• Nichole Shah

Hillwood: The Lost town Part 2

Prologue


“Did you hear that?” asked Rose.


She switched on the TV. “An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 was detected in the outskirts of the city. Luckily there were no civilians at the location but many hills and caves were destroyed.”


“Alex, that’s close to where you live, right?” Rose said.


Alex and Rose drove to where Alex’s town was to see if her family was hurt. Once they arrived, all they could see was a giant field of grass. Alex dialed the police station and once the officers arrived, they were no help. “Sorry ma’am but there was no town here to begin with. You’re probably just lost.”


Alex and Rose decided to walk back into the car after the police left just in case they took a wrong turn. But suddenly, Alex spotted something in the field. She ran towards it and picked it up. It was her old diary from when she was 8. Alex opened it up and saw that all of the pages were ripped out. All that was left was an address. ‘431 Oak street’. Rose searched it up on her cell phone and found out that it was the location for an old research facility the two drove to the location. Again, all they saw was a giant, grassy field. Alex was giving up but Rose noticed something. “Huh. This says 862 Oak Street” Rose walked around the sign.


“Look! there’s a keypad behind this sign.” exclaimed Rose.


After figuring out the combination, a hole opened up beneath them with a ladder leading underground. Alex and Rose said, in unison, “Let’s go!”

____________________________________________________________________________


Little did they know, they were both thinking the complete opposite. Alex put her feet on the ladder while Rose turned around and started rushing away.


“Rose? Where are you going?”


Rose halted and turned her head. “I am not going down there. It’s a dark hole in the ground and your first thought is to head towards it?! There could be spiders and ants and who knows what down there!” said Rose as she continued hurrying towards her car.


“ROSE! Come back! Please?!” Alex looked down to her toes.


“You’re so smart and really good at almost everything.. I need you.”


Rose couldn’t help it and let out a giant sigh. “Fine… But if I see one spider down there I’m out.”


“Yeah, yeah sure.” Alex said, with a small hint of sarcasm.


She steadily climbed down the ladder, wondering if what she was about to do could be a huge mistake. Rose watched her go down and took a big deep breath before descending the old, rusty ladder. Alex got down the ladder and brushed off the dirt on her hands. Rose then got down and did the same thing.


Once they finished, both of them looked up and their jaws dropped to the ground. They looked at each other in shock and a mysterious feeling filled the air. There was an enormous tunnel with what looked like billions of wires leading to a giant room filled with huge computers. The computer screens were filled with code and looked like they were calculating something. Rose's eyes were darting everywhere as she was trying to process what she was looking at. Alex didn’t have a clue what was going on.


Luckily, Rose was a professional at hacking into any devices, so this was her area of expertise. “Rose…. Could you-?”


Alex didn’t even have to finish her sentence because Rose knew exactly what to do and how. She walked up to the biggest computer and worked her magic. Alex had no idea what was happening but all she could see was a bunch of words on a large screen and Rose typing random letters into it. Rose’s fingers were moving so fast Alex couldn’t blink.


While Rose was on the computer, Alex walked around the room, observing and try to spot anything that could help her understand what happened to her town. After a long, awkward silence, Rose opened up a document and reads aloud, “Jessica Davis, age 40, occupation, writer. What is this?”


Rose continued scrolling down, “Frank Miller, age 65, retired. Eliza Moore, age 23, occupation, waitress.”


Alex walked back towards Rose. These names sound familiar but she couldn’t put her finger on it.


There were hundreds of names. “Richard Smith, age 57, occupation mayor!”


Alex’s head perked up. “Wait. That’s the mayor of my town! What else is there?”


Rose then did some more digging and saw a document keeping track of everyone’s daily lives. She then looked through more files and clicked on a file named, ‘CCTV’. They saw a grocery store, a park and an office.


“These are from my town. I used to hang out at the park for ages.” Alex noticed.

Though this wasn’t good, Alex realized she could use this as proof that her town exists.


“Rose! We can use this as proof for the police! Quick, let me take some pictures!”


Alex pulled a camera out of her pocket and started taking pictures.


“Wait! You don’t have to do that. I have a USB.”


“A what?” Alex asked, confused.


“I can move all the data from the laptop into this.” Rose said, holding up the small USB device.


