Lily couldn't remember a time when she felt so bored. She made her way into the kitchen to get something for breakfast, trying to figure out how she was going to pass the time when her Father spoke up.
"Lil. We need groceries and some other supplies. Go and pick some up." He handed her a wad of money. She blinked at it in surprise.
"No problem. I'll need the keys too."
"You can walk." She blinked owlishly at him.
"Dad, the nearest village is like ten miles away, and you want me to walk there and then walk back with a bunch of groceries?" He shrugged.
"Not my problem. I have things to do that I need the truck for." He got up and rinsed his dishes. I suggest you get to it." Then he was gone, walking out of the cabin without so much as a fare thee well. She glared at his retreating form. If looks could kill, she would be parentless.
"Shit." She muttered. She pulled out her phone and made her way up to her room. She stayed silent and listened to the sound of the truck driving off fade into nothing. Sure that she was alone she dialed Klaus's phone number.
"Hey, Klaus. I hate to do this to you, but I'm in a bit of a bind."
"Are you alright?"
"Yes. I have a favor to ask, and you can totally tell me to go to hell for asking if you want. I'll understand." He chuckled at her.
"What do you need?"
"I need a ride into town. My Dad asked me to get groceries today, but I'm not allowed to use his truck."
"Is he mad? The nearest village is ten miles away. It's already noon. There is no way you'd make it back before dark and the forest is dangerous."
"If I don't get them he'll be furious with me. Sorry to ask, but I don't know anyone else here." There was a long moment of silence and some muffled speaking.
"I'll be there to pick you up in ten minutes."
"Thank you! I can give you gas money."
"Don't worry about that."
"Thanks again. See you."
"See you." He hung up, and she collapsed on her bed gratefully, before realizing she only had ten minutes to get ready. She ran to the closet and pulled on a T-Shirt, jeans, and sneakers, throwing her pajamas on the floor in a haphazard pile. She brushed her hair and teeth, and she was ready to go by the time Klaus knocked on the door.
She ran down the steps and opened it up, smiling at him in greeting.
"Thanks again..." She paused. "No car?" The parking area in front of the cabin was empty. He chuckled.
"I do have one, but we won't be needing it. There's a place closer by that we can go."
"Really? There wasn't anything on the map." Klaus snorted.
"The Russian government hasn't updated those maps in years. This place wouldn't be on it." She began to follow him through the forest, taking careful note of where they were going. After about twenty minutes of walking the forest just stopped suddenly. They stepped out of the tree line and into what she could only describe as a weird sort of wilderness bazaar.
There were stalls set up in a large circle, selling everything from jewelry to food. Beyond the little circle were several buildings. It looked like the tiniest small village she'd ever seen. It also looked untouched by time. She could tell this was a treasure few people ever saw. Klaus halted her before she entered completely.
"A few rules about this place. Only stick to the stores. Do not hold eye contact with anyone for more than a few seconds, and don't try to haggle." She raised an eyebrow.
"Umm. You know that's a bit mental right?" He chuckled at her.
"I know. But believe me. These people are superstitious, and breaking those rules will have you thrown out faster than you can blink." She nodded.
"Thanks for telling me."
"No problem. The primary grocer is further in the village right on the main road. But I would look at the stalls too. They sell some fascinating things. I do have business with someone who lives here, so I'll meet you in an hour?"
"Sounds like a plan." He nodded, and she watched him walk off. Shaking her head, she decided to go straight to the grocery first. Luckily they seemed to have everything she needed and soon she had plenty of supplies. They would be good for at least a week, and a cheaply priced satchel to carry them in. She even had some money left over, and twenty minutes before Klaus came to find her.
She walked out to the stalls and sat her satchel down inside the tree line. She'd seen a few others do the same before walking off into the woods. Briefly, she wondered how many people lived in cabins like hers.
She moved from stall to stall, greeting everyone with a smile and limited eye contact. One booth sold homemade clothing of high quality, as well as clothes she probably got from a thrift shop and modified. She would keep that in mind when she started to need new clothing.
The next booth sold baked goods. The aroma coming from that stand was fantastic, and she couldn't resist buying a simple yet mouthwatering confection called a Vatrushka. It was a pastry bread with a cream cheese filling. She had a feeling she would be buying one anytime she came here.
The next booths held leather horse gear, belts, and boots, herbs and spices, and the last stand were a jewelry booth. She stopped there, smiling at the shop owner. She was an older woman and seemed like the type of old Granny most people would find comforting.
Lily looked at all the various pendants she was selling until one, in particular, caught her eyes. It was silver and round with a large moonstone in the center and a moon image atop it.
"How much for this?" The old woman grinned at her.
"An interesting choice! You may have it for free." Lily smiled.
"Seriously? Thank you!"
"If you saw it, it was meant to be yours. I only kept it for you." She cocked her head.
"What does that mean?" The woman smiled secretively.
"Never you mind moon child. Now run along and leave an old lady to pack her things."
"Can I at least help you with that? You did give this to me for free."
"No. The only thing I ask in return is that you keep that necklace safe." She nodded and put it on, examining it as she walked over to her satchel. She slipped it beneath her shirt just as Klaus came sauntering up behind her.
"Did you get everything you needed?"
"Yes." They began to walk back through the forest, and she smiled. "I love that place, Klaus." He smiled at her.
"I'm glad. You should consider going there if your Father asks you to go to the village again. Just don't tell him of it."
"Okay. Is this more to do with that whole magic secret business."
"When are you going to tell me?" She poked his arm jokingly.
"Eventually. I wish I could tell you more. I am beginning to like you."
"Why thank you. You too. You're not so bad." They were both laughing when they got to the clearing. "Thank you for helping me out."
"No problem. Call anytime. " She waved goodbye when he walked off, presumably to wherever he lived. She hauled the groceries inside and put them all away. She was just finishing up when her Father got back home.
"That was fast." He narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
"Someone saw me walking and offered to drive me there and back." She shrugged. "I got lucky." She wasn't completely sure why she didn't just tell him about Klaus, even if she couldn't tell him about the hidden village she surely could mention him. But there was some instinct that told her spilling the beans would be a terrible idea. She shivered a bit at the feeling of foreboding. "I got everything we needed, and there was even some cash left over." She handed him the remaining forty dollars. He nodded.
"Good." She sighed and watched as he went into the living room and turned on the television. He would do anything not to talk to her. She bit her lip, fighting against tears that suddenly threatened. She should have been used to this from him by now, but nothing seemed to make it easier every time he treated her like she wasn't worth the grime on his shoe.
At least in the city, she could escape from him and wander around. There was always something to do or see there, even if you didn't have money. She sighed and walked outside into the backyard, plopping down in the grass to lay on her back and look up at the sky. It was cloudy, but bits of bright blue made an appearance now and then. It was almost idyllic here. If only she had something to do. She was bored and getting lonelier by the minute.
After a while of sky gazing, Lily decided to explore the surrounding forest area. It couldn't hurt to know the lay of the land right? She got up and started roaming about, keeping careful track of what was where in correlation to the cabin. By the time she got tired enough to go back home, the sun was setting and she couldn't help but feel strange as she watched her father washing dishes through the kitchen window. Something, some instinct was telling her that things were about to get bad.
As she made her way back inside she shook it off. What could go bad? She and her dad never got along, and there was nothing dangerous here. She was probably just still adjusting.