Chapter four

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Bellie’s point of view

            Violet, Maddi, and I made our way back downstairs. Dade and Rylie went outside to bury Ashlinn. I let out a sob and broke the deafening silence that ran through the house. Maddi gave me a short hug, and Violet just glared at me. When we got downstairs, we all sat on the blanket we started the game on. I felt a chilling feel wash over me.

“It’s dark.” I said monotonously.

“No shit.” Violet spat out.

“I’ll light the candle.” Maddi said.

Although you could hear the fear in her voice, it still flowed softly through the icy air with ease. I heard her fumble with the lighter, and suddenly the little candle that lay in front of us was lit. Maddi placed the lighter next to me. I was shivering, as well as Maddi. We both tried to warm ourselves with the fire. I knew it wasn’t going to work, but it didn’t matter. I mostly just needed a distraction.

The front door opened abruptly with a slam. Rylie walked over and sat next to Violet wordlessly. In the dim glow of the candle, her face was flushed from color. Dark circles started to form underneath her hazel eyes.

Within seconds, the candle was out. The sound of someone standing up echoed through my ears as smoke filled my nose. I heard a choking sound coming from where Violet was sitting. I immediately searched for the lighter. I clicked it a few times, but nothing happened. I suddenly remembered I had matches in my pocket.

“You never know when you’ll need them.” My mom always said.

            When the match was lit, I held it to the candle. The room was lit, and everyone was sitting in their exact spots staring at Violet. The door opened once more, and I looked to see Dade standing there. I strained my eyes through the darkness and saw another body with him—Rylie. I shook all confused thoughts out of my head and focused my attention on Violet.

“What happened?” I scratched my arm.

Dade and Rylie rushed over to us. “What the fuck was that?” Dade only cursed when something was serious to him.

“I-I don’t know.” Violet stuttered which was very rare for her. “And what the hell, Rylie?” Anger and confusion mixed in with the fear that was clear in her voice.

“What?” Rylie stepped behind Dade.

“You were just next to me, and then you just showed up at the door seconds later?” I could tell what Violet was thinking. She was thinking exactly what I was thinking—Rylie did it.

“When the candle blew out I got scared…so I went to go get Dade.” Rylie explained timidly.

“Violet, are you okay?” Maddi touched her shoulder softly.

Violet just shrugged her hand off. “Fine.” She hissed out. “I’m going home.”

“Then we’re all going home. I’m driving.” Dade spoke up.

“I can walk.”

“You’re not walking home alone. Look how fucking dark it is.” Dade said sharply.

“Fine, but then I’m sitting in the front.” Violet pushed passed us and walked to the car.

            Rylie frowned slightly. She and Dade had a thing, so it was expected for her to get the front.

            The ride home was awkwardly silent. There was so much tension between all of us. All eyes—with the exception of Dade who had his eyes glued to the road—were darting around the car. We all knew someone choked Violet, but none of us knew who. I had a strong feeling it was Rylie, so I mostly stared at her the whole car ride. I needed to watch her every move. One of us obviously distorted the purpose of the game and took it to the extreme. The old house was the safe place—they could have just wanted to scare Violet. Now that we were all out of the house we could die at any moment.

            Dade was dropping everyone off. First Rylie—thank god—then Maddi. By force of habit he drove to Ashlinn’s house. He quickly sped down her street once he realized she wouldn’t be making an appearance at home anytime soon. Violet was the next to get out of the car.

            I climbed over the seat and sat in the front next to Dade. He drove me to my house with the radio lowly playing a soft song. When in the driveway I noticed that no one was home.

“Damn,” I muttered under my cold breath.

“Huh?” Dade turned to me.

“I forgot my key.” I said sheepishly. I started to shiver; I didn’t bring a jacket.

“You’re cold.” Dade pointed out the obvious.

“Well,” I bit my lip and looked up at him. “Maybe you could warm me up.” I flirted gently.

            Dade just laughed under his breath and handed me his jacket. I tapped my foot impatiently on the ground as I waited for my parents to come home.

“This doesn’t feel real.” I heard Dade say. He was staring at his lap with much intensity.

I turned my body so I was facing him completely. “What do you mean?”

“Ashlinn,” He said softly. “I know she’s dead…I buried her. But it feels like a dream. You get it?” He looked up at me.

“Yeah,” I nodded.

            After an hour, my parents finally came home. They were always out late, and they never really cared how late I stayed out. It wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t always good. It made me feel like they didn’t care enough to know what I was doing.

            I thanked Dade and made my way to the front door. My parents were best friends with Ashlinn’s mother and father. Ashlinn and I weren’t the closest in the group—it was her and Maddi. When Rylie came in, it seemed as though she replaced Maddi. I thought how I should tell my parents that Ashlinn wasn’t coming home—we all decided I should.

Tell them tomorrow., I told myself.

“Morning.” My parents greeted as I walked into the kitchen the next morning.

“Mom, Dad?” I said shakily.

            My mother put her coffee down and looked at me seriously. My father dropped his paper on the table and stared at me. Silence took over my body, and I froze. My mouth was hanging open as I searched for something to say.

“What is it, sweetie?” My father asked.

“You’re not pregnant, are you?” My mom blurted out.

“No!” I said finally. “No, but I do have something to say.” I sat down. “Um,” I made up an idea and decided to roll with it. “Last night Maddi, Rylie, Dade, Violet, Ashlinn, and I all went to like…an old abandoned house, thing.” I started slowly. “And, um. Well we were all having a fun time, and we were sitting around a little candle fire. Ashlinn started to get fidgety, and she just couldn’t sit still. I asked her what was wrong, and she got all pissed at me. Then, without warning, she ran out of the house. All of us ran after her, but it was too late.”

“What do you mean?” I mother asked.

“She was gone. We don’t know where she went.” I hadn’t noticed, but tears were streaming down my face.

“Oh my god,” My mom brought her hand to her mouth.

“Did you tell her parents? Did anyone tell her parents?” My dad asked angrily—that only caused more tears.

“No.” I squeaked.

“I’ll do it.” My mom walked over to the phone and shakily dialed Ashlinn’s house number.

I usually told my parents everything. I had just lied about the biggest thing.

My best friend’s death.

(A.N.-Thanks so much for reading<3

~Cassi                  )

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