Chapter 3

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Everyone is surprised that the girl with brown waves and lips as red and striking as blood has volunteered to be the first one enduring the torture of storytelling. In particular, Keaton is the one who appreciates her offer the most. "Thank you, Lindsey," he says.

While Lindsey doesn't reply to him, Maisy and Leigh blink at him as a sign that they trust him not taking advantage of this situation in order not to face the challenge like the rest of the group. He assures, "Don't worry, I'll do my part." He smiles at Maisy and she does the same, smiling back at him.

Meanwhile, Lindsey is ready to talk, but she surprises everyone as she lets out sweet, melodious verses; they cause the boys to blush and the girls to listen carefully, captured by their suggestive imagery, with the exception of the blonde with glasses.

"Once upon a time there was a place
Where everything was blank
And there were no colors.
It was a place of despair and sorrow
Where hope was washed away."

Everyone claps their hands, showing some enthusiasm; however, there's no time to waste, which means that the story must go on. Still, no-one else is stepping up with the continuation of the amazing verses sung cheerfully by Lindsey. That is, until Hayley clears her throat and follows through the storyline.

"But, one day, things were bound
To change. Someone came there.
They were a group of boys and girls
Telling stories for a living.
They were all defying death."

Like Lindsey, Hayley also earns general appreciation through a long, energetic applause, which slowly fades in the silence as a petite redhead follows, occasionally glancing at the others and hoping that the Voice won't talk until she's done.

"This is the story of seven guys and eleven girls who find themselves in the middle of nowhere. At first glance, they may be just a group of ordinary people. But, still, the verses of the Prophecy are clear: these guys and girls are there to defeat a mysterious entity called the Silencer."

"Nice idea, Spring," comments Keaton, turning to the redhead. "I like how you took Lindsey and Hayley's verses and created something unique from those." The two mentioned girls look away, not wanting to float in the sea of compliments Keaton is throwing them in.

Spring just blushes, then turns back to her small oval mirror, where she looks herself in. She curls a strand of her flowy red hair and bites her bottom lip. Meanwhile, Keaton, feeling inspired, decides to take the reins of the newborn story.

"No-one knows who the Silencer is or what is its purpose. No-one knows why they find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere either. What's sure, anyway, is that these guys and girls have a lot of unanswered questions floating in their minds. Moreover, no-one knows whether they're going to live for a long time or die in a matter of minutes."

Maisy adds, "The eighteen chosen ones do not know each other; what's worse, it seems as there are already some frictions between some of them. This is why someone must step up as a leader. A fiery and rebellious girl, whose long blue hair is tucked in a braid, steps forward and vows that she'll make everyone work together in order to stop the Silencer."

The Voice stays silent and doesn't make any comments. On the other hand, Jennifer, who believes that Maisy's description of the main character seems to match her looks and personality, or at least in part, proposes to go next.

"Despite her effort, however, Carole - that's her name - remains unlistened to. The others mainly snub her and don't collaborate as they prefer working each on their own. That is, until two of the boys, Harris and Orion, make her a proposal that she cannot refuse."

Everyone is now caught in the storyline. Not only do they applaude, but they also admit that, hadn't it been for Jennifer's creativity and inventive, the story could've taken a dead-end path. The Voice also shows some appreciation, not interrupting her and not telling anyone to talk.

"The two boys want her help to come up with a compelling storyline so that they can get everyone else to work it. This is the best idea in order to defeat the Silencer. Still, it doesn't appeal to anyone else, who keep criticizing Carole and instead make themselves poor suggestions." Kane's intervention leaves everyone shocked, especially the blonde with glasses, who's fuming and glaring at him.

He, however, ignores her, shrugging and smiling at Jennifer and Keaton, his best friends. Nonetheless, they are not the only ones who are currently satisfied with the direction the story is taking. The majority of the other boys and girls find it compelling and relatable, perhaps a little too much.

So, why doesn't the blonde like it? This is the most asked question; still, it's probably bound to remain unanswered until she herself voices her opinion. Since it's not happening right now, Jennifer points a brunette girl sitting at Lindsey's left, making a sign to her to continue.

"They end up stalling and struggling with finding a solution until a girl named Linda decides that there's no point in not being collaborative, so she accepts to help Carole and her friends. The four of them spend a sleepless night, reading stories about mythology or tales taken from 1001 Nights-" The girl stops, hesitating and not knowing what to say anymore. Her indecisive attitude is enough to upset some of the girls, which may cause trouble with the Voice.

Fortunately for her, Kayden intervenes, "Don't worry, Kaitlynn. I can handle this." Then, he gives his take on the storyline, making everyone seethe out of expectation. "Those tales spark their imagination to the point that their plan works. This is why, the following day, Carole and Linda turn to the rest of the group and hand them the heavy volumes, with them thinking that they're only a pastime."

As Kaitlynn sighs out of relief, Leigh continues, "However, they soon realize that there is a strange message hidden  within pages of a particular book. This discovery makes Carole realize that, in order to find the key to defeating the Silencer, they have to decipher the mysterious message that's encripted into those pages."

The Voice, satisfied by what has been told as of now, decides to intervene. "Good job, for now. But there are still eight of you who need to do their part. Make sure to close the story in a compelling way. I don't like open endings."

After hearing these words, Jennifer glances at the boys and girls who haven't spoken yet. In particular, she notices a boy with brown hair and a face as pale as the moon sitting at a corner of a couch on his own, looking distractedly at the shut window opposite him.

As she approaches him, he doesn't turn to her but just groans and mutters a name under his breath, lowering his head and closing his eyes. "Madison..."

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