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Chapter 10

In which Evangeline Is Reported

Everybody in the village had there television sets turned on for the six o'clock news. Due to the multitude of people watching the same broadcast gave Fox a headache. He heard every word coming from the broadcasters mouth.

“Last night the 'midnight mysteries' continued, with eleven more people, all aged between fourteen and nineteen, went missing. Taking the total of missing people up to twenty-nine.” Even with his hands over his ear and smothered by a pillow he could still hear every word of what was being said. It was rather annoying. He couldn't hear anything over broadcast that the entire world seemed to be listening to. He tried desperately to block the noise out and focus on something that would allow him to concentrate and calm down.

No matter how hard he tried, Fox couldn't seem to focus oh her heartbeat. The gentle rhythm of Evangeline's heart. It was reassuring. That she was alive, that her heart was beating and still getting oxygen into her lung. He hated doing it though, as he believed it was intruding in her privacy.

One particularly warm day, when he, Evangeline and Fox had gone to the lake for a cooling, and much needed swim, he brought it up.

“What else can those ears of your hear?” She asked after he'd informed her that he could hear the people in church that her parents attended talking. The priest was telling the tale of Judas and his betrayal of Jesus. He explained that the priest had chosen that particular tale to preach because he knew that Mrs Rebecca Cunningham was having an affair with the plumber that was installing the new bathroom, along side her husband.

“A lot of things. The beat of a dragon flies wings. The beat of a heart. The last breath that lingers on dying lips.” Evangeline loved the way he spoke. With such grace, with poetic words. Fox watched as she floated next to him. He stood, waste deep in the water, while she lay gently on the surface of the water. Her hair fanning out in the water.

“A heart. Can you hear mine?” She smiled, revealing her perfectly white teeth. They seemed to shine in the sunlight. It took Fox little effort to listen to her heart. The chambers pushing her blood into the next section, her blood being oxygenated as it travelled to the lungs. He heard and saw her lungs fill up, expanding in her chest cavity.

“Yes. Its fluttering, like a bird, taking flight for the first time. Too afraid to lift its delicate foot of the rough bark, but too egger to wait a moment longer. Its calming to listen to.” He said sheepishly. He remembered how the feel of blood rushing to his cheeks when he told her that he could hear her heartbeat and the melodic chime of her laugh. A sense of elegance in it. She came a little closer and smiled.

“Well, if things ever become to chaotic. Just listen to my heart.”

*

“The list of children missing, as of last night are. Hattie Mendler, Christopher Hopkins, Ruth Carr,” The list carried on. He recognised a few of the names, Evangeline had mentioned them in their discussions of the Village of Gabriel. He vaguely remembered a story about Hattie Mendler and her claiming to turn down three marriage proposals a week, which Fox found hard to believe. Who on Earth would propose to girl when they barely knew her.

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