Violet leaned against her closed door and gave a small sigh of relief the moment she entered her apartment. She got home as quickly, and indirectly as she could; but, she knew it was only a matter of time before her captors found her again.
“Okay, time to move again!” she smiled to herself. This time it was to flee her captors, but the reason itself didn’t matter. She loved seeing new places. This was the first time a cult tried, and succeeded, to kidnap her. One time she moved because she found a market she liked with frequent sales. She wanted to see the town from the other side for a while. Violet caught her breath and walked from the door to her bedroom, through the living room. A young girl, Violet guessed around 14, in a blood-red hoodie was sitting on her couch channel-surfing; her long white hair was tied in a ponytail. Violet froze; she did not have any roommates. The girl looked up at her.
“Hey, you’re home. Great, I just got here. Let’s go.” She hopped up from the chair. Violet stepped back.
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“I’m Cherry. Satan sent me. Let’ s go,’ she said again. Violet scrambled into the narrow galley kitchen to her right and grabbed her largest knife.
“Stay away!” The white-haired girl sighed and buried her hands in the front pocket of her hoodie.
“Do you want to be sacrificed to summon the devil?” she asked.
“No!” Violet yelled; she waved the knife around for extra effect. “Why me?”
“You’re… unique,” Cherry said. “If you don’t want to be sacrificed, let’ s go,’ the girl repeated. A tall, black, oblong portal opened next to her. The dark wormhole cut off Violet’s only other escape; if she decided to try and run to the bedroom. “It’s not like he wants to be summoned either. He’s training his replacement and doesn’t have time to make a trip up here because some idiots think he wants to conquer the world.”
“He… doesn’t?’ Violet asked. She lowered the knife partway, but still kept it pointed at the girl. The girl shrugged.
“Nah, that’s not how things work.” she pointed at the black hole and took a step toward it. “You coming?” Violet’s hand wavered; the knife dipped but then she brought it back up.
“How do I know I can trust you?” she asked.
“Because you’re still alive,” Cherry said. She looked down at the knife’s point. Violet followed her gaze and saw a small saucer-sized black hole hovering in front of the sharp tip. “Go ahead,” Cherry grinned. “Stick the knife in, slowly, and see what happens.”
“Slowly? Okay…” Violet said. She tightened her grip and shifted her weight. Cherry noticed the subtle wind-up and tried to warn her.
“I said slo-” Violet jammed the knife into the black hole. The tip, then the rest of the knife, exited a black hole next to Violet’s head; any more to the right and it would have gone through her eye. Violet dropped the knife. It fell from her hand and bounced off her shoulder and spun to the ground. She yanked her hand out of the hole.
“Thanks for, uh.. not letting that happen. Can I grab my go-bag?” she asked. She trusted the girl completely now. Cherry looked at her wrist-watch, then nodded.
“You have four minutes to grab whatever you want.”
“Thanks! What happens in four minutes?”
“Dinner,” Cherry said. She did not seem interested in offering any more so Violet dashed to her room. She grabbed the packed backpack she kept in the closet. Then, she glanced around her room but didn’t see anything that needed to come with her. She did not own many things other than her bag. It was mostly just creature comforts that she chose specifically for the apartment’s decor. She shrugged and went back out into the living room. She took less than two minutes.
“I’m Violet by the way,” she said.
“The devil sent me, remember?” the girl said; Violet saw her roll her pink eyes.
“Right. Of course, you know.” Violet said as Cherry disappeared into the dark portal. Violet followed her. She exited and discovered a brilliantly illuminated ranch. Everything beyond the lights looked pitch dark; as if there were no one else around for miles. Everything in their immediate surroundings was bathed in bright artificial light.
“Where are we?” Violet asked. Cherry walked up to the front door and knocked on it five times, followed by two more knocks; it sounded like ‘shave and a haircut’ to Violet.
“I don’ t know, I don’t keep track,” Cherry said. Then, the front door flew open. A man that looked about Violet’s age grinned at the girl.
‘You came back!’ Cherry ignored him and turned to Violet. He looked surprised that there were two people on his doorstep.
“Violet, Zachary.” She looked at the man. “Zachary, Violet.” The two strangers waved at each other unsure what might happen next. “Zachary, your favorite number is 34, and Violet yours is 35.” Both of them looked surprised.
“How-” they tried asking at the same time, but Cherry waved at them. “Have fun talking about it. Bye.” She fell into a portal that opened under her.
“Uhhh… Want some pizza?” Zachary asked, then stood aside to let her in his house. “It’ll be ready in a couple of minutes.”