CHAPTER FOURTY-FIVE

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ACE OF HEARTS
CHAPTER FOURTY-FIVE:
THAT WAS A CLOSE CALL

     BY NIGHTFALL, THE GROUP had made their way back to Hopper's cabin and began to process the events that occurred just hours before

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BY NIGHTFALL, THE GROUP had made their way back to Hopper's cabin and began to process the events that occurred just hours before. The living room was filled with complete and utter silence. A tension, nobody knew what to say, what to do.

Cassie gazed around at her friends' faces, how the tightness of their jaws and shoulders are reflected in one another. Her own stomach had become tight as her usual look of confidence was afraid to appear her face.

In the near distance, the sound of fireworks echoed through the vast open forest, various colors illuminating the night sky. The sound that once brought joy and happiness, now turning into a recognition that just behind the bright colors, darkness lurks.

"He said he was building something..." Eleven's voice weakly croaked, causing the group's eyes to fall on the girl. "That it was all for me."

"Building something...is he talking about the flayed?" Max asked.

Nancy shook her head, "He must be."

"So he's building an army, just like we thought." Lucas spoke.

Mike nodded, "Yeah, but he's not building this army to spread-"

"He's building it to stop Eleven." Will finished.

"Last year, El closed the gate on him." Mike explained, folding his hands together nervously. "I have a feeling that really pissed him off. And the Mind Flayer now knows that she's the only thing that can stop him."

Setting a hand on Elevens forearm, Cassie spoke up, "But if he successfully gets El out of the way, its game over. The whole world would be screwed."

"He also..." Eleven gulped, her hands beginning to shake. "He told me...that he was also going to kill all of you."

There was a pause, everyone in the room frozen in shock.

Cassie was the first to speak, her sarcasm breaking the eery silence, "Oh, wow, that's fun."

But, nobody let out a chuckle, for something else had seemed to grasp onto their attention. A sudden noise engulfed the group, completely capturing their minds and wiping away any logical thought.

Standing from her seated position, Nancy Wheeler questioned the group, "Do you guys hear that?"

"Its just the fireworks..." Jonathan answered.

At first it was indistinct, but as the noise grew closer to the cabin where the group sat hiding, it became impossible to remain unnoticed. As the familiar faint screeching noise rang through their ears, fear began to take over.

Shaking her head, Nancy immediately turned to Eleven and asked, "Billy. When he told you this, it was here, in this room?"

Silently, Eleven nodded.

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