“Ok then quick!”


Rose plugged the USB into the device and slowly transferred the data into it. Just as 58% of the files were transferred, the worst happened. *click, clack, click, clack* They heard footsteps from the ladder. Rose jumped up and panicked. “HIDE!” she whispered


"The two hid behind a table shielded by the different devices on the table as someone with clear hazel eyes walked in. They couldn't get a good look at this person's face because they were wearing a gray mask. While Alex was watching the person in the room, a wave of fear washed over Rose. She forgot to take the USB plug with her and it was still on the desk. She crossed her fingers and hoped that the person wouldn’t spot it. The mystery person walked over to the desk the two were just at and went onto the large computer they were just on. The person went onto the security cameras and listened to a conversation between the mayor and a man who looked like an important businessman. Alex eavesdropped on the conversation from the computer and heard that they were going to open the safe that holds the ‘ancient object’. After hearing this, the mystery person gasped and rushed into another room near them.


“Follow my lead.” Alex whispered, as she starts to slowly crawl and follow the man through the tunnel that leads to a second room. The two watch from outside and see the room covered in all sorts of documents. Newspapers, maps and so much more were all over the walls and on the table placed in the middle of the room. It looked like whoever was behind this, had been working and on planning something for a very long time and seemed like it was going to be huge. The person called someone who Alex thought might be his partner.


The man said, “It’s starting.. Come here immediately”


Alex and Rose couldn’t hear what the partner said but assumed that the person would be one their way. Alex and Rose worried that the man’s partner might spot them and that they had to think of something to distract them. Rose’s mind was drawing a blank but all of a sudden something popped up in Alex’s mind.


She scanned the room the man was in and spotted another ladder in the room meaning they have a new escape hatch. She whispered into Rose’s ear as quietly as possible. “Here’s what you have to do, go over to the big computer and lock it so they can’t get in. Then prepare the computer to make a loud noise to catch their attention.”


Rose quickly tiptoes to the computer and follows what Alex told her. Rose’s palms were sweaty and her fingers were shaking in fear. She then sprints back towards Alex just as she hears footsteps coming from the other room. Alex and Rose peeked through the room and saw another door from a different room. Alex thought that maybe that room had answers to her questions.


Again, Alex tried to get a look at the face but all she could see was a gray mask and hazel eyes just like the man. Alex and Rose ran and looked for a hiding spot. They hid behind another table covered with a blanket and electronics. All Rose could think about was that they were going to get caught by the two men but all Alex could think about was how everything in that room might help her find her hometown.


Then, the computer made a huge alarm noise that even frightened the two girls. The mysterious man and his partner jumped up, startled as they both ran to the other room. The partner checked the computer and started to murmur to himself in panic. He was so scared, Alex could see sweat dripping down his forehead. “FIX IT!” the man yelled.

The partner jumped again in freight and did what he was told. The men were so focused on trying to fix the computer, it gave Alex and Rose a chance to sneak into the other room without them noticing. The alarm on the computer was still going on and Alex started to feel like her ears were going to shatter into a million pieces.


As soon as she got into the room, all the noise seemed to be blocked from her ears. There were hundreds of pictures and articles stuck onto the walls. On the table placed in the middle of the room, was a picture of an object. Alex recalled what the mayor and the businessman were talking about on the CCTV camera. As Rose was still trying to ignore the aggravating noise from the computer room, Alex looked around the room and started reading an article hanging on the wall. Suddenly everything in Alex’s mind clicked. She had heard of this object before. It was an ancient artifact that was in a very famous story in her town. She was told the story when she was little but over time, people started to forget about it and the people who remembered just thought of it as a myth or a fairy tale.

While Alex’s mind was swarming with questions, Rose kept looking around and spotted an image of some kind of device that she hadn’t seen before. She assumed that the device was connected to the disappearance of Alex’s town.


“Rose! Did you find anything?” Alex whispered.


Rose pointed to the picture of the device. “I think this has something to do with your home disappearing. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before. What about you?”

“I’ve heard about this object before.” Alex held up the picture in the middle.

