound of my voice. She leans into me and takes a sip of her drink, nodding to Julia to continue. Julia shoots me a grateful glance. I nod back at her, noticing the dark circles under her eyes and how her body seems to sag by how weary she is.
"Everyone else left the island for their own safety." Julia looks down and pauses, and I know her thoughts are on her children. She must miss them terribly if she hasn't seen them in two weeks.
"We're not exactly sure what it is…" She pauses, wringing her hands together from nerves. "But there's something in the forest that's been terrorizing the whole island."
Her eyes dart to Chelsea's face before returning to her hands. She must be really nervous about how we're going to react. "Something….something that's been attacking people…and animals."
I watch Chelsea's eyes widen slightly, her whole face going cold, and I can practically see the gears in her head working out the meaning behind Julia's words. The sinking feeling in my stomach disappears, and I somehow know what Julia is going to say next.
"Chelsea…all your animals have gone missing." Julia looks up into Chelsea's eyes, and I squeeze her shoulder in what I hope will be comfort. "We don't know for sure where most of them are…but we've found a few of them…..dead."