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MIKE WHEELER THREW ON his navy blue jacket as he grabbed his walkie-talkie sitting on his dresser

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MIKE WHEELER THREW ON his navy blue jacket as he grabbed his walkie-talkie sitting on his dresser. Just after getting the phone call from Cassie, he wanted to bike over there as fast as he could. Shuffling quietly downstairs, he paused, hearing his mother reprimanding his older sister. Hiding behind the wall, Mike listened in on their conversation.

"You didn't think to call? Or let me know?" Mike's mother questioned, the tension building. "With everything that's been going on?"

Hugging her chest, Nancy whispered, "I didn't realize how late it was, okay? I'm sorry, Mom. What more do you want?"

Nancy began to ascend the staircase, causing Mike to scoot backwards. Crossing her arms, Mike's mother spoke, "Hey, wait. Who's sweatshirt is that?"

Nancy paused, looking down at the piece of clothing. Glancing back up at her mother, she mumbled, "Steve's."

Walking back to his room, Mike rolled his eyes. He was never going to make it past his mother downstairs, and it would take to long to wait for her to leave. So, Mike opened his bedroom window, sliding his legs over to ledge.

"You have to do this," Mike whispered to himself, taking a deep breath. "For Cassie."

Hopping onto the roof and shutting the window behind him, Mike slid down and successfully made it out of his house. Running around the back of the house, he opened the basement window, "Eleven!"

A bald headed girl immediately popped her head out of a small fort, her innocent eyes flashing worry. Mike held his arms out for her to grab, and with slight struggle, he was able to help her out of the basement window. 

"Cassie's in trouble," breathed Mike, hopping into his bike. "We have to go help her."

After making room for Eleven get onto the bike, Mike peddled his legs as hard as he could. The Harrington's lived not too far from the Wheeler's, but it still took at least eight minutes to get there on bike.

Mike got there in five.

"Cassie!" called Mike, dropping his bike on the Harrington's lawn. Not seeing her in the front, Mike made his way to the back of the house—Eleven trailing just behind him.

Arms wrapped around herself in a ball position, Cassie sat by the pool, rocking back and forth. Sprinting towards the girl, Mike Wheeler fell beside her.

"What is it? What's wrong?" begged Mike, trying his best not to touch Cassie—which was hard because he felt an immense urge to comfort her.

Cassie shifted her gaze towards the boy, her eyes bloodshot—sheer terror plastered on her face. Parting her lips, Cassie croaked, "There was...this thing! It took Barbara!"

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