“There was a myth told in my town that somebody was experimenting with a new element called Quilium which could stay still and stable in natural disasters. But there was a huge accident and the element turned into an explosive. So the scientist decided to hide it somewhere in Hillwood to keep it out of the wrong hands. Rose, we cannot let them find the Quilium. It’s extremely dangerous”


Rose wandered around the room and tried to figure out what to do next. All of a sudden, Rose’s eyes were locked onto the door the man’s partner came out of. “Let’s go in there. It could help us get more answers.”


Alex ran to the door and tried to open it. “Ugh! It’s locked! Help me find the key.”


Rose stopped Alex from rushing around the room. “Alex! It’s an electric lock. Let me just hack into it.”


Rose pulled out her cell phone from her pocket and started typing. After 5 minutes, she was able to find the passcode. She put her cell phone back into her pocket, entered the 4 digit code and opened the door. “Alex, come on!”


Alex was surprised that Rose was able to crack the code so quickly but she didn’t think much of it. Alex sprinted into the room. It was filled with all kinds of technology no one had ever seen before. There were all sorts of devices and gadgets but the two had no idea what it was. Alex quickly pulled out her camera and tried to take pictures of everything in the 2 rooms. Just when Alex finished taking her last picture, the alarm noise from the computer suddenly turned off. Alex and Rose could hear footsteps getting louder and louder. Sweat rolled down Alex’s face as she looked at Rose in fear. Alex quickly looked around and spotted another ladder just like the one they entered from. It was in the corner of the room hiding behind the papers.


Alex swiftly closed the door, grabbed a map she spotted and signaled to Rose to climb up the ladder. Before running to the ladder, Rose noticed a small gadget and decided it would be a good idea to take it with her. It was in the shape of a cube and had 6 buttons, one on each side. Then, at the same time, Alex and Rose hurried to the ladder and quickly started climbing. They could both hear the 2 people coming towards them with their loud footsteps. At the end of the ladder there was a small button which Rose pushed. A hole opened up above them as the light shined on Rose’s face.


Finally, as they got to the top of the ladder and back to ground level, they saw that they were on the other side of the field. Alex could see the sign and their car from there. The two were panting, as their heart rate steadily lowered. The adrenaline pumping through their veins felt like it was burning in flames Alex took a deep breath as the flames in her veins slowly cooled down while Rose was still hyperventilating “Hey Rose. Just calm down, take a deep breath.”.


They both took a deep breath, and started walking towards the car on the other side of the field. When they got to the car, Alex started driving while Rose was still trying to calm down. A million thoughts raced through Alex’s head and she started asking questions.


‘What were they going to do with the artifact?’


‘Who was the mastermind behind all of this?’. As these thoughts ran through her head, she also knew that she had a piece of the puzzle that could help her get her town back.


Once they got back home, Rose got some sandwiches from the fridge for dinner while Alex laid out the map on their coffee table in the living room. Alex and Rose didn’t have to try hard to look because there was a giant red circle on an island so small it was like nothing was there. Alex’s geography was great but she couldn’t remember this island. Rose then grabbed another map from her bedroom desk and started looking for the same island. There was nothing. “Rose, how come there’s nothing on your map?” Alex asked.


“I have no idea. Do you think that’s where your town is?” Rose replied with her mouth stuffed with her ham and cheese sandwich.


“Only one way to find out.” Alex said.


The two figured that if Alex’s town was put onto that island, they would have to get there before the man underground does. Once they get there, they can talk to the mayor about this attempt to steal this artifact. Rose knew a shop that could help them rent a boat so after they finished their dinner when the sun had set and no one was out, they went to the shop. Luckily, Rose learnt how to drive a boat when she was on holiday in Thailand, so they didn’t need a driver.


Rose had written down the coordinates from the map of where the mystery island was and found the directions on her phone. As they sailed, the waves were still and the stars twinkled in the night sky. Alex sat there looking up at the stars, praying that everything would be ok. She tried to get some sleep but her eyes were wide open with worry. Once they got to the unknown island, it was around two o’clock in the morning. Alex and Rose decided that they would talk to the mayor later in the morning, when he would be at work. Rose pulled out a blanket from her backpack and lied down with Alex.


Rose woke up to the sound of waves crashing. She checked her watch. “Alex? Wake up. It's half past nine. Should we get to the mayor now?” she asked, tapping Alex on shoulder.


Alex sighed and pushed the blanket off her. “Okay.” she said, half asleep.


