Chapter 8

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            The tour Cody gave was awesome; if you liked extremely vague people who rushed you and wouldn't let you even peek at a room. I had already given up trying to memorize the routes and rooms I wasn't allowed to go into. What did I care? At last he led me out of two large wooden doors. What I saw beyond them made my heart swell with joy. They had a garden!

            I squealed happily and skipped to a rose bush inhaling the scent. "You are really strange you know that?" Cody murmured coming up beside me. He watched dubiously while I skipped from bush to bush. I didn't answer. Gardens always gave me a sense of peace and I was grateful that such a horrid place had one. Smiling I continued on my way down the path while Cody shook his head, obviously confused. My mother had loved plants and I did too. They were so bright and full of life. I loved them almost as much as I loved animals. It was a passion that I nurtured and held close to my heart.

            The sun beat down warmly on my back as I finally came out on the other side of the garden. My mouth fell open in awe. Before me, was a lake.

            It was not small, no that would have been an understatement. This thing was huge; it stretched out in all directions gleaming beautifully. I could just make out a line of dark fences in the distance. "Whoa." I whispered.

            "You'll get used to it. Everybody does." said Cody, who was perching on a rock a few feet away that was right up against the lake. I hadn't even seen him move past me. His fingers trailed over the water as he stared off into the distance, his expression unreadable. Leaving him to his thoughts, I walked a little ways away where another couple of rocks jutted out into the water and lightly stepped on them. When they held solid I went to the edge and peered into the water. Colorful fish darted here and there, startled by the stranger in their home. I was greatly surprised to recognize a few fish that were from the ocean. Now, though the lake was huge, it did have an end so there could be no entrance from a river or stream. I dipped my fingers in the water and withdrew them again putting it to my lips to taste.

            No salt resided in the water at all. In fact it was the purest water I had ever tasted. A frog swam below my rock and I stared at it intently, marveling how it swam. It struck me again and again how alive this lake was. To me, it seemed odd that it would be here of all places. Everything else was so messed up. Something bright caught my eye, drawing me out of my thoughts but when I turned my head to look but it was gone. Shrugging, I turned back to watch the frog.

            Something hard hit the back of my head and I yelped in surprise fumbling to see who had thrown the small pebble that now rested nearby. "Hey Cody?"

            "What?" He looked up from the water.

            "Did you just throw something at me?" He scoffed and shook his head. Well someone threw it... I rubbed the back of my head before turning away from the water. Another pebble hit the side of my head, bigger than the last. This time I didn't question Cody. I'd been facing him and he hadn't moved.      "Okay something is throwing rocks at my head!" My voice raised with frustration and a now growing headache.

            "Do they keep hitting you in the head?" Cody replied standing and walking over.

            "Yes, which is what I just said and it hurts." He leaned down to examine the pebble carefully before tossing it into the water.

            "That'd be Emily. She's a bit mischievous to newcomers." Cody himself didn't seem to bothered by the activity, as if It was an open and shut case of he-didn't-care.

            "I don't see anybody."

            "Emily, don't you dare. I mean it." Cody's eyes glared down at the seemingly still water.

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