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🧵 Prologue: Alex, Alexx, Toil and Trouble

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"We're screwed," Alexxandria Lorde exclaimed

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"We're screwed," Alexxandria Lorde exclaimed. The curls in her blonde hair bobbed up and down as she paced the living room. The hardwood floor creaked under her feet as November's showers sprinkled against the window panes. "We might as well pack our bags and declare ourselves socially dead."

Alexandria Canterbury wasn't surprised by her ex-best friend's theatrics. Drama was her passion and the stage her second home. It would have been fine if Alexx didn't tend to take everything, and she meant everything, to a whole other level—like Mars. The number of times she'd corralled Alexx off the ledge...

A pang of wistfulness hit.

That wasn't her job anymore, was it?

Alex uncurled her legs from under her and struggled to sit up from the Lorde's oversized couch that seemed to swallow anyone who dared sit in it. "Well, that's impossible, so we need to figure out what to do."

Her ex-best friend's blue eyes landed on her with such intensity, Alex jerked back, her black panama hat tumbling off her limp, unwashed hair. She'd been about to hop in the shower when Alexx called her in a panic and ordered her to hurry over.

"Would it kill you to let me wallow for a few minutes?" Alexx demanded to know, hands on her hips.

What's wallowing going to fix? she wanted to ask but bit the nasty retort back. Practicality was a foreign concept to Alexx. "Fine. Go wallow," she said, waving a hand for her to hurry it up. While her ex-best friend wallowed, she'd think of a way to get them out this mess.

Ignoring Alexx's sigh of annoyance, she picked up her phone and swiped to the Instagram photo with her middle finger since her pointer was wrapped in a bandaid after accidentally pricking herself with a needle while sewing. The shot was dark and grainy, but Alex could clearly make out the magenta notebook. She flicked to the next photo and groaned.

This notebook is property of Alexx Lorde and Alex Canterbury—for our eyes only! (We're talking to you, Seth!)

We promise:

1. To never reveal the secrets shared within these pages to a single soul even if we're tickled to death by annoying older brothers (or in Alex's case her parents)

2. To always be honest even if that honesty means hurting another person

3. To never go more than three days without writing in it. No excuses ie. Papers due or test coming up

4. To never let it get in the hands of someone else. No exceptions. Not even to our other friends.

5. To be best friends till the day we die (or you marry Cole Sprouse which in that case you're dead to me!) <——oh gee I wonder who wrote this, Alexx!!

Best Friends Forever,

Alexx Lorde aka Georgie

Alex Canterbury aka Freddy

They signed it during a rare sleepover with just the two of them, giggling themselves silly as they danced to the soundtrack of Grease and ate a truckload of puppy chow—a sweet concoction of chocolate, Chex cereal, and powdered sugar. They'd been so carefree back then—no heartache or betrayals in sight.

Alex rubbed her chest as an ache formed. Was this what adults meant by growing pains? Well, she didn't like it—not one bit.

Her ex-best friend let out a frustrated growl. "How could you be so careless? You kept those stupid notebooks in your locker of all places. That's literally the worst place you could have stashed them."

"Literally the worst?" she asked sarcastically. "Really?"

Her ex-best friend's eyes narrowed into slits, so tiny Alex was surprised her contacts didn't pop out. "Why did you even have them in there? It's been months."

Alex pushed herself off the couch as a rush of anxiety flooded her system. How could she explain what she didn't know herself? She'd thought about burning the stupid thing a million times after their blowout, but every time she attempted to take them out of her locker, something stopped her.

Alex re-read the caption at the bottom of the photo. Look at all these promises. Too bad you two couldn't keep them.

The account, LordoftheNotebook, was set to private so only the two girls could see, but what would happen when that changed? And make no mistake, it would change. The "Lord of the Notebook" had promised they would go down like Ralph and Piggy in Lord of the Flies.

Resentment rushed through her veins. Alex wished she'd never read that stupid book. Maybe if she hadn't, her friendship wouldn't have shattered into a million pieces. She glanced at her ex-best friend. Did she ever find herself writing down her feelings like old times? Did she ever wonder if the pieces could be repaired?

Alex shook her head and looked away. Her ex-best friend wasn't like her. She had no problem speaking her mind. If she missed Alex, she would have told her—loudly.

Better to focus on finding the notebooks. If only there were some clue as to who had them.

Another post popped up. "Georgie—" The nickname slipped out before she could stop it. "I mean, Alexx. They posted again."

Alexx rushed over. Standing shoulder to shoulder, they looked on in horror as their feelings were displayed page after page. Below it, the caption read, Which girl will survive the hunt, and which will end up with her impaled on a spike? I'm eager to find out.

Alexx squeezed her arm, her fingernails digging in, leaving half-moon indentations in her skin. Alex tried to shake her off, but her ex-best friend held on and pointed to the screen with a bright pink nail. "Look."

Oh no.

The account was officially public.

The account was officially public

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