Rose expected this to be easy and that all they had to do is walk in and tell the mayor what's going on. But something felt wrong… There was some kind of force surrounding the island. It was like an electric fence but invisible. The force was on the edge of the island so they couldn’t walk in or get off the boat. “There is some sort of technology surrounding it,” Rose implied.


Alex didn’t know anything about technology but she felt it was dangerous. “What do we do now?” asked Alex.


“I don’t know,” Rose replied.


Disappointment filled Alex’s eyes as she turned around. She felt like this was a dead end.


“Let’s just circle around the island and see if there is anything else that can help us,” Rose said.


There wasn’t much hope in Rose’s voice and Alex wasn’t that sure. Alex put her head down as they started circling the island. She felt like giving up and that they should just go home and forget about this. Just when Rose was about to leave the island, she saw something. It was a gate right on the edge of the island.


“Alex! Look! There is a gate. Now we can go in and talk to someone!”


Alex didn’t say a single word. She just jumped off the boat and ran towards the gate. To her surprise, it wasn’t locked so she walked straight in. She was in the outskirts of her town and sprinted straight to her home. Rose quickly docked the boat, opened the gate and chased after her. Alex found her house and rang the doorbell many times. Her mother then answered the door and had a big smile on her face. She was wearing an apron and white slippers.


Before her mother could greet her, Alex interrupted with a serious look on her face. “We need to talk now.”


Fortunately for Rose, she’d been to Alex’s home many times and remembered the route there. Once Rose caught up with Alex, she was panting and waved to Alex’s mother. The mother let both of them in and gave them both some water. Alex and Rose made their way to the basement where it had been converted into a music room. The room is completely soundproof so the man from the underground facility wouldn’t hear them. They sat on the brown couch and stared at each other in silence. Alex’s mother came in and sat on a chair in front of them. “So…. What do you want to talk to me about?”


“Someone is going to steal an ancient artifact made of Quilium that belongs here and we need to talk to Mayor Richard Smith to stop them.” Alex was talking so fast it was hard to understand her. She took a deep breath and repeated herself. Her mother looked at her and started laughing. “Ha, ha, ha! Are you sure honey? Quilium isn’t a thing and neither is the ancient artifact. ”


Alex looked at her in disbelief. “I’m not lying!! It’s true! Remember that story about that scientist trying to create a new element?”


“That’s just a fairytale. It’s not true.”


“IT IS!” Alex said in rage.


“Alex, calm down.” Rose said, trying to break the tension.


Alex then brought out the map and showed her that she was on an island. “That’s probably just a really small island that you didn’t see before. There’s nothing to worry about.” Alex tried her best to convince her mum but nothing she said could make her mother believe her.


Eventually, Alex gives up and storms out of the house with Rose. “I think we need to catch the person behind this to show everyone that they are on an island. They don’t even remember the earthquake!”


Alex was slightly agitated that her mother didn’t believe her but that made her more determined to bring her town back. Rose suggested that they should walk around town and have a look to see if there is anything out of the ordinary going on. Everything seemed normal and Alex was starting to lose motivation. But then she saw something she’d never seen before. “Rose! Look!” as Alex pointed to a house on the side of the street.


“What? It’s just a house. It looks just like every other one here.”


“This house wasn’t here before. I remember.”


‘Are you sure Alex? You could’ve easily gotten confused.”


Rose doubted that there could be useful information in that house. But Alex knew there was something in that house. “No. I memorized every single house here and this is not one of them. Come on, let’s check it out”.


The two creeped up the driveway and went around the side of the house. Alex peeked through a window of the house. There was a picture of the artifact that belonged to the town. “We have to get in there”.


While Alex was trying to think of a way to get inside, all Rose could think about was what would happen if they got caught by whoever lives there. Suddenly,Alex thought of something that could get them inside and whispered the plan into Rose’s ear. Alex took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. They heard footsteps coming their way. Then finally, a man opened the door.


“What do you want?” he said in an agitated tone.


As soon as they saw his face, recognition suddenly hit Rose. His eyes were hazel and his voice was exactly the same as the man from the underground facility. Rose tugged Alex’s shirt, signaling that she wanted to run away, but it was too late.


