The Haunted Town

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#8 - Jenna Collins

“Simone? What are you doing here?” Simone snapped open her eyes at the voice. She looked around her wildly, touched herself to see if she was hurt. No, she was fine and the shadows were gone. As if they hadn’t been there.
“Hey, you ok?” The voice asked again, concerned this time. Simone looked up to see that it was Nathan. His forehead was creased in worry as he looked at Simone and around her.
“What happened?” He asked, edging towards her.
“Ahh....” Simone scratched her head, thinking furiously. “I thought I heard a mouse.....I...uh...jumped back and collided into the rack....ummm the books fell and I was scared...that...that...the rack will fall and I’d be trapped underneath it.” She finished, nodding and somehow proud of her excuse. Nathan just raised his eyebrows at her.

“What...what are you doing here?” She asked him who was now picking up the books that had fell down on the floor.
“I come here a lot. Its the only place that I love to be in.” He said, winking at her. After he was done arranging the books, he raked his hand through his hair nervously.
“So, anything I can help you with around here?”
“No...no. Thank you. I was just...just heading home now.” Simone said, making her way towards the stairs. Her legs felt weak and she forced herself to appear composed. Nathan followed her without a word. Downstairs, someone was busy talking with the librarian. Simone could hear her chuckle softly all over to the stairs at the further left of the floor.

“Kyle!! Need to stay?” Nathan called out to the guy from behind Simone, brushing past her towards the main desk.
“Nah, man. I just followed you here.” His friend said, his voice thick as he winked at the librarian.
“You’re heading home?” Nathan turned to ask Simone. She opened her mouth to say yes but then decided against it.
“Why?”
“If you have time, we can go somewhere fun?” He offered, a dimpled smile on his face. Trust no one. No one. Matthew’s warning words rang in her head as she looked at the two boys waiting anxiously for her answer.
“Yeah, I have a little time to wander around. Where do you have in mind?” She asked and cringed a little when Kyle slapped Nathan on the back, sending the poor boy stumbling a couple of steps forward.
“Just around the corner. The gaming station.” Nathan said, smiling from ear to ear. Behind him, Kyle was rolling his eyes but she could see a hint of smile on his face too. Simone noticed that he was one of the guys who Nathan hung around with most often at school. He had shoulder length brown hair and he was taller than Nathan. Some three to five inches. He even appeared to be older than them.
“Isn’t that the guys’ thing?” Simone said, shaking her head at the idea of boys playing the weird fighting games.
“Not really. Its the only place around here where the kids hang out often. You’d be surprised to see more girls than guys.” Nathan said as they started moving towards the library doors. Trust no one. No one. Simone recalled the warning once more.

“Uh...Do you mind if I drop by my house and change my clothes?” She asked the boys. They both turned around to look at her, then at each other before Nathan nodded.
“Thanks. I’ll see you here in a few.” Simone waved at them awkwardly and rushed towards her bike. Under no circumstances she was going to risk losing her memory of what she had read and saw. Like Matthew had said, she could trust no one. Not even Nathan who had been her only good friend for a month she had been here.

Just outside her house, once again she found Jenna waiting for her. Sighing, Simone walked up to her.
“Now, what are you doing here?” She growled out. Jenna just made a face at her before pulling her arm towards the main door.
“Whoa wait. What are you doing?” Simone tried to free her hand but failed.
“I need to talk to you. Asap!”
“We can talk here.”
“No, we can’t. I don’t want the shadows to find us.” Jenna winked while Simone’s eyes widen in surprise. Jenna looked proud of herself. She did not look like she was joking. Simone looked around her, scared that someone might have overheard them but the street was vacant. No one was outside or even in the windows.
“I...I don’t know what you are talking about.” Simone said, her heart beating uncomfortably in her chest. Jenna’s lips curved in a taunting smile at her.
“Did you really think you are the only who is in search for the answers?”
“Look, Jenna, I don’t know what you are getting at here.” Simone said, trying to step around Jenna but she stopped her. “I’ve got to be somewhere.”

“I lost my mom a year ago. That is when I realized that there was something wrong with this town. I started noticing things that were off.” Jenna said, her voice soft and pain evident from her face. “Please, can we talk inside?”
Simone didn’t know what to do. Trust no one. No one. The words kept on echoing in her mind. At last, her gave up and beckoned Jenna over. Her father was at work and Jayden was making some kind of project model for his school. Her mother brightened when she saw Jenna with Simone.
“Wonderful to see you my dear. What would you like? Ice cream or cold coffee?”
“Ice cream maybe?” Jenna grinned, making her mother chuckle.

In her bedroom, Simone kept her distance from her. The videos in her phone which she had recovered from the camera clearly showed that Brianna had needed physical contact with her to wipe her memories away. She was not going to give a chance to Jenna to do the same lest she was lying about everything just to get Simone trust her. They just talked about their classes and classmates while they waited for Simone’s mother to bring in the ice cream.
“I’m really surprised to see that Nathan spends too much time with you. Mostly he just stays miles away from girls despite them following him around the school.” Jenna was saying as she played with her ice cream in the cup. It was gonna melt and ruin her clothes.
“Look, I don’t know what people think but I didn’t ask him to follow me around. Heck, I didn’t even give him any kind of initiative.”
“Well, that is the exact thing that attracted him. He is a nice guy, you know. Nicer than tons of people around this town.” Jenna slurped on her ice cream, making Simone gape at her. That was one weird way of eating ice cream. When they were done, Jenna folded her black red hair into a bun at the nape of her neck and threw open Simone’s closet doors.
“Come on. We can’t take risks.”
“Jenna, whatever you’ve got to say, do it here. I’m NOT going to get into the closet with you.” Simone said, folding her arms over her chest defiantly.
Sighing, Jenna closed the closet doors and headed to pull the curtains over the windows. She closed the door and every place from where the setting sunlight streamed in through. She turned off the light, creating semi-darkness into the room.

“Like I said, I lost my mother last year. She didn’t disappear, she was murdered.” She began, sitting down on Simone’s bed. Simone took the chair beside the table.
“I was at home when it happened. I....When I heard my mom scream, I rushed up the stairs. I pounded on her bedroom door which was locked. I had to break it in. That is when I found her body. She was drained of blood. Strange, right?” She asked Simone, hugging a pillow close.
“Look, if you are going to tell me there are vampires in this down then I’m not going to believe you. I mean, what do you want me to think?” Simone said exasperatedly, throwing up her hands. She should’ve known that having Jenna over was a bad, bad bad idea.
“Simone, I know. I know that you’ve lost your memories and you see them. You see the shadows but you don’t remember seeing them. The demons. They control the shadows. This town, they rule over it.” Jenna said, trying to keep her voice upbeat. She was looking unseeingly on the floor. Simone didn’t know what to say to her.
“Unlike you, I have some sense to keep off their radar.”
“Or directly under it.” Simone muttered. Jenna let out a humorless and self depreciating laugh.
“You know about Brianna. I’m impressed. It took me months to find the truth about her.”
“Aren’t you scared of her?” Simone asked her. Jenna shook her head and looked at her.
“No, I’m scared of the mastermind behind her. Demons obey someone. Someone I have yet to find out. Someone who is onto you” She whispered the latter part, her fearful eyes looking at Simone.

༼•̫͡•༽ 。・:*:・゚༼•̫͡•༽,。・:*:・゚༼•̫͡•༽

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