Chapter 9

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The flickering of the police lights brought Hazel out of her daze as the luminescent rays pierced her vision. She squinted her eyes in hopes of decreasing the intensity as she stood rubbing her bare arms in hopes of generating more heat. She stood cowering as her brother questioned a slightly less inebriated Shaun, flinching as people walked past her to make their way home.

Jared wrote down a few things as Shaun spoke, nodding his head every few seconds to indicate he's still listening. Jared place a firm grip on Shaun's shoulder as they made their way towards Hazel, as she offered her brother a sheepish smile.

"You drive Shaun home in his car, and I'll trail behind you." He spoke and made his way to his vehicle before she could even fathom a single thought.

"What did he say to you?" She immediately questioned, but he brushed her off and walked towards his car and sat in the passenger seat with his arms folded across his chest.

Judging by the events of tonight and everyone's attitude, she was going to be in for an even longer day tomorrow.

*********************

Isabelle closed her eyes in hopes of willing herself to sleep, but every time she did, images of Audrey would flash before her. She pulled her covers over herself, becoming surrounded in complete darkness. The only sound to be heard is her heavy breathing and the slight breeze gently blowing through the leaves outside her window. She tossed and turned under the covers in hopes of getting comfortable enough to fall asleep.

Her body started to heat up and she tossed the covers to the side, welcoming the chilly night air piercing her skin creating a trail of goosebumps all over her body. She sat up, combing her fingers through her chaotic hair, as she glanced out the window at the glimmering night sky littered in stars. She twirled a strand of hair around her finger as a million thoughts ran through her mind.

The murder at the party brought back every emotion she had been trying to push aside, the pain of losing Audrey piercing even deeper into her wounded heart. Fallen tears fell down her cheeks but she made no attempt to wipe them away as a river of tears seemed to be escaping her eyes. She watched as the tears fell onto her rapidly shaking hands, clutching her hands into a fist before angrily slamming them down on her bed creating a loud thud as she burst into a sobbing mess.

The buzzing of her phone on her nightstand caught her attention. She reached for the phone but was unable to see the caller ID due to the overflowing tears influencing her vision. She shakily lifted the phone to her ear and answered with a hoarse hello.

Static sounds pierced her ears and she hastily moved the phone from her ear and glanced at her phone, unknown caller flashing on her screen.

"Hello?" She placed the phone to her ear once again, annoyance evident in her tone. "This isn't funny."

"Isabelle." The person on the other end finally spoke. "I need your help."

Isabelle's breath hitched and she had to clutch the phone to keep it from crashing to the ground. She shut her eyes so tight until her head started to feel dizzy, having to grab onto her table to keep herself from collapsing. The perspiration rapidly running down her face, an overwhelming warmth flushing through her. Through her oncoming panic attack, she managed to force herself to speak, only able to utter a single word.

"Audrey."

****************

Logan hurriedly pushed his way through the crowd of students dawdling in the hallways trying to get to his locker before first period.

The hallways weren't filled with its joyful atmosphere, instead everyone sauntered around with solemnly. Another tragic and unexplained death in such a short amount of time has caused the town to develop a new aspect on life, that not everyone is as safe as they thought they were.

The bell rang shortly after Logan gathered his books and he anxiously trailed behind the herd of teenagers into first period biology. He silently took a seat in the middle row, ignoring the chatter commencing around him.

Hazel Walker shortly trailed into the room a moment later, taking the only seat available next to him, offering a tiny smile in greeting to her new classmate.

"I'm Hazel." She finally uttered, nervously tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "I was the new kid until you showed up, so I know how nerve-wrecking it is."

He smiled at her timid demeanor, appreciating her words considering she's the first person to attempt to strike a conversation with him since he arrived in this new town.

"I'm Logan." He spoke sitting up straighter, placing his arm on his desk as he leaned to face her. "It's nerve-wrecking, but I prefer to stay under the radar, so this is working out perfect for me."

Hazel chuckled at his words, feeling more at ease speaking to this stranger.

"Well, Logan, I think we're going to get along just great."

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Isabelle anxiously trailed through the isolated part of the woods, not entirely sure if she was going in the right direction. After faking ill, and waiting for her parents to leave for work, she immediately left her home undetected and made her way to the local park that leads to the local lake hangout, situated in the middle of the forest.

She felt it would be easier to find her way during the daylight instead of aimlessly wondering through the forest in darkness, but she found herself forgetting where to go to get to the lake. She pushed through branches, the only sound is the chirping of the birds above and the crunching of twigs and leaves with every step she took. She felt her legs cramping from the never-ending walk, hoping to reach her destination shortly. She mentally cheered as she spotted the clearing in the distance and moved her legs faster, ignoring the pain. She sprinted into the clearing by the lake and glanced around in every direction, visibly disappointed as she found herself alone.

The snap of a branch behind her caused her to spin her body around so fast she almost lost her balance, her breath hitching in her throat as she glanced at the disheveled figure standing before her.

"Audrey." She uttered to the person standing a few feet away from her. "You're here."

She watched as her sister stood with her arms wrapped around herself, visibly shaking as the tears rapidly ran down her face, her knotted hair standing up in an unkempt manner. Audrey let out a gut-wrenching sob before managing to speak.

"Isabelle." She spoke, her voice hoarse with an obvious sense of distress. "Please help me."

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