Alex started talking. “Hello sir, sorry to waste your time but me and my friends are lost and we need a cell phone to call home. May we use yours?”


The man rolled his eyes and sighed. “Fine.. But make it quick.”


He turned around and led them into his house. Alex tried hard to hide her giant smile while Rose was internally panicking. She grabbed Alex’s arm and whispered in her ear, “ALEX! He’s the man! From the underground place! We have to get out of here now!”


“No! No! This is good, we can go through his things and find out how he’s gonna steal the artifact! Just stick to the plan,” replied Alex.


Alex walked towards the man and tried to remember some of his facial features. Brown hair, dark brown eyes and looks around 50 years old. Rose followed Alex and continued to go with Alex’s plan. “Excuse me, Sir? Can I borrow your bathroom? I really need to go.”


Again, the old man rolled his eyes and groaned. “Upstairs, on the right”.


“Ok. Thank you!” Rose quickly walked up the stairs. She walked straight past the bathroom and started checking out all the other rooms near her. She looked through the main bedroom and the study but nothing was there. She started to lose hope, but she still had one more left. She walked down the hallway and pushed the last door open. There were documents about an ancient and dangerous element that had the power to destroy an entire town scattered in the room. Rose looked through the papers that were taped all over the walls. There was also a table in the middle of the room covered in pictures of the artifact. It was a triangle shaped mineral that was a mix of black and white. Rose rushed to grab her phone out of her pocket and to start taking photos of everything .


Meanwhile, Alex is running out of this to say. “So… Have you ever lived anywhere else? Where do you work? Oh, how long have you been here?”


“That information is private, now, where is your friend?” the man said, in an angry tone. Alex could feel the man slowly losing his temper.


Rose finished taking pictures and quickly ran to the bathroom. She flushed the toilet and pretended to wash her hands, then rushed down the stairs. “Hello! Um, Alex, are you done with your phone call?”


“Yup..”


“Ok. I guess we better get going.”


The two rushed out of the man's home and walked as far away as possible.


Once they turned around the corner, Alex blurted out, “Rose! Did you find anything?”


“Yes!” Rose pulls out the pictures from her pocket and gives them to Alex.

Alex thinks hard before replying slowly, “I’ve heard of this before. There was a very famous legend about this but over time, people forgot about it.”


“Do you know what it is though?”


Alex tried to recall the story but the last time she heard that story was when she was 7 years old in her school. “I don’t remember much, just that the object they’re looking for has a great value.. Let’s go to the town library, they should have something about it there.”


They sprinted towards the town library. When they got it, they gawked at the size of the library. It was three stories high and there were many bookshelves surrounding them.


“How are we ever going to find a book about one thing here?! It’s going to take ages!” Rose said in a panic. She had no hope that they would find the right book anytime soon.


“Calm down Rose. Just ask the librarian. She knows everything!”


Alex walked up to the large desk in the middle of the library while Rose followed her. “Emma? Do you have any books on Quilium?” Alex asks the librarian as she pulls up a picture Rose took to show her.


“Alex! Hello dear. How are you? How’s the family? I thought you were in the city?” The librarian said.


“Um. Hello. I’m good. I’m just visiting. Do you have any books on Quilium?” Alex said, eager to get her hands on a book.


The librarian stood up and led them to the archived section of the town library. Alex and Rose rummaged through some history and chemistry books when she found a book with a picture of the artifact.


“Alex, look. This book has a picture of the Quilium. People were trying to make a new element and during their experiment, something went wrong and an explosion somehow happened. The people working on it determined that this element was extremely explosive and too dangerous to use so they tried to destroy it. However, nothing they tried seemed to work, so their only solution was to hide it away forever and hope that no one will ever get their hands on it.”


After Alex processed all the information wanted to know more. “Does it say where this experiment took place? Or who was in charge of that experiment?”

Rose continued flipping through the pages, and finally said “There’s nothing on the location but look here.” Rose pointed to the name, Ernest Jones.


Alex suddenly remembered someone in her Middle School talked about their great great grandfather named Ernest Jones.


“Rose, I think I might know someone who could give us answers.”


