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{9}Secret

With clothes of green,
And bark of a dog,
Search me for the goods,
I sleep like a log.

The riddle had been playing on her mind ever since she received the text. Now, as she sat on her bed, beneath the blanket with her phone in hand, she knew what the riddle was. A tree. It had to be a tree. But what she didn't understand is what he meant by it? So her clue is on a tree? But what tree? There's about millions of them out there, was she suppose to search each and every single one of them?

The idea frustrated her and to be fair, she wasn't sure if she even wanted to continue. After what happened with the first riddle, she didn't know if she could cope with another situation like that. The fear she felt in that building was still lurking within her bones. She knew it wouldn't be so simple. She might just have dragged herself deeper into the mess she was already in.

She eyed the gloves and the note she had got as her clue. Still not understanding the meaning behind it but she was willing to work with what she had. What she really wanted to do was to burn anything that belonged to him and watch it go up in flames, however, she had to keep her clues safe. Maybe that way, she could find the answers she'd been long yearning for. Maybe there was a meaning behind them.

Her phone vibrated, she hesitated before taking a look at it. She was starting to hate all of her devices that he had contact to. She wondered if he'd hacked into her phone, if that's how he knew everything she was doing, or maybe, she was just being paranoid, she didn't give it much thought, instead she opened the message and her heart rate increased.

It was a picture of a tree, a tree that she knew all too well. She remembered the day she was sitting beneath that same tree, having a picnic, with.. Ryan. They'd gotten drunk and ended up kissing, realising their mistake, they never spoke of that incident ever again and they never went back to that park.

So that was the riddle, the tree she had abandoned due to her drunken mistake with the guy who was supposed to be her best friend. Her nerves were scattering through her veins as she tried to put two and two together. The only person who knew about that tree was Ryan, so could Blade be.. him?

It had to be. It was their secret. They'd never told anyone about it. She felt sick to her stomach, if Blade really was Ryan, then that would hurt more than anyone else. Ryan was suppose to be the one she trusted, her best friend. Her childhood friend. The thought made her nauseous. She wasn't sure what to believe anymore.

She spent hours thinking this through, in the end, she found herself stood in the park, walking towards the second clue that was awaiting her. The sky had darkened and the only light to path her way was the moon and the lampposts that did little to ease the tension in her bones.

Every step felt like thorns to her already rattled nerves, until she stood face to face with the tree she had avoided for so long. She wanted to laugh at herself, who avoids a tree? She really had lost her mind and she almost lost herself when her eyes fell onto the shovel that was placed on the ground.

She scanned her surrounding, no one was in sight, it was almost midnight and she knew she was either alone or maybe, not as alone as she thought. Something told her that Blade was right here, watching her every move, analysing her every step.

Ignoring the bad aura that was lurking in the air, she picked up the shovel with shaky hands. Not sure what she was to find under the layers of dirt. Her mind doing what it always did best, it sought out the worst case scenario. She was going to find a dead body under there. Or so she thought, but as she dug deeper, she came across something that didn't consist of skin, bones and limbs.

Kneeling down, she dug her fingers into the dirt and pulled out the belt that was waiting her arrival. She eyed it momentarily before she looked down at the note that came with it. She studied the note, using her phone light to read what it said.

You moaned as I wrapped this belt around your neck.

Goosebumps curled around her skin as she reread over the words. Once again, she was left with nothing, another dead end, another trick. Her hand slid up to her forehead to wipe away the sweat she had shed, bright lights blinded her vision as many large torches switched on from all around her, circling her and the tree. She didn't get the chance to register her situation as she saw a dagger racing towards her.

Stunned, her trembling fingers reached for her skin, feeling the cut the blade had left on her cheek as it skimmed past her face and landed on the tree behind her. Her heart was melting into her stomach the more she turned her head. Facing the tree, her lungs clenched at the sight. There was a picture attached to the tree and the dagger had gone right through the forehead of the girl on the picture.

She hadn't saw the image due to the darkness of the park but now as she stared at it carefully with all of the torch lights, she could see that, that picture was indeed, a picture of her. Swallowing down the lump that was clogging up her throat, she held tight onto the belt and the note, and she made a run for it. Running towards her car and never stopping until she was out of there.

Although she had got away again, she wasn't sure if he was even trying to catch her.

Maybe, just maybe,

He wanted her to run.

Maybe, or maybe,

He enjoyed that.
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