Ron had somehow wandered into the “city” part of the resort. It was 2 long blocks of food, bars and dance clubs. The sun had started to go down and the streets started to get a bit crowded. Music started to pump through many of the buildings, some of the restaurants started to close down. Someone bumped into him. She giggled and winked at him. Ron blinked and looked around, unsure if she was winking at him. She and her friends started to laugh, walking into one of the clubs.
Ron stood off to the side, watching all these people who were around his age come out from the resort. He hadn’t had anyone to talk to around his age in years. He watched all the colorful, beautiful bodies walk up and down the street.
“Yo, man, you good?” Someone asked from behind him. It was a group of guys, a few ladies sprinkled in there. Ron nodded.
“Aww, it’s his first day!” one of the ladies cooed, laughing at him.
The man who had addressed Ron grinned and grabbed him by the arm.
“Well come on the, newbie, let’s get fuck up!” he said, pulling him into one of the dance clubs.
As they group made their way through the many bodies on the dance floor, Ron looked up at the stage; It was the three from the docks. They seemed to stare right at him.
“Hello,” they said in unison, their voices making Ron’s skin crawl.
“We’re tonight for a special offer,” they said with a smile. “Please stand in the middle of the circle and lock hands.”
The many bodies stood together in the middle of the circle. Ron watched the three still, his stomach sinking.
“Please follow instructions and the winner gets to woo the crowd,” they said, the one of the end pushing a button on their lapel.
The floor gave way. Everyone fell into the hole, screaming. Their bodies fell for about 2 seconds before being suspended in air by a giant fan. Everyone, except Ron, started to laugh. The three were suddenly surrounding them, being projected on a giant screen in the tube. They issued out ridiculous orders, so Ron didn’t do any of them. Instead, he got accustomed to the weightlessness and started to float around everyone doing their awkward line dance.
The fan suddenly let out a force of air that pushed the bodies back up, closing the floor beneath them.
“You’re wiiiiiild,” the man who dragged Ron in the club said to him. “No one’s not done the dance before, woooow,” he said, laughing. One of the ladies walked up to Ron, a pill in her hand.
“Eat this,” she said, pushing it into his mouth. He choked a bit, before shaking his head. They dragged him back to the hotel, taking them to a party. Whatever that pill was, it made Ron’s eyesight hazy. He started to giggle at everything. He danced with the ladies, with the fellas. He drank something that made his throat and chest burn. The night started to blur together.
Aya had found a gym with a punching bag. The punching bag could move if you wanted it to. So Aya made it move. A few people started to gather around her, commenting on her speed, helping her with her form, cheering her on. After about 20 minutes, her arms were a bit sore. She stretched, walking around the area. She noticed Ree walking up to her in a hurry.
“What’s going on?” Ree looked up at Aya.
“Ron is missing,” Ree whispered. “And Sasha can’t find the radio.”
“Let me go gather my things,” Aya said, Ree nodding in confirmation and walking away.
Aya headed out the gym, a man walking next to her.
“Hey, you did really good punching that bag! Have you been fighting for long?” Aya blinked and stopped, looking at the man.
“No, leave me alone,” she said flatly, before walking off again. She suddenly shivered; the hallway was empty, except for her and that man still following her. She took off in a sprint, dropping her bag. The man took of behind her, pulling out a gun. He fired, the dart missing her back, as she turned down another hall of a sudden.
Aya made another turn, suddenly in a stairwell. She went downstairs, three at a time. She ran down another flight, then ran down a hallway. She bumped into someone. It was him again. He fired a dart into her belly. She fell down.
Sasha and Ree waited for Aya for an hour before walking out the room together. They held hands, their knuckles white, their nails leaving marks into each other skin. They made their way to the square where they church was. They sat on a bench. The square was empty and bare. The church’s front was very small, but no one came to the church to pray. No, they came to the church to pay money to see Plastic Beach’s only tree. The only tree on the entire planet to be exact.
The church bell gonged. Ree and Sasha jumped. A line of people started to walk down the street, each stepping in unison. The bell gonged again. The doors of the church opened. Many voices sang in harmony inside the church, the line of people now swayed in step with each other as they walked inside the church.
Ree and Sasha watched in amazement. As the people stepped into the church, a pale man greeted each of them, shaking their hands and nodding to them, blessing them. His golden hair matched the gold stitching on the hem of his white robes. His eyes were closed, but he stared in the direction of the two as he greeted the church goers. They turned to face each other, but he still stared. Once they heard the door close, the young ladies took a deep breath in relief.
The singing and humming made them try to find a window to the church. While the man who was probably the pastor frightened them, the singing soothed them.
“I can’t believe we’re doing this right now,” Sasha said.
“I know, it’s like my stomach is in knots,” Ree replied.
They cane across a hole, barely covered up by boards. One by one, they crossed. Ree nudged Sasha, pointing at the scaffolding. They climbed, coming up to a hole just big enough for them to look through.
The church goers sang and swayed, people walking up and down the pews, collecting plates filled to the brim with credits.
“Thank you!” He started. “Thank you, good people for trusting in me to protect and provide for the Lord Reszra’s tree.”
He walked up and down the aisles, touching people with a leaf that fell from the tree. He walked up to the balcony that over looked the congregation. He blessed them, the leaf and turned around.
Ree and Sasha held their breath. He was right in front of them.
The pastor started to laugh, his tongue coming out his mouth like a snake. He opened his eyes, black pits of nothing stared at the two. He pressed his face against the hole.
“HALLELUJAH, MONEY,” he cackled in their faces.
They two screamed, stepping back. Ree’s foot slipped. She grabbed on Sasha. They fell off the scaffolding and through the wooden boards that covered the hole.
The congregation kept singing.