Rose took some pictures of the book and the two left the library. Alex ran past the park and around the corner to the Jones’ house. She felt that they were finally getting close to finding out who was behind this and that she could finally get her town back to normal. She knocked on the door many times and rang the doorbell urgently, and a man around the same age as Alex, wearing glasses and a hat, opened the door.


“Hi David!”Alex greeted quickly.


“Alex! Why are you in town? I thought you were in the city. Please, come in.” David said, surprised to see Alex.


Alex and Rose both walked into David’s home and waited in the living room as David poured Alex and Rose some water.


“So. What brings you here? And who is your friend?”


Alex and Rose quickly looked at each other and nodded. Alex took a piece of paper and pen out of her bag and started writing to tell David what had been going on. She folded the note in half and passed it to David. While David was reading the note, his eyes went wide as he took a deep breath. It was hard for David to believe, but he understood. “We were hoping you could give us some answers,” Alex told him.


David sighed and wrote the story down on the other side of the paper. He then handed it to Alex and Rose. It said, ‘My grandfather told me that my great grandfather, Ernest, was a chemist who wanted to find an element that could stay standing during natural disasters such as blizzards, hurricanes and earthquakes. He thought he found something and started experimenting on it. But when he decided to do a fire test, which is basically setting it on fire, it started to grow and eventually exploded.’


Alex and Rose were both surprised. It was different from what the book had told them but they believed David was right. Alex had a million questions. “Do you know why it happened? Or when? Where it is now?”

“I don’t know why or when but I was told w-”


“STOP!!” Rose interrupted.


“Rose what are you doing?! Let him talk!”


Rose’s eyes were wide open. She took her notebook and pencil out of her bag and started writing. Then, she ripped out the page, folded it and gave it to Alex and David to read.

‘Remember! They’re watching us! If David gives away any information, the Quilium could be in the wrong hands.’ After reading that note, it hit Alex and she calmed down. She brought out her pen and wrote back. ‘But then how can we warn anyone or get to know where it is without them noticing?’


Rose thought of something.”Alex, where’s the mayor’s office?


“Um… 26 Park Road. Why?”


Rose didn’t say anything. She just sprinted out of the house with Alex and David trailing behind her. Alex had never seen Rose so fast. Rose barged through the doors of the lobby of the mayor’s office and everyone jumped from their seats. “Hi my name is Rose and I need to see Mayor Smith.. Tell him it's an emergency.”


The receptionist nodded his head and walked towards the mayor’s office. Alex and David caught up with Rose and walked into the “The mayor is having lunch right now but you can talk to him afterwards.”


“That’s too late! I need to talk to him. NOW.”


Rose stormed past the receptionist straight into the mayor’s office. “Mr. Smith. I need to talk to you. It’s urgent and if we don’t do anything we could be in danger.”


The receptionists walked in behind her and said, “I’m very sorry sir, I’ll call security.”


The mayor, who was munching on his lunch sandwich, jumped up, startled when Rose came in. He was bald and wore thick, black glasses. “No need to call security. What’s your name?”


Just then, Alex and David barged in, panting from trying to chase Rose.


“My name is Rose, sir.”


“Call me Richard. Now you said we could be in danger. What is it?”

Rose pulled out the piece of paper that explained everything and gave it to the mayor. He was in shock as his jaw dropped and eyes widened as he listened. “W-what?! Are you sure this is true?”


Rose, Alex and David all looked at each other and said in unison, “Yep”.


“Look sir. Richard. We need your help because we know what to do. Once David reveals the location, whoever is behind this will try to steal it” Alex asked.


Rose slowly interrupts, “Wait.. that’s it! We can catch them by giving them exactly what they want”


“Are you sure Rose? Is that really gonna work?” Alex said.


“I’m sure.. Let’s start setting up.”


Somehow, the mayor believed them. He thought that no one would go through that much work based on a fairytale and that whatever they wanted to do, would help his town. The mayor agreed to let David, Rose and Alex go to the soundproof room in Alex’s house. Rose laid out a giant piece of grid paper and started planning.


The next day, at 3:00 in the afternoon, Rose, Alex, David and the mayor were ready. David did exactly what Rose said. They were going to give the mystery man what he wanted.


“David, where is the Quilium hidden?”


“Quickly, let’s go. It’s under the tree placed in the center of the park.”

As soon as David said those words, they all sprinted to the park and surrounded the tree.

