Chapter 3

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When the second body showed up across town, Miles could feel the tension in the neighborhood rise. It had been two weeks since she'd spotted the young girl in the bushes when she heard the news from her history teacher that another teenager was found dead behind an abandoned duplex only 15 minutes west of her town.

"The principal is going to send notices home today about safety when walking to and from school. Make sure you walk with someone, okay, class?" Mr. Higgens had stopped the lesson five minutes before the bell rang to explain the recent news.

Miles raised her hand and when called upon asked, "Do they think it's tied to the girl they found on Rampert Street?"

Mr. Higgens nodded slowly as if considering whether he should share the story with the class but after a few seconds of combing through his gray beard, he stated, "Police think it's the same type of way the other girl died. Something about draining the bodies of blood."

An audible gasp could be heard in the room, the rest of the class looked intently at Mr. Higgens as if waiting for him to tell them it was a joke and everything would be fine tomorrow. But Miles knew it wasn't fine, two teenagers had died, and the look on her classmate's faces was a little more worried than they ever had been before.

After leaving her last class period, Miles found Sydney in the parking lot, tugging on his strap.

"So you heard?" she said, walking passed him as he hurried to catch up.

Sydney shrugged his shoulders as he fell in step, "Yeah, seems a little weird but the principal might be overreacting. My mom goes crazy over safety stuff. We'll probably be getting a drive to school from now on."

Miles looked at Sydney and grimaced, "No way. My school drop off days are long gone. I enjoy my freedom. And I used to enjoy peace and quiet until you showed up."

Sydney smacked his lips loudly in response. They walked in silence except for the sound of Sydney's hand rubbing against his strap. 1-2-3. They'd finally made it to Rampert Street and the ghostly yellow house stared back at Miles. The police and the news vans were gone. Off to the new crime, Miles thought. The only thing that remained was a piece of yellow tape swaying in the breeze from the homes banister.

Miles said, "I don't think they're overreacting. That's two teenagers dead in two weeks. I think that there's definitely someone preying on kids."

"Preying?" Sydney said cautiously. "It could just be a coincidence."

"Clearly this is not a coincidence. It looks more like a serial killer." Miles looked from the house to Sydney, his face growing pale. "Don't freak out for goodness sakes."

Miles rolled her eyes and stepped off the curb as Sydney shuffled behind her, his eyes darting both ways before he crossed.

"I wonder who lives in the yellow house?" Sydney said as they turned onto their street.

"Don't know but I'm interested in finding out." Miles retorted.

"Don't tell me you want to turn into the black Nancy Drew."

"Come on. Don't act like this isn't the most interesting thing that's happened in your boring life."

Sydney balked, "Who said my life is boring?"

"I did. And I'm right?" Miles challenged.

"Well..." Syndey twisted his strap around two fingers.

"Exactly. You find out who lives there and I'll find out more about the dead girl. Deal?" Miles held her hand out.

Sydney stared at her hand before stepping back and into the grass. "I don't like— ," he stammered.

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