Chapter One

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Effie Richmond stared at herself in the long mirror of her room. She was wearing her Sunday dress. It was cream colored and ran down to her knees. Layers of ruffles flowed around it and a large bow was tied in the back. Effie smiled at her reflection. She spun around and watched as her dress flowed out around her.

Turning around, she walked over to her makeshift calendar and opened it to June. Today was June 3 and that meant in three weeks her birthday would come around. She would be ten then. Her mother and father promised to take her to the lake in the Sarton forest.

"Effie! Darling! Time to go!" her mother called her from downstairs.

"Coming, Mum!" Effie ran out of her room and down the stairs. She arrived in the living room to see her parents sitting on the couch waiting for her.

The three walked out of their house and into the family car. Her father turned on the radio. They listened to the soft music as the car rolled out of the driveway and down the two-lane road.

Effie watched the trees and flowers fly by and smiled up at the bright sky. Moments passed by and she felt the car slowly come to a halt at a stop sign. Her father looked both ways before moving the car forward. All of a sudden, Effie heard the screeching of a car and felt something crash into the side of her door. At the impact, the girl screamed and closed her eyes as the car spun around until it hit a tree, the people inside blindly smashing onto everything beside them.

"Effie? Honey? Are you all right?" Her father turned around to ask her when the car stilled. Her mother also looked back at her from the front seat and Effie saw thick, dark red liquid trailing down both of their faces. Blood. Her eyes widened in aghast.

"It's all right, dear," her mother tried to assure her. "It's just a few scratches. We're all right."

Effie attempted to get up from her seat to reach them, but a shooting pain came from her side. She looked down to see her leg trapped underneath the car door. Her breathing started to get ragged and a lump formed in her throat as hostile thoughts flooded into her mind. She whimpered, trying to fight back the tears that threatened to escape as she started to tremble. "Mummy? Daddy?" Effie cried out, her voice barely audible. "Help me!"

Sirens and car lights came into view. Glancing to the window, Effie saw police officers and firefighters running over to the car. They rushed with getting her parents out and sending them inside the ambulance.

A firefighter poked his head through the front car door and looked at her. "It's all right, young lady, we'll get you out." He disappeared and started to yell at his fellow firefighters.

Effie's vision started to fade. She heard men's voices, some yelling and some trying to keep her awake, but her body was already succumbing to oblivion. Black started to show around the edges of her vision and she began feeling weak, tears flowing down her cheeks. Effie felt the pressure come off her leg and someone picking her up. She didn't dare try looking at her leg in fear of what it had become.

She tried with all her might to stay awake. But when they laid her on a stretcher in the ambulance, all of her strength had seeped away from her body. The last thing she saw was her mother and father staring down at her with their lips moving. Then the darkness engulfed her.

Hi! This is the prequel to The Girl in the Window. I hope you all liked it and please, let me know what you think!

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