Chapter 8

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Following lunch at the venue, the two bands were separated into two different gymnasiums to continue their rehearsals. In an effort to keep the tour a secret until closer to announcing dates, the locations of the rehearsals alternated between a church, a convention centre, and a school that was no longer in use.

Melanie pulled herself up onto the stage at the side of the gymnasium, her feet banging against the boards on the front and echoing loudly throughout the space. She groaned and pulled off her shoe and sock, looking at the bandage to make sure she wasn't bleeding through it with all of the dancing they'd done that morning.

"Should you take a break for a while?" Emma asked worriedly, looking at Melanie's wrapped foot. Melanie shook her head and carefully flexed her foot, hissing as the cuts stung with her movement. Emma kept her eye on Melanie, knowing she wouldn't take a break no matter how poorly she was feeling. She leaned her head on Melanie's shoulder and sighed, looking out at everyone in the gymnasium.

"If we don't get to pull out the scooters to mess about at some point, I'm going to be well gutted," Emma stated, staring at the equipment in the small room attached to the gymnasium. It was filled with an assortment of balls, hula hoops, scooters, and other sports equipment.

"I'm dying to pull out the footie equipment," Melanie replied, glancing over at the room. "Maybe once we're closer to having the show ready." Emma nodded. The two of them sat alone on the stage, waiting for everyone else to show up following their lunch break. Mel was messing around with the dancers, forcing her boyfriend, Jim, to carry her on his back. Geri was off to the side, running through some of the choreography with Priscilla, their choreographer.

"Em," said Melanie apprehensively. "Did you meet the cleaners yesterday?

"Yeah," Emma replied. "One of them came into my room to get my laundry. I only walked past the other lady on the stairs briefly. Why?"

"They didn't seem a bit weird to you?" Melanie asked. Emma looked at Melanie curiously and shook her head.

"It was a bit weird that they were so eager to leave at exactly four o'clock," Emma replied. "But otherwise I thought they were cool. They've even left chocolate on my pillow when they've made my bed for me. What did they do that was weird?"

Melanie told Emma about her encounter with Marta and how the other cleaner had whisked her away.

"They both seemed really freaked out," Melanie explained. "I don't know what they said, but it was like I'd done something wrong."

"Can you remember anything they said? Emma asked. "Maybe Geri can translate it for you." Melanie shook her head.

"Everything about that place seems a bit off," Melanie sighed. "Maybe Mel's just gotten to me, but I find it kinda creepy."

"Creepy how?" Emma asked, looking at Melanie worriedly. Realizing she was scaring Emma, Melanie, quickly smiled and tried to assure her that she was just being ridiculous. She didn't want Emma to be too scared to stay at the cabin because of something she said.

"Just little noises that old houses make," Melanie explained. "Plus with Mel coming down and hiding in my room to scare me, I've let my imagination get the best of me."

Their conversation was interrupted as Priscilla called everyone to the centre of the room to go through a few more routines. Emma groaned tiredly and slid off the stage to join everyone. Melanie cringed as she put her sock and shoe back on and tried not to limp as she made her way over to the group. Catching sight of Camilla, the girls' personal assistant, she quickly spoke with her to get some pain medication before jumping into the choreography.

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