-1- Lost Girl

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A/N: Hello, reader! This is a first draft of a story I've been thinking about for a while. I hope you like it! XO, Sam

-1- Lost Girl

Ash feels her panic rising. A moment ago, her eight-year-old sister was in her sight, but now Willow is nowhere to be found. 

"Will?" Ash calls, her voice so panicked she sounds like a siren with a dying battery. "Will, where are you?" Please be here, please be here, please be here.

There's a little boy in a blue polo and jeans at the bottom of the slide. A woman is bending over him while he cries, his jeans are torn at the knee. A few young girls and a boy are playing in the sandbox. Ash watches one of the girls dump a bucket of sand on the other, burying her, but in a friendly way. Three bigger kids are sitting on the merry-go-round, laughing while a fourth and fifth stand on either side and spin it with verve. None of them are Willow. 

Ash turns to the girl next to her, another regular at this particular park, Sara. She's a babysitter, hired to watch the sandbox kids. "Sarah, did you see where my sister went?" 

Sara looks up from her noisy cell phone. 

"I'm not being paid to watch your sister," she says.

"You're not being paid to watch your phone either," Ash grumbles as she pushes off from the bench. 

Sara's mouth opens in a silent, offended "O". Ash doesn't care. She'd spent hours looking out for the kids Sara was supposed to be taking care of, day after day. The least she could do was return the favor a time or two. 

If only I hadn't been distracted...Ash thinks. What had distracted her? A boy. She feels terrible, thinking it even as her heart races and her mind scatters. I've lost her! She's gone! And it's all my fault!

Then Ash sees her long brown hair and a green eye peeking around a tree and she stomps over. Relief and anger mingling inside. 

"You sneaky little twerp!" she says. 

Willow laughs. "I got you!" 

"That was not funny. Come on, we're leaving." She takes Willow's hand. 

"You weren't watching me, you were watching the hottie jogger."

Anger wins. 

"What hottie jogger?" Ash lies. 

"The one in the red bike shorts and white shirt."

Ash doesn't blink, staring straight ahead as she leads Will to the parking lot. "I don't know who you're talking about." She does, she has noticed him before today, but she's not about to speak of it lest Will mention it to their parents. 

"Sure," Will says. "Oh wait, I forgot my shoes."

"Run and get them, quick," Ash says. 

She stands at the open car door and watches Will run back, determined to give her sister her full attention. That's why she doesn't notice the man as he creeps up to her and wraps his arms around her. There is no time to scream. His hand is there, cutting off a shocked gasp. Before she knows it, she's already in a van, being driven away. 

She disappears so fast, nobody sees. 

Willow slips on her sandals. She's been told so many times to leave them on, but she can't run in them, becuase they slip off, so she takes them off to play. Plus, she likes to feel the grass on her feet. It's tickly. She runs back to the car, but there is no Ashley. 

"Ash!" she says, not afraid. It's a game, right? "Ash, come on, I already put my shoes back on."

Ash doesn't pop up from the other side of the car and say, "Gotcha!"


Willow goes around to Ash's side of the car and sees the open door, her keys on the ground. She begins to cry. 

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