11 - Sam
The trial is adjourned for the day, to resume tomorrow. Chris has disappeared and a frantic Ashley is being interrogated by the police as an accomplice to Emily's death. I'm surprised they didn't just arrest all of us on suspicion of the same thing. It would have made it a whole lot easier; bulldoze all the wendigo-believing nut-cases in one full swing.
Mike was wrong to say what he did, but I understand why he did it. He was under pressure, both by Ashley at the time he shot that dreadful gun, and by the prosecution only minutes ago.
But Chris' reaction was expected - he was desperate to protect Ashley (and himself) after all they had been through. After all, Josh had done more damage to Chris and Ashley more than the wendigos ever had; it was no surprise that trust was hard to come by these days. But it had been Chris who had said if they told the truth, everything would be alright.
So much for that.
"Can't you trace the website?" I plead with a nearby policeman in the lobby of the court house, insisting he look at the screen of my phone.
"You'll have to take that to the local police sta-"
"You are the local police," I insist, stepping towards the man who calmly holds his hands up.
"Please refrain from-"
"Hey," I say shortly, disbelieving. "I'm not going to shoot you like-"
"Sam!" Chris' voice cuts off my words and I turn to face him, the policeman looking relieved now that he thinks I can't see his expression. Chris is jogging towards me, cautiously glancing to nearby guards in case they tell him off for running in the corridor, just like in school. "Where's Ash?"
I sigh, glancing down, my hand holding the phone collapsing to my side. "She's being questioned."
Chris swears under his breath before I cut the distance between us and shove my phone into his hand. "Figure out who's doing this to us," I plead.
He nods solemnly, reluctant, doubting that he can actually do it. But instead of voicing his fears, he simply says, "Yeah," glancing down and fiddling with the touch-keys on the phone.
I glance around nervously as if I'd be able to see our stalker lurking in the shadows, watching us through a camera lens. Any shift of a figure around a corner, any abnormal footsteps, anything that alerts me to their presence. It feels like my hearing has been amplified by those mines, listening out for the telltale screeches of the wendigos.
"Sam," Chris says slowly. I turn to look at him, seeing his eyes glued to the screen of my phone.
"Yeah?" I ask, feeling nerves and fear tighten in my stomach like an ever tangled knot upon knot. I step forward, peering over his elbow at the phone screen.
"There's a new photo," he breathes, leaning the phone in my direction so I can see clearer. There, on the screen, is a frazzled Jessica walking out of her apartment complex with a man.
"Who's that?" I ask, leaning in closer to the screen to see him clearer. All I can see of him is dark hair, dark skin and a black coat. He might as well be a shadow.
"I don't know, a new boyfriend?" Chris says absentmindedly. "That's not the point. Look at the photo before it." He scrolls down to show a picture of me talking to the policeman from about five minutes ago, posted at exactly the same time as the other one of Jess. How could they take pictures from two different places at once unless... "There's more than one of them."
"What?" I hiss, my throat closing as I take the cell phone from Chris' hands with my own, shaking fingers. "Do you think they're working together?"
Chris shakes his head, a lifeless, breathy laugh low in his chest. "Well, they're using the same website. Figures."
I feel anger rumble in my throat, before I swivel on my heels and shout out, "Hey! Come out where we can see you! Coward!" The policeman from earlier looks awkward as he tries to melt into the wall.
"Hey," Chris tugs at my elbow, cautious and stern. "You might anger him."
I scoff, but taking his advice, I turn back towards him and mutter, "I wouldn't be surprised if it was a woman."