Although Rose sounded like she had everything covered, Alex was still uncertain that this would work. “Wait, Rose, how do we know when he’s gonna come?”


“We don’t but better safe than sorry. We’ll just have to wait and find out… Is everyone ready?”


Alex and David nodded their heads. The mayor was already at the exit and the police were on their way to the entrance. David hid behind a bench that was facing the back of the tree while Alex and Rose hid behind some bushes in front of the tree. Alex watched the sun set as the sky filled with darkness. They started to give up. But just when David was about to get up, they heard footsteps coming their way. They all quickly lowered their heads.


There were two men walking towards the tree and they started digging up under the tree with shovels. The sky was pitch black and after 20 minutes, they heard the shovel hit metal. Everyone jumped up and froze. They started to dig faster and when they saw the artifact, their eyes widened and jaw dropped. One of the men reached into the hole, picked up the Quilium and held it up. The artifact was silver and looked like a bomb. Rose and Alex could barely see anything in the dark. They squinted their eyes, trying to get a better look. The 2 men then started running in different directions. Then, all of a sudden David started chasing the man with the Quilium. Rose shouted the mayor's name to get him prepared.

“Richard! He’s heading your way!”


The mayor jumped up and got ready. Alex and Rose started chasing the other man who wasn’t carrying the Quilium. The only light they had was the moon and everything else was pitch black. The men were too fast and David, Alex and Rose were starting to lose their breath. Just as the two men were making it to the exits, the mayor and police leaped in front of them.


The police arrested both of them and grabbed the artifact away from one o f the men. They placed the artifact in a locked briefcase and handed it to the mayor. The mayor looked at Alex, Rose and David and smiled. “Thank you for helping us catch them. We will make sure to keep the Quilium safe and out of hands from anyone. I will tell the police to go and have a look at that underground facility you mentioned and see if there is any way to bring us back.”


Alex was filled with relief and joy. The next day, the mayor gave a speech to everyone to talk about recent events and a few scientists came over to figure out how to get the town back to where it’s supposed to be. Alex decided she should go back to her house and see her family. She started to explain about what happened the night before and the underground facility.


A week later, the scientists figured out a way to get the town back using some of the technology they discovered in the underground facility. The rest of the world will think that there was another earthquake that struck to cover up what really happened. The ground started shaking and the town was brought back to normal, the police officers called the mayor. “Hello, is this Richard… Oh. Okay goodbye.”


Alex and Rose were still in the town when the mayor called Alex.


“Hello? Who’s this?” Alex answered as she put the call on speaker phone.


“Hi Alex. It’s Richard. Did you call the police when you thought this town disappeared?”


“Yes.. But they were no help”.


“Well, that's because they were bribed by someone who worked with that man to tell everyone that the town never existed.”


Alex was surprised but it was believable since they didn’t do much when she asked for help. “Do they have a name?”


“Um unfortunately no but they are on the search for him now.”


“Okay. Thanks bye.”


For some reason, Alex wasn’t bothered by this. Her town was back and that was all that mattered to her.


After staying in the town for a week, Rose and Alex decided to go back to their home in the city. They haven’t heard from the mayor in 2 weeks and Alex hasn’t received any messages or missed calls from him.


Alex checked her phone again. “Rose, I still haven’t gotten anything from the mayor. He said he would’ve had something by now. Do you think something’s wrong?”


“I don't know.” Rose said in a slightly worried tone.


“Let’s just go back to that underground facility and find out for ourselves .”

Rose disagreed. “Are you sure? It’s fine. I’m certain the mayor will come back to us soon.”


“Rose. You just don’t want to go back there. Come on. We’re going.”

Rose groaned and knew there was nothing she could do.


Alex dragged Rose into the car and started driving. After a while, they arrived at the location of the facility. Alex and Rose walked up to the sign but noticed something different. “Rose, look. They changed it.”


“Changed what?” Rose asked, puzzled.


“The sign. It’s the right address, 431 Oak Street.”


The two then went behind the sign and noticed something else. “There is no keypad anymore. Or underground ladder. It’s just as if nothing happened.”


“See? I told you it’ll be fine.” Rose said, relieved that she didn’t have to climb down a ladder.


The two walked back to the car, smiled and drove back home.


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