Chapter 4:

004 ┃ I don't know

The Isle of the Forgotten

The boy remained still, fearing that if he moved a bit the girl would cut off his arm as she had done with the monster. He clung to the book as if it were a shield.

"Who are you?" she asked with a suspicious expression, like a growling dog.

It took the boy a while to answer. He still hadn't fully processed what had happened with the creature, and now his mind was racing so fast that his head hurt.

"I don't... don't... don't know," he stammered, unsure.

"What do you mean you don't know?" the girl asked, annoyed.

"This... I don't remember..." murmured the boy as he tried to think of something. He knew how his situation would seem to someone listening. He had no memories of anything and didn't know where he was. It sounded quite incredible.

"I just risked my life to save you and now you tell me you don't remember who you are?" The girl moved closer to him and brought the edge of her spear to his neck.

The boy felt chills all over his body, and his heart beat faster than when the monster was chasing him. He could lie to her and make up some convincing story, but his head hurt so much that he didn't have enough strength to think of anything. His only option was to tell the truth.

"I... woke up a few hours ago on the beach. I don't know what this place is or why I came. I don't even remember where I come from. Please, you have to believe me." He bowed his head in a sign of submission, expecting another aggressive response from his savior. Instead, she withdrew the spear from his neck after a few seconds of reflection.

"Okay, I believe you," she said, now with a more peaceful voice, although still cold.

The boy lifted his head, incredulous. Even he thought his story sounded made up. Why had the girl believed him?

"You can walk, right?" asked the girl, pointing to his wounds.

"I think so," he replied.

"Then follow me." She turned around and began to walk towards a narrow path that was lost in the forest.

The boy watched her walk for a few seconds, unsure. It seemed that this girl had good intentions, especially considering that she had just saved his life. Besides, it wasn't like he had any other option.

Seeing that she didn't stop to wait for him, the boy hurriedly got up as best he could and ran after her.

They walked for a few minutes through the forest. At night and with the trees blocking most of the light coming in, the boy couldn't help but trip every two steps. Also, he found it hard to keep up with the quick pace of his companion, who seemed to know every stone on the way.

After a while, they finally arrived at a large clearing in the forest. It was a spacious area that seemed walled by the trees, and in the center was a large wooden house that looked old, but impressive. It was a bit bigger than the ones in the village, although this one seemed to be completely isolated. The windows on the lower floor had been boarded up with wooden planks, giving it a somewhat eerie look.

"Do you live here?" he asked, not bothering to hide his disbelief.

"Yes," she simply answered. She walked to the door while he followed her closely, terrified. Every second he was outside made him think that at any moment another killer monster would jump at him from among the trees.

When they entered the house, the boy immediately noticed the warmth of the environment. From the entrance, you could see the living room, where a lit fireplace illuminated the room. The moment the girl closed the door, the boy leaned against the wall and fell to the floor, completely exhausted. He had to make an effort not to burst into tears.

"Are we really safe here?" he asked, still clinging to the book he had found in the village.

"If we don't make too much noise, probably," the girl answered while putting the several bolts on the door.

"Probably? What does that mean?" The boy looked at her, worried about her answer. The girl finished closing the door and headed to the living room after giving the boy a sidelong glance.

He hurried to get up and followed her. Until he had more information about where he was or how to get back to his family, it would be best to stay with the girl who had killed the killer monster.

"Where are we?" he asked as he looked inside the house. Unlike the outside, the inside of the house seemed quite cozy and warm.

"On an island,"

"I mean where specifically. I mean, I don't remember country names right now, but if you..."

"I don't know." She cut him off as she took off her poncho to reveal a loose cloth shirt.

"Okay... What was that thing before?" asked the boy, somewhat puzzled because his savior didn't know where they were.

"I don't know," the girl answered as she peered out one of the living room windows. Between the planks that boarded it up, there was a small gap through which she looked outside.

"You don't know? I thought you would know by the way you moved earlier. Didn't you say you live here?" the boy spoke quickly. He had so many questions that his brain was racing.

"I call them stalkers. They appear at night." She replied. The young girl finished checking that window and moved to the one on the opposite wall. The boy watched her with his eyes, still curious. He noticed that the lower half of the girl's hair was light blonde, but the area closest to her head was dark brown.

"Appear, in plural? You mean there's more than one? Oh god... and where do they come from? I mean, it doesn't look like anything I've seen before."

"I don't know." She repeated, now with a sharper tone.

"Have those things been the ones that killed the people in the village? Because I was there before, and there were skeletons inside the buildings. Human skeletons, I mean. And there were marks on the walls. Do you have any idea what happened there? Because we should ask for help for..."

"I don't know!" the girl snapped, turning to look at him with her vibrant green eyes. She approached him as she spoke. The boy was startled by the scream. "There's no one in this place we can ask for help, okay? I also arrived here without memory a year ago. I know the same as you about this place."

The boy took a step back, somewhat scared by the girl's response. He gripped the book tightly. After a few seconds of thought, he asked:

"Did you also wake up on the beach without memories?"

The girl nodded, now with her arms crossed and an unfriendly face.

"It can't be. I mean, someone must have brought us here. There must be some reason why..."

"Shut up already. You're making me nervous with so many words. Go to sleep already," ordered the young girl, now with a tone of frustration. The boy lowered his gaze and shrank back, trying to avoid the reprimand. "I'm going to sleep. You can sleep in the room next door."

The young girl pointed to the stairs and went up to the upper floor. Terrified of being left alone, the boy followed her.

Peace Sign
Harmonica Writes
A. Hoshino
A. Hoshino