Chapter 9

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My head was pounding. I slowly opened my eyes and shut them again as the light was too bright. I slowly sat up, my still blinking my eyes to adjust to the light. The wooden floor I was lying on was hard and rough, and my body ached.

My eyes adjusted and I was not familiar with my surroundings. Lying next to me was Hayley. We were the only people in the room. No furniture, no carpet, no windows. Just us and a small wooden door. We were in some sort of a cabin.

My throat was dry and it ached. I needed water or some food or something, I was starving. Hayley was still asleep. I stood up, my head spinning. I stared at Hayley for a while and poked her face. Her eyes opened slowly as she awoke, I could tell she felt the same as I did.

"Where are we?" Hayley asked as she finally got up and had a look around.

"I have no idea. I'll try the door, maybe it's unlocked." I said, walking towards the door. There was no handle or knob, so I just pushed. It opened with a squeak.

I stepped outside, into a thick forest. Hayley was following close behind me as I walked towards a water body, which I could only just see through the many trees. I knew what it was without even having a close look; it was a lake. The same lake which the Nel family always come to for holidays. Lake Argyl.

I've only been to their lake house once. They had invited me to come along when my parents were out of town for a few weeks. Pete and I would spend each day playing hide and seek in the forest. I got lost one time and spend about five hours wandering around the forest, before Pete's dad, Frans, found me. I had been crying and searching for their house. I had found a clearing that looked exactly like the one near their house, but instead of their house being there, there was an abandoned cabin. That was where Frans had found me.

I froze, turned around, and saw the cabin, from the exact angle that I saw it the first time when I got lost in the forest.

Hayley gave me a strange look, "what's wrong?" she asked. I never told her about me getting lost in the forest. It was a memory I just wanted to forget.

"Nothing," I said, "but I know where we are. Pete's lake house is about two kilometers from here."

Hayley looked shocked. "How did we get HERE?"

"I don't know. Do you remember anything from after we went into the shed at Pete's house back home? All I remember is looking for some way out when it started to get hot." I said, having a memory loss from everything that happened after that.

"No. I can't even remember it getting hot. I just remember Meg--" she paused, "where's Megan??" She said suddenly realising that Megan was not with us, she was not even in the cabin with us.

My phone buzzed in my pocket, interrupting my thoughts about where Megan might be. There was another text:

YOUR PHONE HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED. YOU CAN ONLY GET TEXTS FROM THIS NUMBER; YOU CAN NOT RING OR TEXT ANYONE. I SEE YOU HAVE FINALLY WOKEN UP. GOOD LUCK WITH FINDING YOUR FRIEND.

Hayley was reading the text with me over my shoulder. We both shivered when we read the "I see you have finally woken up" part. We were being watched.

"D-do you think they have Megan?" Hayley asked me, with fear covering her eyes.

"I don't know. But why would they keep her and put us in a random cabin in the middle of a forest?" I asked in confusion.

"Have you been here before?" Hayley asked, seeing the familiarity in my eyes. Some times I hated it that she knew me so well. I didn't want to tell her about my previous experience in this very same spot.

"Yes." I said bluntly, avoiding eye contact. She realised that I didn't want to talk about it, so she left it there.

"We should go to Pete's house. Maybe Megan's there. I think I can remember how to get there." I said leading the way, following my fading memory of where Frans had led me back to their house after he found me.

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