The Forest

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Chapter 9

Eve sat in Chase’s room thinking about Lucie. Chase was sitting at his desk writing down everything they knew about the case, as a copy. Eve remembered everything and made him write it all down no matter how stupid or impossible it sounded.

He tried refusing to write down the part where she had a memory that disappeared when she didn’t know what the memory was, but she claimed it was a for sure thing and if they refused to write that, then what other future facts would they have to delete from the case? And that made him write it down, whether or not he believed it was true.

“So what do we know?” She asked him as she stood up and began pacing, holding her delicate hands behind her back. “Well let’s start the day of the murder?” He offered, that was always a good place to start, at the beginning when everything turned south but Eve began to think. “Wait.” She stopped pacing her mind gears beginning to turn. “If someone commits a murder they don’t do it randomly, or at least this murder. They would have to have a reason on killing a little girl and if it was spur of the moment type thing they would have left it. But the body was gone, no sign of a murder at all. So the day of the murder wouldn’t logically be the beginning!” Her tone rose and so did her excitement. She knew she was onto something. But she failed to realize the black blur in the window, the Red eye peering in. Hearing everything.

“It would have to be sometime before when things started shifting.” Chase slowly smiled and nodded, agreeing with her logic. “So then when did things began to get weird?” He asked her and her smile dropped. She plopped back onto the floor in a state of sadness again. “I don’t think there ever was one. She seemed normal and happy as if she didn’t suspect a clue and everyone around us acted the same.” Chase dropped his head onto the desk. “Eve if we don’t figure any of this out, we won’t ever be able to find her killer. And have you even thought about the fact he might come after you?” He stared at her intensely.

“Of course I thought about it!” She snapped back. “Well we need to find some big event together, because then maybe he won’t know that we both found it and maybe will only try to kill one of us. We gotta write everything down the minute we find it out!” The writing was important to Chase and Eve saw why. If one found the major event and got killed, at least it would be written down. “Okay well.. I’m not really sure.” Eve kept thinking and didn’t move. She could barely remember the day before, she blocked everything out. All she remembered was the scream. It haunted her constantly.

“Hey Evie? Wanna play a game?” Lucie hopped up to Evie who was sitting in their tree house, against the tree that built up past it. “Not now Lucie.” Evie didn’t bother to look up. Her best friend looked hurt. Evie always wanted to play a game. What was with her saying no? She had to find out. “What’s wrong Evie?” She sat down in front of her, waiting for her to say something. Evie told her everything. She had never kept a secret. “I said not now!” She yelled angrily and as fast as she could, she climbed down from the tree house running off into the woods. She had a secret hiding spot that Lucie didn’t even know about. She needed some time to herself. Some secrets that she wouldn’t tell a soul. Lucie looked at the retreating Evie and just watched her go. “If she wants to be by herself then I guess I can just ask her later..” She tried swallowing the lump in her throat. Feeling like something was about to happen just not being able to put her finger on it. She climbed down and went home.. Back to the place she was trying to avoid. She desperately needed out that day but Evie wasn’t up for it. At least not today. She would just have to face her parents. She was anxious for Evie to come back. When would she be back? She didn’t want to be at home all day. Who knows what would happen...

Eve never knew about that day. Lucie never got the chance to tell her. Suddenly Eve remembered how beat up Lucie looked the next day, the day of her murder. “What happened to Lucie’s parents after Lucie was never found?” She questioned Chase. He looked up at her. “Uh they just kind of disappeared. Didn’t bother too much with the case. Just vanished, why?”

“Because what if they killed Lucie?” She felt like she was on a roll. “Lucie was their daughter, they wouldn’t kill her.” Chase sounded so sure but Eve decided to tell him. “Lucie’s parents abused her, Chase. The day..The day she... You know.. She was really beat up. She had bruises all over and a black eye along with a swollen cheek. scrape marks along her legs and cuts too. Even some of her fingernails were broken.” Chase’s jaw dropped. He didn’t realize. He knew Lucie but never talked to her. She did seem brighter one summer. Everyone claimed she had an imaginary friend.

She would talk about a friend who lived in the forest only during the summer, nobody else saw the girl. They all bullied Lucie over it claiming the girl wasn’t real because nobody would be friends with little Lucie. Until the year Eve did attend school and they all realized but decided to bully her too.

“She talked about you, you know...” Chase started smiling sadly at his desk. He remembered liking Lucie but too shy to talk to her. “W-what?” Eve looked up from the floor glancing at Chase. “She talked about this girl who lived in the forest, only visiting during the summer. Everyone just bullied her saying she was fake. But then the year you came to school they all bullied you because they didn’t like Lucie much so they decided to not like you, assuming you were exactly like her..” He watched her, seeing what her reaction would be like.

She felt the anxiety creep up on her. Her nerves over reacting. Waking up, she couldn’t stop the shaking that over took her. Nor could she shake the tears. “I let her die! If I ran when I heard her scream..” She started sobbing uncontrollably. Chase grabbed and hugged her, letting her cry. He hated seeing his best friend like this. “She screamed that day and I didn’t budge! If only I could see her again!” She sobbed even harder. She was crying so hard she started to gag, as if she were to puke. “I have to go..” She grabbed her bag “Keep writing notes and figuring this out, I gotta go home..” And she took off, tears streaking down her face like the Niagara Waterfall. She ran. Her heart bashing against her rib cage. Her feet pounding against the soft forest floor. The tears blinding her eye sight and she tripped over a log skidding to a stop, scraping her arms and face. She kept running pushing aside branches that whipped back and soon she was covered in scrapes, and mud. Cut marks everywhere. But she kept running, all the way home. The only sounds around her were birds and her sobs. Also her feet slamming against the floor.

She didn’t care, she needed to be home. But suddenly she took a different route, one she hadn’t taken since that day, to her secret hiding place. She had to see it. And maybe it would make her cry harder, but that place held secrets, who knew what was left there anymore. But if it had a clue that would lead Eve to Lucie’s murderer? Then all of the pain was worth it.

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