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 I wake up to the sound of ticking. I sit up and wipe the sweat off my forehead. My eyes search the room. What could be making that sound? I couldn’t tell where it was coming from, all I knew was that it was in my room somewhere. My eyes stop on my clock. 

But, it’s digital. 

I lay back down and try my best to drown the sound out; it doesn’t work. I let out a tiny groan and grab my blanket.

 My toes sway over the edge of my bed.

I shiver when I plant my feet on the cold floor. I carefully tip toe to my bed room door. 

It lets out a squeak as it opens. 

I look both ways before making my way to the couch. I lay down and sigh.

No more ticking. 

My breath catches in my throat. I sit up on my elbows. My eyes go wide and my heart starts to beat faster. I look at the kitchen doorway and try to summon my parents to come out of there bedroom. I close my eyes and open them again. Yup; still there. In the corner by our front door is a dark figure staring at me.

I’m just about ready to let out a scream when I realize there’s nothing there. I hesitate before getting up. I slowly creep to the door and turn on the light. I let out a long sigh of relief. 

“Emilie?? What are you doing up so late?” 

I jump. “Mom! Don’t scare me like that,” I complain. 

Her light pink gown flows at her feet as she walks toward me. Her blonde hair is tied into a messy bun. She rubs her baby blue eyes.

I realize that this must look awful. 

Getting out of bed, see you kid standing at the front door and thinking there about to run away.

“This doesn’t look like what you think it is,” I tell her. “I heard a sound that wouldn’t go away in my room and then I got up to sleep on the couch and then I thought I saw someone here.” I point to the corner where I thought I saw a someone. 

My mom gives me a concerned look. “Okay, get back to bed, I didn’t hear anything when I passed your bedroom.” She starts to walk back to her room. 

“Wait!” I give her puppy dog eyes. “Will you tuck me in, mommy?” 

She sighs. “Go.” She points to my bedroom. 

I grab my blankets, and skip to my bedroom with a look of triumph on my face. Once I’m tucked in she kisses my forehead and says good night again. 

I close my eyes. 


I open my eyes and stare at the ceiling. I groan and turn onto my side. 

The next thing I know it’s morning. 

I blink and wipe my eyes. I couldn’t see anything. 

My vision slowly goes back to normal. 

I reach for my phone and see that I have a text from my best friend, Mikaela. It’s a link to a new book that she is interested in. 

Mikaela is obsessed with books. Last year she would bring a new book to school everyday. She lets me borrow them sometimes. She carries them with her everywhere she goes. That’s why she’s really smart. 

I opened the link and it went to a site called The book was called Stalker. I facepalmed. 

Her favourite genre in books is murder mystery.

So I’ve seen a lot of those. I close the link and get up to get breakfast. I find my mom making pancakes.

She looks over at me, “perfect timing.” She places a pancake on a plate on the counter. She hands it to me. 

“Thanks,” I say. 

She goes back to making pancakes . 

I shove a large piece of pancake into my mouth and text Mikaela . 

Emilie: Hey, you want to meet up?

Mikaela: Sure. How about at Maple Leaf Park? Should I bring food?

Emilie: Nah, I’m eating right now. What time? 

Mikaela: How does 11 sound?

Emilie: Perfect. See you then. 

Mikaela: Bye

“Hey mom, I’m going to meet Mikaela at Maple leaf park at 11,” I say. 

“Okay, but you better hurry,” she points at the clock. 

I gasp, its 10:52. “Woah!” I exclaim. I shove the rest of my pancake into my mouth. I race to my room and toss a sweater on. I shove my phone into my back pocket before bounding into the garage. I open the garage. I have to maneuver over our lawnmower, and my younger sister’s bike to get to my bike. I don’t know why my parents haven’t gotten rid of Olivia’s bike yet.

Olivia is my younger sister, or she was. She went missing 6 months ago. 

We went searching weeks but turned up with nothing. 

I push the memories that came rushing back to the back of my mind. I drive my bike out of the garage and close the garage. My bike is black. 

It used to be my older sister, Alyssa’s bike, before she left for college. Alyssa actually came home to help search for Olivia. But, she left a couple of weeks ago.

I pedal down the driveway. Once I get to the end of my street I turn onto Dahl Street where Mikaela lives. I see Mikaela standing beside her bike on her phone. I call her name. 

She looks up, smiles and waves. 

I turn my head to the sidewalk and gasp. I jump off my bike and almost fall off. I don’t care. On the sidewalk is Olivia lying down with a puddle of blood seeping out from underneath her. I run to her side. 

I blink repeatedly. I’m still sitting on my bike in the middle of the road. 

“What are you doing?” Mikaela shouts to me. 

I look at the side walk, nothing there. I shake my head a pedal toward Mikaela. “Sorry, I got….distracted.” I decide not to mention seeing my missing sister lying on the sidewalk. 

Mikaela tucked her shoulder-length brown hair behind her ear. She wore a sky blue romper and lime green sandals. 

Before I have a chance to make my way up the driveway, Mikaela comes rolling down. 

“I will lead,” she offers. 

We ride briskly to the park. “We’re here!” Mikaela shouts, looking back at me. 

Out of nowhere a blaring horn sounds.  

“Mikaela! Watch out!” 

A large truck just misses the front of Mikaela’s bike. 

We both stop and stare at each other. 

Mikaela’s face is pale and it looks like she’s about to be sick. 

As if she read my mind, she starts to gag and her cheeks bulge like a chipmunk. She jumps off her bike and runs behind the nearest bush. 

I knew I should’ve been a good friend and gone by her side to hold her hair back, but it looked like she had that under control. With one hand she held the tree and with the other held her hair back. After a lot of gross barf sounds and a couple of spits Mikaela came out from behind the bush. She looks way better than before she went behind the bush. “Sorry, its just I got so scared that….” Her voice trailed off. 

“That’s okay. And I’m Sorry I didn’t come and help you, I just…” 

Mikaela finishes, weakly, “hate the sound and sight of people getting sick.” She wipes her mouth with her sleeve, looks at it and makes a horrified face. She sees me watching and wipes her sleeve on her romper. “I get it, if I were in your place right now, I would do the same.” 

I snort, “exactly!” I guess I sounded a little too enthusiastic because Mikaela starts to laugh. 

Soon were both practically rolling around on the ground laughing. 

While laughing I look up at the house beside us and stop immediately. In the window of the house is an old man glaring down at us with a disgusted look on his face. 

“We should go home so you can get some rest,” I say, starting to tun on my bike to go home. 

“Wait…” Mikaela calls. She grabs my arm. 

I turn to her. I notice something I haven’t noticed before, her eyes are red. 

“I feel fine!” She says giving me an obviously forced smile. 

I laugh, nervously, “okay, but if you get sick again, we’re going straight home.” 

“Deal!” She holds out her hand for me to shake it.

“Deal,” I say, shaking her hand. Before she takes her hand away, I catch a glimpse on her sleeve of what she wiped off of her mouth; blood. 

I try not to make it obvious that I saw the blood on Mikaela’s sleeve. I act as if I didn’t see anything. 

We slowly make our way to Maple leaf park. 

I take sneaky glances at Mikaela to be cautious.

We drop our bikes on the grass when we get there.

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