C 27

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We were crouched down on the floor, frozen in place. “Did anyone follow you back here?” Rachel mouthed to me. I shook my head. “I don’t think so.” She looked very worried. We moved closer to the door and tried to avoid the window since the curtains were drawn back. There was another knock and it was a lot louder than the first one. Rachel put her finger to her lips and looked down at Milo. I kneeled down and took his hand. “Let’s be quiet for a minute, okay?” He nodded and batted his eyes sweetly at me. “Who is it?” Rachel called out bravely.

“Willow Creek Police Department!” Came the voice from the other side. “Come out with your hands up!”

At that moment, a weird feeling passed over me. “Something isn’t right.” I mumbled and held my head in my hands as the room swam before me. “I feel dizzy.” Rachel shook my shoulders hard. “Pay attention!” She urged impatiently. “Now this is the plan.” She told me in a hushed whisper while she pulled a gun from the waistband of her pants. “You’re going take the kid and go out the window in the bathroom. I’ll distract the cops while you escape.” My eyes grew wide when I realized her intent. “Are you crazy, Rachel? I’m not leaving without you! We’re in this together!” I reminded her. “Well…one of us has to take the fall. And it’s not going to be you.” She gave me a sad smile. “I told you I’d do anything for you. And I meant it. Now get out of here.” She leaned down and kissed me on the forehead. “No! I can’t!” I wailed. She cracked the door open. “Alright! I’m coming out!” She warned the officers waiting outside. “You’ve only got a minute or two at best, Isabel. Go. Now.” She demanded as she put the gun up in front of her and began to walk outside. “Please, Rachel…I’m begging you! Don’t go out there!” I sobbed and reached for her. She turned her head back to me and focused her fierce green eyes on my face. “You know what you have to do.” Then she was gone. I held my breath and waited with dread to hear the sound of multiple shots going off. But instead, I was met with silence.

“How strange.” I whispered. I turned to Milo and motioned for him to wait for me, then I walked outside. A small gasp escaped my lips as I stared ahead. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing . Or rather…not seeing. There was nothing out there. Nothing but pitch black. I turned around and around…and eventually I got lost.

Then I felt a soft nudge at my side…and my eyes flew wide open.

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