46.9K 1.6K 1.7K


SITTING IN HER ROOM, spinning in the chair in front of her desk, Cassie Harrington played The Smith's softly on her record player while she did her math homework

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

SITTING IN HER ROOM, spinning in the chair in front of her desk, Cassie Harrington played The Smith's softly on her record player while she did her math homework. For once, the girl was actually taking a night to focus on her studies—something she hadn't done ever. It was a mental break from everything that was going on.

The creaking of her door caused her to turn around, facing her older brother Steve—who stood in the doorway, smirking, "You're actually doing homework? Since when?"

Cassie scoffed, "What do you mean?"

Walking inside, Steve shoved his hands in his pockets, "You haven't opened a textbook since fifth grade, and that was when you chucked it out the window because you didn't understand fractions."

Cassie let out a laugh, but it ended up dry. Steve turned, sitting on his little sisters bed—folding his hands together, "Listen, you heard about what happened, with Barbara?"

Cassie gulped, setting her pencil down on her notebook paper, "What about her?"

"Well, the night she went missing, she was here," Steve explained, breathing deeply. "The cops want to investigate, but that means that mom and dad will find out about the party."

Clenching his teeth together, Steve sighed, "You know how dad gets when he's angry."

Looking down at the bruises on her arm, Cassie pulled her sweater down—eliminating the evidence. Cassie and Steve's father had a tendency to get angry whenever they did something wrong.

For example, having a party and stealing his alcohol.

Gulping, Cassie turned to face her brother, "Well, what do you expect us to do? I mean, they have to know the truth."

"No, they don't," said Steve. "God, you sound just like Nancy. She stormed out on me at school today because I cared about saving our asses."

Folding her hands, Cassie stressfully clenched her head with her palms, "We have to tell them, Steve. A girl went missing. She may be dead for all we know! We have to help our friends—they need us most right now."

Inhaling sharply, Steve shut his eyes and rolled his head back to face the ceiling. Groaning, he leaned forward, "Goddamnit, why are you always right?"

Cassie sighed, "So should you tell them or should I?"

Steve looked at his little sister—actually looked at her for the first time in a while. She looked older. Not physically, but emotionally. What had he missed? How had his little sister grown so much so fast?

"I'll take the blame," Steve spoke softly. "It was my party, so I'll take the blame. You shouldn't get punished for something that you didn't do."

"Steve, he'll hurt you—" said Cassie, giving her brother a sympathetic glance.

"I know," muttered Steve, rubbing his hands on his thighs. "It's a small price to pay, but it doesn't matter. All that matters is that everyone knows the truth about what happened—more importantly, you won't get hurt."

Cassie looked up at her older brother, immediately running up to him and hugging him. "Thank you, Steve,"

Steve froze—the unfamiliar feeling of hugging his sister running his thoughts wild. Slowly, Steve wrapped his arms around her—engulfing his little sister in a protective bear hug.

It was true, the two siblings had changed. Since times were tough, the two realized they needed each other—now more than ever. The disappearance of Will Byers seemed to be an awakening for the town of Hawkins, Indiana.

Smiling reassuringly, the two walked downstairs together—just as their parents pulled up in a cab from the airport.

"Are you sure you can do this?" asked Cassie, worry flashing on her face. "I can help..."

"No, I don't want you getting into this," said Steve, the ends of his lips tilting upward. "I got it under control."

"Mhmmk," Cassie mumbled, wishing her brother luck before her parents stepped through the door. "Good luck, big brother."


Racing over to Mike's house, Cassie threw her bike onto the lawn and rushed towards the back window. Three knocks—the two friends discussed so they would know it was the other.

Knock, knock, knock—Cassie Harrington crouched next to the window and peeked inside, watching as Mike raced over to the window. Opening it, Cassie climbed through, hopping down onto the wooden floor with ease. The atmosphere was always the same—Eleven lay on the couch, Lucas on a highchair by the table, and Dustin sat on the stairs.

Cassie took a seat at the arm of the couch, stroking Eleven's—now blonde—hair, "So, what did you call me for?"

"We think we found something from what Will said on the radio yesterday," explained Mike. "He said it was dark...and empty."

"And cold," Dustin added. "Wait...did he say cold?"

"I don't know," said Lucas, sighing frustratedly. "The stupid radio kept going in and out."

"Like home..." Mike trailed off, his face puzzled. "Like his house?"

"No," said Cassie, shaking her head. "It couldn't be."

"Upside down," spoke Eleven softly.

The group turned to the girl, who sat up from her laying position. Lucas furrowed his eyebrows, "The what?"

"The Upside Down," repeated Mike, walking over to the wooden table and taking a seat.

"The what now?" asked Cassie, crossing her arms.

"The Upside Down," said Mike. "When El showed us where Will was, she flipped the board over. Remember?"

Cassie hummed, sitting next to Mike at the table, "So, you mean to tell me that Will is underneath us?"

"Not exactly," answered Mike. "More like on the other side."

"This makes absolutely no sense," spoke Lucas.

Cassie sighed, rubbing her head, "I don't know why I'm saying this, but I think Mike is right. I saw the creature that took Barbara. It wasn't human—it wasn't from our world."

"So you're saying..." Dustin trailed off. "You saw the monster that came from the other dimension."

Cassie nodded, "Yeah, I think so."

"So this is like The Vale of Shadows!" shouted Dustin. "It makes perfect sense!"

Nodding, the group of four looked at each other. Cassie Harrington smiled, standing up and facing the group, "Now we just have to find out how the hell we are going to get Will out of the underworld."

"Upside down," corrected Dustin.

Cassie chuckled, "Right, Henderson. Upside down."

ACE OF HEARTS ( mike wheeler! )Where stories live. Discover now