Mason and I both spun around to stare at a girl with her hands on her hips, “Erica! What are you doing?” I asked, but Erica ignored me, stomping up to Mason and stabbing her finger in his chest.
“I don’t know what you’re doing, but the orders were clear: Alison stays here until she turns sixteen, last I checked, she turns sixteen in a week.” Erica growled at him.
“The orders were to keep her here until something happened. Well, something did happen and we need to get Alison out of here.” Mason said evenly.
“Why don’t you wait for an Official to come? They’re the ones who were assigned to pick her up! We were just the guards.” Erica argued.
“No! She’s already been attacked, it’s not safe here and I spoke with an Official, he said to just bring her even though she’s under the limit, it’s too dangerous for her.”
“Really.” Suddenly Erica’s demeanor changed and she took charge, “Fine then, Alison, grab your things, we need to leave fast. Mason, do we have a ride to get there?”
“Yeah, Ms. Clark, the nurse, should be here by now.” Mason replied.
We were at the front of the school when we heard a car horn honk. “Oh! I see her. Right over there!” Erica exclaimed.
We ran over and tossed our school bags into the trunk then piled into the car with Mason taking the shotgun seat, “I wanted that seat.” Erica grumbled.
Then Ms. Clark, the driver and also the perky nurse, turned around and uttered a shout of joy, “Alison! So good to see you!” leaning over to Mason she whispered, “Does she know yet?”
That set me off, “Ok, I would really like to know what’s going on! What happened with Ms. Robinson and why did she turn into that weird thing? What’s a Ringmaster and where are you taking me?”
After my outburst everyone went silent. Erica took a great interest in her hair and Mason just stared out the window while Ms. Clark focused on driving down the empty road.
“Ok, who’s going to start?” I asked.
Erica sighed and said, “Well, I guess I will, Mason never does a good job at explaining these things. But I will only answer questions after I finish talking because I have a lot to say.
“I bet you’re wondering about what happened with Ms. Robinson so I think I’ll start there. Ms. Robinson is what is known as a Reaper. They have the ability of changing their looks to match the same as of an old lady so that’s why you didn’t know about what she really was before. There are Reapers scattered all over the world and their job is to kill all existing Ringmasters while a Ringmaster’s job is to kill any Reapers.
“Now, a Ringmaster. We are a group of people who belong to a secret organization who specialize in abnormal events, and yes, we. Mason, Ms. Clark, and I are all Ringmasters. And so is the principal of the school. That was the only way we could get into this school without being questioned about anything out of ordinary, like why Ms. Clark isn’t a Registered Nurse, in reality she’s just a nurse that works on the battlefield.
“And there’s also a war going on between the Ringmasters and the Army. The Army is a group of armed forces; they are metal men and created to destroy the Ringmasters. The leader of the Army is called the General. He, at one point, was a Ringmaster but something happened and he was kicked out.
“Oh, and we’re taking you to the headquarters of the Ringmasters, but we just call it HQ for short. That’s where everything is controlled from and it’s also where the lead Ringmaster lives. His job is to just maintain the peace here and he sometimes has to be the tiebreaker vote for some choices and laws made between the Officials.
“And the Officials are, in a way, like the police. They reinforce the laws and give trials to those who break them. They also have the job of retrieving young Ringmasters.
“It’s a little confusing but when a Ringmaster has a baby they need to send it away from where all the Ringmasters live because it’s too dangerous. The Army sometimes attacks so it would be bad if babies were around. But when the kid turns sixteen we bring them back and they can live here if they want. People like Mason and I usually watch over these kids to make sure nothing happens to them, like what happened to you and Ms. Robinson. Before the war all babies could stay, like you, but now we need to send them away. It also happened to Mason and me but we’re older than you so that’s why we’re already here.
“So that’s pretty much all you need to know, do you have any questions?” Erica finished, taking a deep breath.
“Whoa. Hang on let me process this.” I said, “So, in short, Ms. Robinson was a Reaper, you guys are Ringmasters and you’re supposed to kill those things, there’s a war going on between Ringmasters and a group called the Army so you have to send babies away and I’m one of those babies…”
“Yup!” Erica smiled.
“Erica, you’ve always joked around, but I never thought that your jokes would go this far.” I deadpanned, staring at her.
Erica’s smile quickly disappeared, “No, Alison. I’m telling the truth! You have to believe me!”
“You’re expecting me to believe something that sounds absolutely crazy!”
“Well, yes it does sound crazy but it’s true! Mason, help me out!”
Mason turned around in his seat to look at us then said, “It’s true even if you don’t believe it Alison.”
“It’s impossible for it to be true! Even if it is true, what do I have to do with anything of this? And also, what’s the thing you mentioned earlier about me having to be sixteen?” I demanded.
“All your questions will be answered soon enough, we’re here.” Ms. Clark said from the front seat, pointing out the window.
I looked out the window and “Whoa…” right in front of us was a huge, gray, endless wall.
“Well, let’s go. You have a lot to learn still.” Ms. Clark said.
What’s going to happen to Allie? Read on to find out!
Read on: Chapter Seven